AMD sure seemed to take the fight right up to NVIDIA’s alley with the launch of the new Radeon RX 6000 series GPUs. While AMD’s performance numbers during the keynote were definitely welcomed, the company didn’t fully address two pertinent features — ray tracing and super sampling.
There are still only a limited number of games that support ray tracing and/or NVIDIA’s deep learning super sampling (DLSS). However, DLSS has been shown to be very useful in generating excellent image quality and high frame rates as is evident in games such as Death Stranding. While NVIDIA may still have the edge for now in implementing super sampling, AMD may not actually be that far behind.
Back during GDC 2019, Microsoft gave a glimpse of DirectML super-resolution functions by upscaling a 540p image to 1080p and a 1080p image to 4K. When tested on an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, DirectML allowed for a low latency of 15 ms for a 540p to 1080p upscale with high frame rates up to 67 fps compared to the original TensorFlow model that had a 55 ms latency and ran at 18 fps. The Xbox Series X and Series S are also said to leverage DirectML super sampling.
AMD’s implementation of super sampling is likely to be based on DirectML and will be part of FidelityFX. The Verge notes that AMD’s offering will be open source and cross-platform. This means that the PlayStation 5 is also likely to get super sampling support at a later date. However, the possibility of the feature being available on Radeon RX 6000 series cards on launch day is highly unlikely.
That being said, Alienware co-founder and now Chief Gaming Architect at AMD, Frank Azor, has confirmed that more information about ray tracing and super sampling will be available sometime before launch date. So even though the tech may not be fully ready for prime time, we might soon get to see some glimpses of how AMD plans to take it forward.