No longer excited about AMD’s next version of FSR.

No longer excited about AMD's next version of FSR.

AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution 3: A Promising Yet Underwhelming Feature

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AMD’s highly anticipated FidelityFX Super Resolution 3 (FSR 3) has finally arrived after nearly a year of waiting. Initially announced as a response to Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling 3 (DLSS 3), AMD promised a game-changing performance-boosting feature that would work with any graphics card. On paper, FSR 3 delivers on its promises, but it falls short in execution and availability.

One of the major drawbacks of FSR 3 is the lack of support in popular and highly acclaimed games. While AMD launched FSR 3 with Forspoken and Immortals of Aveum, both games received lukewarm responses from the gaming community. This pales in comparison to DLSS 3.5 with Ray Reconstruction, which debuted in the highly anticipated game Cyberpunk 2077 alongside its 2.0 update. The absence of FSR 3 in big titles like Starfield and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is a disappointment, especially after AMD’s claim of being the exclusive partner for Starfield.

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The compromise for FSR 3’s lackluster support at launch seems to be AMD Fluid Motion Frames. This driver-level feature, exclusively available to RX 7000 and RX 6000 graphics cards, offers frame interpolation in DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 games. However, there’s a crucial difference between FSR 3 and Fluid Motion Frames. While FSR 3 is integrated into the game engine, Fluid Motion Frames operates at the driver level. FSR 3 can access game engine information for better image quality, while Fluid Motion Frames cannot.

Fluid Motion Frames, though in its early stages, suffers from several limitations. It doesn’t always work seamlessly, as demonstrated in the breakdown analysis of Fluid Motion Frames in Cyberpunk 2077. The feature struggles when there are significant differences between sequential frames and may temporarily shut off under such circumstances. Additionally, Fluid Motion Frames requires a base frame rate of at least 55 fps for a 1080p display and 70 fps for a 1440p display to work properly. Falling below these requirements leads to a degraded and inconsistent gameplay experience.

Despite these shortcomings, there is still hope for improvements in both FSR 3 and Fluid Motion Frames. AMD has a track record of iterating and refining its software features. However, the long wait for these features has dampened the initial excitement and left many feeling like the promised benefits are yet to materialize.

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AMD’s rollout of FSR 3 resembles Intel’s handling of its first-gen Arc GPUs, with premature announcements leading to heightened expectations followed by disappointment upon release. FSR 3, touted as a key feature for AMD’s next generation of graphics cards, has fallen short of these expectations. It may take time for FSR 3 to gain broader support and for Fluid Motion Frames to mature into a useful feature for AMD users.

There is immense potential in FSR 3, just as Nvidia has successfully marketed DLSS as a selling point for its GPUs. However, to realize this potential, AMD needs to focus on game support and features that cater to a wider range of gamers. As it stands now, FSR 3 and Fluid Motion Frames fall short in delivering an optimal gaming experience.

While optimism remains for future improvements, the initial excitement surrounding FSR 3 and Fluid Motion Frames has waned. The wait has been long enough, and AMD needs to accelerate their efforts to meet the expectations they set with these promising features.