Variable Rate Supersampling (VRSS) leverages NVIDIA Variable Rate Shading (VRS), a key feature in NVIDIA’s Turing architecture, to apply different shading rates in different regions of the screen to increase image quality or performance.
Image quality is crucially important in VR, and VRSS has been purpose-built to improve image quality for VR games and applications. A typical VR user puts on a standard HMD and looks at the center of the screen. Improving image quality in the center of the screen is paramount to reducing aliasing and helping to provide a smoother immersive VR experience to the user.
VRSS accomplishes this through fixed foveated super sampling, increasing the shading rate in the center mask region of the screen, while keeping the sampling rate unchanged in the peripheral region. The center mask region can be super-sampled up to 8x to optimize image quality. The maximum shading rate achieved is limited to the MSAA sample count per pixel, so 8x supersampling is enabled via 8x MSAA, 4x supersampling is enabled via 4x MSAA, and so forth.
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VRSS can be applied to all games and applications that are DX11, Forward Rendered and have MSAA. The VRSS functionality resides in the NVIDIA Driver. Developers do not have to write any code to integrate VRSS they simply need to submit their VR game or application to NVIDIA for VRSS testing. NVIDIA will test the VR game or application, and if it benefits from VRSS, then it will be considered for whitelisting in the NVIDIA Driver. VRSS benefits both new and existing VR games and applications.