AMD does not recommend using a GTX 1060 with FSR 2.0 frame rate boost

Older graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia may not reap the benefits of AMD’s next-gen upscaling technology, FidelityFX Super Resolution 2.0 (FSR 2.0). AMD has released a list of recommended GPUs for various resolutions with FSR 2.0, and some Polaris and Pascal graphics cards are notably absent, including what is still the most popular GPU todaythe Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060.

AMD’s new upscaling technology represents a huge leap forward for the red team. From FSR 1.0 to FSR 2.0, AMD has moved from a spatial to a temporal upscaler, and in doing so supposedly delivers a huge boost in performance and quality.

The downside is that it can be too intense for some older GPUs. With a target resolution of 1080p for FSR 2.0, AMD recommends an RX 6500 XT or RX 590 from their own cards; or a GTX 1070, GTX 16-series or higher from the Nvidia batch.

At 1440p, recommendations increase to RX 6600, RX 5600, or an AMD RX Vega or better GPU; or an Nvidia GTX 1080, RTX 2060, or RTX 3060 or better.

So, to push a 4K resolution, AMD suggests an RX 6700 XT or RX 5700 or higher; and an RTX 2070 or 3070 or better from Nvidia.

AMD spoke briefly about what might slow FSR 2.0 down while it’s in action, citing FSR 2.0’s relatively high memory bandwidth demands. He noted during a GDC talk that a 4K scene can outperform the Infinity Cache even on an RDNA 2 GPU, which doesn’t bode well for older cards without anything close to the cache or memory capacity of an RDNA 2 GPU.

(Image credit: AMD)
FidelityFX Super Resolution 2.0 Optimal entry-level hardware, according to AMD
Target upscaling resolution AMD GPUs Nvidia GPUs
4K RX 6700 XT​, RX 5700​ and above) RTX 3070,​ RTX 2070​ and higher)
1440p RX 6600, RX 5600, RX Vega and above RTX 3060, RTX 2060, GTX 1080 and above
1080p RX 6500 XT, RX 590 and above GTX 16 series, GTX 1070 and above

Although AMD is releasing an optimization called Cache Blocking to improve cache hit rates. It does this by splitting workloads into multiple workloads to keep data in the local cache and maintain faster execution times. AMD says that L0 cache hit rates increased by 37% on an RX 6800 XT when splitting workloads into three blocks using Cache Blocking.

And this feature should work on AMD and Nvidia GPUs, unlike some others in FSR 2.0 which are RDNA 2 only. There are probably more AMD recommendations than just memory bandwidth, but the omission of the RTX 3050 – which offers less memory bandwidth than a GTX 1070 – suggests it’s very important for FSR 2.0.

However, this isn’t necessarily a death sentence for FSR 2.0 on the still incredibly popular GTX 1060. It’s just that AMD doesn’t recommend it, as the algorithm’s impact potentially outweighs the benefits it would offer on high-end hardware. The same goes for popular GPUs like AMD’s own RX 580 and RX 570.

“Depending on your specific system specs, system requirements of individual games supporting FSR 2.0, and target resolution, you may still have a good upscaling experience on lower performing or older GPUs than those listed below,” AMD says.

The best way to find out how these older or cheaper graphics cards compare to FSR 2.0 will be to test them when FSR 2.0 arrives, which should be in Q2 2022, maybe around April.

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