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Microsoft details DirectSR “Super Resolution”, coming to Windows 11

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Microsoft details DirectSR “Super Resolution”, coming to Windows 11

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Windows 11 Super Resolution

One of the flagship features in Windows 11 24H2 is that it exposes the “Super Resolution” toggle, which is based on DirectSR, directly via Settings. During the Game Developers Conference (GDC 2024) event, Microsoft shared some interesting tidbits about how DirectSR allows game developers to easily upscale gameplay.

Game developers often render certain elements, such as reflections or shadows, at lower resolutions and then upscale them to meet the demands of high-resolution displays. Super-resolution is helpful in upscaling games’ graphics so they look nice on devices with high-resolution displays.

Super-resolution is not a new technology, but implementing it in all games is difficult for developers, especially those with low budgets. That’s because developers need to test separate shader codes for different upscaling technologies.

Microsoft’s solution with DirectSR is to make it easier for developers to support multiple upscaling technologies without testing their code for various upscaling technologies, such as DLSS, FSR, and XeSS. Or it can be any other tech, including those relying on NPU, is supported.

For example, previously, game developers were required to test their games against each vendor offering super-resolution, but now Microsoft routes all the data to the upscale. The company’s API routes variables, parameters or other information to all upscaler (DLSS, FSR, etc).

The processing of the necessary data, which was previously handled by developers, is now handled by Microsoft using DirectSR.

“If the GPU manufacturer were to have Microsoft add the ability to process only the core processing part of the super-resolution upscaler with the DirectSR runtime, existing games would be able to use the latest super-resolution upscaler,” Microsoft stated at GDC 2024, according to a Japanese website.

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Windows 11 offers AI-powered Super Resolution via Settings

Enable auto super resolution in Windows 11
Enable auto super-resolution in Windows 11 | Image Courtesy: WindowsLatest.com

Microsoft also noted that DirectSR will handle upcoming AI/NPU-powered super-resolution features.

In preview builds of Windows 11 24H2, there’s a mention of a new feature called ‘Automatic Super Resolution’ (Auto SR), which uses the power of AI to let you play games with enhanced details.

This feature relies on DirectSR, allowing Windows to automatically auto-scale the graphics of supported games instead of toggling settings in games.

Auto Super Resolution in Windows 11 only works with games and is not limited to devices with NPU, as DirectSR works with GPUs, too.

However, Windows 11 preview builds suggest you can configure Super Resolution for apps, including Windows Camera.

custom setting for auto super resolution in an appcustom setting for auto super resolution in an app
Use Super Resolution in Windows Camera

As shown in the above screenshot captured by Windows Latest, Windows 11’s graphics setting allows you to use Automatic Super Resolution in an app like Camera, but Microsoft warns this can cause “unexpected results”.

In another blog post, Microsoft confirmed that DirectSR will work on Windows 10 and newer.

However, it’s unclear if the company will bring the Auto SR toggle to Windows 10 Settings, as the feature only appears in Windows 11 24H2 preview builds.



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