What is GPU Scaling and Should You Use It?

GPU scaling is a feature that you can use to play older titles on modern displays while having a better experience. In this article, we are going to answer the question; what is GPU scaling and should you use it?

What is GPU Scaling?

GPU scaling is a feature that adjusts the aspect ratio of a game to the resolution of your monitor. This has a fine-tuning effect and will make the image that you see on the screen sharper and better-looking.

GPU scaling also solves issues such as stretched or blurry image quality. If you have an AMD Radeon graphics card then you can take advantage of GPU scaling. You can enable the feature from the AMD Catalyst Control Center.

When you play older games that have an aspect ratio of 5:4 or 4:3, stretching out the image to a modern aspect ratio such as 16:9 or 16:10 can reduce image quality or add black bars around the image. This is where AMD GPU scaling comes into play.

With AMD GPU scaling, you can remove those black bars that you see around the image. With the Underscan or Overscan features, you can play your game of choice and take advantage of your whole screen rather than being limited to a part of it with black bars taking up space around the image.

Should You Enable GPU Scaling?

This feature is disabled by default because modern games are capable of matching the resolution and aspect ratio of modern monitors. If you are playing relatively recent games then you don’t need to turn on GPU scaling.

Turning the feature on is going to increase input lag. You will notice a fraction of a second difference between pressing the button and the game registering the button press. Note that the input lag is pretty minor and you might not notice it in some games. But if you do face this issue then you can turn GPU scaling off.

We only recommend the feature if you are playing older games such as indie classics that have an aspect ratio that does not match that of your monitor.

Games like the original Need For Speed Most Wanted do not have widescreen patches and have not been upgraded for modern displays. When you launch the game, you will see black bars around the screen. In order to solve the issue, you might need to mod the game. You can use GPU scaling to eliminate them and play the game in fullscreen mode.

GPU Scaling Vs Display Scaling

As mentioned before, using GPU scaling can increase input lag. This is not something that you want as it ruins the gaming experience. A solution to this problem is display scaling. Modern monitors are able to scale images so that the graphics card does not have to.

This does not add input lag and leaves the graphics card out of the equation so that it can pump out as many frames as it can without any issues.

This is everything that you need to know about AMD GPU scaling.

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XbitLabs Staff

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