Fan mod adds AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution to GTA V, can you spot the difference?

Grand Theft Auto 5
(Image credit: NarutoUA)

We have high hopes for AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) technology, especially after having tested it and discovering it works pretty well. One thing we pointed out is that it should be fairly trivial for game developers to add support for FSR. Reinforcing that notion is a fan mod that injects AMD's upscaling tech into Grand Theft Auto V, essentially replacing the one that is built into the game.

It comes courtesy of modder NarutoUA, who posted some information on Reddit (via Videocardz), along with a video comparing different scenes with FSR turned on and off in GTA V. Have a look:

It's a little difficult to make out the difference on a small YouTube window (or if watching on a smartphone), but if you expand the window to a full screen view, the difference in image quality becomes more apparent. Through several scenes, NarutoUA compares two modes: Performance and Quality.

Surprisingly, even in Performance mode the image quality looks better with FSR turned on (at least to my eyeballs). It's not necessarily a drastic difference, but in each scene, there is less blur when enabling FSR. I would have expected there to be slightly more blur in Performance mode, not less, as it focuses on offering the biggest performance bump.

Here's how AMD describes the four different modes (Performance, Balanced, Quality, and Ultra Quality):

(Image credit: AMD)

Like Nvidia's Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology, FSR aims to improve performance by having your GPU render a scene at a lower resolution, and then upscaling it. That way you get the visual quality benefit of a higher resolution at a lower rendering cost to your GPU, compared to rendering a scene natively at, say, 4K (which can be extremely taxing on hardware).

AMD's solution relies on a more conventional spatial upscaling technology as opposed to leveraging AI through machine learning, as is the case with DLSS. So AMD and Nvidia go about this in very different ways, with the same general goal in mind.

In our limited experience with FSR so far, it seems DLSS works a little better overall. However, FSR is an open source technology and is also being made available to Xbox Series X/S developers, which in theory should help boost adoption of the tech. It's also compatible with a wide range of cards, including some legacy GPUs (it doesn't require special hardware like Tensor cores).

As to the GTA V fan mod, it is available on GitHub, if you want to give it a whirl. Just be advised that there is always a risk when downloading unofficial software. 

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If you decide to brave it, the instructions call for copying a DLL file and an INI file to GTA V's root folder, then going into the game's Advanced Graphics Settings section and setting the desired frame scaling mode (0.5x = Performance mode, 0.667x = Balanced mode, 0.75x = Quality mode, and 0.883x = Ultra Quality mode). You can edit the gta5_fsr.ini file if you need more fine grain control.

You can also check out some direct screenshot comparisons here, here, and here

What about the performance impact, though? It's hard to tell for the most part, because even in the YouTube video, there is not much going on in the scenes. There is some driving towards the end, and according to the frame counter, performance is roughly the same when switching from native rendering to turning FSR on and using the Quality mode.

One other word of caution if you decide to kick the tires on this mod. If playing online, there is the risk of a ban. This shouldn't happen, as other graphics mods work just fine (namely, Project ENB and ReShade), but you never know.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).