What is GPU Scaling? – Everything You Need to Know

The GPU is a computer processor whose task is to generate on-screen images to make videos and games more attractive and fun. All gaming enthusiasts always strive for the best display quality that can improve their visual perception and double their gaming experience. With the development of technology today almost anything is possible, and improving the quality of the images on your screen is just a small matter.

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GPU scaling is a technical function that can be used to achieve high quality image output. It allows you to adjust the size of the game to your screen resolution, allowing you to refine the graphics and display images regardless of the screen resolution.

For example, older games designed for older monitors that use a lower 5:4 or 4:3 aspect ratio will stretch the screen up to 16:9 aspect ratio, resulting in stretching, blurring and very poor image quality. This is the scaling GPU, which adjusts images and efficiently places them on the screen, both horizontally and vertically, without pixel formation.

Most gamers usually have an AMD graphics card, in which case the GPU scale option must be configured via AMD Catalyst or AMD Radeon Graphics. Brands other than AMD also allow GPU scaling. We will discuss all steps to enable GPU scaling on different brands of monitors. First, let’s see why you need to scale the GPU.

Why do I need a GPU scale?

If you are a fan of games, you should indie or old games that usually run in a 5:4 or 4:3 aspect ratio, or applications that run with such aspect ratios, and because you are using a 16:9 or 16:10 screen, the overall graphic output of these images will be very poor and pixellated. GPU scaling plays a very important role here by adjusting the aspect ratio to the screen resolution. It corrects the imbalance in the aspect ratio of the image or game generated by the software and adjusts it to the screen resolution for smoother viewing.

Imagine a scenario where you play basketball, and you play it more like a defensive device on a soccer field, which is an important part of basketball, wouldn’t that be boring? That’s why the GPU scale is useful for you: It changes the size of an image so that it looks good on monitors and widescreen displays.

GPU Scale types

There are three different GPU scale modes that can be configured with AMD Catalyst or AMD Radeon Graphics.

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1. Maintaining aspect ratios

As the title says a lot about this mode, by saving proportions you can enjoy better graphics while maintaining the actual aspect ratio. It does not change the proportions and instead adds black bars to the top and bottom or left and right of the screen to fill the extra background.

2. Scale to actual plate size

This mode can make the screen seem strange because it stretches the image to fill the screen completely, resulting in poor performance and poor graphics because the previous aspect ratio is not respected as it should be. This mode helps you launch your favorite game on the screen, but the stretched and poor screen output can be annoying and painful to the eyes.

3. Use central flush

The third GPU scale mode also works wonders for gamers, as it doesn’t spoil the proportions, and zooming is turned off by placing the original resolution in the center of the screen. This is very useful if the image is smaller than the screen resolution. The bare background is filled with black stripes or a background pattern.

How do I enable GPU scaling?

To enable GPU scaling in the Radeon settings, you need to meet different requirements. Without these formalities, you will not be able to use the GPU scaling option.

  • This process requires a digital connection that includes DVI (Digital Visual Interface), HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) or Mini DisplayPort/DisplayPort. Without these digital connections, you cannot enable the GPU scaling.
  • The second requirement is the latest graphics driver supported by your graphics product. If you do not have such a driver, you should install it in your device.
  • You need to adjust the screen display to your own resolution and refresh rate. You also need to adjust the brightness of the screen.

Now that you’ve met all the requirements, it’s time to learn how to make GPU scaling possible!

  • Right-click on your desktop and select AMD Catalyst Control Center.
  • Click on the My Digital Flat Panel Display option on the left side of the page.
  • Various options appear under My Digital Flat Panel Display. In this list you must select and click on the Properties (Digital Flat Panel Display) option.
  • You will now see a page with many options, including clicking the checkbox next to Enable GPU Scaling to enable it or unchecking the box to disable it.
  • You will also find the Preferred mode below, select the desired option and click Apply.
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VOICE! It’s done.

Can black stripes be removed?

Black bars appear in the background of the screen when the GPU zoom function is enabled on the monitor. The offset between zoom and GPU image analysis ensures that these black bars around the image cover the excess background.

It is not really possible to completely remove these black bars from the screen, but there is a function called UNDERSCAN/OVERSCAN in GPU scale that can adjust the image accordingly to get the best result. Learn more about this feature!

Scan / total scan

Underscan/Overscan is an option that can be found in the configuration menu of most GPUs. Some GPU settings also use different names for this similar option, so it’s actually different from one GPU to another, but they all have the same function.

Many inconsistencies occur in GPU analysis and scaling when trying to display your own 4:3 or 5:4 aspect ratio on a new monitor with a more common aspect ratio, such as a monitor with a different screen resolution. B. 16:9, to use. This causes black stripes around the image on all sides or sometimes the image is cut off because it protrudes from the screen. Here you can use the underscan/overscan function as it allows you to adjust the picture size for easy viewing. You can enlarge or reduce the image to perfectly match the screen size.

Are there gaps in the use of GPU scaling?

So far we have only talked about the benefits of GPU scaling up, but the truth is that it also has some small problems that may seem like a big drawback. First of all, since it is already very clear that GPU scales are for older games, it makes no sense to use this option for newer games. This can lead to unnecessary performance problems in the game, such as delays in recording.

From now on, the input time is not only the one you encounter in new games, but also the one you encounter in games with your own 4:3 or 5:4 format. Why is that? Let’s find out!

Entry delay

The input delay is mainly the delay between the action on the screen and pressing a key while playing a game or video. It disrupts the ability to act or play quickly in the context of the game and also affects the fluidity of the video. Using the GPU scaling function requires more processing and therefore results in a slight delay of input.

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Although it only lasts a few seconds and is completely invisible on video, during a game it can be very noticeable and affect the performance of the game. The input delay changes from monitor to monitor again. The best game monitors used for competitive games give you the least connection delay.  In this case, you have to decide what is most bearable for you! Input delay or no image scaling?

Another point that can be seen as a disadvantage is that sometimes the scaling of the display is better than the scaling of the GPU. This can be seen in situations where lower resolutions are compared in games.


It is now clear that GPU scaling can improve game performance with higher resolution and better graphics that make images brighter and more realistic. But you’re dealing with black stripes and late entries.

You can enable GPU scaling for all your favorite games from the past and make a few adjustments yourself to get the game you want on the screen.

In most cases, the GPU scaling is disabled even for games running at the same resolution as the monitor. Therefore, GPU scaling is not necessary for such games, because it only causes a large input delay and affects game performance.

The final decision is in your hands! If you really think that GPU scaling is useful for you, you can enable it by following the steps above, or if you don’t like the connection delay, you can find other ways to play old video games.

If you have any questions about GPU scaling, please leave a message in the comment field and we will contact you!

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