RetroArch 1.9.9 Adds AMD FSR and High Dynamic Range Support

RetroArch, the popular open source frontend for emulators and videogames, just got updated to version 1.9.9. This new release contains some major new features, such as support for AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution spatial upscaling technology.

Interestingly, AMD's official implementation of FSR is done through compute shaders, but the RetroArch contributor Jonatas Esteves managed to add it as a pixel shader.

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A very generous contributor submitted a fully working implementation of AMD FSR as an slang shader for use in RetroArch! This shader should be fully compatible with the following video drivers in RetroArch:

* Metal
* OpenGL Core (or at least 4.0 with regular OpenGL driver)
* Vulkan
* Direct3D 11 (if your card supports Direct3D 11 Feature Level 11.0 or higher)
* Direct3D 12

We have had to update our Direct3D 11 driver to allow for the use of Shader Model 5.0 when your GPU supports it, since this shader requires SM 5.0 features and wouldn’t work on D3D11 without it.

Here's a comparison image featuring Ys Seven running in RetroArch 1.9.9 (PPSSPP core) with and without FSR.

The other big addition is HDR support, though this only works in the Direct3D 11/12 driver right now. RetroArch creators pointed out that Linux is well behind Windows when it comes to HDR support, though they hope that will change in the future.

We have now added HDR (High Dynamic Range) support to RetroArch’s Direct3D 11/12 driver thanks to a generous contributor!

What you should know:

* The HDR settings can be found in Settings -> Video when you are using the Direct3D 11 or 12 driver. In order to change to D3D11/12, go to Settings -> Drivers, and change Video to ‘D3D11/12’.

In case you don’t see the option, and you have made sure first that your driver is set to Direct3D 11/12, it might be that HDR is disabled in Windows 10. Make sure HDR is enabled in Windows in case you don’t see it pop up. In Windows, go to ‘Display Settings’ (pictured below) and make sure the HDR setting is turned on. If it doesn’t show up, your display device might simply not support HDR.

* We now let Direct3D 11 compile frontend shaders against Shader Model 5.0 (SM 5.0) in case your graphics card driver supports D3D11 Feature Level 11.0 or higher. Previously, it would always compile frontend shaders against Shader Model 4.0, and unfortunately the AMD FSR shader that has just been added needs SM 5.0 capabilities in order to work.

* While HDR already works on the UWP version on PC, on Xbox there are currently several deal-breaking display issues with it, so it remains disabled there for now.

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