AMD has released a new set of driver features for its AMD Radeon software – or rather AMD software as it is now called. AMD has decided that the apps and drivers package is for more than just their graphics products, so they ditched the Radeon bit for now. Although it’s still called the Adrenalin Edition, which seems debatable considering it was the Adrenalin Edition. since 2017.
But there’s something more interesting to talk about with this new driver package: AMD has fully integrated Radeon Super Resolution (RSR) into their drivers. This is a new upscaling technology that AMD is releasing to broadly support many games, intended to complement the FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) technology already available.
Essentially, RSR tries to improve the appearance of your game with the information provided to it. The key to its performance, like any other upscaling technology, is really downsampling your game to increase frame rates and then making the lower resolution image look better than it normally would.
As a result, it’s a careful balancing act to maintain performance and quality.
With RSR, it’s up to you to decide whether you prefer performance over quality or the other way around. You simply enable the feature in the latest Radeon drivers (under Settings, then Graphics), set your in-game resolution below your monitor’s native resolution, then let RSR do the work.
You can verify that the RSR is working with the little green tick below the setting in the AMD Software application. Sometimes a small popup appears in the game to say it is enabled when you change the resolution too. It’s only there for a brief moment, though.
AMD supports “thousands of games” with RSR as it is not a gaming specific algorithm. This is very useful if, like me, your favorite game at the moment doesn’t support any upscaling technology.
Although there is a problem: RSR is only supported on RX 5000 series graphics cards or newer.
I tested the feature in Hunt: Showdown, to get an idea of the kind of quality we’re seeing here, and I have to say it’s pretty good if you’re not too extreme on the performance side.
It looks better in motion, but I took some screenshots at different resolutions with and without RSR enabled to give you an idea of what you can expect. There’s definitely a little sharpening going on to give the impression of clean lines and get rid of some of that terrible blur you’ll encounter when moving at a much lower resolution than native. Once again though, you really have to move to experience it for yourself.
In terms of performance, as you can imagine, dropping to 1440p massively improves frame rates over native 4K, by around 48%. At 1800p, you’re seeing an improvement of around 31%.
AMD has skyrocketed in some tests done with an RX 6800 XT, and similarly, you should expect something like a 15-30% fps improvement going from 4K to 1800p.
But of course there’s more to it than just setting the lowest resolution possible. I wouldn’t make my settings as low as 1440p on a day-to-day basis. For Hunt: Showdown at least – and this varies from game to game – I’ll see how it looks at 3200 x 1800. It seems like the best balance between quality and performance.
AMD still recommends using FSR where available in compatible games for the best experience, and this is true even if you are running an Nvidia graphics card. RSR is a driver-based solution, making it AMD-only, but FSR runs in-game and can be enabled on most modern GPUs, regardless of vendor. If you are on an Nvidia card and there is no FSR or Deep learning super sampling (Nvidia’s proprietary upscaler) available, you can always enable its RSR-like feature, Nvidia Image Scaling (NIS), in the GeForce drivers.
And yes, there are a lot of startups being released these days.
The nice thing about RSR is that you can leave it on and only use it when you want an extra performance boost. To do this, you just lower your resolution and essentially negate any of the disadvantages of doing so. I like the idea of this kind of simple solution.
If you are using an AMD card, you can test RSR just as easily starting today by downloading the latest version AMD Software Drivers. You want version 22.3.1. This includes support for RSR, but also a number of other improvements that AMD is working on.
There’s new AMD Link functionality, which now supports Intel and Nvidia so you can play with more of your friends, and there’s a new and improved notification and user interface. It’s not a drastic visual update, but there are a few new menus and buttons scattered here and there.