GPU Scaling is a technology introduced in AMD Catalyst 14.1 Beta that allows games to use more than the one graphics card the game engine was designed for. This test will be run on two Radeon R9 290Xs in CrossFire running Battlefield 4 at 3840x2160 Ultra settings at 60Hz with 2XMSAA enabled and maxed out post-processing turned on. The results show minimum, average, and maximum framerates while GPU scaling technology is enabled then disabled. It's important to note that GPU scaling only works when there are multiple GPUs in this case two are being used together simultaneously not SLI or CrossFire but both enabled.
GPU scaling lets you select whether you want the image to be stretched, have black bars on the sides, or have a black border all around the screen if you're using a contemporary aspect ratio like 16:9 or 21:9 but wish to play older games based on 4:3 or 5:4 ratios.
Some old-school FPS gamers prefer to have a stretched picture since it makes their targets larger and easier to hit, while the deformed image quality repulses others. The black borders are also a matter of preference since it may be easier to spot enemies hiding in the darkest areas, but it makes the game look like an arcade title if you're too used to pristine picture quality or don't care for that.
The Virtual Super Resolution (VSR) is AMD's equivalent of NVIDIA's DSR technology introduced with GeForce Experience version 1.7, yet works very differently. While DSR forces games to run at higher resolutions than what your monitor supports and then downscales the image back to its native size VSR renders games at resolutions lower than what your monitor supports and upscales them above their original pixel count before displaying them on the screen.
Types of GPU Scaling
There are two types of GPU scaling, framed and borderless windowed mode.
Framed means that the game is sized to fill the screen while borders remain visible on all four sides. Borderless windowed removes the black bars entirely, allowing for a full-screen gaming experience without any distractions. With both modes, you can choose between having a normal aspect ratio or stretched image so it will either look like contemporary titles or older ones with distorted proportions.
This looks far better than what FXAA does to older games since Macro Programming's anti-aliasing solution preserves pixel information in areas where it shouldn't be blurred making images slightly sharper and more detailed when compared to MSAA. You'll also see less shimmering around shader effects like foliage swaying in the wind or cloth flapping in the breeze if you get too close.
Should You Even Use GPU Scaling?
If you enjoy contemporary games like Battlefield 4, Tomb Raider (2013), Call of Duty: Ghosts, Hitman Absolution, Grand Theft Auto V, Far Cry 3, or 4 then you may want to use GPU scaling to get the most out of your gaming experience. These titles will only run at optimal frame rates when dual GPUs are employed since they're all based on game engines that were designed for DX11 hardware.
What's interesting is that these cutting-edge games look better overall when using the stretched screen mode so it isn't just about performance but image quality too!
You should also use framed mode on older GPUs since the performance hit is negligible and it prevents post-processing effects from being applied to areas outside of where they should be. For example, motion blur will appear only on your gun and body when playing stealth games like Hitman Absolution or Splinter Cell: Blacklist while frameless windowed mode forces this effect everywhere all the time.
The Benefits Of GPU Scaling
This stunning function also has several settings so you may customize the game image to your liking. Whether you want to stretch the game image, fill the background with black bars and designs, or place it in the middle and cover the area with black bars, you can do all of this.
Though GPU scaling has benefits but it has some cons as well. The first con of using GPU scaling is the input lag. When you enable GPU scaling it takes the processing and causes input lag. This means the processing of GPU scaling takes a little time and when you click something while playing it responses a little later which may cause a disturbance in the game and may hinder the quick play and actions in the game.