How does GeForce NOW resolution scaling work?

Updated 01/28/2022 12:23 PM

Q: How does GeForce NOW resolution scaling work?

A:  When playing games on GeForce NOW, your local device is receiving and decoding a compressed video stream of game content that is set at a specific resolution (e.g. 1920x1080). This resolution is determined by various factors including GeForce NOW in-app settings, available network bandwidth, and the quality of your network conditions. This resolution is referred to as the Streaming Resolution.

Separately, your notebook or PC display will have its own resolution settings that are responsible for displaying the game content. This is referred to as the Display Resolution.

If your Streaming Resolution and Display Resolution are the same, your game content is displayed on-screen without additional processing. If these two resolutions do not match, then GeForce NOW resolution scaling will upscale, or downscale, the game content to match resolutions and apply various algorithms to improve visual fidelity, if needed. Resolution scaling is not content specific and can be applied to any game.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Resolution upscaling options will only be visible if your device meets the minimum requirements:

Windows:

  • Microsoft Windows 10 or later
  • GPU requirements
    • NVIDIA GPU
    • Intel Graphics with WDDM version 1.1 or later
    • AMD GPU with VCN 1.0 or later

Mac:

  • OS X 10.13.2 or later
  • MacBook (Early 2015 or newer), MacBook Air (Mid 2012 or newer), MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 or newer), Mac mini (Late 2012 or newer), iMac (Late 2012 or newer), iMac Pro (2017), Mac Pro (Late 2013; Mid 2010 and Mid 2012 models with recommended Metal-capable graphics cards).

SHIELD TV:

  • SHIELD TV Pro (2019)
  • SHIELD Experience Upgrade 8.2.3 (32.6.518.0) or newer

SUPPORTED MODES

"Standard"

This mode is enabled by default. It uses a bilinear filter to scale content and uses the least amount of system resources.

"Enhanced" 

This mode uses a Lanczos filter to scale content, which results in better image quality when compared to standard mode. Enhanced mode uses more system resources, which could result in additional latency depending on your device’s specifications. 

"AI-enhanced" 

This mode is only available for PC users with select NVIDIA GPUs or on NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro (2019). First introduced on NVIDIA SHIELD TV, AI-enhanced mode leverages the computational power of the GPU to pass content through a trained neural network model. This produces incredible sharpness and enhanced details that no traditional scaler can recreate. AI-enhanced mode is available only for upscaling content.

Note: You will only see the option to select AI-enhanced mode if your device meets these additional requirements:

  • RTX 30 Series, RTX 20 Series, GTX 16 series, GTX 1080 Ti, GTX 1080, or Titan GPUs
  • Microsoft Windows 10 or later
  • GeForce Driver version R460.82 or greater

NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro (2019) supports GeForce NOW upscaling by turning on “Apply upscaling while streaming” in the “Video upscaling mode” menu under “GeForce NOW upscaling.” All three upscaling modes, including AI-enhanced, are supported on SHIELD TV Pro (2019) and can be adjusted in this menu as well. 

Q: When is resolution upscaling the most beneficial?

A: When your network conditions recommend a Streaming Resolution that is lower than the native Display Resolution of your TV, monitor or laptop screen.

Q. What GeForce NOW devices support resolution upscaling?

A: This feature is only available on select native GeForce NOW apps.

For PC, macOS and SHIELD TV Pro (2019), see system requirements listed above.  Resolution upscaling is not supported when using GeForce NOW on a browser.

Q: Why isn’t AI-enhanced available to more GPUs?

A: AI-enhanced mode requires an NVIDIA GPU with enough performance to run game content through the trained neural network in real-time. Refer to the list of system requirements above.

Q. Does AI-Enhanced work on macOS?

A: No, it only works on select NVIDIA GPUs on Microsoft Windows and SHIELD TV Pro (2019).

Q: I am using the GeForce NOW resolution upscaling feature and I see image problems during streaming. How do I fix that?

A: Check your network quality. The resolution scaling algorithms may be sharpening network-related artifacts related to things like high packet loss.

Q: What are the downsides of using GeForce NOW resolution scaling?

A: You may see a slight increase in latency depending on your device’s specifications. You may also experience image quality issues when streaming on a poor network.

Q: Is resolution scaling performed on GeForce NOW servers?

A: GeForce NOW resolution scaling is processed and applied on your local device. Technologies such as DLSS are applied in supported games on GeForce NOW servers and should not interfere with your local resolution scaling settings.

Q: If I am running a high resolution 4k+ monitor, can I use resolution scaling?

A: Resolution scaling works on any monitor.


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