Nvidia Image Scaling Survival Guide

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I recently started using an Epson LS500 projector for gaming. Unfortunately it supports very few resolutions outside of 4K and 1080p. With a GeForce GTX 1080 GPU I usually run games at 1440p to obtain descent frame rate but with that projector it was not an option. That's when I started looking into Nvidia Image Scaling (NIS) to get around that problem. Basically it allows you to output 4K resolution while rendering at lower resolution.

However, I find setting it up rather confusing, notably with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (SWJFO). You need to know that NIS only works for a few very specific resolutions. If you select a non-NIS resolution in your game it will actually change your output resolution. Only if you select a NIS enabled resolution will the screen remain in 4K while the game actually renders as the selected NIS resolution. After enabling NIS from GeForce Experience settings maximize its window to see which resolutions are offered by NIS. See screenshot below:

2022-08-26 12_57_40-Clipboard.png


In my case the actual NIS resolutions don't match the ones mentioned in that NIS help article already linked above.
For a screen set to 4K 3840x2160 here are the NIS resolutions available:

Render percentage​
Screen resolution​
85%​
3482 x 1836​
77%​
3151 x 1662​
67%​
2731 x 1440​
59%​
2410 x 1271​
50%​
2048 x 1080​

Now you will have notice those percentages are based on max resolution of 4096x2160 which is a bit odd to me but then again at least that makes them stands out next to the standard resolutions you are used to, which is helpful and it might just be the reason why Nvidia implemented it like that.

Unless your game is running in exclusive full screen mode and using one of those specific resolutions, NIS won't take effect. The resolution you selected in GeForce Experience, shown on green background in the above screenshot, is supposed to be used to setup you games. However that did not work for me, at least not with SWJFO. Instead GeForce Experience optimisation kept setting SWJFO to 1440p (2560 x 1440) which is not a NIS resolution and that meant SWJFO did not actually use NIS until I manually select a NIS resolution instead.

Once I understood how to actually enable NIS in-game, it was straight forward to test various NIS and non-NIS resolutions to see how that impacts the frame rate and render quality. Thus you can leave NIS enabled and very conveniently use it, or not, in different games depending on the selected game resolution.

Happy gaming!

Note

SWJFO is really funny when it comes to output resolutions. On my PC connected to that projector if I set SWJFO to 1920 x 1080 it actually outputs 1440p, only if I set it to 1680 x 1050 does it output 1080p, go figure who came up with that at Electronic Arts.
 
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