What Is GPU Scaling? How To Turn It On Or Off?

gpu scaling

The term GPU scaling is popular among gamers. You may come across blurred images, or the photos are stretchy. This is pretty common when playing games. Even so, it is common while watching videos on PC. It is time you solve the problem permanently. Have an AMD graphics card on your PC? Use it to enable the scaling feature.

What is GPU scaling?

GPU scaling is a feature. It comes in an integrated form. One may find it integrated with modern GPUs. This is a specialty setting. It is related to the aspect ratio of the display. One can get a good amount of help using this feature. The user can scale up or scale down of display. More so, it is possible in multiple ways. 

In simple words, GPU scaling will help adjust the aspect ratio of the monitor. It is done based on the aspect ratio of the game or video displayed. Henceforth, play any game or program without further distractions. Enjoy a high-quality gaming experience. Do not compensate for the best resolution available. Thus, there is no need to sacrifice gaming performance. 

However, this option comes with a restriction. It depends primarily on the GPU or the graphics card model. In case you have a compatible GPU, enable GPU scaling.

Read: NTFS Vs ExFAT Vs FAT32 – USB Drive File System

The necessity of GPU scaling today

Well, the necessity of GPU scaling depends solely on the user’s preference. Suppose you are a gamer. Now, you might want to play old or indie games. However, the supported aspect ratios are 4:3 or 5:4. What do we do now? One cannot experience the best gaming experience in this resolution. That too, in the modern and upgraded monitor. This is because the modern monitor aspect ratios are usually 16:9 or 21:9. 

Now, you run a native app or game of 4:3 aspect ratio. You do so on a monitor of 16:9 aspect ratio. Pixelated images or blurred images will be experienced. One may notice black bars around when gaming. All these factors hinder the gaming experience. Want a remedy to the problem? You insist on playing indie games with the best visuals and optimization. Opt for enabling GPU scaling

Next comes the other hand factors. You may not be playing older games. You may be using unique emulators for playing these games. Then, you don’t need to enable the option of GPU scaling. All modern games come with supported multiple aspect ratios. However, the ratios can be changed manually. Go to the in-game settings. Now match it with the monitor’s default aspect ratio. 

So, you may be playing old games of 4:3 or 5:4 aspect ratio. That too, regularly on your PC. Therefore, enabling GPU scaling is best. You may not be a fan of playing games at all. Thus, GPU scaling is not necessary for you.

Basics of GPU scaling

GPU scaling is an available option. It is present in the configuration menu. One may find it in menus of several graphical processing units. GPU is a computer processor. It is dedicated to the presentation of on-screen images. Significantly, this helps in playing games and videos. The main aim of GPU scaling is rectification. It rectifies disparity in scaling aspect ratio.

It is the image width relative to its height. In between the image, this is created by computer software. 

For instance, a software application and screen resolution. Older video games were designed in a different era. At the time, the aspect ratio was mainly 4:3. The GPU scaling commonly takes the output from these games. Then, it converts into the modern 16;9 aspect ratio. All this comes without any image stretch or blur. Black bars are often encountered throughout the gaming experience. 

Common Options

The precise options may vary from one GPU to another. Three scaling methods are available on AMD GPUs. They are good common solution examples. 

First is the Main Aspect Ratio. It adds black bars while gaming. This can either on the top and down. Or the bars can be added on the left and right. This prevents stretching of the screen resolution. Hence, screen size is filled without any stretching. 

The second one is the Scale Image to Full Panel Size. It usually stretches the picture to full-screen size. It ensures no screen space goes to waste. However, the picture on display may look a bit odd. The next available option is Cantered Things. This is suitable when the image is smaller than the resolution. 

No image scaling occurs here. The image here is placed in the center. Surrounding the image, black bars are present on all sides.

Overscan / Underscan

Black bars may be placed on all sides of an image or video. Or, an image may be placed beyond the edges. It is pretty unexpected. 

However, this is done to prevent the image from stretching. This is done based on GPU, screen, and video source. A mishap may occur during image scaling and GPU analysis. The mismatch may lead to such a problem. 

Usually, any GPU has quick fixes. You may find it in the configuration menu. It may be called overscan/underscan. Or it may be something similar to it. This setting carries out the usual scaling process. Alongside, it extends or shrinks the image to provide a desirable fit.

Input Lag

The usage of GPU scaling requires multiple processing methods. It is more than just a display of an image. Hence the process is usually longer. The extra time is notably converted in seconds. More so, this change becomes negligible. Thus, one cannot detect any glitches whatsoever when playing videos. Now you may be playing games. The delay is pretty much noticeable. Hence an input lag creates.

 It is the delay period between pressing a button and action on-screen. This disrupts the gaming flow. This hinders your ability to be quick-witted in the ongoing game. In this case, do the following. Weigh the input lag effects with the effects of no image scaling. 

Any option to use GPU scaling without black bars?

Usually, many don’t like the look that black bars give. It can be annoying and irritating at times. Mostly one may think it looks tacky. These black bars help to fix the poor image quality. Stretching the image would disrupt the display on the screen. Fortunately, an option is there to fix this issue. 

The most plausible alternative is using a background. Use a background of choice to make your display more presentable. Some apps provide multiple customizations. One may choose the color of the bars. One may add wallpaper and background to it. Just be sure of not using too intricate patterns. This will create more distractions. After that, your eyesight may get strained in the process.

The next possible alternative is the underscan/overscan option. This will scale the image based on available scaling options. The image will be adjusted based on the settings. Hence, one can get a better image. That too, without any black bar. 

Options for GPU scaling

Today, modern GPUs come with GPU scaling support. There are three available options to choose from. Here are the three GPU scale settings options.

Maintain Aspect Ratio 

Usually, this is the default option of a modern PC. The application is as the name suggests. It allows the game to retain the original aspect ratio. This occurs regardless of the monitor’s aspect ratio. Usually, the game runs at the screen size. However, one might see black bars around screen edges.

The game here is maintaining the native ratio. The aspect ratios are 4:3. At the same time, the screen size is 16:9. Hence, the rest of the screen space is filled with black bars. This can be called the Preserve Aspect Ratio. One may even call it Maintain Display Scaling. All these names depend upon your GPU model.

Full Screen

This option runs the game in full screen. It does so, regardless of the game aspect ratio. Thus, the game stretches to fit the entire screen. However, the results of the display may not be significant. This is because the game does not support the monitor aspect ratio. It occurs by default. 

Technically, the default aspect ratio of the game is changed. That, too, is done forcefully. Thus, the resulting image will be blurry or pixelated. Some may call it the Full Panel option. While others may call it, Scale Image to Full Panel option.

Cantered Image

This is their available option. The image is directed towards the center of the monitor. Some call it Center. Whereas some call it Cantered Trimmings. Now the game’s aspect ratio may be smaller than the display resolution. In such a scenario, this option may come handy. 

GPU scaling process                                                                                                  

The GPU scaling feature creates you to the graphics card. You may have a modern GPU. In that case, the graphics card comes equipped with a GPU scaling option. The enabling process of GPU scaling. 

Let’s get an insight into some of the well-known options.

GPU scaling option of choice 

The first choice can be full-screen mode. This is suitable when one wishes to play a game on a full screen. No black bars are available. However, it may not be suitable at times. Mainly so when the game is too old. And, the optimization is not up to the mark.

This case will lead to the wrong graphic output. In some cases, the highest resolution of the game’s in-game is close. It may be close to the screen’s resolution. In that case, the output issue won’t occur.

Center can be one option for you. It merely puts the image at the center of the monitor. The game has an unsupported aspect ratio. It may even lower the monitor resolution. Then, the game’s image won’t stretch. One can get a better experience in gaming.  

The third choice may be maintaining the aspect ratio. Here, one can alter the game. It can be done without changing the native aspect ratio of the game. This is the best possible option here. The game won’t stretch much. It will good visually appealing. There might be some black bars around the screen. However, it depends on screen resolution.

Enable GPU scaling

One can enable GPU scaling using Radeon settings. However, some criteria need to be fulfilled. The requirements are listed below. 

First, a digital connection must be present for the process to run. It may include a high-definition multimedia interface or HDMI. Besides, a digital visual interface or DVI is necessary. A display port, mini one, or standard is essential. In case one of these is missing, GPU scaling won’t enable. 

One must install the latest supported graphics driver. This is necessary for your graphics driver. The display on the screen must be its native resolution. Set the refresh rate. Alongside, adjust display brightness. After the settings are complete, follow the procedure. Here are some of the necessary steps. 

First, right-click on your desktop. Now, go to the Radeon settings menu. Look for the AMD Radeon setting. After you find it, click on that option.

Second, open the settings. Now click on the display option. Search for the GPU scaling option. Enable it. Now, the screen will be black for a short period. 

You have now successfully enabled GPU scaling. Choose the option you desire. Click on it. You are done enabling the GPU scaling mode option of choice. 

Enable or disable GPU scaling on AMD GPUs

Here are some methods to carry out GPU scaling on or off. This is done using AMD GPUs. Some people have AMD Radeon GPUs. For them, two ways are applicable. All of it depends on installed GPU drivers on the PC.

Method one- using AMD Radeon utility

First, click on the desktop option on your PC. Then right-click using your cursor. A popup menu opens. Choose the AMD Radeon Utility settings option. The settings option window opens. Go to the top bar. Now click on the display settings. Next click on the GPU scaling option. You will notice your monitor blinking profusely. It is wonderful. This shows that GPU scaling has been enabled.

Method two- using AMD catalyst utility  

The first step is to right-click on the Windows desktop. A pop-up menu will appear. Click on the AMD catalyst control center option. The AMD catalyst control center opens. Next, check the left side panel. Click on the My digital flat panel. Next, look for the properties option. You may find it as, Properties(Digital flat panel). Now settings will open. You will find mostly display-related settings.

Now open this option. Checkmark the option called, Enable GPU up-scaling. You will find it on the right panel. Go to the Preferred scaling mode list. Now select the gpu scaling option you want. Move your cursor to the bottom-right corner of the screen. Click on the apply button to save the changes made.

Now you may want to turn off gpu scaling. In that case, let’s get you through the following. You need just a few steps. Uncheck the enable gpu scaling option. Now press the apply button. This will save the changes made. Note, a glitch of a sort may occur. Your PC or computer may blink a couple of times. Not to worry. This is entirely normal.

Next, head on to the scaling options. Choose the gpu scaling mode of choice. Now press applies to save the changes. In another case, you may want to disable gpu scaling. Go to the gpu scaling settings option. Now head to the display option. Then turn the switch from on to off. 

Enable gpu scaling using NVIDIA GPUs

Method one- use NVIDIA Control Panel.

The first step is to right-click the desktop window. Now a popup menu arises. Then click on the NVIDIA control panel option. You will find it on the submenu. A new program opens. Look for the display option. Once found, choose this option. Usually, the display option is on the left sidebar. On this sidebar, look for only one option. It is the adjusted display size and position option.

Now, you may have multiple display options. And all of them are connected to the PC at once. In this case, choose the display you desire. Apply the settings using the first mentioned option. On the other hand, only one monitor may be open. Then, this display gets selected automatically. Now you will find the dropdown menu. Choose the perform scaling on option. Select the GPU option. Go to the scaling mode list. Next, choose the gpu scaling mode of choice. 

The next step is to checkmark an option. Checkmark the override the scaling mode set by games and programs option. The final step is to click the apply button. This will save the changes made. Note, a few swift blinks may occur. The monitor blinking is normal. Hence, do not panic. 

Enable gpu scaling on Intel

Method one- use Intel HD graphics control panel

Begin as usual. Go to the desktop windows. Right-click to get a popup menu. This will take you to the submenu of options. Here choose the Intel HD control panel. Next, go to the settings option of the control panel. Click on the Display button. Go to the scaling tab. Now choose the scaling mode option of choice. Choose whichever mode suits your needs.

Go to the bottom right corner of the windows page. Click on the apply button. There you go, all the changes will be saved. There is a technique available for switching modes. One of them being a shortcut. 

It is Ctrl+Alt+F11 hotkey. Type this to switch gpu scaling modes. This will take the burden of going a long way. That is, you don’t need to go through different settings to change it. Use one shortcut key and sort it out.

Every method has its pros and cons. Let’s get an idea of some of those.

Advantages of gpu scaling

The gpu scaling enables monitor resolution. It displays video output. And this is done using multiple scaling options. It can be a resolution that stretches to fill up the screen. This can also be the preservation of the aspect ratio. Alongside, black bars are put in horizontal on vertical positions. They usually cover the screen around the image.

Let’s note down some benefits go gpu scaling. Online gamers are at the most advantage. 

The aspect ratio mode allows the image to be of high resolution. It is so even when the game is in full screen. The surroundings are filled with black bars.

The next advantage is cantered trimming. This ensures the image is in the middle of the screen. This helps in retaining image quality. Especially so when the image is lesser in resolution. 

The final advantage is that of the full panel mode. It stretches to fit the screen resolution. However, this may create bad image quality. Now, this can be avoided if the original aspect ratio is higher. Hence, it is up to you to decide. Choose an option based on your choice. 

Disadvantages of gpu scaling

Now, input lag is one major con of gpu scaling. The time interval can vary. Ne may press a button; the action of the screen can vary depending on the processing time. Hence, this may hinder performance and gaming experience. To be honest, no gamer would want to lose a game, primarily because of a slight input lag. Any quick action gamer may thus be at risk of losing. Therefore, keep in mind to choose the game wisely.


The gpu scaling is a method known to any gamer. This article gives details on various aspects. Let’s sum them up. First, the article provides an acknowledgment about GPU scaling. Next, it moves on to more information about its necessity. It mentions the basic concepts of gpu scaling. Hence, this article suits anyone. A newbie may have encountered this problem for the first time. This article will come to its rescue.

This article discusses different scaling mode options. Give a thorough read before choosing an option. Under each type, it concerns a method. GPU scaling using AMD, Intel, and NVIDIA are mentioned. I hope this article provides you with the required knowledge. Happy gaming!


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