AMD FSR 3 vs NVIDIA DLSS 3: Which is Better?

AMD’s hotly anticipated FSR 3 upscaler is now available across a selection of titles. In addition to upscaling a lower-resolution image like FSR 2, it uses Fluid Motion Frames Interpolation tech to add an extra frame between two existing ones, boosting performance by 2x on average. The FSR 3 algorithm interfaces with the Game UI, Upscaling, and Presentation Systems for its input, producing the generated frame simultaneously with the real one.

One interesting tidbit regarding VSync. Per the GPUOpen blog post, frame pacing is determined by whether VSync is enabled or disabled. When enabled, the frame pacing depends on your monitor’s refresh rate. The game will generate a “zig-zag” pattern on the frame time/p-t-p timing graphs.

With VSync disabled, the “Allow_Tearing” flag is used to increase frame rates at the cost of screen tearing. In this scenario, additional waiting events are used in the frame pacing system to maintain decent present-to-present timing and deliver a smoother frame-time graph. This mode is recommended for high refresh rate monitors.

FSR 3 in Immortals of Aveum

With that done, let’s have a look at the image quality. We tested FSR 3 in “Immortals of Aveum.” The game features DLSS 3 as well, allowing for a convenient comparison of the two upscaling and frame generation technologies. We’ll rely on four scenes to gauge the IQ with close-ups to determine which upscaler does it better. Click an image to enlarge it.

In the above images (click on them to get a high-res version in another window), you can see that FSR 3 looks sharper and more detailed than DLSS 3. This is due to the aggressive sharpening filter used by AMD’s upscaler. With FSR 2, this often resulted in artifacting and loss of detail with complex imagery, but FSR 3 does it elegantly.

Above, you’re looking at a 4x closeup of the earlier image. And AMD’s FSR 3 continues to produce better image quality than DLSS 3. The textures look sharp and well-detailed, and don’t show any signs of pixelation.

Here’s a 7x closeup. Now, we can see the disadvantages of FSR 3. There’s a fair amount of aliasing (jaggies) on the iron bars enveloping the door. At the same time, DLSS 3 still looks pretty washed out and slightly blurry. You’re essentially trading smoothness for detail and aliasing. An important point to note here is that with the newer versions of DLSS 3, the developers need to implement a sharpness filter outside of the Streamline framework. I don’t think Ascendant Studios has done that in Aveum.

This is a 10x closeup. It explains why DLSS 3 looks smoother while FSR 3 is sharper. The former has a higher sample count, while the latter leverages an aggressive sharpening filter to improve image quality.

Continue to the next page for more FSR 3 vs. DLSS 3 comparisons…

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Computer hardware enthusiast, PC gamer, and almost an engineer. Former co-founder of Techquila (2017-2019), a fairly successful tech outlet. Been working on Hardware Times since 2019, an outlet dedicated to computer hardware and its applications.
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