AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution is ready to counter Nvidia's Deep Learning Supersampling (DLSS) technology and finally give Team Red the ability to run ray-traced games at playable frame rates. Whenever it arrives, that is.
AMD has been silent about when Super Resolution will be released, and a recent FAQ from the upcoming Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition suggests that widespread adoption may still be a long way off.
The removed FAQs that @Locuza spotted on Twitter respond specifically to Super Resolution. Apparently, AMD technology is "incompatible" with the rendering techniques used by Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition, and developer 4A Games says its own time-based reconstruction technology provides "the same or better image quality benefits for all hardware". That's not a good sign for Super Resolution, suggesting that it may be more difficult to implement than AMD implies.
AMD's Super Resolution feature is likely many months away, and we already have a first ray tracing game that 4A Games says is incompatible with its rendering pipeline.
Your own method ought to be similar or even better in terms of quality. Http://t.co/bOMyWwCubu pic.twitter.com/a2zTZRQjl7
– Locuza (@Locuza_) April 29, 2021
Speaking to PCWorld, Scott Herkelman, AMD vice president of graphics, said "You don't need machine learning to do this," referring to Nvidia's reconstruction technology and how Super Resolution could improve it. Herkelman said there are "many different ways" to reconstruct an image, and AMD is focusing on one key question: "What do game developers want to use?"
Obviously, 4A Games didn't want to use what AMD offered or just couldn't. Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition is one of the few games that requires hardware ray tracing support. The latest AMD RX 6000 graphics cards support ray tracing. However, without a tool like DLSS to combat the massive performance degradation, this is a contentious feature.
This makes AMD a huge disadvantage for ray tracing titles that are evolving. The recommended system specifications for the RT Extreme preset don't even include an AMD card. Instead, AMD supplements the Ultra preset, which aims at 4K at 30 frames per second on an RX 6900 XT. It's worth noting that 4A Games built their system specification matrix with DLSS disabled and that gamers with Nvidia reconstruction enabled can expect far better performance.
Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition is just a single game, however. The RDNA 2 architecture behind the RX 6000 graphics cards is the same architecture as the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Consoles still make up the majority of the gaming market, and AMD will eventually need an image reconstruction method to keep games running on consoles look your best. The lack of support for Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition could indicate problems implementing Super Resolution. We won't know for sure until we hear something official from AMD, however.