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Testing AMD's new Radeon Image Sharpening: Is It Better than Nvidia's DLSS?

By Julio Franco · 36 replies
Jul 12, 2019 at 7:11 AM
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  1. Footlong

    Footlong TS Addict Posts: 142   +73

    "As more gamers get their hands on Navi GPUs, it will be interesting to see how broadly Radeon Image Sharpening is adopted and recommended based on good results."

    Question is, are PC gamers going to buy Navi GPU's? Last time I checked Steam Survey AMD had something like 25% of cards while Nvidia had 73% the remaining are Intel integrated solution. AMD is way behind on the PC market. If this tech becomes available at next gen it sure will be popular. If it is locked on PC, my gut tells me people will continue to buy Nvidia.
    Shadowboxer likes this.
  2. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing - click on the rock below.. Posts: 4,062   +1,187

    "RIS" - nice to have if little penalty, but it is a nuance and not a necessity. Bandwidth, VRAM, optimized drivers, heat/energy budget - these matter more. Not sure that what I can barely perceive will be definitive in the market.

    @Scorpus Thanks for all your hard work making clear what the real distinctions are. Sharp (pun intended).
  3. koblongata

    koblongata TS Addict Posts: 202   +59

    Just give me Integer Scaling...
    killmess and Indekkusu like this.
  4. vayeate

    vayeate TS Rookie Posts: 17   +8

    Amd calls it sharpening, but it sounds like a proper upscaling method, not the usual crappy bilinear upscaling. this makes sense for the consumer, but not for the gpu makers who want to sell their high end cards, which is why this ‘sharpening’ hasn’t been introduced until gpu-intensive 4k became popular.
    TempleOrion and darkzelda like this.
  5. OptimumSlinky

    OptimumSlinky TS Addict Posts: 58   +147

    1. Tom at Moore's Law is Dead did an interesting comparison that basically found a correlation between AMD GPU sales and the performance of its CPUs. Bottom line, when AMD has ***-kicking CPUs, Radeon sales go up. When AMD has duds (Bulldozer), Radeon sales drop. Given that Zen 2 is a crankin' little chip, I wouldn't be surprised if we see an uptick in Radeon purchases.
    2. Navi is actually competitive. The RX 5700XT gives 1080 Ti performance for $399, and that's nothing to sneeze at.
    3. I wouldn't be surprised if the RIS suite is a result of some joint-work with Sony. The PS4 Pro has some of the best upscaling tech available presently (the checkboard rendering it does is really impressive). We will almost certainly see v2.0 of this stuff in the PS5.
  6. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,994   +3,481

    DLSS wasn't a high bar to pass TBH. It required multiple patches just to get working instead of looking like you spread Vaseline all over the screen.

    It still discards some texture details in many games and it'd be much better if you simply applied up scaling instead.

    DLSS is overly complicated, requires fixed function hardware, and per game programming. AMD's CAS is a nice feature but it isn't groundbreaking, it's simply showing you that DLSS was never a good idea to begin with.

    What I do what to see an article on is Anti-Lag. I've see wendel talk about it a bit and from what he said, the AMD card with anti-lag on (V-Sync off on both system) had consistently less lag then the Nvidia system.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  7. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,437   +1,897

    Since it doesn't really require any work from devs it should be easily implemented. AMD is the one that has to do the work, especially in getting DX11 support in the future for this feature.
  8. Gahl1k

    Gahl1k TS Rookie Posts: 17   +13

    People will continue to buy Nvidia regardless of what AMD offers because of "the brand."
    TempleOrion and EndRessentiment like this.
  9. Milkyjoe

    Milkyjoe TS Enthusiast Posts: 36   +16

  10. JornNER

    JornNER TS Rookie

    This article is inaccurate, and I've seen a lot of reporting on this that is inaccurate and I think it comes from dishonest marketing from AMD. Radeon Image Sharpening is not at all comparable to DLSS. They are doing totally different things. DLSS is an anti-aliasing algorithm, RIS is not. Comparing them doesn't make any sense. You also mistakenly say that RIS isn't an image sharpening filter... it absolutely is, albeit, a sophisticated one. (see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adaptive_filter ). That's why the developer doesn't have to do anything -- this is all a post-processing technique.

    The right comparison would be with NVIDIA's "detail" filter in Freestyle, while using the same anti-aliasing methods.
  11. AnilD

    AnilD TS Booster Posts: 44   +34

    No, it's not. TechSpot already took a deep look into DLSS a while ago, then they looked again and reported exactly what it does and where it fails:

    No, it's not that either. Read TechSpot's article... "it’s more of an image reconstruction technique that renders a game at a sub-native resolution, then uses AI inferencing to upscale and improve the image"

    Now, RIS may be completely different on what it does (as explained in the article) and so are the results, hence the explanation and comparison since both try to achieve better performance with little image degradation.
  12. neeyik

    neeyik TS Addict Posts: 82   +63

    When RIS is used with GPU Upscaling, it's very much comparable to DLSS, as it's two very different approaches to the same thing: rendering at a lower resolution, but displaying a frame of near-similar visual quality to a higher resolution. On that basis alone, the article, and its headline, is valid.
  13. DukeJukem

    DukeJukem TS Enthusiast Posts: 82   +46

    Here's the truth about Radeon Sharpening and their built in color controls for games. They are miles behind Nvidias' Game Filter, by a long shot. Game Filter allows sharpening, clarity, hdr and a ton of other image modifications. AMD has a very long way to go.
    Shadowboxer likes this.
  14. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,540   +918

    Using that basis for machine learning, we’ve created a new rendering technique called Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS). It boosts performance by a significant degree, can improve image quality, and it’s anti-aliasing has better temporal stability and image clarity compared to commonly-used Temporal Anti-Aliasing (TAA) techniques.
  15. grumblguts

    grumblguts TS Enthusiast Posts: 83   +76

    made me giggle how people can be so clueless
    TempleOrion and picka like this.
  16. grumblguts

    grumblguts TS Enthusiast Posts: 83   +76

    Destroys nvidia dlss, it just works
    TempleOrion, OptimumSlinky and picka like this.
  17. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,540   +918

    DLSS isnt finished. It's in the name in fact - Learning. I'm not saying RIS isn't better right now and/or won't be better in the future, but DL in general doesn't happen right away. It's a process. Calculations and comparisons have to be made. NVIDIA's supercomputer is working around the clock collecting data, and improving.

    I'm still confused how people commenting on a tech site are so quick to dismiss - tech! It's insane really. Will DLSS get miles better than it is now? I don't know, but it's not gonna break my back to wait a while longer and see, which I'd rather do than come to a final conclusion about it a few months after introduction, especially when only a few titles and as many video cards are available to collect data to make it better.

    Deep Learning is foreign to a lot of people, including gamers, so let's get to know it and how it works before we start throwing rocks.
    Shadowboxer likes this.
  18. YSignal

    YSignal TS Enthusiast Posts: 36   +23

    Been using reshade for several years now to sharpen TAA games. Nice to have a GPU software solution though when I get my Navi.
  19. AnilD

    AnilD TS Booster Posts: 44   +34

    I would agree, except Nvidia is pitching DLSS and ray tracing as key selling points for RTX cards today. DLSS today is not good. It's been 10 months since RTX's launch and game support is very poor, and where it is supported, it is not worth using.

    I own an RTX 2080, it's not great value but I was due for a GPU upgrade so I went for that. It's a good card, it's fast, but DLSS right now is a no go. If DLSS suddently becomes great a year from now, it'll probably be covered and you can make your purchasing decision based on facts, not an empty promise.
  20. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,540   +918

    When you're starting something new there will be hiccups. Imagine if this was AMD. I would highly doubt they would have the same positive press and support Ray Tracing has had in just the last few months. Be happy NVIDIA is doing it first, and it doesn't actually look like they are half-assing it.

    Games are slow to come out, but they are coming - soon - and good ones too. Games people are excited to play.

    Confirmed ray tracing games:
    Confirmed DLSS games:
  21. MSIGamer

    MSIGamer TS Member Posts: 20   +10

    I think NVIDIA will eventually drop their Tensor cores again from gaming cards and improve their RT technology only.
    It's a bold first gen, they have to take some risks and go into the unknown when innovating, not everything works out great immediately.
  22. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,540   +918

    You clearly don't know what Deep Learning even is, let alone how it works....

    Deep learning is a machine learning technique that teaches computers to do what comes naturally to humans: learn by example. Deep learning is a key technology behind driverless cars, enabling them to recognize a stop sign, or to distinguish a pedestrian from a lamppost. It is the key to voice control in consumer devices like phones, tablets, TVs, and hands-free speakers. Deep learning is getting lots of attention lately and for good reason. It’s achieving results that were not possible before.

    In deep learning, a computer model learns to perform classification tasks directly from images, text, or sound. Deep learning models can achieve state-of-the-art accuracy, sometimes exceeding human-level performance. Models are trained by using a large set of labeled data and neural network architectures that contain many layers.
    Colby Deane likes this.
  23. grumblguts

    grumblguts TS Enthusiast Posts: 83   +76

    The nvidia crew is out in force hitting every forum they can to try to limit the on coming damage this brings.
    Dlss is DOA it looks bad and has a performance hit.
    they need to just pack their bags and stop defending nvidia because no one is listening.
  24. Shadowboxer

    Shadowboxer TS Addict Posts: 231   +99

    This image sharpening stuff looks pretty smart. Certainly doesn’t hurt to have it. They definitely need to remove it as a global setting and allow it to be on a game profile as having to remember to turn it off and on could be a pain.

    As for comparisons to DLSS, looks like it’s better in general but they aren’t really the same thing. DLSS works well with ray tracing but that’s about it I would say.

    The thing is, AMD cards might be able to use image sharpening to get games looking good at 4K with a lower performance cost. But Nvidia can sell you a card that just runs native 4K better. And native it seems will always be better. I have a 4K monitor, I wouldn’t buy a 5700XT and use image sharpening to get a good experience over just buying a more expensive card from Nvidia. A 5700XT isn’t cheap, it’s just cheaper than a better card and I wouldn’t want to spend that sort of money and rely on techs like this to make it a good experience.

    4K gaming seems to be taking its time to arrive. It needs to hurry up as it’s truly outstanding and offers a massive step up in fidelity and user experience from 1440p. The difference between 1440p and 4K is a lot bigger than than the difference between 720p - 1080p. And if you are using a monitor on a desk you definitely sit close enough to notice it.

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