Surface Format Optimization for AMD Radeon Software: Should You Use it in 2021?

The AMD Radeon Software allows users to adjust and control the image quality and details in the games. Surface Format Optimization in AMD is one of the eleven settings of the software. All of these together help determine the general working capacity of your Graphical Processing Unit (GPU).

With an increase in visual quality, there may be an adverse impact on the performance as well. Therefore for obtaining the best gaming experience, there needs to exist a balance in all aspects of the visual quality. Most of the recent video cards consider Surface Optimization of low importance. But for the lesser expensive setups, turning it on can help improve performance.

Helping in bringing up the perfect images for gamers, should SFO be used in AMD Radeon Software? Let’s have a look!

Settings of the Radeon Software

Anti- Aliasing Method
Morphological Filtering
Anisotropic Filtering
Texture Filtering Quality
Surface Format Optimization
Shader Cache
Tessellation Mode
Wait for Vertical Refresh
OpenGL Triple Buffering
Frame Rate Target Control
Restoring Default Settings

What is Surface Format Optimization?

Surface Format Optimization is an interaction that allows the graphics driver to make use of lesser memory usage and produce a better performance. This is as a result of it being able to adjust the surface formats wherever and whenever need be. It changes the rendering surface formats where possible.

Making use of multiple processing levels, it generates images on the screen to add to the gaming experience. All through the process, the CPU chooses what images to put forward while the GPU simultaneously decides on how to do it. The latter can slow down in case the level of detailing of the game is quite high.

The AMD Radeon software analyses the behavior of light and stimulates behavior accordingly. Doing it repeatedly ensures that no great period of time is taken and neither does the CPU slow down.

The Optimization decides if the game is too demanding in terms of detailing or not, and then acts accordingly in preventing it. The ‘details’ in context, can be read through later in the article.

When gaming, we suggest enabling the SFO to enhance your gaming experience.

Surface Format Optimization

What is the detailing in a game?

Owing to the demands of a few games, the GPU sets up auxiliary buffers in the VRAM. This is for the games to gain a higher level of precision but in turn also ends up taking too much of the VRAM. The time taken for processing is also increased due to the GPU having to display a lower FPS.

The images produced are more precise and colored with different versions of itself set up in the buffer. At first shown in different lighting and from different angles, they are then all merged by the GPU. If you have a cheaper video card with lesser RAM, you are likely to invite in trouble on this part. The process is likely to take up space in the CPU to conduct its image processing but ends up slowing down the game.

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This is the detailing that leads to the CPU competing for RAM and the GPU facing troubles in developing the image as fast as the demand on part of the buffers is. This feature looks for backdoors in the software of games as such, to reduce the load. On turning it on, the game is made aware of the auxiliary buffer limit that is allowed, whenever demanded of it.

The aforementioned FPS issue is reduced to a great extent resulting in an enhanced gaming experience. However, it is dependent on the type of video card that you have. If it is a more advanced and modern one, there may be little to no effect caused.

What is the role of the video card in the Surface Format Optimization in AMD?

Screens as of today, make use of light emitting diodes or else LCD technologies in controlling the intensity levels of colors used in imaging. The vertical and horizontal coordinates of the pixels present help in the process of rendering. This is when the GPU directs what and how to produce the images involved.

When talking of rendering, there are two primary methods involved. Rasterization is the one used in all advanced video cards where the GPU identifies the pixels of the image in the form of triangles or circles. As for the latter that is image order rendering, the GPU goes through all the pixels in an order.

The optimization helps determine the important ones amongst all the pixels detected, then showing them only. When all the prominent ones are shown, the video card then puts up whatever of the pixels it has left. This is all done under the effect of the RAM.

Where do you bring the Surface Format Optimization in AMD to use now?

The SFO comes into effect when the game is too demanding for your system. Although it ends up making the colors less focused and causes jagged edges of some of the objects, it still manages to speed up your GPU. Lessening the time spent on the detailing of the images produced helps enhance the overall speed of play.

The optimization instantly reminds the game of the limit that it has access to. This involves the RAM to a greater extent.

The more recent video cards have greater RAM and so you don’t feel that important of this feature to be used. Even if you do, the difference produced will be equal to none. For lower-cost laptops, a decrease in speed is expected as the game putting forward its buffering demands of high-precision.

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Should the Surface Format Optimization in AMD be turned On or Off?

As mentioned above, if you have a high-end system, it doesn’t matter a lot. And if you don’t, it produces a difference. Thus, it is suggested to keep the SFO turned on. It can be different for you depending on your hardware so you can test performance by turning it off and on.

Faster CPUs and GPUs will have an effect on your decision-making. This depends upon the quality of images that they can withhold during complex gaming.

The type of system that you have i.e. laptop, desktop computer, and also the model of it, tend to have an impact on your final take. If your RAM lends over space to the GPU for process imaging, you then surely need to have the SFO turned on. You see your game slowing down as a result of the lag in GPU and you know what exactly the reason is behind it.

If you are looking for turning off the option, you may want to reconsider whether your hardware is built for gaming or not.

You are in comparatively lesser trouble in case it is custom-built, as it will then work to accommodate you the most possible. If not, then do you have a sufficient amount of RAM for the efficient working of your GPU, preventing any lag or not.

If are a gamer who is more into the visual quality matter than the fast action, you may then leave the Surface Format Optimization as off.

If the opposite, you then know what to do. This is always left as an option depending on the individual choices of the gamers, as to whether they shall be choosing the rapid motion or else the soothing to the eye imagery the game is to offer.

How to turn on or off the Surface Format Optimization?

The process applies to all options offered by Radeon. You can only do so when not part of any game.

  • Go to Desktop
  • Right-click anywhere there
  • Choose ‘AMD Radeon Settings’ from the drop box
  • Click on Gaming
  • Click on Global Settings

This shall put in front all of the options offered by Radeon.

  • Click on Surface Format Optimization
  • Turn On/Off as per the requirement that moment

Options offered by Radeon

  • Anti-Aliasing Method
  • Morphological Filtering
  • Anisotropic Filtering
  • Texture Filtering Quality
  • Surface Format Optimization
  • Shader Cache
  • Tessellation Mode
  • Wait for Vertical Refresh
  • OpenGL Triple Buffering
  • Frame Rate Target Control
  • Restoring Default Settings

The Anti-aliasing method does the smoothening of the edges and works on the textures of the images. It works on sampling where Radeon offers it to three levels. This is basically to choose the best one in color and also the one with the best-smoothened edges of the objects present.

Morphological filtering studies the shapes present in the pixels and also later works on improving the edges of the objects by smoothening them.

It can be used both with and without the Anti-aliasing method. As for Anisotropic filtering, it works on the filtering of the texture of the images when produced from different angles and then sharpening them. This is one higher-level option offered by Radeon and moves way above the rest of them.

The Surface Optimization in AMD comes into effect when the game is too demanding for your system. Making use of auxiliary buffers makes your gaming experience a little lesser of a burden on both your CPU and GPU.

What is Texture?

As mentioned above, many of the options offered by Radeon work on the smoothening of the images as well as improving their textures. So for image processing in the Surface Format option, texture is one term commonly used. It refers to that part of the image that can be considered as an object or in the terms of pixels – a shape.

In any sort of game, any single object can be denoted as one texture, and then its quality can be worked upon. Radeon works on the general improvement of the quality and so it does not a greater extent affect what kind of object in context it is.

Options involving Texture

Shader Cache takes note of the textures that are on repetition and then compiles them to be reused. Morphological filtering makes use of this option as well in smoothening of the edges.

Shader Cache does not produce the same image time and again and instead makes use of the same one wherever needed.

The Tessellation mode once again works on textures this time with those of comparatively regular patterns unlike the previous one mentioned.

An example can be an image where an individual object is shown with well-defined outlines. RAM can be reduced to increase the FPS that it decreases while working on its task. A higher tessellation factor means there are many smaller polygons creating a more detailed image, and vice versa.

Vertical Refresh works on preventing any screen tearing on part of the objects when subjected to the software. The game is synchronized with the FPS to prevent it from happening.

OpenGL Triple Buffering option provides a greater FPS than that done by the default buffering. It waits for the Vertical Refresh to be set accordingly to begin its duty.

The Frame Rate Target Control allows users to set one target when it comes to frame rates and then benefit from it. This reduces the load on the GPU by making the game run at a lower frame rate that suits the system well. Heat generation is also reduced here.

When making use of content with little to no motion, the frame rate target control option comes to use. All in all, this option ensures a good gaming experience with frame rates running at great speeds.

Final Verdict

With all the above mentioned, it is suggested to use SFO in AMD. Having the best of the gaming experiences alongside lesser load being put onto the hardware of your setup, there is no more that you need. Happy gaming!

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