Are you wondering about “what is GPU scaling?”
Well, a GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) handles the graphics-related tasks of your computer system– video playing, playing games, or any other graphics-intensive task. And GPU scaling is a feature that offers in the current graphic processing units. Using this, you can change the aspect ratio (ratio of height and width of your screen) of the graphics of the game.
You can fit an old game perfectly on your monitor by changing the aspect ratio using GPU scaling without any distortion. For example, suppose you want to play an old game like Max Payne on a modern 16:9 or 21:9 monitor. But, this is technically not possible due to the game’s aspect ratio of 4:3 or 5:4
Hence, to play that game, you’ll have to use scaling to get high-quality graphic output without any distortion.
3 Modes To Enable GPU Scaling
While enabling this feature, you have three modes to choose from. I’ve explained it to them so that you can find it helpful.
1. Scale Image to Screen Size:
Using this option, you can enlarge the game graphics to make them fit on the computer screen. This is an easy remedy while playing old games, but due to stretching, the image of the game will get a bit distorted and have a pixelated look. You might not be able to enjoy the actual stunning visuals of the game to their actual extent.
2. Preserve Aspect Ratio:
This option allows you to play a particular game on full-screen. In this mode, the original aspect ratio of the game remains unchanged, but the graphics, as well as the visuals of the game, are upscaled. Since you play the game in its natural aspect ratio, black bars will fill the extra blank spaces on the screen.
3. Use Trimming at Center:
We use this option when your screen’s resolution is smaller than the game image. Scaling is not involved in this option, but it places the game image right at the center. Moreover, like the preserved aspect ratio, black bars or patterns also fill the remaining blank spaces here.
Should you keep the scaling turned On or Off? Before answering this question, let us discuss the pros and cons of GPU scaling:
Benefits of GPU Scaling
Scaling helps the computer monitor display the output using various scaling options for the best overall experience for the user. The main pros of GPU scaling are as follows:
- The scaling process helps to preserve the aspect ratio of old games. So, there are no distortions in the graphics of the game, and all things are visible without any problem.
- Normal computer systems without the graphic card are unable to handle graphic-intensive tasks. In such a case, scaling helps to maintain and preserve the original quality while playing both newer and older games.
- When the image’s resolution goes beyond your computer screen’s resolution, the image gets trimmed to the center, and black bars fill the blank space. GPU Scaling provides options like Overscan/Underscan in the configuration menu to remove these bars and for a better output.
Drawbacks of GPU Scaling
The major drawback of the process of GPU scaling is the occurrence of input lag. The scaling process is an intensive task for the GPU. It needs more time to process when the image aspect ratio and screen aspect ratio are both the same. You might not notice the extra time taken while playing videos, but it is not the same when you are playing some games.
When playing games, you can notice the delay, and this delay is what we call input lag. In simpler terms, the delay between pressing a button on a keyboard or mouse and its actual effect within the game. This hinders the ability of the player to play the game quickly.
So, GPU scaling is recommended only for older games that were of the aspect ratio of 4:3 or 5:4. There is no point in using scaling on newer games as it will cause input lag and hinder your overall smooth gameplay experience.
Should You Keep GPU Scaling On or Off?
Now let’s come to the answer of whether you should keep GPU scaling ON or OFF. Modern games like Mass Effect, Far Cry, and Crisis don’t need scaling. Because they are developed keeping in mind the aspect ratio of contemporary computer monitors.
So, if you want an immersive gaming experience, you should not use GPU scaling. But you can turn ON scaling if you are playing old games like IGI and GTA Vice City. This will allow the game graphics to fit perfectly according to your monitor aspect ratio. And your overall gaming experience will be quite enjoyable.