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Comparison of Starfield performance in native 4K and with NVIDIA DLSS 3 and AMD FSR 3.0 technologies

A few days ago, Bethesda released a new beta patch for Starfield, which officially added support for AMD FSR 3.0 technology. The DSOG publication decided to test it and compare it with the solution from NVIDIA – DLSS 3. Will AMD’s frame generation technology be able to compete with its analogue from NVIDIA?

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For testing we used an AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D processor, 32 GB DDR5 at 6000 MHz and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 video card. 64-bit Windows 10 and the GeForce 551.23 driver were also installed. In addition, the second core on the 7950X3D was disabled.

Starfield does not have a built-in benchmark, so the New Atlantis location was used for testing. Testing has shown that this is one of the most resource-intensive areas in the game. Therefore, it should give a pretty good idea of ​​performance in the rest of the game.

Without upscaling, the RTX 4090 achieved a minimum frame rate of 65 fps and an average frame rate of 86 fps in 4K resolution at maximum graphics settings. With the inclusion of DLSS 3 with frame generation, the frequency rose above 120. And with the activation of FSR 3.0 and frame generation, the frequency was above 130.

Unfortunately, it has not yet been possible to test 1080p or 1440p resolutions. For some unknown reason, DLSS 3 limited the frame rate to the monitor’s refresh rate (165 Hz).

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Interestingly, Starfield is another game where FSR 3.0 frame generation performs better than DLSS 3. The difference is smaller than Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, but it’s a big win for the AMD team.

There is also no additional input lag. This is not surprising, since the frame rate was always above 120. So for those who cannot produce such high frame rates, the situation may be different. Mouse movement also felt great, although there was occasional slight stuttering with AMD FSR 3.0. These stutters were nothing compared to those experienced in Avatar. However, despite the lower frame rate, DLSS 3’s frame generation was smoother and smoother.

Unfortunately, FSR 3.0’s image upscaling technology is inferior to DLSS 3. FSR 3.0 simply cannot reconstruct many details, resulting in severe distortion on many surfaces.

So while FSR 3.0 with frame generation provides better performance than DLSS 3, it is dragged down by the average image upscaling quality. AMD needs to overhaul its super-resolution technology because frame generation in FSR 3.0 works very well. Otherwise, there is no point in enabling it on RTX40 video cards if DLSS is available.

For owners of older video cards, the situation is a little more complicated. On the one hand, you can improve productivity, and frame generation in FSR 3.0 does an excellent job of this. On the downside, image scaling in FSR 3.0 is inferior compared to DLSS 3 or even Intel XeSS quality. This means you will get worse image quality.

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