What is GPU Scaling – How to Turn it On or Off?

Older games did not use newer platforms with different aspect ratios, hence they were not designed for them. As a result, you’ll need to alter your system to enjoy old classic games. GPU scaling will help you out in this situation. 

Moreover, if you have a modern display with a 16:9 or 21:9 aspect ratio but want to play older games with a 4:3 or 5:4 aspect ratio, you can pick whether you want the image to be stretched, have black bars on the sides, or have a black border all the way around the screen with GPU scaling.

What is GPU Scaling

So we have a question here: what is GPU scaling and how can it help?

GPU scaling is a feature on your computer that allows you to modify the aspect ratio of your gamers based on the resolution of your monitor. Further, when set, it will help to change the visual quality on the screen, as well as game speed, internal temperatures, and other factors. It sets in motion a chain reaction.

Moreover, the GPU is responsible for the realistic blood and gore you see while killing adversaries in the game.

Furthermore, now that we are aware of the term GPU scaling, let us study more about the various types of GPU scaling.

Types of GPU scaling

There are three modes in which you can enable GPU scaling in your GPU:

  1. Resize the image to fit the entire panel.
  2. Keep the Aspect Ratio in Check.
  3. Trimmings that are centered are recommended.

1.Resize the image to fit the entire panel:

The image will be stretched to span the entire screen if you select Full Panel. Because it’s scaled from a different aspect ratio, the image may appear strange as a result.

Moreover, this option allows you to extend your game’s graphics to fit the size of your screen. It’s a simple workaround for when you’re playing ancient games, however, the final image will be pixelated. In addition, the game’s original aspect ratio was not used, resulting in this type of output. As a result, there will be no wasted space while altering the image, but you will miss out on amazing images.

2.Keep the Aspect Ratio in Check:

Preserve Aspect Ratio’ will do just what it says and add black bars to the top and bottom, or the left and right, of your screen.

Moreover, you can play the game in full-screen mode by selecting this option. The original aspect ratio of the game will not be changed, but the graphics will be scaled up. Further, the excess background spaces will be filled with black bars or patterns because the photos will not be stretched. These can be added to the images on the left, right, or below them.

3.Trimmings that are centered are recommended.

When the game image is less than the resolution of your screen, you can use this mode. The image is not scaled with this option. Instead, the image is placed in the center of the page.

Further, the game image will be bordered by a pattern or black bars because this choice does not fill the monitor. The image will be centered on the screen, with black bars around it. If the image is smaller than the screen’s resolution, this is handy.

Let’s go on to learn how to enable GPU scaling.

Enable GPU Scaling

Allowing and enabling GPU scaling allows computer users to fine-tune their graphics and visual output independent of screen resolution. 

There are few methods according to your needs. Let’s have a look at how to enable these options in various graphics processing units.

GPU scaling in AMD Catalyst

  1. To begin, select AMD Catalyst Control Center by right-clicking on the desktop and selecting AMD Catalyst Control Center.
  2. On the resulting page, select the My Digital Flat-Panels option. This is usually found on the left-hand side of the bar. It may move around when the application updates, but it should still be on this first page.
  3. Then, just below the “My Digital Flat Panels” option, click the Properties (Digital Flat Panel) option.
  4. To use it, check the box next to the line “Enable GPU scaling.” Uncheck that box if it is already checked and you wish to turn it off.
  5. After that, you’ll be asked to select your preferred scaling mode. After you’ve decided on your mode (for a description of each mode, see above), click “Apply.”
  6. To apply the adjustments, your screen should be turned off for a few seconds. You will have successfully turned GPU scaling on or off, depending on what you performed, once it goes back on.

GPU Scaling With AMD Radeon Graphics.

  1. Select AMD Radeon Settings from the context menu by right-clicking on the desktop. Select the Display tab in the AMD Radeon Settings window that displays.
  2. Then select the GPU Scaling option to enable it. Then, to open a drop-down menu, click on Scaling Mode.
  3. From the options in that menu, select the scale model you require. Exit the Radeon Preferences.

GPU scaling with NVIDIA Control Panel.

  1. In the drop-down menu, right-click on the desktop and select NVIDIA Control Panel. The Display tab is located on the left side of the Control Panel.
  2. From that page, select the Adjust desktop size and position option. Click the Perform Scaling On option in the main window on the right.
  3. Select GPU from the drop-down selection that displays. Maintain aspect ratio, Scale the image to full pane size, and Use centered trimmings are all options for scaling.
  4. Exit the NVIDIA Control Panel by pressing the Esc key.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should GPU Scaling be on or off?

Disabling GPU scaling should be fine unless you’re playing a game that uses a different resolution or aspect ratio than your monitor’s native resolution.

Is GPU scaling good for gaming

Retro games and ancient games with the wrong aspect ratio benefit from GPU scaling. For older games, GPU scaling is excellent. Further, if you’re playing new games, though, it’s pointless to use because it will just cause input lag, which will degrade your overall gaming performance.

What does GPU scaling mean?

GPU scaling is a function on many AMD graphics cards that allows the image to be successfully scaled to fit the screen vertically and horizontally. It’s especially beneficial when playing older games with a native aspect ratio of 4:3 or 5:4 on a new display with a more popular aspect ratio, like 16:9.

Do pros use GPU scaling?

GPU scaling allows the monitor’s resolution to be used to display the video output in a variety of ways. Moreover, stretching the resolution to fit the screen, keeping the aspect ratio, and adding black bars in a horizontal or vertical position are all options.

Does scaling affect video playback?

No, it does not affect video; in fact, scaling rather than simply increasing the resolution is the idea.


Most newer games, such as Far Cry, Crysis, and Mass Effect, don’t require GPU scaling and have screen resolutions that are compatible with today’s monitors. So, if you’re a gamer who wishes to play without interruption, switch off the GPU scaling option.

However, if you prefer ancient games like Doom and GTA Vice City, turn on GPU scaling for a more enjoyable experience. In all circumstances, consider the consequences of not scaling images versus the effects of input latency.

In addition, disabling or activating GPU scaling is fine unless you’re playing a game that uses a different resolution or aspect ratio than your monitor’s native resolution. Whatever you do, the results will be hit-or-miss.

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