NVIDIA Announces Updated Open-Source Image Scaling SDK

For the past two years, NVIDIA has offered a driver-based spatial upscaler called NVIDIA Image Scaling and Sharpening, for all your games, that didn’t require game or SDK integrations to work. With the new November GeForce Game Ready Driver, we have improved the scaling and sharpening algorithm to now use a 6-tap filter with 4 directional scaling and adaptive sharpening filters to boost performance. And we have also added an in-game sharpness slider, accessible via GeForce Experience, so you can do real-time customizations to sharpness.

In contrast to NVIDIA DLSS, the algorithm is non-AI and non-temporal, using only information from the current low resolution image rendered by the game as an input. While the resulting image quality is best-in-class in comparison to scaling offered by monitors or other in-game scaling techniques, it lacks the temporal data and AI smarts of DLSS, which are required to deliver native resolution detail and robust frame-to-frame stability. By combining both NVIDIA DLSS and NVIDIA Image Scaling, the developer gets the best of both worlds: NVIDIA DLSS for the best image quality, and NVIDIA Image Scaling for cross-platform support. You can read how to enable the feature for any game down below.

Activating NVIDIA Image Scaling Through The NVIDIA Control Panel

  • To activate the newly updated feature, simply open the NVIDIA Control Panel, click onto “Manage 3D Settings”, and activate the “Image Scaling” setting as shown below
  • When you enable Image Scaling, the driver generates 5 additional scaling resolutions based on your native monitor resolution that you can select from in-game settings menus to use with NVIDIA Image Scaling. We recommend doing a quick reboot to ensure your games recognize these new resolutions
  • You can set global sharpness settings for all your games at once, or manage per-game tuning through the Program Settings tab of “Manage 3D Settings.
  • For each game, go into the in-game settings and select Fullscreen mode
  • Set the desired render resolution. NVIDIA Image Scaling will automatically upscale the lower render resolution to your display’s native resolution and sharpen (e.g. 2880×1620 upscaled to 3840×2160)
  • If you enable the overlay indicator, a “NIS” text label will appear in the upper left corner of the screen. A green text color indicates that NVIDIA Image Scaling is scaling and sharpening the game. If the text is colored blue, then NVIDIA Image Scaling is sharpening but not scaling

Activating NVIDIA Image Scaling Through GeForce Experience

  • To get early access to these features, you will first need to “Enable experimental features” by opening GeForce Experience’s Settings via the top right cog icon.
  • In the “About” box, click “Enable experimental features”. After a few moments, a new version of GeForce Experience will be downloaded.
  • Once the new version is downloaded, restart GeForce Experience and reenter the Settings screen. You should now see a new “Image Scaling” option further down the page. Enable it and the “In-Game Overlay”. The Image Scaling options selected here will be the defaults for your games, though you can quickly and easily change them on a per game basis.
  • With NVIDIA Image Scaling activated, click the pop up that appears on the bottom left when you enable Image Scaling.

This will instantly optimize your settings using Image Scaling in the 1000+ games supported by GeForce Experience that are installed on your system. Note that if you have a RTX GPU, GeForce Experience will enable NVIDIA DLSS in supported games instead of NVIDIA Image Scaling to provide the best image quality and performance.

Alternatively, you can select one of the new NVIDIA Image Scaling resolutions via the game’s specific Optimal Playable Settings, or in-game in the options menu. When playing a game, press Alt+F3 and you can manually adjust the degree of sharpening during gameplay, enabling you to instantly see its impact on image clarity. And in the same screen you can apply other filters to change the look and feel of each game.