GPU is a common term used while talking about computers. Gamers are more familiar with this term than others. GPU or the Graphics Processing Unit holds significance in the gaming world. Graphics an important functionality in gaming is handled by these tiny machines called GPUs.
As a gamer, you would have gaming consoles and multiple games on your laptop. Moreover, all these games can be played on various screen resolutions. Most modern games will let you choose the screen resolution you want. In case you are playing on an Xbox coupled with a high-end TV, your graphic resolution can almost look real.
If you are passionate about gaming, you would have a collection of games that are both old and new. Many of the old games are programmed to run on-screen with an aspect ratio of 4:3 while new games are made to be compatible with modern monitors and PCs, which support a 16:9 aspect ratio.
This implies that old games will not be supported on new PCs and computers. If you try and play a 4:3 aspect ratio game on a monitor that supports 16:3 aspect ratio, you will get a blurry image and won’t be able to see anything clearly, let alone game. So, what will you do if you want to play your childhood favorite Super Mario Bros? This is where GPU scaling saves the day. GPU scaling is a technical feature that helps you make adjustments on the aspect ratio of a game based on the monitor’s inbuilt resolution. It is also referred to as scaling mode that can be used to decide how an image should be scaled.
Typically GPU scaling is executed by forcing the game to play at its original resolution. This means that the game will create a small 4:3 aspect ratio square in the middle of the display where the game runs. The rest of the 16:9 aspect ratio is filled in by a black backdrop which is visible as a thick black frame around the game.
Types of GPU Scaling
AMD Radeon graphics card allows you to scale the image in three different ways namely, preserve aspect ratio, center, and full panel. The preserve aspect ratio lets the gameplay on fullscreen mode while still keeping the game’s original aspect ratio. The game will take up the whole screen even when the graphics are scaled up. In case there is excess background after maintaining the aspect ratio, this GPU scaling option fills it in with black bars.
The second type of GPU scaling is the center. Center GPU scaling is used when the image is smaller than the resolution of the screen you are using. If you choose this scaling mode, you can center the image on the screen and fill in black bars around it.
The third type is full panel GPU scaling. In this mode, the image will be stretched to fit the entire screen. However, as mentioned before stretching a 4:3 aspect ratio game to a screen made for a higher aspect ratio will produce bad image quality. The picture will be blurred and your gaming will be hindered. Since new generation gamers give their graphics of utmost importance, this scaling mode is not advisable.
If you are looking to scale your graphics on both NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards, your monitor must be connected to your graphics card via a digital connection. GPU scaling will only work when your graphics card and monitor is connected via HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort, or Mini DisplayPort. GPU scaling will not be functional when connected to an analog input like VGA.
After ensuring a secure connection you must install the updated graphics driver that corresponds to your graphics product. You must set the display of your screen to its original resolution and refresh rate, and adjust the display brightness. This will let you scale your graphics and help improve the image clarity of your older games.