How to Enable NVIDIA Image Scaling

Updated 11/24/2021 12:14 AM
How to Enable NVIDIA Image Scaling

NVIDIA Image Scaling is a driver-based spatial upscaler and sharpener for GeForce GPUs for all games. This feature is accessible both from the NVIDIA Control Panel and GeForce Experience, and includes a per-game sharpening setting tunable from NVIDIA’s In-game overlay. It is available for all Directx 9, 10, 11, 12, Vulkan and OpenGL games.   There are two ways to activate NVIDIA Image Scaling - through the NVIDIA Control Panel and another using GeForce Experience.  
 
How to Enable Image Scaling in the Control Panel
1. To activate the newly updated feature, simply open the NVIDIA Control Panel, click onto “Manage 3D Settings”, and activate the “Image Scaling” setting as shown below
 
 
2. When you enable Image Scaling, the driver generates 5 additional scaling resolutions based on your native monitor resolution that you can select from in-game settings menus to use with NVIDIA Image Scaling. We recommend doing a quick reboot to ensure your games recognize these new resolutions
 

Scaling %

Input Resolution for 4K Output

Input Resolution for 1440p Output

Input Resolution for 1080p Output

85%

3264 x 1836

2176 x 1224

1632 x 918

77%

2954 x 1662

1970 x 1108

1477 x 831

67%

2560 x 1440

1706 x 960

1280 x 720

59%

2259 x 1271

1506 x 847

1129 x 635

50%

1920 x 1080

1280 x 720

Not Supported by Windows

 
3. You can set global sharpness settings for all your games at once, or manage per-game tuning through the Program Settings tab of “Manage 3D Settings.
 
Now that you have enabled NVIDIA Image Scaling in the driver, the next step is to set the render resolution for your game.
 
1. For each game, go into the in-game settings and select Fullscreen mode*
2. Set the desired render resolution. NVIDIA Image Scaling will automatically upscale the lower render resolution to your display's native resolution and sharpen (e.g. 2880x1620 upscaled to 3840x2160)
3. If you enable the overlay indicator, a “NIS” text label will appear in the upper left corner of the screen. A green text color indicates that NVIDIA Image Scaling is scaling and sharpening the game. If the text is colored blue, then NVIDIA Image Scaling is sharpening but not scaling
 
*For games that don’t offer Full Screen mode or Image Scaling is not getting engaged, you can set the resolution of your desktop equal to in-game resolution, which will enable NVIDIA Image Scaling. It is recommended to use NVIDIA Control panel to set or switch between scaling resolutions on desktop
 
Note that when the feature is enabled, and you are playing the game at native resolution, sharpening will still be applied (blue NIS indicator).
 
How to Change Image Sharpness on a per app basis.
  • When the feature is turned on via the global settings page, it gets enabled for all the applications, but the sharpness can be controlled on a per-app basis.
  • To change sharpness for a specific game, go to the NVIDIA Control Panel > Manage 3D Settings > Program Settings. Simply select the game you’d like to modify from the drop-menu and apply the desired settings. This overrides the global image sharpening setting.
  • If you are unable to find the program, click on Add and choose the desired application, and Add Selected Program
     
 

How to Enable Image Scaling in GeForce Experience

GeForce Experience automates the manual process of changing resolutions for each game, and also offers an in-game sharpness slider for real-time customization. 
 
1. To get early access to these features, you will first need to “Enable experimental features” by opening GeForce Experience’s Settings via the top right cog icon.
 
 
2. In the “About” box, click “Enable experimental features”. After a few moments, a new version of GeForce Experience will be downloaded.
 
 
3. Once the new version is downloaded, restart GeForce Experience and reenter the Settings screen. You should now see a new “Image Scaling” option further down the page. Enable it and the “In-Game Overlay”. The Image Scaling options selected here will be the defaults for your games, though you can quickly and easily change them on a per game basis.
 
 
4. With NVIDIA Image Scaling activated, click the pop up that appears on the bottom left when you enable Image Scaling:
 
 
This will instantly optimize your settings using Image Scaling in the 1000+ games supported by GeForce Experience that are installed on your system. Note that if you have a RTX GPU, GeForce Experience will enable NVIDIA DLSS in supported games instead of NVIDIA Image Scaling to provide the best image quality and performance.
 
Alternatively, you can select one of the new NVIDIA Image Scaling resolutions via the game’s specific Optimal Playable Settings, or in-game in the options menu:
 
 
When playing a game, press Alt+F3 and you can manually adjust the degree of sharpening during gameplay, enabling you to instantly see its impact on image clarity. And in the same screen you can apply other filters to change the look and feel of each game.
 
 
Currently, the following limitations apply:
  • Image Scaling requires that the display is driven by an NVIDIA GPU (handling the scan-out to the display). 
    • For MSHybrid/Optimus notebook configurations, users will have to first set their notebook from mshybrid mode to discrete GPU mode. To enable NVIDIA Image Sharpening for an external monitor, please disable the notebook’s internal display panel. 
  • Image Scaling nativity works when the game or application is running in Full Screen mode (e.g: “exclusive full screen” in some games -  not “borderless windowed” or “fake fullscreen”).
    • For games that don’t offer a proper Full Screen mode and Image Scaling is not getting engaged, you can set the resolution of your desktop equal to in-game resolution, which will enable NVIDIA Image Scaling. It is recommended to use the NVIDIA Control panel to set or switch between scaling resolutions on desktop.
  • Image Scaling supports HDR for Turing & Ampere GPUs. For Maxwell and Pascal GPUs, Image Scaling does not support HDR. 
  • Image Scaling is not supported for Pre-Ampere GPUs while using the YUV 420 color format
  • Image Scaling is not Supported for Pre-Pascal GPUs while using the YUV 422 color format
  • Image Scaling is not supported in  SLI Mode, Surround Multi-Monitor Clone/Duplicate Mode, Tiled Display, Direct Display, VR, and Integer Scaling mode. 
     
 

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