Cyberpunk 2077: AMD vs. Nvidia - FPS boost via FSR and DLSS

Cyberpunk 2077: AMD FSR vs. Nvidia DLSS – FPS Boost Comparison

With patch 1.5, Cyberpunk 2077 gets AMD’s Fidelity FX Super Resolution, which can significantly increase the FPS. How does it fare in a duel with Nvidia’s DLSS?

With patch 1.5, Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) upscaling process gets new competition in Cyberpunk 2077: you could now increase the frames per second with AMD’s Fidelity FX Super Resolution (FSR).

While DLSS is only available with Nvidia’s RTX graphics cards, FSR can be activated with all current and older AMD and Nvidia cards. We clarify how much FPS the techniques bring and how much the optics are affected.

Why are optics important? Because the FPS boost has to come from somewhere, and in the case of DLSS and FSR, it does so via a lower render resolution. For example, if you set 3840×2160 (4K) in the game, it will actually be calculated in a lower resolution such as 2560×1400 (WQHD) and then upscaled. In the case of DLSS, this is done with AI support.

What upscaling levels are available in Cyberpunk 2077? Both DLSS and the new FSR offer QualityBalancedPerformance, and Ultra Performance. FSR also adds the Ultra Quality tier. The lower the level, the lower the actual render resolution. So the FPS boost increases, but so does the (negative) impact on the visuals.

Cyberpunk 2077: AMD FSR vs Nvidia DLSS in the Benchmark

amd-fsr-vs-nvidia-dlss

In order to crack the important limit of 30 frames per second, however, the highest FSR level Ultra Quality in our test sequence is not enough, it must be at least the Quality level. If it is to be more than 60 frames per second, this can only be achieved with the highest setting, ultra-performance.

Cyberpunk 2077: AMD FSR vs Nvidia DLSS on Screenshots

So FSR can increase frames per second a bit more than DLSS, but how does the tech compare in terms of image quality? To answer this question, the following images show greatly enlarged sections of the various quality levels and the native resolution in comparison.

Level: Quality

Cyberpunk 2077: AMD vs. Nvidia - FPS boost via FSR and DLSS

You have to take a closer look at the highest level to see differences between the native resolution and the upscaling process, but the FPS gain is also the lowest here.

In the scene below, pay attention to the writing on the building in the middle of the picture and the top part of the antenna at the top. In particular, the rear part of the inscription is less recognizable with FSR than with DLSS, the same applies to the tip of the antenna, which almost completely disappears with FSR.

Level: Balanced

Even with the Balanced level, DLSS is just ahead of FSR. In the following scene, you can see this best in the air conditioning in the center-left of the picture and in the opposite neon sign on the right edge of the picture.

With FSR, the individual bars are barely recognizable and cuts a slightly better figure in both cases and is therefore very close to the native resolution.

Level: Performance

In the scene below, DLSS manages to stay as close to the original image as possible, despite the lower power level. The comparison with FSR is particularly useful here based on the lighter building in the background and the lighting of the darker building in the middle and bottom right.

With FSR, the sharpness of the brighter building decreases quite a bit. In addition, the light in the dark building in front of it shines less brightly and the lamps in the lower windows even disappear completely.

Level: Ultra Performance

The lowest level, Ultra Performance, brings the biggest FPS gain, but also the biggest visual impact. In this case, we draw your attention primarily to the grid and the writing in the center of the image, the screen in the upper area and the orange light borders at the top right and bottom right.

Even with DLSS, a clear loss of sharpness can be observed on the grid and the screen, and the orange lighting at the top right is only partially displayed. With FSR, however, the image gets very muddy at this level and not only does the lighting in the upper right disappear almost completely, but also that of the bar on the floor in the lower right.

Conclusion: DLSS or FSR and which quality level should it be?

Before we get to our conclusion, an important note: the exact effects of DLSS and FSR can vary depending on the resolution, level and scene used. There are also artifacts such as flickering objects in motion. We, therefore, recommend that you try out the different levels and modes for yourself directly in the game. However, we do have clear tendencies.

If you have an RTX graphics card, DLSS is always the option of choice. In our opinion, the slight FPS plus with FSR does not compensate for the slightly larger negative impact on the image quality. At the same time, the FSR level ultra quality brings with it too little performance gain.

In our experience, however, FSR basically does a very decent job in Cyberpunk 2077 and can therefore be a real blessing on non-RTX graphics cards – with the exception of the Ultra Performance mode, which has too great an optical impact.

Finally, we recommend going no lower than Balanced with FSR and no lower than Performance with DLSS. But be sure to test the Quality mode first, which already offers a decent performance boost and affects the look the least.