How to run your PC Games in 4K mode with an old 1080p monitor

nvidia dsr
Are you still using
an old 1080p monitor screen?

Don’t be sad, you are not alone. Me too 😜
I’m still have very limited budget to buy a new 4K UHD monitor (liar! 😄).

But actually I have high-end GPU too, so I want to see my favorites game running in 4K.
I imagine that it would be so beautiful, clear and sharp for sure.
Is that possible?
Don’t worry, with Nvidia’s DSR you can virtually doing that!

The basic knowledge: bitmap picture behavior
Before you doing this trick you should know the simple basic knowledge about this. The game pictures that you see in your screen are actually bitmap pictures. If you resize it into bigger size than its original size, it would be blurry, pixelated, jaggies, grainy and looks ugly. As opposite, if you resize it to significant smaller size; it would be sharp, clear, and solid; less grainy and less jaggies.
Good example for this case is when you preview your photos in your camera LCD; it would look so nice, sharp and clear. But when you preview it in your computer (larger size screen, higher resolution), suddenly you see that images were not as good as when you preview it in your camera LCD screen (smaller size screen, smaller resolution). Vice versa.

What is Nvidia DSR?

DSR stands for “Dynamic Super Resolution“. With this technology your game images are rendered by GPU in higher resolution compare to your screen native resolution.
Your GPU rendering the image in 4K UHD size and then resize it into 1080p image; just before send it to your monitor screen. So actually the native output from your VGA to your monitor are 1080p images (but very high quality as downsampling result), NOT 4K UHD images.
This process also made DSR almost compatible with all monitors. It’s opposite with the old down-sampling image technique that we are knew in the past; which need a compatible monitor screen and a decent cable (for 4K native data transmitting to your screen, you will also need a decent D-DVI/DP/HDMI cable).
I’ve been testing DSR with an old-generic HDMI cable, and it works just fine.
As the result,  the image detail is clearer, textures and shadows looks better, and overall image quality far superior.

How to activate Nvidia DSR

  • Open your NVCPL (Nvidia Control Panel). Go to “Manage 3d settings” –> “DSR – Factors” –> checked on “4.00 (Native resolution)” –> save the settting

  • Open your game, and set the resolution to “3840×2160

  • Apply changes, and run your game. That’s it!

Nvidia DSR Smoothness
DSR Smoothness is a  Nvidia’s advanced gaussian blur shader to eliminate shimmering effects.
Sometimes when the downscaling process too extreme, the final result images seem too sharp and shimmering on textures. You can use DSR Smoothness to eliminate it.
Go to your NVCPL again, choose “DSR – Smoothness” and make some adjustment with slider. You may set it to 0% if you want to get super sharp result, or you may set it more than default value (33%) to get image smoother.

I hope you likes this tips.
Happy 4K gaming! ;)

Cheers,
Chris