GPU scaling is a feature that lets gamers enjoy the benefits of AMD graphics cards by fitting their games to any screen size. It makes reading text easier for those with monitors of smaller dimensions without losing detail in your picture or video-game experience. It is particularly useful when playing older games with a native 4:3 or 5:4 aspect ratio on a new monitor with a more popular aspect ratio, such as 16:9.

GPU Scaling is an awesome way to make gaming more enjoyable on any size display by being able to see things you might have otherwise missed due to small resolutions like 720p HDTVs.

What Is GPU Scaling

GPU Scaling is a program that resizes your game to fit on any display. AMD GPUs offer hardware-based GPU Scaling, which guarantees the best possible picture quality. In addition, because GPU Scaling uses your graphics card to do the scaling, it happens in real-time, and you can see the changes immediately as they happen.

Whenever your computer starts up and restores Windows, it will go back to its original resolution settings. GPU scaling requires an AMD graphics card with Windows Vista/XP operating systems. In addition, ATI video cards are recommended because they support a more comprehensive range of resolutions than nVidia and have faster performance.

Is GPU Scaling Necessary?

You can play most games without GPU scaling, but it may make text reading easier on a standard 16:9 aspect ratio monitor if you have an older game with a non-standard resolution.

For example, playing Half-Life 2 at 1280×768 will require windowed mode and a custom resolution. It means you won’t be able to read some menu options. Unfortunately, you won’t turn up the texture detail either because the game is not run at a higher resolution.

If your computer has an older graphics card that uses VGA or DVI connections, this program also works for those cards. However, the latest video cards will experience extra performance with GPU Scaling using HDMI or DisplayPort connections instead of DVI or VGA connections (for example, the Radeon HD4850 and HD4870).

What’s The Catch?

The game graphics will appear slightly smaller than on higher resolution monitors when using GPU Scaling in a 16:9 aspect ratio. However, you will be able to read text that you may have otherwise missed playing certain older games with 4:3 or 5:4 resolutions without losing any detail in your picture/video-game experience.

GPU scaling can only make a game look sharper if your computer has decent video memory for its age. For example, Newer systems with 1GB or 2GB of video memory should see an increase in performance after GPU scaling is applied. Also, even though some games like Half-Life 2 will look smaller when using GPU scaling, you will be able to read text that may have been too small for you to see before.

This program is not supported by ATI or any other video card manufacturer; Geeks3D made it as a utility for computer enthusiasts. The basic functionality of this application remains the same from computer to computer, but the selection menus and hotkeys used in each particular version may differ slightly.

Types of GPU Scaling

There are three types of AMD GPU scaling.

Types of GPU Scaling

Maintain Aspect Ratio

Playing games while maintaining the aspect ratio is a great way to keep your gameplay accurate to form. Of course, with these black bars at either side when switching from one screen size setting to another; however, if you ever want those features back again, toggle between them within settings.

Some people love their screens large enough to spread out across both monitors like two panes of glass—others prefer smaller windows taking up less space but being able to play more efficiently as a result.

“Maintain Aspect Ratio” is an excellent option for gamers who want to play on their laptop because it’s easy and doesn’t require much hard drive space. It also works nicely with older games that were not originally designed to run in the widescreen format. As a result, they show up stretched across the screen without any graphics or gameplay mechanics alteration.

2- Full Panel

For the ultimate gaming experience, this option fills your monitor with a game that will look great on more giant screens and still look just as good on smaller screens. While some games may be too large to play comfortably when using full panel mode, this setting works best for gamers who love playing role-playing games (RPGs).

You can take quests in the field or be involved in the action right up close to all of the characters without any loss of reward—and you won’t have to fiddle with resolution settings or windowed video modes to get it running correctly either.

3- Center Panel

Some games have artwork that is nice to look at and makes gameplay more attractive; however, you may not want it taking up space all around your screen while you are trying to get through the mission or level.

The center panel option allows gamers to enjoy the best of both worlds with a game with a larger viewing panel than most other settings allow for, along with a small graphically enhanced borderline on the outer edge of the screen.

This feature works great with any game from sports titles, racing games, first-person shooters (FPS), and even some newer 3D movies.

Learn How to Boost GPU Performance

What is Maintain Screen Scaling?

It’s a setting that allows you to keep the default screen scaling but
just apply GPU scaling on top of it, so game images don’t get stretched or distorted.

This feature has an obvious advantage over the ‘Uniform Scaling’ option because things do not get distorted when changing resolution, making this feature great for gamers who need to change resolutions often or are unsure what type of video card they have.

All one needs to do is select their preferred resolution, and Maintain Screen will scale everything accordingly.

GPU Compression: What is It?

Windows uses a form of compression when assigning various color pixel values to individual pixels on an image. They are more accessible for computers to process quickly; however, these systems perform well at set resolutions but not as efficient when dealing with screen size differences between resolutions.

GPU compression allows your video card to read these values and transform them into the correct ones for your display size. However, this can cause problems with older graphics cards that don’t support windowed overlay applications such as EVGA Precision.

Pros and Cons Of GPU Scaling


  • Preserve Aspect Ratio
  • Center
  • Full Panel


  • Slight Input Lag

What is DSR? How does it differ from GPU Scaling?

Dithering is a method that works on the same principle as blending but differs in the fact that instead of creating transparency, it makes patterns to give depth to images of varying color palettes.

This technique is used by graphics hardware to generate colors when only a limited number are available at the time; for instance, if you tried using an image editor to draw something on top of this picture, you would see up close how this dithering effect can be used effectively on particular objects while still maintaining integration with its surrounding environment.

More importantly, though, dithering allows you to achieve incredible detail with your images without sacrificing quality or performance, giving you an idea that is at least twice as good as the original.

How to Enabling GPU Scaling and Selecting the Desired Scaling Mode

The following conditions must be met in order to enable GPU scaling in Radeon Settings.  If the GPU scaling option is not enabled, the following will occur:

A digital connection must be used. A digital connection is one of the following:

  • DVI
  • HDMI
  • DisplayPort/Mini DisplayPort

To enable GPU Scaling, follow the steps below:

  • Open Radeon™ Settings by right-clicking on your desktop and selecting AMD Radeon Settings.
  • Select Display Settings
  • Toggle the GPU Scaling option to On. The screen will go black momentarily while GPU Scaling is being enabled.
  • Once GPU Scaling is enabled, select the desired mode by clicking on the Scaling Mode option.
  • CloseRadeon Settings to exit.

GPU scaling is necessary if you want to enjoy your computer games at their best. If you’re not sure how or why it’s important, read on and find out what this technology does for the gaming experience. And don’t forget to take a look at our other articles about GPUs.