High-end PC but only a 1080p monitor? ... Try this

Hello again peeps, feeling brave? For sure this won’t help everyone but it may for those with a mid to high-end (Nvidia) system but only a 1080p monitor (or possibly only a 1440p monitor with a 3080 or 3090 gpu); I’ll just add that the whole point is to tax the gpu more thus lessening the likelyhood of getting main thread locked and without the blurriness normally associated with non native resolutions. This should then allow for higher LODs at similar fps and better graphics/performance overall.


Steps to take assuming you have already backed-up or wrote down your existing MSFS graphic settings just in case. I daresay this can work without setting a custom desktop resolution however you may find yourself getting stuck with just a quarter of the screen as you exit MSFS unless you disable NIS first. Oh and yes a custom desktop will be blurry but I promise it’s only for the time being.

  1. In NVCP Global Settings first make sure image scaling and DSR are both turned off.

  2. In NVCP Create a custom resolution of 2560x1440 which shouldn’t be a problem for any backlit HDTV or 1080p monitor even at the same refresh rate. I’m not entirely certain for O-led but it should at least be possible to test. For very high end rigs 3840x2160 might well be smoother.

  3. Right click on your desktop select Display, apply your new resolution and if not automatic set scale (font size etc.) to your liking. Yes it will be blurry before the next step. If you later still want to hop between resolutions (for browsing etc.) then do it here in Windows and not in NVCP.

  4. Turn on image scaling in NVCP, press apply and all should suddenly be in focus. tick the box for what should be a green NIS overlay in the top left corner and set sharpening if desired (go easy, mine is set 4%).

  5. Start MSFS2020 and configure your graphics options including your custom resolution. Note that Renderscale 85% is important, NIS does include some other percentages but only 85 and 50 will actually work with the MSFS renderscale slider because of the sim’s habit of rounding all to the nearest 5 or 10.

  6. Tuning

Set everything Ultra inc. T-LOD 400 (where you finish is down to your cpu but basically it’s better to start high and work down). Always keep Renderscale at 85% then stepwise start lowering T-LOD and test until you are reasonably happy, infact you may even find you can still sim okay even when slightly mainthread limited and only if your fps starts dropping too low should you consider lowering your other options i.e. volumetric clouds, trees etc. As always tune to suit the conditions you usually encounter but don’t be too afraid of only 24fps at KLAX because with this tweak it should still be pretty smooth.

PS if you ever do find yourself looking at just 1/4 of the screen then Ctrl+Alt+Del and you can still manage to sign out (and start again).

And really that’s all there is to it … at least till SUX and DLSS - Enjoy!


Thought id give this a go… But when I turn on Image Scaling, and click apply, it turns it off again…

DSR off? or maybe it’s HDR or GeForce or something, I was kind of anticipating it won’t work for everyone.

I think its cos I have triple screens, I had to create custom res for the other 2 screens as well… working now… :wink:


Wow! … never thought of that one. Let us know how it goes?

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i tried this and gave up at Turn on image scaling in NVCP, press apply and all should suddenly be in focus. tick the box for what should be a green NIS overlay in the top left corner and set sharpening if desired (go easy, mine is set 4%). The scaling panel I found has no apply button and “NIS” appears nowhere.

Recommend adding screenshots. “Create a custom resolution” also was difficult to find.

What’s the point of doing this instead of DSR?

Did you actually apply the custom resolution and not just test it? … And DSR hardly taxes the gpu enough and is too soft IMO

GeForce experience has the built in utility. I’ve been using this method for a while now and being able to reduce that render scale to 85% gives a FPS boot without loosing image quality- RTX2060 Super…

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Interesting as I’ve always avoided geforce like the plague … did you still have to create a custom sized desktop beforehand or does gf do it automatically?

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No, didn’t need to resize the desktop, so it must all be in the equation so to speak. Either way, it’s a game changer in my situation.

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Ah then I’m guessing that you’re natively 1440p … My post is more for those getting mainthread limited too easily, a higher screen resolution gives the gpu engine more to do.

Relatively speaking more gpu limited = less cpu limited

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Interesting topic! Thank you for the detailed write-up.

Curious… how does this differs from increasing the Render Scaling slider?

I’ll try this when I get home tonight.


I don’t have a Render Scaling slider in MSFS General Options. Am I looking in the wrong place?
My native resolution is 2560x1440, and that’s what MSFS Full Screen is set to use.

And I don’t see the NIS overlay…???

ETA: I tried setting resolution scaling in NVCP to 85%, letting the sim upsacale to 2560x1440.
It looked good (really the same) in the sim. Not so good on the Windows desktop (as expected.)
And the FPS/Latency seemed unchanged.

RTX 3090 Ti

Wow this 2 year old thread that predates DLSS and DLDSR just popped up.

Personally I no longer use this method or NIS as DLDSR does much the same thing and is compatible with DLSS.

Mods you can delete this thread at your leisure

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