Could Nvidia be trailing behind AMD in upscaling tech? AMD certainly thinks so

The Nvidia and AMD logos clashing with lightning bolts around them.
(Image credit: Shutterstock, AMD, Nvidia)

It’s hard to talk about AMD without bringing up arch nemesis Nvidia, and vice versa, when it comes to upscaling technology and GPU technology. Nvidia drops DLSS, and AMD follows quickly with FSR. Normally we expect Nvidia to lead with a new feature or product launch, with AMD soon following, but according to AMD’s Aaron Steinman, that’s not really how it goes. 

PCGamer’s Jacob Ridley rightly describes this as a cat-and-mouse game. Steinman challenges the rhetoric of ‘Nvidia leading, AMD following’ by saying “I would be curious to know if Nvidia feels now they have to match what we’ve done in making some of these solutions driver-based.”

Steinmin seems to be referencing AMD’s Fluid Motion Frames launching later in January 2024 and the AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) that’s already available. The main difference between technologies is their availability. AMD’s FSR is accessible to people regardless of the GPU they have, and is more widely available across most games, as it doesn't have to have developers support the software within their game.

AMD’s Steinman adds “DLSS is only available on certain solutions, so either Nvidia is going to have to benefit from our solution because we did make it open-source and cross-vendor, or they're probably going to need to do something similar”.

Tit for Tat?

AMD’s open-source technology allows people with Nvidia GPUs to use FSR in PC games that don’t support DLSS, while DLSS remains closed-source and exclusively available to certain Nvidia GPUs. So, team red looks - and depending on who you ask, is - more consumer-friendly and could lead game developers to just default to using FSR since it works with all GPUS, regardless of the GPU manufacturer. 

So it’s easy to see that Steinman's suggestion that Nvidia will need to either make DLSS available on AMD GPUs or make DLSS open source to be able to compete, or get pushed aside due to accessibility. It’s not likely we’ll see this happen, however - Nvidia has been firm on resisting open source. 

Despite Nvidia having a huge market lead, the GPU fight between AMD and Nvidia isn’t over yet, nor do we see it ending anytime soon. "I mean, the competition will never end, right? We'll have new technologies, they'll have new technologies," Steinman says.

This tussle can be good for consumers, however, as we could see new, innovative features added, and maybe even prices drop as they fight over us.

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Muskaan Saxena
Computing Staff Writer

Muskaan is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing writer. She has always been a passionate writer and has had her creative work published in several literary journals and magazines. Her debut into the writing world was a poem published in The Times of Zambia, on the subject of sunflowers and the insignificance of human existence in comparison.

Growing up in Zambia, Muskaan was fascinated with technology, especially computers, and she's joined TechRadar to write about the latest GPUs, laptops and recently anything AI related. If you've got questions, moral concerns or just an interest in anything ChatGPT or general AI, you're in the right place.

Muskaan also somehow managed to install a game on her work MacBook's Touch Bar, without the IT department finding out (yet).