With today’s video game graphics becoming more and more demanding with each new release, upscaling tech is becoming increasingly important for a lot of gamers, especially those with older hardware. Thankfully, FSR 3 is here and it’s about to bring some radical changes. What is FSR 3, you ask? Read on to find out why this exciting new tech can save your hobby.
What is FSR 3?
FSR stands for FidelityFX Super Resolution. It’s upscaling tech or algorithm like DLSS (more on that one here) that downsizes a 3D image’s resolution and then upscales or rebuilds it back to look like the way it was while retaining the performance boost you gained from lowering its original resolution.
Simply put, free performance in video games (with a negligible drawback). Well, drawbacks include slight image blurring and ghosting during motion. But you can easily solve the blurring using sharpening techniques.
In recent times, upscaling technologies have emerged as a saving grace for gamers, particularly those with aging hardware due to the performance boost it offers.
The Arrival of FSR 3 & Its Benefits
FSR 3 made its debut alongside the launch of AMD’s Radeon RX 7800 XT and RX 7700 XT, ushering in a new era of gaming performance boosts. This was back in November 2022.
This latest iteration of AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution promised to address the challenges of upscaling technology and take gaming visuals to new heights. FSR 3 aims to provide an improved alternative to its predecessors and even rival NVIDIA’s DLSS 3 feature, signaling the company’s commitment to enhancing the gaming experience.
It took a while to arrive, but FSR 3 is now here, having launched recently on September 29, 2023. More importantly, it’s available to all GPUs that support DirectX 11 whereas Nvidia’s DLSS is only available for RTX GPUs.
Enhanced Performance and Workflow
One of the key advancements FSR 3 brings to the table is its ability to deliver up to twice the performance gains over FSR 2.0.
The secret behind this performance boost lies in its rendering workflow. Similar to NVIDIA’s frame generation, FSR 3 utilizes motion vectors and AMD’s Fluid Motion to generate intermediate frames. This process ensures that interpolated frames (dubbed as ‘fake’ frames) are generated accurately, preventing any visual artifacts that can disrupt the gaming experience. Moreover, FSR 3 can leverage the information from FSR 2.0, further enhancing its capabilities.
FSR 3’s workflow also introduces interpolation after upscaling, post-FX, and user interface (UI) rendering. This means that FSR 3 not only improves the visual quality but also presents frames more frequently, effectively doubling the number of frames over native rendering.
This is a significant advancement, especially for gamers aiming to achieve smoother gameplay with higher frame rates.
Reducing Latency for a Seamless Experience
One of the primary concerns with upscaling technologies has been their impact on gaming responsiveness. FSR 3 tackles this issue head-on by significantly reducing latency.
You no longer have to choose between frame rate and responsiveness; FSR 3 promises to provide both. This reduction in latency ensures a more immersive gaming experience, where players can react quickly without being hindered by delays.
Seamless Transition for Developers
For game developers, the ease of integrating new technologies into their titles is essential, especially for optimization.
FSR 3 offers a seamless transition from FSR 2.0, making it easier for developers to implement the technology into their games. This streamlined process benefits both developers and gamers, as it allows for quicker adoption of FSR 3 across a wider range of titles.
Essentially, you can expect FSR 3 to be more available than DLSS over a wider variety of games.
Permissive Licensing for Accessibility
Speaking of which, accessibility is another key aspect of FSR 3’s appeal.
AMD has chosen to release the software under the MIT license, a permissive free software license. This means that developers do not need special permissions to incorporate FSR 3 into their games. This move facilitates widespread adoption and ensures that more games will feature FSR 3, expanding its reach and benefits to gamers.
While FSR 3 promises to revolutionize gaming visuals and performance, it also considers hardware compatibility, as we mentioned earlier.
To make the most of FSR 3’s upscaling and frame generation capabilities, users may require GPUs from the Radeon RX 5700 series or the GeForce RTX 20 series and their subsequent iterations. This compatibility also extends to Intel GPUs. Ensuring that your hardware meets these requirements will enable you to experience FSR 3 in all its glory.
FSR 3.0 vs. DLSS 3
Now the big question.
Comparing FSR 3 to NVIDIA’s DLSS 3 provides valuable insights into the competing technologies.
DLSS 3 leverages the power of NVIDIA’s tensor cores and employs deep learning super sampling to insert AI-generated frames between traditionally rendered frames, resulting in significant frame rate boosts and enhanced visual quality. In contrast, FSR 3 relies on traditional frame interpolation techniques, powered by its “Fluid Motion Frames” technology.
One significant advantage of FSR 3 is its independence from dedicated AI hardware. While DLSS 3 requires specific tensor cores, FSR 3 can operate on a broader range of hardware, making it more accessible to a wider audience.
The key component here for FSR 3’s advantage is how it’s also available for Nvidia GPUs and even Intel’s ARC GPU lineup, not just for AMD Radeon GPUs. That translates to a free frame boost and generation for everyone, regardless of their GPU brand.
It’s worth noting that FSR 3’s counterpart, DLSS 3.0 is only available for RTX 4000 series GPUs. Even RTX 3000 and 2000 series owners could only utilize up to DLSS 2.0, a tech that notably doesn’t have frame generation or interpolation.
With FSR 3, frame generation and interpolation (AMD’s version anyway) would now be available for RTX 3000 and 2000 owners. No need to upgrade to an RTX 4000 anymore for that significant frame generation boost. That’s why it’s a literal game changer that’s a lot more available compared to the more restrictive DLSS.
That’s the best answer you could hope for when asking what is FSR 3.