What is virtual super resolution?
Virtual Super Resolution (abbreviated VSR) is an AMD feature available since the Catalyst 15.7 update that you can enable for video games to easily and quickly improve the image quality with the tick of a box.
Virtual Super Resolution allows the game to be rendered at higher “virtual” resolutions (up to 4K) than your monitor’s native resolution allows. It then rescales them down to your display’s native resolution.
The great thing is that when you enable Virtual Super Resolution you can get an image quality that is close to 4K even on a 1080p monitor without having to sink a bunch of money into a 4k monitor.
You can see in the video below a comparison in Witcher 3 between 1080p and 4K resolution using VSR. The increase in quality is very noticeable.
Does virtual super resolution affect performance?
There is definitely some performance impact with Virtual Super Resolution enabled.
With higher resolutions you can always expect a lower frame rate since you’re processing more pixels.
You should decide for yourself whether the increase in quality is worth the loss in framerate.
Should you turn it on or off?
As we’ve said, since the tech makes you play the game at a higher resolution you will obviously take some sort of performance hit.
If you have a supported graphics card and think your PC that can handle the increase in processed pixels you should enable VSR and see just how much it specifically affects performance for you.
Luckily this is made easy using Radeon’s built-in framerate statistics feature. You can check this by simply enabling Radeon overlay by pressing Alt + R.
The best way to test the impact is straightforward.
Run a game, preferably the one you play most often, while VSR is turned off and the game is on native resolution and jot down you average FPS.
Then turn it on and run the same game again at 4k.
Compare the two.
How do you enable it?
If you don’t know how to enable VSR you can do so by going to your Radeon settings and clicking the Display tab.
Here you will find the toggle to turn it on or off.
Which resolutions are supported
How high you can choose to go with your “virtual” resolution depends on your monitor’s native resolution.
|Native Monitor Resolution||Supported Virtual Super Resolutions|
|1366 x 768 @ 60Hz||1600 x 900|
|1920 x 1080|
|1600 x 900 @ 60Hz||1920 x 1080|
|1920 x 1080 @ 60Hz||2560 x 1440|
|3200 x 1800|
|3840 x 2160*|
|1920 x 1200 @ 60Hz||2048 x 1536|
|2560 x 1600|
|3840 x 2400*|
|2560 x 1440 @ 60Hz||3200 x 1800|
|1920 x 1080 @ 120Hz||1920 x 1200 @ 120Hz|
|2048 x 1536 @ 120Hz|
Graphic cards capable of virtual super resolution
The following Radeon series support Virtual Super Resolution. If your card isn’t on this list then you won’t be able to take advantage of this feature.
|Supported AMD Graphics Cards|
|Radeon RX 5700 Series||Radeon R9 270 Series|
|Radeon VII||Radeon R7 370 Series|
|Radeon RX Vega Series||Radeon R7 360 Series|
|Radeon RX 500 Series||Radeon R7 260 Series|
|Radeon RX 400 Series||Radeon Pro Duo|
|Radeon R9 390 Series||Radeon R9 Fury Series|
|Radeon R9 380 Series||Radeon R9 Nano|
|Radeon R9 295X2||Radeon HD 7900 Series|
|Radeon R9 290 Series||Radeon HD 7800 Series|
|Radeon R9 280 Series||Radeon HD 7790 Series|