AMD at Computex 2021: FSR vs. DLSS, Ryzen 5000 APUs, and Radeon RX 6000M GPUs

b3rdm4n

Posts: 38   +29
And, to drop into op-ed mode, this is where AMD has me a bit worried. In our pre-briefing with AMD, the company did confirm that FSR is going to be a purely spatial upscaling technology; it will operate on a frame-by-frame basis, without taking into account motion data (motion vectors) from the game itself.
Yeah, that's something to worry about. Not to long ago a patent filed by AMD was discovered, which you can see here, and after reading through it sounds like the patent we saw may be what is shipped as FSR.

The patent included no sample accumulation or motion vectors, which are the techniques employed by DLSS2.0 to achieve it's near native quality. Instead, the patent documented a novel upscale algorithm that split the image data into linear approximation(stretching) and feature maps. The linear approximation is done with a simple convolution matrix and would not preserve fine detail. The features maps were for the fine detail, they were encoded as a Taylor series, which means your not storing the original features but an approximate mathematical representation of them. Its like trying to figure out what math equation best represents the noise you are seeing. They then recombine the 2 at a higher resolution, linear approximation can be stretched without issue and the encoded feature maps, that are now resolution independent, are mathematically applied.

So what's the issue? If you know why TAA exist you'll know this doesn't replace it. TAA filters temporal noise(speckle and shimmer) that occurs in rendering without a sufficient number of samples per pixel per frame. DLSS2.0 basically replaces TAA and adds scaling to it. Because it accumulates samples, its only a matter rendering over time to improve visual quality. FSR will still need to have TAA in the pipeline, otherwise it will suffer from noise issues which will be more common at lower resolutions.

So, to sum up. DLSS2.0 replaces TAA, has dedicated hardware for upscaling, and has image quality that improves over time. FSR won't have any of that.

Now on the flip side, AMD is open sourcing this and not locking it down. Techincally, DLSS2.0 doesn't need to be locked to Turring and Ampere, Tensor cores are not doing anything that was impossible to do without them, only accelerating the work.

Moreover, this also takes a step in forging the path for hardware agnostic ML upscalers. DLSS2.0 slow adoption can largely be attributed to it only being available on new Nvidia hardware. We are only seeing it more frequently now because popular game engines are implementing it.
 

neeyik

Posts: 1,877   +2,191
Staff member
Yeah, that's something to worry about. Not to long ago a patent filed by AMD was discovered, which you can see here, and after reading through it sounds like the patent we saw may be what is shipped as FSR.
Nice find. So at least DNNs are being used, which wasn't immediately clear in AMD's presentation, so that's something.
So, to sum up. DLSS2.0 replaces TAA, has dedicated hardware for upscaling, and has image quality that improves over time. FSR won't have any of that.

Now on the flip side, AMD is open sourcing this and not locking it down. Techincally, DLSS2.0 doesn't need to be locked to Turring and Ampere, Tensor cores are not doing anything that was impossible to do without them, only accelerating the work.
The patent application is very light on specific details due the necessary generalisation it has to contain. So while there is no mention of any temporal elements, there doesn't seem to be anything stopping a developer from storing feature maps in a history buffer, then using evaluation algorithms to use/reject them in subsequent frames. AMD's current GPUs aren't exactly short on local storage.
 

EdmondRC

Posts: 135   +108
Metro Exodus Enhanced is a ray-traced graphical mode for Metro Exodus. It's not like it's a different game or anything. Games are not moving towards RT-only as eliminating 80% of your previous customers would be an extremely stupid decision which puts your game studio out of business.
They are moving in that direction eventually. The thing about Metro EE is that it runs pretty good given that its all ray-traced on the hardware available. I would call it the first true 'next-gen' game from a technical standpoint. Yes, it means that older hardware will mean you can't play the latest games (eventually), but that happens anyway. No one is playing 2021 games on a 8800 GT, no the GTX 1060 is the current standard. That's only a five year old GPU. Also, it cannot play the latest games with high settings anyway (well maybe it can play them with FSR), but the point is that hardware moves on. Once RT cards have enough market share, developers will start skipping traditional light sources in favor of the easier to implement RT lighting. Both AMD and Nvidia have RT capabilities because its pretty obvious that this is the next generational leap in gaming graphics.
 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 651   +1,204
Eventually nvidia tensore cores will become a liability as it isnt built for the task its being asked to do unlike the AMD rdna2 silicon design is, Just wait and see its just a matter of time.
Thats Nvidia MO (using specific hardware to try to lock the industry to their crap).

Physx, GameWorks, CUDA (which sadly did fulfilled its objective), G-Sync and many more, same cr@p, different stink.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,859   +2,045
TechSpot Elite
They are moving in that direction eventually. The thing about Metro EE is that it runs pretty good given that its all ray-traced on the hardware available. I would call it the first true 'next-gen' game from a technical standpoint. Yes, it means that older hardware will mean you can't play the latest games (eventually), but that happens anyway. No one is playing 2021 games on a 8800 GT, no the GTX 1060 is the current standard. That's only a five year old GPU. Also, it cannot play the latest games with high settings anyway (well maybe it can play them with FSR), but the point is that hardware moves on. Once RT cards have enough market share, developers will start skipping traditional light sources in favor of the easier to implement RT lighting. Both AMD and Nvidia have RT capabilities because its pretty obvious that this is the next generational leap in gaming graphics.

Right, I'll check back in 2034 and see if people are still using RDNA1 cards then. The origin of this was someone slagging on RDNA1 not able to run MEE being a harbinger of things to come. He forgot to mention that he was referring to using it 15 years after release, which seems reasonable.
 

Irata

Posts: 1,517   +2,488
Metro Exodus Enhanced is a ray-traced graphical mode for Metro Exodus. It's not like it's a different game or anything. Games are not moving towards RT-only as eliminating 80% of your previous customers would be an extremely stupid decision which puts your game studio out of business.
The publisher is a strong nVidia partner and if the updates were paid for, why not?

But yes, getting paid to create product showcases could backfire and damage the brand.
 

EdmondRC

Posts: 135   +108
Right, I'll check back in 2034 and see if people are still using RDNA1 cards then. The origin of this was someone slagging on RDNA1 not able to run MEE being a harbinger of things to come. He forgot to mention that he was referring to using it 15 years after release, which seems reasonable.
I would say that in five years, most AAA games will offer a full global RT option and a certain % of those games will offer only RT. But, I think you'll see the quality of traditional lighting techniques decline as developers won't put as much resources into them. The lighting will be passable, but not as good as it is in modern AAA games. One of the biggest reasons that DLSS and FSR is such a big deal right now is to be able to run high resolutions with RT. It's not 15 years off, its 5 at most.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,859   +2,045
TechSpot Elite
I would say that in five years, most AAA games will offer a full global RT option and a certain % of those games will offer only RT. But, I think you'll see the quality of traditional lighting techniques decline as developers won't put as much resources into them. The lighting will be passable, but not as good as it is in modern AAA games. One of the biggest reasons that DLSS and FSR is such a big deal right now is to be able to run high resolutions with RT. It's not 15 years off, its 5 at most.

That's definitely how other transitions have gone, I just think this one will be slower due to low market penetration of RT-capable cards. Almost 3 years in and the previous gen RTX cards were still outsold by their GTX stablemates (Steam data - take with salt).

That's not great as the bulk of cards sold are still affordable ones and with the additional current pressure from zero affordable-tier MSRP current gen cards (ignoring the currently broken GPU market) means that any predictions for a few years from now about how the GPU market will go are really guesswork. Hopefully things will be clearer (better availability) a year from now.
 

b3rdm4n

Posts: 38   +29
The more I think about it the more excited I am to try it myself. Nvidia RTX users will get the best of both worlds, DLSS in Nvidia sponsored titles, FSR in AMD sponsored titles, with perhaps some crossover along the way.

My personal bar for success would be if it can deliver better results than the current option of just lowering the render scale + a sharpen (like FxCAS), if it can retain an IQ advantage at the same performance, it's already 'successful', and sets a good baseline for improvement.
 

Markoni35

Posts: 1,118   +454
Shouldn't FidelityFX Super resolution be abbreviated as "FFSR" and if we allow only 3 letters then "FFS"?