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

If you’re a gamer, you might have come across a term known as GPU Scaling. It is a widely used term among tech enthusiasts who will be the center of our article today. All the information regarding what GPU Scaling is, and it’s applications and uses will be covered in this full guide. 

What is GPU Scaling?

GPU Scaling is a concept similar to the refresh rate of your system. If you have no idea how to deal with it, you should not touch it as it can cause your display to crash while playing some games. This feature was ideally designed for gamers to give them the best graphics while gaming and not comprising the gaming experience. 

Adjusting your game’s aspect ratio to give players the best graphic output on-screen is known as GPU Scaling. After enabling this feature, you can play any category games where the aspect ratio is not defined; this scaling feature will automatically adjust the graphics and give you the best results. 

If you have AMD graphic cards on your PC, you get the option to enable or disable GPU Scaling via the AMD Catalyst. This will be discussed in detail later in this article. 

You know what GPU Scaling is, why do you need it?

What does GPU Scaling do?

Gaming has come a long way now, and so has the technology. We have many high-end monitors and graphic cards that can handle various graphic demanding games. But people still like to play their good old games where the Aspect Ratio might not be optimized. Hence Scaling plays a major role in making sure all your games produce the best quality while running. 

For example, games that were originally built on a lower aspect ratio like 5:3 or 4:3 get blurred while playing on a display with a 16:9 ratio. GPU Scaling adjusts the aspect ratio and maintains the graphics. In short, it optimizes the game for you and does all the heavy lifting for you. 

If you have a high-end monitor, disabling this feature might not be the best option for playing some of the old age games. 

GPU Scaling Modes

There are three GPU Scaling modes available in AMD settings for the users. Users can access this through AMD Catalyst or AMD Radeon Settings. 

  1. Preserve/Maintain aspect ratio
  2. Scale Image to Full Panel Size
  3. Centered Trimmings

1. Preserve/Maintain Aspect Ratio

This mode helps you in maintaining the aspect ratio of the game while playing. If your game has a default aspect ratio of 4:3, whereas you have a display of 16:9, your graphics or images might be stretched. To fix this, you can select the Maintain Aspect Ratio in GPU Scaling settings. Do note that this will create black bars on the left and right side of your display. 

Some CSGO players play in 4:3 even though the game supports 16:9. The stretch mode is quite useful sometimes so if you aren’t a fan of the black bars, move ahead. 

2. Scale Image to Full Panel Size

Enabling this option will cause your screen to stretch. If you like gaming with a stretched screen, this option will suit you, but if you prefer the regular non-pixelated quality with black bars, this is not the ideal choice. This option gives you poor image quality and low graphic output. As the name says, the image quality will be stretched to full screen where the display, or the game, if not optimized properly, will not show a proper visual output. 

If you don’t like this mode, you can opt for the method in the first point and the method after this. In both cases, obvious black bars will appear. 

3. Centered Trimmings

The third and final mode for GPU Scaling, which is similar to Maintain Aspect Ratio mode. As the name suggests, the game will be centered on your display while leaving the remaining parts of your screen black. If the game supports a maximum aspect ratio of 4:3 while your display is 16:9, all the other left parts will be black while keeping the game on the center of the screen. 

GPU Scaling On or Off

There are two methods of turning GPU Scaling on or off on your PC. Both these methods differ on different systems, and you can use either of them depending on what pops up on your desktop. 

Using the AMD Catalyst

Step 1: On your desktop, right click your mouse and click on the AMD Catalyst Control Center.

amd catalyst

Step 2: In the control center, on the left-hand side, look for My Digital Flat-Panels.


Step 3: After selecting the My Digital Flat-Panels option, choose Properties from the sub-menu. 

amdcatalyst -properties

Step 4: Locate the checkbox alongside “Enable GPU up-scaling”. Depending on your previous settings, it will be either on or off. Choose accordingly. 

Step 4: Locate the checkbox alongside “Enable GPU up-scaling”. Depending on your previous settings, it will be either on or off. Choose accordingly. 

Step 5: After turning GPU Scaling on or off, select the preferred scaling mode and click on Apply. 

The settings will automatically be applied to the games, and users can see the changes instantly. Don’t worry if your screen turns off for a couple of seconds. It takes a while to apply the new settings for your drivers. 

Using AMD Radeon Settings

Step 1: On your desktop, right click your mouse and click on the AMD Radeon Settings.

amd radeon

Step 2: In the new AMD Radeon Settings window, find and click on the Display tab. 

amd radeon - display

Step 3: Turn GPU Scaling on or off by turning on the switch. 

amd radeon - gpu scaling

Step 4: Select the Scaling mode accordingly. 

amd radeon - scaling mode

Should you Enable it?

GPU Scaling is only needed for some games which are not supported or updated by the developers. Most of the popular games in the market can run without turning on GPU Scaling which is why it is turned off by default. Turning it on will induce input lag while gaming. 

The reason is GPU needs to process the graphics and images to fit the scaling mode set by the user. This effect might not be visible for videos since its 1ms or less, but gamers will surely notice the effect as the time of mouse click might differ from the time you get the actual result. 

Unless you are running a game with low resolution or a different aspect ratio, there’s no need to turn on GPU Scaling as it will only result in a minor input lap which can make a huge difference while playing FPS games. 


GPU Scaling is an important feature when it comes to playing some limited games. While it is useful, it can also cause problems, so it is advised to use high-quality monitors with the best response time. This was an article on GPU Scaling, uses, and methods. If you found any problem during the process, let us know in the comments below. We’ll be happy to assist you. 

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