What Is Dynamic Resolution Scaling (DRS)?

You may have seen the term “dynamic resolution scaling,” or simply “DRS,” to refer to a performance-enhancing method utilized in numerous games. Here are its functions and the reasons more games are using them. we will know how dynamic resolution scaling works.

What is DRS?

Both PC and console games employ the dynamic resolution scaling (DRS) method, which dynamically changes the output resolution to enhance performance. DRS can reduce the output resolution when the graphical processor (GPU) meets a region that imposes a lot of loads.

This is one method of easing the load on the GPU, which can aid in maintaining a steady frame rate. Without DRS, games will be restricted to a specific resolution, which may accentuate performance dips or compel designers to consider alternative load-reducing strategies.

Nvidia Graphics Card
Credit: NVIDIA

The game engine handles this process and has the ability to adjust the resolution to improve performance. According to the hardware being utilized, developers will choose the minimum (and highest) resolution a game can achieve.

This nonlinear process might take place to vary degrees on various axes. A linearly scaled-down resolution that affects both the horizontal and vertical resolutions is typically far less obvious than a scaling of resolution on a single axis. Although the game is properly presented at the right aspect ratio, many games only allow scaling along the horizontal axis (the pixels are stretched).

Many players won’t notice the game’s lower resolution while moving. Jagged lines that frequently accompany low resolutions are masked using additional techniques like temporal anti-aliasing.

Rendering Times Are Faster at Lower Resolutions

DRS is a helpful tool since it speeds up GPU rendering. Frames are dropped when a scene takes too long to render because the GPU cannot draw them quickly enough to maintain the intended frame rate.

For instance, the GPU must produce a new frame every 16.667 milliseconds at a frame rate of 60 frames per second. If rendering takes longer than this, the frame rate will be slower overall, and that frame will be skipped. While DRS can assist improve performance overall, variable refresh rate (VRR) solutions reduce this by reducing screen tearing.

hd vs4k
Credit: howtogeek

For the sake of simplicity, let’s say that the same GPU renders an image in 4K four times slower than it does in 1080p since there are four times as many pixels in a 4K image as there are in a 1080p (Full HD) image. The GPU has the headroom it needs to achieve the specified frame rate when the resolution is reduced since it shortens the render time.

In other words, if you want to achieve a target of 60 frames per second but a 4K image is rendering at a steady 30 frames per second, halving the resolution would enable the GPU to achieve this goal, assuming ideal circumstances and no other settings are changed.

DRS Provides the Option to Ignore Other Settings

But the resolution is simply one factor in the equation for frame render time. Performance and render times can be impacted by eye candy features like level of detail (LOD), shadow quality, shader quality, and others. Other methods for reducing visual quality can be used by developers to achieve greater frame rates.

One of DRS’s greatest advantages is that it frequently enables programmers to change simply the output resolution, leaving many of these other variables untouched. Except for resolution, this makes games seem largely unaltered on various hardware or operating systems.

However, except for the occasional toggle in a PC game, you don’t need to be concerned with DRS. Console games rely significantly on technology, which has many implementations and is frequently updated depending on player feedback and user data obtained by creators.

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