With AMD FSR 2 and Nvidia DLSS 2 now widely used in a variety of games, one YouTube channel has taken the opportunity to perform a comprehensive comparison of how the two upscaling techniques shape up, and it’s clear there’s only one winner according to their results.
As a reminder, upscaling is where a game renders the 3D portion of the scene at a lower resolution then stretches that image to fill the full resolution of your screen. It’s like running a game at a lower resolution and having your monitor stretch the end result except with in-game upscaling the HUD, menus, and other non-3D portions of the game are rendered at native resolution, so they don’t appear blurry or aren’t rendered at an odd size.
There are many upscaling algorithms but FSR 2 and DLSS 2 are both more sophisticated than most as they take advantage of information from previous frames to inform how to upscale the next frame.
FSR 2 – or Fidelity FX Super Resolution 2 – is AMD’s version of upscaling that works on all GPUs, whether they’re the best graphics cards or lowly integrated GPUs, whereas DLSS is Nvidia’s proprietary upscaler that only works on Nvidia RTX GPUs.
We performed our own FSR 2 vs DLSS 2 comparison when FSR 2 was first announced but only looked at one game as that was all that was available at the time. These latest tests are considerably more comprehensive.
So, to the comparison, which was performed by Hardware Unboxed, and the channel compared 26 games in its testing, with two resolutions (4K and 1440p) and two modes (quality mode and performance mode) used for each setting, for a total of 104 configurations compared. The latest versions of each upscaler were also used: DLSS 2 (3.1.2) and FSR 2.2.
As the two modes deliver generally very similar performance levels, the test concentrated on which delivered the best image quality for that level of performance, looking for visual artefacts such as ghosting.
And the end result? Nvidia’s DLSS 2 comprehensively beat FSR 2, coming out on top in almost every comparison and generally exhibiting less ghosting and other visual artefacts while preserving more detail.
However, the results were closer than this might suggest, with both upscaling modes often doing a decent job and delivering very similar levels of image quality. It was just the final 5% where DLSS 2 was that bit better.
Also, in FSR 2’s favor is the fact that it works on all graphics cards whereas DLSS 2 is restricted to only working on Nvidia RTX GPUs. The latter makes up a significant portion of the market at this point – according to the latest Steam hardware survey – but a lot of gamers are still using older cards or those from AMD and Intel.