What is GPU Scaling? How to Enable on AMD/Nvidia GPUs

Suppose you are old enough to remember NES, SNES, or Genesis games. You may remember that they design to run on roughly square televisions.

Here, Widescreens were not out yet, so the games were designing to be in a 4:3 aspect ratio.

Several of the older PC games would have the 4:3 ratio, and many gamers may need emulators to run to play old consoles on their computers.

Your screen today, if you’re running a more comprehensive screen, will have an aspect of 16:9 ratio.

But, what happens when you run one of these games?

They look terrible and pixelated. The game will be stretched from the 4:3 ratio to the 16:9 ratio, making all of the stretched textures look. Do check here, what is GPU scaling to know more about it. 

Here, Graphics processing technology has evolved to deliver unique benefits in the world of computing. Hence, the latest graphics processing units (GPUs) unlock new possibilities in gaming, content creation, machine learning, and more.


What does GPU stand for? The graphics processing unit, a specialized processor, was initially designed to accelerate graphics rendering.

GPUs can simultaneously process many data pieces, makes them useful for machine learning, video editing, and gaming applications.
GPUs can be integrated into the computer’s CPU or offered as a discrete hardware unit. Lets learn more about what is GPU scaling in detail.


Here, NVIDIA and AMD, the graphics card industry leaders, have their solutions for GPU scaling.

Here, these companies want to help consumers display older aspect ratios on new monitors to make games look normal.

Here, at least not for long in most cases, you don’t want to play a highly distorted game. It can make the quality of the game suffer.

What is the solution?

  • NVIDIA’S Control Panel, or
  • AMD’s Radeon Settings or Catalyst Control Center

Here, both of the control panels will have an option for GPU scaling, and this option will have you play the game in a modern resolution. It is by forcing the game into the native solution that its design to play in.

The idea is simple:

  • Force the game into its native resolution of a ratio is 4:3
  • Now, fill the remainder of the screen in black.
  • Here, the game will be put into the correct aspect ratio using only a portion of the screen.

Here, the remainder of the screen will be filled with black to not view the desktop icons or other programs in the process.

What’s the Difference between GPU and Graphics Card?

When the terms GPU and graphics card (or video card) often interchangeably, there is a subtle distinction between these terms. Here, it is much like a motherboard contains a CPU; a graphics card refers to an add-in board that incorporates the GPU. The panel includes the raft of components required to allow the GPU to function and connect to the system’s rest.

Here, GPUs come in two basic types like integrated and discrete. It has an integrated GPU that does not come on its separate card and is instead embedding alongside the CPU. A discrete GPU is a distinct chip mounted on its circuit board and is typically attached to a PCI Express slot.


Here, GPU modes and options for scaling are different, and the three options that you’ll come across for AMD are:

  1. Maintain aspect ratio
  2. Scale image to full panel size
  3. Use centered trimmings

What’s the difference? A lot. Hence, maintaining the aspect ratio is a full-screen mode that will not alert the graphics’ ratio.

It will fill excess areas with a pattern or black bars. Here, the Scale image is the least appealing because the graphics’ quality will be lacking due to the pictures stretching beyond their intended ratio.

We can use center trimmings, which we discussed previously, where the game is placing the screen in the middle and a black pattern places behind it. Here, the game’s original aspect ratio will remain the same and allow for a great picture, albeit much smaller than a full-screen game.


Before we change the settings to get the aspect ratio correctly, you may want to look at the emulator you’re running.

Often, these emulators will open the game up in a window that they have scaled to the right aspect ratio.

It will negate the need to change the graphics card settings and engage the GPU scaling available.

Here, you can then go into the settings to enable GPU scaling if this is not the case.

How can you do this?

Turn on GPU scaling in AMD graphic cards

Here, we have two different options for AMD which you’ll need to be concerned about:

  1. Radeon Settings (available for newer cards)
  2. Catalyst Control Center (available for all others)

Here, if you have a Radeon app, you’ll be able to set the GPU scaling relatively quickly:

  1. You may right-click on the desktop.
  2. Now, you can navigate to Radeon Settings.
  3. Then, click on Display in the setting’s menu.
  4. You can find GPU Scaling and switch the setting On
  5. Hence, choose the Scaling Mode.

Still, if you right-click on the desktop and don’t see the AMD Radeon Settings, you may visit the AMD Catalyst Control Center.

You can also check Askcorran once to get useful articles in various jonour. 

You want to navigate to this menu to open up the Catalyst Control Center and then do the following:

  1. We can expand the My Digital Flat Panels on the left side of the bar.
  2. Select Properties (Digital Flat Panel)
  3. Now, find the Enable GPU up-scaling and check it off.
  4. Choose the scaling mode that you want.
  5. Hit Apply

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