Nvidia has just unveiled a new upscaling capability sort of. It’s called Nvidia Image Scaling. In this article, we will discuss the steps to enable it. You may be hearing about it for the first time, Nvidia has had the capability for quite some time. We’ll explain what image Scaling is, how to utilise it, and how it compares to other solutions.
For for over two years, Nvidia Control Panel has included image scaling. It’s currently accessible in GeForce Experience, as part of the Nvidia in game overlay, and perhaps most excitingly as an open source tool for game creators to include into their creations.
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Introduction to Nvidia Image Scaling
This setting isn’t new, but you could be hearing about it for the first time. It was included in the Nvidia Control Panel in 2019, although it was hidden in a list of somewhat uninteresting options. Image Scaling, on the other hand, is now part of GeForce Experience and is available to developers as a software development kit (SDK).
Although Image Scaling and Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) accomplish the same thing, they should not be confused. Image Scaling is based on a novel upscaling algorithm that employs four directional scaling and incorporates an adjustable sharpening filter. Both upscaling and sharpening occur concurrently in the post process rendering chain.
This is similar to AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) you may have heard of AMD adopting the same upscaling technology that Nvidia has been using for a while. The two upscaling features are nearly identical. The main distinction is that FSR separates upscaling and sharpening, whereas this scaling can be accomplished by both in the same pass.
Image Scaling comes in two flavours, but they both do the same thing. The initial version is available at the driver level via GeForce Experience. It offers five render resolutions, ranging from 85% to 50%, and includes a sharpening filter slider. This is applicable to all games as long as you have an Nvidia GPU that supports GeForce Experience.
The SDK, on the other hand, is open source and available for developers on GitHub. The SDK is functionally equivalent; it provides the same options and yields the same results. The main difference is that developers may directly add Image Scaling to their games, allowing you to access the setting alongside other visual settings. Because this version is at the game level, it supports almost any GPU, including AMD choices.
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Steps To Enable Image Scaling In The Control Panel
- To use the newly upgraded functionality, open the NVIDIA Control Panel, navigate to “Manage 3D Settings,” and turn on the “Image Scaling” setting, as shown below.
- When you enable Image Scaling, the driver produces 5 extra scaling resolutions depending on your native monitor resolution that you may utilise with Image Scaling from in game settings menus. We recommend that you perform a brief reboot to guarantee that your games detect the changed resolutions.
- You may set global sharpness settings for all your games at once, or manage per game tuning using the Program Settings page of “Manage 3D Settings.
After enabling NVIDIA Image Scaling in the driver, the following step is to configure the render resolution for your game.
- Go into the in game options for each game and choose Fullscreen mode*.
- Select the render resolution. Image Scaling will automatically upscale the lower render image to the native resolution of your display and sharpen it. (For example, 2880×1620 upscaled to 3840×2160)
- If the overlay indication is enabled, a “NIS” text label will display in the top left corner of the screen. NVIDIA Scaling is scaling and sharpening the game, as seen by a green text colour. When the lettering is blue, NVIDIA Image is sharpening but not scaling.
If a game does not support Full Screen mode or Image Scaling is not activated, you can adjust the resolution of your desktop to the in game resolution. It is advised that you utilize the NVIDIA Control Panel to establish or switch between desktop scaling resolutions.
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When you enable the option and play the game at native resolution, sharpening will still be applied (blue NIS indicator).
- When activated via the global settings page, the functionality is enabled for all programmes, although the sharpness may be customised per app.
- To adjust the sharpness for a specific game, navigate to NVIDIA Control Panel > Manage 3D Settings > Program Settings. Simply choose the game from the drop down menu and apply the required changes. This takes precedence over the global picture sharpening option.
- If you can’t find the software, click Add and choose the required application, then Add Selected Program.
Enabling Image Scaling in GeForce Experience
GeForce Experience simplifies the tedious process of adjusting resolutions for each game and includes an in game sharpness slider for real time adjustment.
- To gain early access to these features, you must first “Enable experimental features” by entering GeForce Experience’s Settings by clicking the top right cog icon.
- Click “Enable experimental features” in the “About” window. A new version of GeForce Experience will be downloaded in a few seconds.
- After downloading the latest version, restart GeForce Experience and return to the Settings panel. Further down the page, you should now notice a new “Image Scaling” option. Enable it as well as the “In Game Overlay”. The Image Scaling parameters you choose here will be the defaults for your games, but you may simply adjust them each game.
- With this setting enabled, click the popup that displays on the bottom left when Image Scaling is enabled
This will instantly improve your settings in the 1000+ games supported by GeForce Experience that are loaded on your machine utilising Image Scaling. If you have an RTX GPU, GeForce Experience will utilise NVIDIA DLSS instead of NVIDIA Picture Scaling in compatible games to give the highest image quality and performance.
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When you press Alt+F3 while playing a game, you may manually alter the degree of sharpening during gaming, allowing you to experience the influence on visual clarity right away. You may also use different filters on the same screen to vary the appearance and feel of each game.
Nvidia Image Scaling vs. DLSS vs. FSR
The same purpose is achieved by Nvidia DLSS and Image Scaling, as well as AMD FSR. They are focused on upscaling your games to boost performance while sacrificing as little visual quality as feasible. However, there are some noticeable variances in image quality. To evaluate how significant the change is, we grabbed a few 4K screenshots in games that support FSR and DLSS.
The first is Deathloop, which demonstrates some distinct contrasts between the three systems. We utilised the most aggressive performance setting and the highest visual quality mode for each upscaling tool. Our results are shown below. DLSS definitely provides the finest image quality, while FSR and Image Scaling trail in their respective ways.
Overall, FSR is messier. The rails and buoy have more rough edges, and the delicate details have lost some sharpness (look at the sign on the wall next to the stairs). Overall, picture scaling seems better, but that’s just because it’s a static image. The default sharpening filter appears to be more forceful with Image Scaling, making those jagged edges more obvious when playing.
When comparing the three options, DLSS appears to strike a balance between the two. It keeps more detail than FSR, but it isn’t as harsh with sharpening as Image Scaling is. You may reduce the degree of sharpness in GeForce Experience, and Image Scaling will appear practically equal to FSR.
We previously arrived at this conclusion in our FidelityFX Super Resolution review: DLSS looks the finest, but FSR is a good substitute for GPUs that don’t support DLSS. Image scaling is the same as FSR. The only advantage it provides in terms of performance and image quality is control over the level of sharpening.
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The main distinction is that Image Scaling occurs at the driver level, thus you may utilise it in any game that has an Nvidia GPU. Overall, it delivers good results, albeit you should alter the sharpening filter to get the best image.
NIS may not be as effective as DLSS, and it may over sharpen some video games (although it is configurable), but it still just requires the touch of a button to give you a big jump in performance. This is despite the fact that NIS may not be as effective as DLSS.
We strongly suggest that you always make use of any upscaling technology that is available because there are very few, if any, drawbacks associated with doing so.
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FAQs for Nvidia Image Scaling
How To Enable Nvidia Image Scaling?
Right-click an empty desktop space and select Nvidia Control Panel.
Open the Control Panel and click Manage 3D Settings on the left.
Settings should be displayed. Image Sharpening (the first one).
In the new window, click On.
To improve game graphics, try the Sharpening and Ignore Film Grain filters.
Should I use Image Scaling Nvidia?
“85% or 77%” provides the finest gaming experience without sacrificing image quality. This demo explains how NVIDIA Image Scaling affects gameplay.
Does Nvidia Image Scaling decrease FPS?
DLSS is computer magic, but Nvidia Image Scaling can enhance frame rates by rendering games at a lower resolution and upscaling them to match your monitor’s native res.
Does Nvidia image sharpening increase performance?
Control Panel Image Sharpening does not influence performance.