What is GPU Scaling?

If you are struggling to know about what is GPU Scaling, you have landed at the right page. This feature allows several AMD graphics cards to scale the picture effectively to match vertically and horizontally to the screen. It is especially useful on a new monitor that has a more standard aspect ratio, such as 16:9, when playing older games with a native 4:3 or 5:4 aspect ratio.

It would allow you to choose if you want the image to be stretched, includes black bars on the sides, or have a black border all around the screen if you are using a monitor with modern aspect ratios such as 16:9 or 21:9 but want to play older games based on the 4:3 or 5:4 ratio.

Some old-school FPS gamers tend to have a stretched image as it makes their targets bigger and more comfortable to strike, whereas others are disturbed by the deformed image quality.

Black borders on the screen’s sides might be favored by other players, as it makes them far more focused. It’s all up to you, and the GPU scaling feature of AMD gives you the freedom to choose.

Do You Need Scaling?

Its overall graphics quality would display weak or pixelated images on a 16:9 or 16:10 screen whether you are into indie or old games running in 5:4 or 4:3 aspect ratios or applications running in those aspect ratios. This is where it comes into play with GPU scaling. To make them look nice on widescreen monitors and screens, they iron out the issues.

GPU scaling is disabled much of the time for games that have the same resolution as the native resolution of the display. Technically, allowing GPU scaling can cause input lag, around 1ms or less, as the GPU requires the images to be processed to match the scaling mode.

This may not have apparent consequences with images, but gamers would certainly notice delays from the moment you clicked on the mouse or hit dash to dodge an attack, around a fraction of second response time.

Disabling it should be fine unless you are running a game that uses a different resolution or aspect ratio beyond your display’s native resolution.

Types of GPU Scaling Modes

AMD Radeon GPU Scaling

If you want to change your GPU scaling through AMD Catalyst or AMD Radeon Graphics, you can choose among three modes.

  • Maintain Aspect Ratio allows you to play the game without altering the aspect ratio in full screen as you scale up the graphics. Black bars or a background pattern will fill up the excess background.
  • Scale Image to Full Panel Size is an option where the image is enlarged to suit the screen. As the game’s former aspect ratio is not adopted, this typically indicates low image quality and bad graphics performance.
  • Use Centered Trimmings switches off the scaling by putting the image’s original screen resolution in the middle of the screen. The picture is positioned around a background pattern or black bars.

How to Enable GPU Scaling?

Follow these steps to allow GPU scaling on your device equipped with AMD Crimson (or later) software and an AMD compatible graphics card:

  • Open settings for AMD Radeon
  • Click on ‘Display’
  • Find and enable GPU Scaling

Does it Effect Input Lag?

Because of the extra processing, GPU scaling will add a little more input lag.

Typically, that’s just fractions of a second, which in videos is negligible, but it may be noticeable when playing games.

The lowest possible input lag should be given to gaming monitors used for competitive gaming. Therefore, in this regard, you must determine if GPU scaling is worthwhile.


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Yasir Jamal
By Yasir Jamal

Hi Folks, meet Yasir Jamal here. As a blogger for more than five years, I have written more than a million words, and my motive is to help people get the correct information. As a review blogger, I offer unbiased reviews of products and also share helpful tips on DIY projects. So please stick with me and learn something new every day!



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