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DLSS and FSR: what they are and how Nvidia/AMD resolution scaling works in your PC games

The war for graphics cards is no longer disputed in terms of hardware, but software has taken on an unparalleled presence and importance. NVIDIA’s DLSS and AMD FSR, both in either version, have dominated the discourse and grab headlines almost every day. You can’t seem to play the game without one of these, and in a way that’s true, especially at high resolutions. But, what do the DLSS and FSR do, and why are they so important today?



Both are supporting software that looking to improve FPS when we play on PC. How do they do that? By working hand in hand with our graphics card, it renders images at a lower resolution to improve performance. Once this step is done, the DLSS and FSR scale each Esports Extras to the output resolution of our monitor to improve the sharpness and final quality of the image. Even so, it will be lower than the native resolution of our screen, but we will not notice it if the work is good.

Understanding scaling

Keep in mind that if we have a 4K monitor and use either of these two technologies, the output image will be a “fake” 4Kbecause even if it is displayed at that resolution, the images have lost quality. Whether it is noticed or not depends entirely of how does each technology scale. Therefore, the processes involved to improve each Esports Extras have made this an open war.


  • The technology of NVIDIA DLSS uses Artificial Intelligence in the process. The idea is that the DLSS AI uses the graphics card’s own hardware (the Tensor Cores), that is, it benefits from how it has been built; which is why using DLSS implies having particular graphics cards.
  • Meanwhile, the AMD FSR scale based on a series of algorithms already created previously —less expensive and without the possibility of adaptation— to improve the image. AMD offers an entirely digital scaling, superimposing already created processes and algorithms so that the final image is as faithful as possible to the original, although its result has been considered worse than your competition.

As you can see, the IGTI (Insomniac Games own technology) is worse than the competition, but the DLSS and FSR, although they are on par, show differences in sharpness

We, as gamers, can choose how much fidelity to the real resolution we want by choosing between 4 modes (as a general rule) of quality/performance: Ultra Performance, Performance, balanced and Quality. As we have said, this will determine the resolution at which those images are rendered, which implies a better quality losing performance, or vice versa.


Playing with DLSS 3.0 without having an RTX 40 seems feasible if we make a couple of adjustments in the supported games


NVIDIA DLSS vs AMD FSR, or why the fight is even

Although there is a tendency to think that NVIDIA’s DLSS is “more advanced” because it uses its own technology, the architecture of its own graphics cards and Artificial Intelligence to adapt to situations; the fight is even. Let’s see the differences between the two:

  • NVIDIA DLSS offers a Best Quality and higher performance in “Balanced” and “Performance” modes, where you can really see the difference.
  • The resolutions of images when scaling with DLSS are usually larger than with FSR. For example, if we have a 1440p monitor and we use both scalers in “Quality” mode, DLSS offers a resolution of the image to 1080p and FSR 2.0 at 1706x960p.

The resolutions vary depending on each game, as well as the version of the FSR and DLSS, but we are talking about a scale that includes standard tests

  • FSR in any of its versions, is open source, or open sourceand it works with a higher number of AMD graphics cards (from the Radeon RX 400 series onwards).
  • Also, the FSR is also compatible with NVIDIA GPUs, from GTX to RTX. This is a relief for many gamers, especially those with a GTX 1060 or 1650, the most widely used graphics cards on Steam.
  • Both depend on the games. Not all support DLSS or FSR, and their support must be updated.
  • He FSR has also been implemented in consoles (for example, The Witcher 3 in its update next generation includes it), but DLSS does not.

Alternatives to DLSS and FSR

In reality, this war is dominated by the two of them, although they are not the only ones in the fight. Intel has done its bit with Intel XeSS, its supersampling technology. On the other hand, companies like Insomniac Games They have also allowed themselves the luxury of flirting with their own technologies, something that we saw and discussed in the analysis of Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered.


He "Intel DLSS" seems to benefit their own ARC cards, even though there aren't any for sale yet

Likewise, the community has done what could be expected with technologies as spectacular as these. Several are the modders that have been launched to create NVIDIA DLSS and AMD FSR mods for games that are not compatible with either of them. Even so, although its performance is good, it seems that we must depend, at least for now, on the official products.