This $7 app doubled the efficiency of my gaming PC — critically

Cyberpunk 2077 running on a gaming monitor.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

I do know it sounds too good to be true, however there’s a $7 app that may double your efficiency in any sport, with any graphics card. There are some caveats, as you in all probability suspect, however the app works shockingly properly contemplating what it does — and I haven’t stopped utilizing it since downloading it on Steam.

The app in query is known as Lossless Scaling. It does two issues. When the app launched in 2018, it allowed you to upscale video games (or every other content material) utilizing a extra refined algorithm than what your monitor makes use of. More not too long ago, Lossless Scaling has added body technology, and simply a few weeks in the past, that body technology was overhauled.

Lossless Scaling isn’t good, and there’s undoubtedly a studying curve for getting probably the most out of the utility. But it’s definitely one of the vital highly effective utilities put in on my PC, and it’s one thing I’m shocked I’ve gone so lengthy with out.

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A particular utility

Logo for the Lossless Scaling utility.

There are numerous types of upscaling and body technology obtainable, however Lossless Scaling is particular as a result of it doesn’t care about what sport you’re taking part in or what {hardware} you’ve got put in. It works at a show stage, the place instruments like Nvidia’s DLSS 3 and AMD’s FSR 3 work at a sport stage, and AMD’s Fluid Motion Frames (AFMF) works at a driver stage. Lossless Scaling trades some high quality with the place it sits within the show chain, but it surely makes up for that shortcoming with help.

You can use it in any sport, and that features on-line video games. There are numerous methods to inject upscaling or body technology into games through mods, however you usually can’t use them in on-line video games. They’ll flag the anti-cheat software program, which might lead to a ban. Lossless Scaling doesn’t mess with any sport information, so it’s completely protected to make use of in an internet sport. I even took it out for a spin in Destiny 2 for a bit, and it labored flawlessly.

It additionally works with any GPU. Support for body technology is sporadic, no matter should you use an Nvidia or AMD GPU. Some video games use FSR 3, others use DLSS 3, however most video games have neither. Lossless Scaling fills within the gaps. In addition, it really works with GPUs that don’t help these applied sciences like Intel’s Arc playing cards and older AMD and Nvidia graphics. Most spectacular, you’ll be able to run it on handhelds just like the ROG Ally and Lenovo Legion Go as properly.

The Lossless Scaling app on the Lenovo Legion Go.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

I’m primarily targeted on the body technology right here, as that’s probably the most spectacular side of Lossless Scaling. Upscaling is current, nevertheless, and it really works. The app contains 9 completely different upscaling sorts, together with Nvidia Image Sharpening (NIS) and AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution 1, which you’ll be able to apply to any sport. It works significantly properly with older video games that don’t help this tech, in addition to emulators. That mentioned, each Nvidia and AMD provide this identical performance by means of their very own drivers, so that you don’t want Lossless Scaling for upscaling alone.

The upscaling can be related exterior of video games. Filters like Anime4K help you upscale older animated content material to the next decision and squeeze out extra high quality. In taking part in round with Lossless Scaling, that’s primarily the place I discovered myself utilizing the upscaling portion.

For video games, nevertheless, it’s all about body technology. Lossless Scaling works shockingly properly contemplating what it’s able to doing, however you have to use it correctly to get the very best outcomes.

Configuration required

The Lossless Scaling app in Windows.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Lossless Scaling contains two body technology algorithms. There’s LSFG 1.1 and LSFG 2.0, they usually’re algorithms made for this app particularly that had been created with machine studying. Frame technology was launched to this app initially of the 12 months, however LSFG 2.0, which was added this month, is an enormous elevate in high quality.

The method the app works is straightforward. Either you launch it by means of Steam, or configure it to launch at startup. Then you begin taking part in a sport. From there, you’ll be able to interact the body technology both by hitting a hotkey or by urgent the Scale button within the window. The latter possibility will set off a countdown, throughout which you have to change again to your sport.

Your outcomes off the bat will likely be dangerous. I thought-about trashing this entire article after booting up Remnant 2 with body technology turned on. Not solely was my body price decrease with body technology turned on, however I additionally encountered a multitude of stuttering that made the sport extraordinarily disagreeable to play. In order to get probably the most out of Lossless Scaling, you want to have the ability to cap your body price in a sport at a constant spot.

I acquired the very best outcomes by far after I capped my body price to 60 frames per second (fps). Assuming I might hit that body price persistently in a sport, Lossless Scaling would give me a near-flawless 120 fps with minimal hiccups. I stumbled upon the body price cap when testing Elden Ring, which is often capped to 60 fps. Lossless Scaling labored completely in that sport, main me to set a cap in different titles. The solely be aware right here is to set your cap on a per-game foundation. A worldwide body price cap, such because the one you’ll be able to interact within the Nvidia Control Panel, will restrict Lossless Scaling.

Elden Ring running on the Asus ROG PG42UQ.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

You can go decrease, with 30 fps being absolutely the ground, however the high quality deteriorates rapidly if you go under a base body price of 60 fps. It doesn’t have to be precisely 60 fps so long as you’re shut, although. With Lossless Scaling, I went from round 50 fps in Elden Ring on the MSI Claw all the way in which as much as 90 fpg to 100 fps.

Outside of setting a body price cap, you’ll additionally wish to run in borderless full-screen mode. The app will get out of types when operating in full display, particularly should you’re utilizing upscaling and body technology collectively. In addition, I often like participating Lossless Scaling with a sizzling key. Switching from the app again to a sport may cause some points relying on what sport you’re taking part in.

Perhaps most necessary out of all the settings within the app is the Performance mode, nevertheless. With LSFG 2.0, there’s a toggle for the Performance mode. The body technology algorithm has fairly a little bit of overhead, far more than FSR 3 or DLSS 3. The Performance mode trades some high quality for higher efficiency, which is especially helpful for weaker GPUs. If you don’t use it, there are configurations that may lead to decrease efficiency with body technology on than with it off.

Not good, however adequate

Lossless Scaling works very properly, but it surely’s actually not a full alternative for DLSS 3 or FSR 3. During quick movement, significantly in first-person video games, there are artifacts. You can see that in motion in Cyberpunk 2077 above. Around the tree, there’s lots of ghosting as I rapidly transfer backwards and forwards. Thankfully, these aren’t too distracting in movement, they usually’re actually simple to forgive in video games that don’t help DLSS 3 or FSR 3.

In addition, the app will be fickle. I’ve already talked about the problems with full-screen modes in sport, however there are particular video games the place you might must stop and reopen the sport earlier than the body technology will stick. For probably the most half, nevertheless, I didn’t have too many points enabling Lossless Scaling in borderless mode with a body price cap enabled.

Finally, you have to have some stage of steady efficiency feeding into Lossless Scaling for the very best outcomes. In Dragon’s Dogma 2for instance, I used to be oscillating between a clean expertise and a uneven one relying on the place I used to be at within the sport. Ideally, you’ll wish to hit 60 fps persistently with minimal drops if you wish to get probably the most out of Lossless Scaling.

Going from a steady 60 fps to a steady 120 fps isn’t any easy feat, although. Lossless Scaling is a little bit of magic in your PC, and even on a high-end rig, I’ve been utilizing it save energy and get extra constant efficiency out of video games. I particularly prefer it on handhelds such because the ROG Ally, the place you may get a lot smoother efficiency out of the system.

There are some points with artifacts occasionally, and the messing round with the app isn’t all the time a clean expertise. I’m keen to make these compromises contemplating how highly effective Lossless Scaling is, although. The indisputable fact that it really works with any sport and any GPU is a big plus, even should you’re simply filling within the gaps between FSR 3 and DLSS 3. I’d suggest rolling the cube and seeing the way you just like the app — I might consider a lot worse methods to spend $7.

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