What is GPU Scaling? Simple Answer.

Radeon Software GPU Scaling


Games are usually developed to work on different resolutions with several aspect ratios. For instance, they may show visual content that has an aspect ratio of 5:4 (with a resolution of 1280×1024), or a 16:9 aspect ratio (with a resolution of 1920×1080). But some older games may need to have their image output changed. That’s where AMD’s GPU scaling option steps in.

The GPU scaling option from AMD helps older games or content fit on a display without blurring the image, stretching it oddly or pixelating it. This technical feature lets you achieve a high-quality image.

According to AMD’s Facts page, the “GPU Scaling option within Radeon Settings allows rendering games and content requiring a specific aspect ratio to fit on a display of a different aspect ratio.” AMD notes that there are various modes through which GPU Scaling can be applied:

Preserve aspect ratio – Expands the current image to the full size of the monitor while maintaining the aspect ratio of the image size. For example, at a resolution of 1280×1024 (5:4 aspect ratio), the screen will have black bars on the left and right side.

Full panel – Expands the current image to the full size of the monitor for non-native resolutions.  For example, at a resolution of 1280×1024 (5:4 aspect ratio), the screen will stretch to fill the monitor.

Center – Turns off image scaling and centers the current image for non-native resolutions. Black bars may appear around the image. For example, setting a 24″ monitor (native resolution of 1920×1200) at a resolution of 1680×1050 (16:10 aspect ratio) or lower will place a black border around the monitor.

Although GPU Scaling sounds like an exciting feature, there are some disadvantages especially when it comes to gaming. We said that the advantage is that you get the right aspect ratio if you want to play retro/old games or watch old videos.

The disadvantages are that GPU Scaling may add a slight input lag. Even if it’s a few fractions of seconds, it will be visible if you’re playing games. When playing competitive games, you want the lowest input lag, so GPU scaling is not an option.

Turn On or Off GPU Scaling

You can easily turn on or off GPU scaling by following these steps.

Step 1 – Right-click on your desktop and you will see a menu that includes AMD Radeon Software. Click it and a window will open.

Step 2 – Look at the upper bar on the right and click on the gear-shaped icon to open the Settings window.

Step 3 – Click on the Display button from the Settings window. Under Display Options, look for GPU Scaling and press on the toggle button to enable it.

Step 4 – Press on the drop-down menu to the right of the Scaling Mode option. You will have to choose from the three modes that we featured above – Preserve aspect ratio, Full panel, or Center .

Note: To turn off the GPU scaling, simply toggle the Enabled button to disable this option.

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