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[Guide/Analysis/Comparisons] Nvidia Image Sharpening : Guide to Squeezing Higher Frame Rates with Minimal Visual Compromise

Couple of days ago I made a post on r/gaming showcasing and comparing 1080p native screenshots with 900p + Nvidia Image Sharpening filter applied screenshots and got pretty good responses. So I decided to make a full guide + analysis article answering all the common questions I received and guiding how to get optimal performance to quality ratio while analyzing the tool in-depth.

Here's a few comparisons :

75% Scale Sharpened (left) vs 75% Scaled Non-Sharpened (right)

What is the goal ? The goal is to cut down on resolution a bit without actually sacrificing on Image Quality by using Nvidia Image Sharpening to retain close to native resolution image quality.

Does it work for every game ? Sadly no , it can only be used for good effect in games that allows Temporal Anti-Aliasing (TAA/TXAA). While Image Sharpening can be applied to games that doesn't have TAA , from the games that I've tested , it seems that it won't be able to retain the details lost and instead it will make the game look much worse. But worry not , TAA is becoming an increasingly popular choice of anti-aliasing because modern up-scaling technologies such as DLSS also requires Temporal Anti-Aliasing to be present.

Define "Minimal Compromise" ? Very minimal , the up-scaled image is never going to look exactly like the native resolution image. But it comes very close and looks a lot better than playing at a lower resolution without any sharpening. Image Comparisons will be included in the article.

Read more:  YSB Ghost of Tsushima.

How much of a FPS gain can I expect ? Depends on the game , but you can generally expect around 20–30% increase.

Comment on the article or on the reddit post for any questions ! I would love to see what's everyones opinion on this technology as well. This is my first time writing a piece such as this , so be kind enough to leave some feedback if you have the time. Have a great day !


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