What Is GPU Scaling?

Imagine you’re excited to replay your favourite classic video game on your new, high-definition monitor.

But when you load the game, it only fills a tiny part of the screen or looks stretched out.

This is where GPU scaling comes to your rescue.

What Is 

What is GPU Scaling?

GPU Scaling is a function provided by a computer’s Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), which can automatically adjust the game’s resolution to fit your monitor’s screen size.

This feature helps in displaying older games and applications that were designed for a different resolution than that of your modern display.

GPU Scaling

How Does GPU Scaling Work?

To better understand GPU scaling, let’s picture our monitor as a big grid filled with millions of tiny squares called pixels.

Each pixel can change color, and together, they form the image we see on the screen.

When playing a game or using an application, your GPU sends data about the colors of these pixels.

But what happens when the number of pixels in the game’s original design doesn’t match your screen’s pixel count?

Here’s where GPU scaling steps in. It ‘scales’ the image up or down to fit it on your monitor.

Types of GPU Scaling

There are mainly three types of GPU scaling:

  1. Aspect Ratio: This method keeps the original game’s aspect ratio (width to height ratio), adding black bars on the sides or top if needed.
  2. Full Panel: This mode stretches the image to fill the entire screen. This may make the image look distorted, especially if the aspect ratio of the game and the screen are significantly different.
  3. Centered Timings: This centers the image on your screen at its original size, surrounded by black bars. It’s the least used mode, but it ensures the image remains unchanged and undistorted.

How to Enable GPU Scaling?

You must dive into your graphics card’s software settings to enable GPU Scaling.

You can find these settings in the AMD Radeon Software if you’re using an AMD graphics card.

If you’re using NVIDIA, you can find them in the NVIDIA Control Panel.

In these settings, look for the GPU scaling or scaling options and choose the one that best suits your needs.

Different games may require other locations, so don’t hesitate to switch it up.

What are the Drawbacks?

While GPU scaling is useful, it isn’t without some drawbacks.

It can cause minor performance issues, as your GPU needs to work harder to resize images.

Also, the scaled image can sometimes be slightly blurrier than the original, especially when the game’s original resolution is much lower than your monitor’s.


Ques 1. Does GPU scaling affect performance?

Ans: Yes, it can. The scaling process uses some GPU resources, which could slightly affect performance. However, for most modern GPUs, the impact is usually negligible.

Ques 2. Can GPU scaling improve my game’s graphics?

Ans: No, GPU scaling can’t improve the game’s graphics. It only adjusts the game’s size to fit your screen.

Ques 3. Should I always turn on GPU scaling?

Ans: It depends. GPU scaling can be beneficial if you frequently play older games or use applications with a different resolution than your monitor. If not, you don’t need to have it turned on.

Ques 4. Does GPU scaling cause input lag?

Ans: It might. Some users report a slight increase in input lag when using GPU scaling, but it varies depending on the specific GPU and monitor.


GPU Scaling is a powerful feature that can make your old games, and applications look better on modern, high-resolution displays.

While it has a few drawbacks, the benefits usually outweigh them, especially for retro gaming enthusiasts.

Remember, every system is different, so feel free to play around with your settings to see what works best for you.

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Manvendra Singh
Manvendra Singh

Hi, I am John Williams. Editor-in-chief of the website PCSynced.com. Here I write about PC technology & Guides.