What is GPU Scaling | How to Enable GPU Scaling?

The desire to achieve the clearest and sharpest visuals output with the highest resolution possible has led to the development of sophisticated display panels with enhanced hardware, technical specifications, and functionalities.

Various displays are available in the market with all sorts of sizes and resolutions; however, adjusting to the display output of monitor-specific resolution poses a challenge. How? You may ask. 

Let’s understand it with an example. Say you have a square sheet, and you have to fit it in a rectangular frame. What will happen? The sheet will be stretched or break perhaps, but it can’t keep its original dimensions to fit into the rectangular frame.

The same thing happened in the case of monitors. Suppose you have an image with an aspect ratio of 4:3, and you want to view it on a monitor with an aspect ratio of 16:9. What will happen? You will have an image stretched and distorted or pixelated. 

The problem is more apparent when you play older games on your PC that were developed with an aspect ratio of 4:3. The modern 16:9 resolution display may not properly adjust to the older aspect ratio, which manifests in poor quality output. This is the problem, and GPU Scaling is the solution that addresses this problem.

So Let’s dive in further and understand the intricate details of GPU Scaling, what benefits it holds for you, and how you can enable GPU Scaling on your PC if you want to

Table of Contents

What is GPU Scaling?

GPU Scaling is an inbuilt feature in all modern-day Graphics Cards, otherwise known as Graphics Processing Unit or GPUs. It enables them to scale the game’s aspect ratio depending upon the screen’s resolution without degrading the quality of the visuals. 

If you are a gamer and have ever tinkered the GPU settings, you must have come across GPU Scaling too. With GPU Scaling enabled, you can enjoy older games without depleting the performance or the quality of the output.

Moreover, you have multiple options available with GPU Scaling. You can stretch the image, adjust it to maximum quality by viewing it with black bars, or you can view it in full screen, but some parts are cut. This will be particularly beneficial while playing a shooting game where you don’t want to miss even the tiniest of the details. Let’s learn about these settings in more detail.

Types of setting in GPU Scaling Modes

To further up the GPU Scaling process, the GPUs are equipped with additional supportive GPU Scaling settings modes, three to be exact. Each one lets you control a different aspect of the GPU Scaling and has a direct effect on the output quality. These include;

Maintain Aspect Ratio

This setting enables the game to retain its original aspect ratio disregarding the aspect ratio of the screen. Essentially the game will only fill that much of the screen as of its aspect ratio. What will happen to the rest of the screen? The excess area will remain black. Typically you will see black bars on both sides of the display.

Full Panel Size

If you want the game output in full screen, full panel size is the GPU setting mode that you need to enable. What it does is, stretches the output image according to the size and resolution of the screen. You will get the full screen. However, the output quality and graphics will deplete as the images will be forced to stretch further from their aspect ratio.

Centered Trimming

It’s quite similar to the maintain Aspect ratio mode and will place the output image at the center of the monitor. The rest of the area will be filled with black. The game’s original aspect ratio is not altered, and the image quality will not be compromised, but you have to settle with smaller images compared to the full-screen size.

Alright then, as you now have a significant grasp over the GPU Scaling concept, so let’s give you a walkthrough about how you can enable GPU Scaling on your PC and utilize this feature.

How to enable GPU Scaling On AMD Graphics Card

You can enable GPU Scaling with an AMD graphics card in two ways.

  1. Enable GPU Scaling via AMD Radeon Settings
  2. Enable GPU Scaling via AMD Catalyst Control Centre

Prerequisite for enabling the GPU Scaling in AMD Radeon settings

Some prerequisites must be met before you can enable GPU Scaling with AMD Radeon Settings.

  • The connections between the display and the graphic adapter must be digital; that is, they should be DVI, HDMI, or DisplayPort.
  • The display must be set to its default resolution and refresh rate before the GPU Scaling settings are applied.
  • You must have the latest AMD graphics card drivers installed on your PC.

Once you have made sure that all the requirements are met, follow the below steps;

Enable GPU Scaling via AMD Radeon Settings

Here are the steps you need to follow in order to enable GPU scaling on AMD Radeon Graphics Card. 

  • Right-click anywhere on your PC’s home screen and select the redon settings from the menu that appears.
Open Radeon™ Settings
  • The AMD Radeon settings window will open up. Click on the Display option located at the top of the window.
Select Display.
  •  On display in the options screen, move the toggle button next to the GPU Scaling option to the ON position.
Toggle the GPU Scaling option to On
  • The screen will momentarily go black as the system applies the settings.
  • Once the GPU Scaling is ON, select the desired mode of scaling from the Scaling mode option.
Clicking on the Scaling Mode option

Enable GPU Scaling via AMD Catalyst Control Centre

  • Right-click anywhere on the home screen of your PC.
  • From the menu that appears on the screen, choose the AMD catalyst control center option.
  • Wait for the AMD Catalyst Control Center window to open.
  • On the left side of the window, you will find the ‘My Digital Flat Panels’ option; click on it to expand.
  • Select the Properties (Digital Flat Panel) option from the menu.
  • When the properties dialogue box opens up, checkmark the Enable GPU up-scaling option.
  • Next, select the type of scaling you want and click on the apply button to confirm the desired settings.
Enable GPU Scaling via AMD Catalyst Control Centre

How to enable GPU Scaling On NVIDIA Graphics Card

Here are the steps you need to follow in order to enable GPU scaling on Nvidia Graphics Card. 

  • For the NVIDIA graphics card, the following steps will let to turn on the GPU Scaling;
  • Give a right-click on your mouse at the home screen and choose NVIDIA Control Panel from the menu that opens up.
  • The NVIDIA control panel will open up. Click on the Adjust desktop size and position option. You will find it under the display tab.
  • Next, expand the Perform scaling on the drop-down menu and choose the GPU option.
  • Lastly, select the most suitable scaling option depending upon your need.

Conclusion

We hope that you must have all the information about GPU Scaling and how to enable it on your PC by now. If you follow the instructions given here, enabling the GPU Scaling on your PC will be a smooth ride. 

As for the necessity of GPU Scaling, the only answer is it depends on what you are trying to achieve. Most of the modern games are adjustable to the native resolution of the screen and do not need scaling. But if you are a fan of old classic games that only allow a fixed aspect ratio. In that case, you need GPU Scaling to prevent the output quality from deteriorating while adjusting to newer monitors’ resolutions.

Ankit is a software engineer. A pro lover of Technology and tech gadgets. Our team is here to help you find the best monitor products to decide which one is best for you.

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