As a gamer, which is more important: high framerate or high resolution? Why not have both?
Xe Super Sampling (XeSS) is Intel’s solution to get the best of both worlds and ultimately make better use of GPU resources. XeSS renders a game at a lower resolution then upscales the image using AI to a higher resolution with quality similar (or better) to a native render. This speedup occurs because games run faster rendered at lower resolutions as the GPU has fewer pixels to push. But low resolutions are a bummer, and we want the best of both worlds. So how does it all come together?
Graphics experts within Intel have been researching different approaches over the past few years and it became clear that infusing AI in the upscaling, or super sampling process, was the way to go to build a high performance, high quality solution. With XeSS, a trained model is applied to low-resolution frames and takes input from motion vectors and a frame history to send high resolution images to the display.
Got all that? Check out the visual explanation in the video above at the 4:45 mark. Hold your breath for an even deeper dive into the math and Intel’s powerful XMX engines which make this all possible. If you’d rather skip math class today, take a look at the frametime chart below. TAP’s blackboard shows rendering each frame at a lower resolution and replacing temporal anti-aliasing (TAA) with XeSS saves a considerable amount of time. Lower frametimes = higher framerates and smoother gameplay. Simple!
But enough work — it’s time to play! We’ve been collaborating with some fantastic developers who’ve gone through this process to implement XeSS in their games. We tried not to die in a developer build of Shadow of the Tomb Raider, a cinematic gaming experience with XeSS built-in. Devs and publisher Eidos-Montréal and Square Enix are going the extra mile to give gamers the latest visual tech four years after the game’s launch and the benefits are evident.
To suit your preference for performance versus precision, XeSS is available at several different quality levels which vary the input resolution. “Performance” runs the fastest, “Ultra Quality” gives the best images, while “Balanced” and “Quality” fall in-between. TAP set XeSS to Balanced in Shadow of the Tomb Raider while my XeSS was turned off. We both ran at 1440p, max settings with raytracing on, and his game ran around high-60 frames per second while mine was in the mid-40s. For more info on framerates, see the data table at the end of this article.
Is thwarting Tomb Raider’s Mayan apocalypse not your preferred adventure? Over a dozen other devs are jumping aboard the XeSS train, including the folks behind NARAKA: BLADEPOINT, Arcadegeddon, and Redout II. We’ve also been working with Activision-Blizzard to include XeSS in the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II at its launch! Our commitment to XeSS and Intel Arc graphics even includes working with Hashbane Interactive on Instinction, a cinematic story game with dinosaurs still early in development.
Below we’ve got performance data on several other games with early adoption of XeSS:
We’ve now got a library of information on Intel Arc graphics available here at arc.intel.com! Watched all our videos and read all the blogs already? There’s more exciting content on the way; watch this space for info on raytracing, overclocking, hardware teardowns, and more coming soon!
August 25, 2022
Performance varies by use, configuration and other factors. Learn more at www.Intel.com/PerformanceIndex (graphics and accelerators).
Performance results are based on testing as of dates shown in configurations and may not reflect all publicly available updates. No product or component can be absolutely secure.
Intel does not control or audit third-party data. You should consult other sources to evaluate accuracy.
Intel technologies may require enabled hardware, software or service activation.
All product plans and roadmaps are subject to change without notice.
Statements that refer to future plans or expectations are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations and involve many risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. For more information on the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, see our most recent earnings release and SEC filings at www.intc.com.
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© 2022 SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved. © Silvertone, Inc.
SHADOW OF THE TOMB RAIDER © 2018 Square Enix Limited. Developed by Eidos Interactive Corporation. All rights reserved.
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