XeSS, Intel's Answer To DLSS And FSR, Gets Surprise Launch

Intel has officially thrown its hat into the supersampling ring with its own multi-platform graphical upscaling support.

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Intel is just starting to get back into the world of discrete retail graphics cards, and is going all the way, complete with its own graphical upscaling technology, Intel XeSS. Now, XeSS is out in the wild, complete with support in Shadow of the Tomb Raider and a kind-of release on GitHub.

Supersampling, or upscaling, is a technology that can run a low-resolution version of a game at a much higher resolution, using deep learning AI to fill in the gaps and smooth out the edges, effectively letting us play the game as if it is running at a high native resolution. Nvidia's DLSS is the best-known example of supersampling technology, with the company announcing the third iteration last week alongside its new 4000-series cards. Nvidia's primary competitor, AMD, has its own upscaling tech, FSR 2.0.

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Like AMD with FSR, though, Intel is trying to be somewhat open about XeSS. Intel previously promised to release XeSS on GitHub, and indeed has now released XeSS' initial development kit alongside this update to Shadow of the Tomb Raider. That's not the entire source code just yet, so Intel still has some work to do to make good on that. Also like AMD's offering, XeSS will work on not just Intel's new Arc GPUs, but also on AMD Radeon and Nvidia GeForce cards as well. Hardware tester CapFrameX has already released some statistics showing the technology working on AMD cards. In contrast, Nvidia's DLSS works only with Nvidia cards, and major features of DLSS 3 are only available on the company's pricey 4000-series cards.

XeSS gives game developers one more way to get more impressive visuals out of their game for people on mid-range and low-end hardware. Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the only game so far, but Intel has promised support for other popular games like Hitman 3, Gotham Knights, Chivalry II, and more on the tech's official page.

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