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Don’t bother with AMD FSR 3 in Starfield, DLSS 3 looks much better

Tests show that AMD frame generation and upscaling in Starfield isn't that great, and DLSS 3 and Intel's XeSS are stronger alternatives.

Starfield DLSS over AMD FSR 3

The lead-up to AMD FSR 3 launching in Starfield was cause for excitement, but the latest testing shows that while performance numbers are good, what you see on screen is noticeably worse compared to using DLSS 3, and even Intel XeSS in some cases. This, of course, is terrible news if you own an AMD graphics card because it was your only hope of getting a real performance boost.

Bethesda is still fighting hard to make Starfield one of the best RPGs on PC. A big part of this battle is getting it to perform at all levels, and upscaling tech is a big part of this. Those with the best graphics cards would be looking to the frame generation aspect of FSR 3 and DLSS 3.5 for their performance boosts, and there’s a clear winner on all fronts.

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Testing done by TechPowerUp shows that, despite competitive performance numbers at 1080p, 1440p, and 4K, the visual artifacts caused by enabling AMD FSR 3’s upscaling tech are distracting, and this only gets worse with frame gen enabled.

This is a nightmare for AMD GPU owners because they cannot access the Nvidia-exclusive DLSS. It also adds comical irony to the fact that Bethesda has been giving away a Starfield AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX and Ryzen 7800X3D CPU to celebrate the launch of the AMD FSR 3 update.

Based on the screenshots showcased by TechPowerUp, it’s noticeable that the FSR 3 snaps are much blurrier than the DLSS screenshots, and any graphical issues that are present from this upscaling make frame generation even worse, because the process is learning from previous frames and generating new ones.

Meanwhile, the video comparison shows shimmer and distance blurring becoming apparent in the game with FSR 3 enabled, and you can see noticeable issues with the weapon-mounted laser in the second frame generation scene.

Due to the lower visual quality of the upscaling used in FSR compared to DLSS, and the fact that AMD FSR 3 frame generation is tied into upscaling here, the frames being generated are poor in quality, and despite having a higher frame rate, the end result is visually far less impressive.

This is, however, great news for Nvidia graphics card owners, because DLSS once again proves to be the winner when it comes to upscaling and frame generation. Granted, AMD FSR 3 is only live in 15 games at the time of writing, so AMD has time to learn and adjust based on the results it is seeing, but it’s not a good start for Team Red.

It should be noted that the testing was performed on an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080, but given that AMD FSR 3 is platform agnostic, it’s not as though it would run better on an AMD graphics card, so a similar GPU, such as the Radeon RX 7900 XTX, would still struggle with the upscaling issues we are seeing.

Games like Starfield got you thinking you need a new gaming rig? Well, we can show you how to build a gaming PC in 2024 with our comprehensive guide to get you from start to finish with confidence.