NVIDIA Image Scaling goes open source, putting AMD FSR on watch

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 review
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 review (Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • NVIDIA has its proprietary DLSS solution for upscaling on select GPUs.
  • AMD, meanwhile, has FidelityFX Super Resolution, its own upscaling tool that's open source and available for any and all to try out, whether they own an AMD or NVIDIA GPU.
  • NVIDIA is now catching up with the open-source-ification of its Image Scaling tech, which isn't DLSS but accomplishes similar tasks.

There are a few key differences between NVIDIA DLSS and NVIDIA Image Scaling, both of which help upscale games to keep them pretty while reducing their overall performance demands. The former is available on a per-game basis and requires you to own the best graphics cards NVIDIA offers. The latter, meanwhile, isn't tied to specific games or GPUs. That means, even if you own an AMD GPU, you can benefit from Image Scaling.

At least, now you can. It's officially open source, meaning any and all are welcome to grab it. That puts it on a competitive level with AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR), which is similarly available to anyone and helps upscale games so players can retain good resolutions and visuals without the usual performance hit such graphically demanding elements require on PCs.

AMD's and NVIDIA's open-source upscaling solutions aren't identical, so it's not like Green Team's release is irrelevant because it's late to the punch. Both have their own performance and visual benefits depending on the game you apply them to (via PC Gamer).

If you're a developer, you can pick up the NVIDIA Image Scaling SDK so your game can support the tech and make gamers' lives better, regardless of whether they have an AMD, Intel, or NVIDIA GPU. And in the event you want to learn more about the ins and outs of AMD's FSR and NVIDIA's DLSS, Windows central has extensive coverage of both.

Robert Carnevale

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to robert.carnevale@futurenet.com.

  • I can imagine that it would be annoying for a developer to support DLSS, FSR and NIS, so it will be interesting to see which one(s) get support where. If it's not too much work, hopefully we'll see all three implemented in most games. It seems a given that DLSS will do the best job but that's irrelevant to me due to my having an AMD GPU, so it would be interesting to compare the same games using FSR and NIS.
  • As it stands it might be better for DirectX (via DirectML?) incorporate the best of NIS and FSR as there are too many apis now. As we also have XeSS...
  • This is why competition is good, rumors have it that AMD is cooking up something big with the upcoming and future RDNA GPUs. Nvidia most likely is taken these seriously after AMDs latest instinct accelerator announcements.
  • AMD is keeping both Intel and Nvidia honest.