Comprehensive review of Radeon Image Sharpening technology on Navi graphics cards

Less than a month after the launch of the Navi series graphics cards,

now is the time to check out the new features of these processors, especially the Radeon Image Sharpening.

In this article,

we will take a deeper look at one of the new features that AMD introduced with its new graphics processors

with Navi architecture including the Radon RX 5700 and Radon RX 5700 XT.

Previously you had read the details of the introduction of AMD’s new graphics card and live coverage of the company’s c.


reports about these processors further evaluated the performance and overall value,

and did not reveal much information about the unique features of this series of AMD chips.

One of these features is called the Radeon Image Sharpening,

which incorporates the Radeon Anti-Lag feature.

In this article,

only the Radon Image Transparency feature will be examined. Both of these technologies have remarkable capabilities.

While these features are not the primary features for marketing new AMD graphics cards, it can be said to be a special advantage for shoppers and it is believed that the anti-logging feature also supports older GPUs.

The question that arises is, what exactly is the transparency feature of the radon image? This is fundamentally a post-processing process that AMD claims has almost no negative impact on performance and frame rate reduction.

Theoretically, after turning this on, the overall clarity in the game’s visual effects will be improved and everything will end in a fun way.


as we saw earlier in Zoomi when reviewing the DLSS feature used in the NVIDIA GeForce Series, the abbreviation for Deep Learning Super Sampling means deep learning sampling, the claims of the manufacturer do not always represent the facts.

radeon image sharpening

AMD’s use of the new Image Sharpening tool can be important in two cases:

  • The first is for games that have curved, smooth angles from the beginning. Many games nowadays use the temporary Anti-Aliasing or TAA alias technique, which is a trick to trick the eye to make the edges appear smooth and curved, sometimes resulting in blurry images. Radeon Image Sharpening, or RIS nickname, is a way to make those games clearer and to get clearer images.
  • The second use of this feature is to deliberately reduce resolution or downscaling. For example, when you have a 4K screen and want to improve game performance, you can reduce the resolution of the game and run it at 18% 1800p resolution.
  •  In this case, since the images are not rendered in normal resolution, they will inevitably make the visuals look smooth and curved and blurry. RIS technology by image processing can add the sharpness of the image quality to the effect that we saw in 4K mode by adding sharpness so that there is no loss of quality.

RIS is similar to Nvidia in trying to do with its DLSS feature.

In the following we will compare these two features. RIS is not just a simple filter to increase image resolution; it also uses Adaptive Contrast Resolution or CAS algorithm that AMD recently introduced in the FidelityFX suite.

While game developers using FidelityFX can implement it properly in their games, RIS technology is a broader process that does not require in-game implementation. In other words, the switch is simple in radon settings.

For a more in-depth look at CAS performance, let’s take a direct quote from AMD’s statements:

The RIS is based on an algorithm that can adjust the degree of resolution depending on the contrast. While keeping high-contrast areas largely untouched, it makes the detail of in-game objects sharper.

AMD, with these indications, aims to show that the feature avoids the abnormal effects we see in the traditional kind of increasing the level of clarity. There is, of course, a bigger problem.

Although Radon’s Image Transparency feature does not require developers or anyone else to implement it, it currently only supports DirectX-2 and X-based games as well as the emerging Vulkan programming interface. This means that the RIS feature is not capable of running on directories based on the X directory.

AMD has said it intends to focus on new titles because of the lack of support for RIS technology in the version 2 of DirectX, and the reason for Direct X’s presence in the list was simply the implementation of the Radon Image Transparency feature on the programming interface. It has also announced that the next step in developing the RIS feature, if there is user demand, is to support DirectX3 in future updates.


given the many games that can only be run on DirectX3 or if DirectX3 support is better than Version 2, AMD will certainly add support for RIS technology.

Radeon image sharpening

It is very easy to activate the Radon Image Transparency feature. Enter the Display by installing the latest version of the drivers and enable both the GPU and Radeon Image Sharpening scrollbar.

Since RIS’s capability to run Adaptive Contrast Resolution Algorithm (CAS) without hardware loss relies on hardware , this technology is only applicable to Navi-based graphics processors, including the Radon RX 5700 and Radon RX 5700 XT, or from pre-loaded graphics cards. AMD graphics processors do not support.

It is worth noting that the RIS feature is only applicable to Global in the overall sense of all games, and you cannot enable the targeting feature for a limited number of games using the game profile section in the radon settings.

Because gamers may not want the RIS feature to run in all games, the lack of a Local option to select specific games to run the Radeon image requires an AMD review.

You should also keep in mind that in order to turn RIS mode on and off, you must exit the game and run it again. Using the Alt key and Ctrl key to switch windows to enable the RIS feature will not hurt you, and in fact, just restarting the game will enable it.

image quality

In this article, Metro Exodus is used to compare the visual quality of images. It is based on the Dyke X 2 interface and supports DLSS functionality on Nvidia graphics cards, indicating that the feature is only applicable to titles that Support this feature. In addition, Metro Exodus includes environments with a wide range of details.

RIS feature at 4K natural resolution

First, we compare the differences in images obtained with RIS on or off at 4K native resolution. Metro games do not deliver the sharpest images at runtime on natural resolutions. In essence, the images created in this game are spontaneously smooth and curved, and Metro Exodus doesn’t use Anti-Aliasing, but it does provide plenty of detail in natural 4K resolution.

Radeon image sharpening

Radeon image sharpening

Radeon image sharpening

The images created with the RIS feature are sharper and reduce the blur observed at 4K native resolution.

This feature particularly affects the detail of the horns and leaves, and the images of leaves and trees that were at the default resolution of the game’s darkest elements showed a clearer effect when the RIS mode was activated.

 The RIS feature has less effect on nearby tissues and improves the already existing image resolution.

The Adaptive Contrast or CAS Adaptation Algorithm seems to work satisfactorily to ignore elements you don’t want to be sharpened, such as Motion Blur or Depth of Field .

Although this performance is not entirely perfect for images captured on the move, it is difficult to identify such a problem.

With all this said, there are flaws that should not be overlooked. In general, transparent images with RIS feature are brighter.

In the pictures above,

when zooming in on the small horns, you’ll notice that the images recorded in active RIS mode are much brighter.

The same goes for train cars and other areas in the game. Of course, if you compare and contrast the recorded images, it is not easy to detect the amount of change in brightness, but manipulating the RIS filter is an issue here.

Radeon image sharpening

Radeon image sharpening

Radeon image sharpening

Radeon image sharpening

The CAS algorithm failed to detect some game elements due to their ignorance when executing the RIS feature. This algorithm cannot really distinguish the elements that need sharpening from those that should not be sharper.For example, in the above pictures near the river, it creates an artificial reflection of the playground on the water.

As artificial effects become clearer when RIS is activated to be more visible, the intensity of artificial reflection created by water is increased. While this doesn’t cause much trouble, it can be noticed if you check the details.

Overall, the RIS feature seems to do a good job of enhancing natural 4K resolution, and the images created are better quality than the original when RIS is turned off, even if they are unrealistic.

When playing a game, when pausing for a moment to check out the bugs mentioned above, the images may seem overwhelming, but such unpleasant effects get less attention when moving around the game without stopping.

Performance of the RIS feature when lowering the resolution to 1440p and 1800p

It is time to evaluate the results when downloading. When you start comparing the resolution level between 1440p and 4K resolutions, you will immediately notice that the images captured while playing the game,

at 1440p natural resolution, are much smoother than normal 4K and when upscaled to 4K, the image looks blurry. Overall, running a low resolution game on high resolution screens is not a good idea.

Radeon image sharpening

Images captured at 1440p resolution when the RIS feature is enabled show enhanced focus compared to natural recorded images at the same resolution, but ultimately do not provide the detail we saw at natural 4K resolution.

 In close-up,

images are sharper; but as can be seen in the hornbeam images of trees and other small elements, the number of pixels at 1440p is not enough to simulate 4K scenes using post-processing filter (RIS).

Radeon image sharpening

Radeon image sharpening

However, we see different results when downlinking to the 1800p resolution range (resolution above 1440p). In Metro Exodus, you set the Shader Scale to a parity of 1.5 times the resolution of approximately 1800p.


if the RIS feature is enabled at this resolution, the images are definitely smoother than the normal 4K resolution. It’s not as bad as the 1440p resolution, but much of the detail is lost compared to normal resolution, and the resolution is also reduced.

Radeon image sharpening

Radeon image sharpening

By turning on the Radon Transparent for 1800p resolution you get great results. The images created are not as good as 4K images and still have some problems with the use of RIS postprocessing technology, but in many scenes, they are very similar to natural 4K resolution and the differences between the effects created in these two resolutions are not recognizable.

4K resolution has a finer detail on the horns of small trees and elements, but it’s difficult to tell the difference, especially if you don’t put the images together.

Radeon image sharpening

Radeon image sharpening

Comparison of RIS and DLSS features

Before we take a look at the performance of these features, we will analyze the DLSS images on the RTX 2070 graphics card. At 4K resolution, when enabled using DLSS technology based on Nvidia’s learning algorithm, image quality is upscaled from 1440p to 4K. Implementing DLSS on Metro Exodus is one of the best functions, and the resolution is much better than images created with Radon Transparent 1440p technology, but not as good as the visual effects provided at 1800p when using Radon Transparent.

Radeon image sharpening

Radeon image sharpening

At best,

DLSS technology works great for clarity on large objects and indoors and indoors,

as well as RIS at 1800p resolution, but the oil painting effect has a negative effect on image resolution and in some environments. The game shows bad pictures. Loss of detail,

especially in rocks and horns within the game, has also had an impact on the sharpness of the images.

Nvidia’s approach to thickening details such as tree branches or cables with its DLSS technology reduces the resolution of images created with this technology.

In general,

at least in Metro games, the RIS feature performs better than normal 4K resolution compared to DLSS.


In all three cases, according to tests carried out by Techspot Technology’s Metro Exodus website,

there was a 5 to 5 percent drop in performance when the RIS option was activated, reducing the frame rate slightly to 1 to 2 frames per second.

As a result, if Radon Transparent improves the visual effects of the game in question,

this feature can be used without worrying about performance reductions.

Users who consider 1800p resolution as RIS-enabled as a high-performance alternative to 4K resolution will achieve a 5% higher frame rate than Metro’s average frame rate without any loss in quality.

In the diagram below,

the results for DLSS images are shown with a different graphics card, which,

of course, will not exactly match the results of the RX 5700 XT because of the difference in graphics cards.

In the latest version of Metro Exodus, when DLSS technology is enabled in 4K resolution, the resolution is similar to the 1800p RIS mode.

Figures show that AMD Transparent Filter can be as good as DLSS technology or it can perform better especially in this game. While Nvidia hoped to improve the performance of its DLSS feature over time, in practice this has not yet happened.

Radeon image sharpening

Battlefield V was also subsequently reviewed, and observations were similar to Metro Exodus. Images created with the RIS feature have good resolution and quality. In natural resolution, Battlefield offers more clarity than Metro, but due to its temporary Anti-Aliasing effects, the image is a bit blurry. Surprisingly, when activating the film’s green (grading) option in this experiment, the RIS filter did not produce clearer images, which could be due to the side effects of the film.

Radeon image sharpening

To reduce the resolution,

we need to put the pixel density traversal in the game at the 5% scale,

which produces a resolution of approximately 1700p.

The reason for downlinking in this title is to match performance enhancement with the DLSS feature.

When lowering the resolution, the level of resolution

and quality used in the Betfield field version used to match the 4K display is actually enhanced and in fact,

the resolution is only slightly reduced compared to normal 4K and as shown in the images,

Missed the details and a bit of a crisp, but overall satisfying image. This makes the 1700p resolution a good option for implementing the RIS feature.

The amazing thing is that the images created when the RIS mode is activated,

while delivering less resolution than normal 4K, actually provide more clarity than the resolution mentioned above.

Radeon image sharpening

Radeon image sharpening

By using the DLSS feature, the images are catastrophically worse than those obtained at 1700p resolution in RIS mode.

In Battlefield V, DLSS implementation is poorly implement, and this feature cannot be a serious competitor to AMD’s transparent filter.

 In fact,

even images at natural 1700p resolution have better resolution before DLSS is implement, so it can be infer that the Battlefield game reveals the weaknesses of DLSS technology.

Radeon image sharpening

While the Battlefield V game in scenes involving dense hornbeam trees did not perform well on RIS, it was able to deliver relatively clear images at close to 4K resolution.

 Losing a small amount of visual quality is, of course, a cost to pay for a 2 percent increase in frame rate.

Radeon image sharpening

Radeon image sharpening

Another game that we did tests on the performance of RIS technology was Division 2. It should be note that this game does not support DLSS, and when downloading, it is well-adapt to 4K screens and can run at up to 5% of the total screen resolution with a slight decrease in quality compare to 4K.

Radeon image sharpening

Radeon image sharpening

The 5% resolution in this game is very good for running the RIS feature. At the resolution mentioned when activating Radon Transparent technology,

images are sharper than natural 4K resolution,

although in some cases the corners of objects are able to see or in the far-away view of the horns,

some of the details you see in 4K resolution.


outputs at 5 percent resolution when RIS is enable are often 2 percent faster than 4K native resolution

and the frame rate is higher. This is a huge victory for the Radon Image Transparency feature and, overall, AMD.

Radeon image sharpening

Before presenting the results of Resident Evil 2,

it is worth noting that the temporary Anti-Aliasing game does not work well,

resulting in over-smooth images and often blurry images.

Using the RIS feature at 4K native resolution without creating jagged edges on in-game objects has substantially improved image resolution.

It should be noted that there is no vibration when activating the SMAA option when turning on RIS. SMAA stands for Subpixel Morphological Anti-Aliasing

and a new type of morphology-based subpixel anti-aliasing used in new titles and corrects images just before display.

This is one of the other interesting things to consider when using a Radon Transparent that is worth considering.

Radeon image sharpening

Radeon image sharpening


Radon Image Transparent is an effective option in running games and does not require developers to implement them. This filter works well to increase the resolution of images, making it useful in many situations. After spending more time using RIS,

you’ll notice that the best use of it is downloading images on high resolution screens.

Images captured at 1800p resolution are as good as natural 4K images,

which means that you can use this technology on Navi-series graphics cards with a lower frame rate of 5% more frame rate.

Downscaling down to 1440p does not work well,

and it is best to reduce the resolution to 2 to 5 percent of the screen resolution.

The RIS feature also has the potential to enhance the clarity of games that produce a slight degree of smoothness

and blur in post-processing antialiasing techniques such as temporary antialiasing (TAA).

Given the use of the same TAA these days in all topics,

rather than more centralized techniques such as MSAA (Multiple Sampling Anti-Laser)

or SSAA (Full Sampling Anti-Laser), the combination of the results obtained with Radion Transparent .

Of course,

examining different types of antialiasing is a broader debate that is not possible to investigate.

Radeon image sharpening


it is clear that the Radon Image Transparency feature is an equivalent

of the NVIDIA DLSS feature with superior capabilities and great distance on AMD graphics cards.

When using both capabilities at the same frame rate,

RIS delivers crisp, clear images with the least amount of manipulation that is visually visible.

In fact,

the simple transparent filter works better than the DLSS feature without the slightest loss of performance,

and AMD has done its best to implement such a filter.

It’s worth noting that with a fair look at Nvidia’s achievement,

DLSS technique in images with the same 1440p resolution delivers better quality than AMD’s Transparency feature,

but the DLSS weakness is at a cost to pay for increased image resolution.

If the performance reduction, or in other words

, the frame rate reduction was zero, DLSS would be a good option,

but unfortunately the sharp reduction in frame rate when activating DLSS makes it worthless against AMD’s transparent filter.

In addition,

the Radon Image Transparent is very compatible with new games even though it does not support Direct X 8. The list of games that RIS supports is much higher than the DLSS list.

It also runs on all resolutions, while DLSS is implementing on resolutions and graphics cards and certain quality levels.

However, the transparency of the radon image is not perfect. When the images are already clear in natural resolution, this technique only makes the images sharper and more artificial,

and is more economical if you do not enable it.

In some cases,

it does not perform well and makes objects and objects transparent that should not be transparent,

but considering that sharpening this feature does not cost any performance,

the small problems that it will create can be ignore.

The results show that the RIS feature is well doing in many cases where DLSS cannot perform properly,

including a simple way to show resolution downscaling without compromising performance and reducing frame rates.

With the increase in purchases and use of Navi series graphics,

it will be fascinating to see how much the gamers will be welcomed by the radon’s clear image-based feature.

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