Windows is getting its own AI Upscaler on Copilot+ for gaming.

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Microsoft is getting its own. AI upscaling technology Baked right into Windows 11 that will appear on the latest. Copilot+ PCs. It's called Automatic Super Resolution, or Auto SR, and it should work on any game you're playing on PC. While there's still a smorgasbord of potential downsides, it promises gamers that they can hit higher frame rates on less capable PCs, all without the need for the latest Nvidia or AMD discrete GPUs.

They Auto SR feature Currently limited to Qualcomm's ARM-based CPUs, though it could still be a big deal if it works as well as Microsoft claims.

Developers on Microsoft's DirectX Blog Shown how the feature can create a scene. Borderlands 3 Running at 720p looks like it was running at 1440p instead, albeit with much higher frame rates than if it was running at native 1440p without Auto SR. At its recent Build conference, the Mountain View tech giant showed off Borderlands 3 and Baldur's Gate III running on the new Copilot+ PCs with these graphics boosts.

What makes this interesting is that it's not baked into the game itself, but instead it's automatically applied without having to mess with any in-game settings. DirectX developers claim it uses an AI model trained on game content and facilitated by the new Snapdragon X Plus and Elite chips to improve the look and performance of any title. So let's forget about other AI features like Microsoft Paint Art Generator Procreate or auto screenshotting and potentially difficult to remember. It's an honest-to-god interesting use case for Microsoft's AI and the real reason you want one with a PC. NPU capabilities..

There's a lot going on once you enable Auto SR. The PC will automatically reduce your desktop resolution before it upscales everything. It will only work well in full screen or borderless windowed modes. You won't be playing the most intensive titles either. Red Dead Redemption 2 or Cyberpunk 2077 At the highest settings with a stable framerate, but it can work well to boost performance in more mid-range or finer-scale games.

The program will run automatically for 11 games, incl God of war, resident evil 2, And The Witcher III. You can enable it for other games in the list by adding the .exe file to Windows 11 settings.

How does Auto SR work?

Games usually need to work directly with Nvidia or AMD to enable DLSS or FSR in their games. Microsoft is promising that its AI upscaler will boost resolutions and frame rates on any game you play with your new Copilot+ PC. According to Microsoft, while the DLSS software uses “jitter and MIP bias” to add finer detail to high-end graphics, Auto SR instead “relies on large models and the NPU”.

AutoSR also joins Microsoft. DirectSR API, an all-in-one package that allows game developers to add FSR 2.2, Intel's XeSS, and DLSS super-resolution all at once. DirectX developers claim that with this SDK implementation, players can choose which AI upscaler they want “at runtime”.

What are the major problems with Auto SR?

Image: Microsoft

So there's a lot of interesting stuff happening with AI upscaling, and let's be clear: it's only good news for gamers who want to play at better frame rates on a tight budget. There will be some obstacles though. For one, Auto SR introduces lag. Microsoft claims this is just one frame of “average” latency. We can imagine that some games may introduce even more lag.

As we've already mentioned, the big problem you'll face is whether you'll be able to play many games at all. The initial slate of Copilot + PCs are all running. Qualcomm Snapdragon Plus and Elite The chips are ARM-based chips that promise better performance at a lower power cost, but the thing about ARM is that there are far fewer games running natively on them than x64-x86. AutoSR also works on emulated X64 games, but it doesn't matter, it won't have the same experience as running without emulation.

Also interesting is Microsoft's restriction of AutoSR on Qualcomm ARM chips. With Copilot+ one AMD Ryzen AI 300 series CPU is already ready for this year. Intel is also developing its own Lunar Lake chips to host NPUs good enough for Microsoft's needs. Microsoft hasn't said whether it plans to port AutoSR to x86, but there's no reason to.

We also have to face the fact that Auto SR may not be as capable as DLSS 3 or 3.5 to begin with. Nvidia pioneered the AI ​​upscaling tech, and it has gotten much better over time with additional features like frame generation and DLAA anti-aliasing. AMD's FSR and Intel's XeSS lag behind in features and capabilities, but they've both been in the game longer than Microsoft. Once we get some one-on-one time with the upcoming Copilot+ PCs, we'll want to test it out for ourselves.

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