Microsoft seems to have decided to jump on the scaling bandwagon. The latest Windows 11 24H2 Insider build has just appeared, with a new feature: AI-powered automatic super resolution technology. Although the blurb below the feature says it was designed for games, it could be even more useful outside of them. However, there is one major drawback: it won’t be as widely available as it seems.
The feature was first spotted by PhantomOcean3 on X (formerly Twitter), and it was a pretty significant discovery, considering Microsoft seems to be keeping this one pretty well hidden. To enable it, users must follow the following path: Settings > System > Display > Graphics. While it might not be very intuitive to find, the feature itself could prove quite promising.
The so-called “Auto SR” can be activated generally or only in certain applications. One of the screenshots shared by PhantomOcean3 shows it enabled in Microsoft’s Camera app. It’s easy to imagine that using Auto SR in these types of applications will prove more useful than using it to upgrade AAA games.
The 24H2 version will have a “Super Resolution” AI feature, as previous reports have mentioned. Here are some settings in the graphics settings – a default toggle and per-app options. (26052) pic.twitter.com/fI9t4ksTWH
— PhantomOcean3 ☃️ (@PhantomOfEarth) February 10, 2024
Scaling has become a major issue in gaming, but most modern games already have some type of super resolution technology, whether it’s Nvidia’s DLSS, AMD’s FSR or Intel’s XeSS. However, Microsoft’s new solution could be useful in applications such as media players or browsers, not to mention older games that will probably never benefit from DLSS or FSR support.
The new technology will require a GPU with tensor cores, which means one of Nvidia’s top GPUs from the RTX 20 series or later. Alternatively, a processor with NPU cores can be used, such as the recent Intel Meteor Lake or the upcoming Arrow Lake and Lunar Lake processors.
Since the hardware required to run Microsoft’s Auto SR is relatively new, the potential for its use in gaming scenarios is limited. Most people using Auto SR will also, presumably, have access to better scaling technology from GPU vendors. However, Auto SR can prove useful as a feature affecting most applications without needing to rely on Nvidia’s RTX Video or AMD’s FSR.
The Windows 11 24H2 version is expected to be released later this year. While many expected this major update to be called Windows 12, Microsoft recently confirmed that we were getting a patch for Windows 11 rather than an entirely new operating system. We’ll have to wait and see if Auto SR will feature in the final update.