Inadvertently increased FPS & Resolution

So I’m sure this has been mentioned before and maybe some of you are already aware.

I have just upgraded my monitor from 1080p to 4K and my frame rate has gone up from an average of 20 and it’s now 30-35 (graphics on Ultra). If you have the ‘rendering resolution’ set at below your monitors native resolution you will gain FPS.

If you currently have a 1080p monitor and are getting low FPS. The best way you can increase it significantly is upgrading to a 4K monitor and downscaling the ‘rendering resolution’. This has worked for me and now I have increased FPS and a higher resolution image than my 1080p monitor.

I don’t see many people mention this on the forum so I wanted to let people aware, as it’s such a big performance boost.

i7 10700KF
RTX 3070


I am doing an experimental flight right now just for science (but not necessarily scientifically) and I’ve done the opposite as you. I’ve decreased my resolution one notch, and jacked up the terrain detail and the scaling and it seems smoother. I will edit this post after I land with the overall impressions of this. EDIT: So I finished my flight, I flew from KSFB-CYOW and it was the most enjoyable flight I’ve had since these performance issues came about. Yes it still slowed down and stuttered sometimes. But its almost like its clearing a bottleneck. Can anyone more savvy than myself comment? I lowered the resolution to 1920x1200. I changed my render scale at 150 (2880x1800)as well as my terrain detail…

The only thing that matters for the performance is the amount of pixels rendered.
It doesn’t matter what display you hook up to it. Render resolution would have to be under 25% of a 4K screen to be equal FPS of 1080P.


Absolutely correct.

Technically, 50% resolution scaling, because it’s in both directions. If you run 4K at 50% render scale it cuts each axis by 50%, so 1920 x 1080. 25% would be 960 x 540.

But you’re correct that 4K is 4 x 1080p.

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Yes, I was talking about the amount of pixels (8M for 4K vs 2M for 1080p).

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Yeah. That’s whole lot more pixels…

It sure is.

Am curious though about the opening post.
If you’re going to downscale 4K so that it performs better than on a 1080P screen, then why not reduce render scaling a bit on the 1080p screen, for the same result, and for 0 dollars?

On paper this would be true but I have render scaling set to 80% (on 4K monitor) and I have more FPS than 100% (on 1080p monitor). So I now have a higher resolution and FPS.
Downscaling render resolution on a higher resolution monitor puts less pressure on the GPU.

In fairness, running below 1080 starts looking like garbage. Text on the instruments gets hard to read, and everything loses its sharpness. I wouldn’t do it.


nope, impossible. Something else has changed in your settings. If you’re rendering more pixels on the same settings, performance will be lower.

That said; 1080P at 100% scaling is a cakewalk for a 3070 (CPU limited in that scenario). Doubt it was ever utilized more than 50%. So sure at 4K 80% the 3080 will have more to do.

Still, if you’re getting more FPS at higher render resolution, then something else must have changed. Maybe you had a weird VSync settting at 1080P or something along those lines.


Reducing render scaling on a 1080p looks worse than reducing it on a 4K monitor.

For example if I reduce down to 90% on a 1080p the picture will no longer be HD (even though my monitor is capable of HD). It starts to look very pixelated on a 1080p monitor when you go lower than 100%. Whereas on a 4K monitor, reducing to 90% render scaling will still give you an almost 4K picture.

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Yes, logically, since you’re rendering more pixels.
More pixels looks better, that much is a given.
What I’m saying is that with rendering more pixels you’re not going to get more FPS. So something else in your settings changed.


No nothing else has changed everything is still set to ‘ultra’ as it was before. I’m not rendering higher, I’m actually doing the opposite (rendering lower) which is why my FPS has increased. The monitor being 4K which is the native resolution enables more pixels to fit on the screen.

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That’s not how it works.


I’m not sure if the ‘render scaling’ setting in MSFS is a percentage of total pixels, or a percentage of vertical resolution, but let’s say it’s total.

If you’re rendering 1080p, you’re rendering 1920*1080 = approximately 2M pixels.
If you’re rendering 4K, that’s around 8M pixels.
90% of 8M = 7.2M pixels.

So even if you have a lower render scaling at 4K than you had at 1080p, you’re still rendering more pixels.


If you render scale 200% on a 1080p monitor it will look the same as 100% on a 4K monitor.

The frame rate on the 1080p monitor will be at lot worse as the GPU load is higher.

No it won’t, since a 1080p monitor still only has 1080 vertical pixels.
Upscaling on 1080p is basically extra anti-aliasing.

so, if your case is;
-first you were running 1080p at 200% scaling
-now you’re rendering 4K at 90% scaling
In that case it makes sense you have some more FPS, since you’re rendering less pixels (hint; rendering is not the same as displaying).


Your GPU doesn’t care what monitor is connected to it or what resolution it is. It doesn’t work harder to run a 1080p monitor at native resolution than a 4k at a scaled down resolution. The only thing it cares about is the total number of pixels it has to push. The more pixels, the more it has to work and slower it runs.

At 1080p, you’re pushing 1920 x 1080 = 2,073,600 pixels.

At 4K native, you’re pushing 3840 x 2160 = 8,294,400 pixels.

At 80% render scaling, you’re pushing 8,294,400 x 0.8 = 6,635,520 pixels.

I can’t explain what you did, but something else somewhere had to change, because there’s no way the GPU will have an easier time pushing 3x more pixels than before, regardless of the scaling factor.


Omg…he did it, so he did!

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I’ll stick to native 4K and sliders to full with all ultra settings,

I got a 4K screen to ply in 4K not downgrade it and upscale. But just for the record, my second screen is 2k and I get exactly same results with exactly same settings

35fos constant, but speaking of frames, they are not everything in simulators, it’s more abo it a smooth experience, I’m stutter free with 35frames for example if I unwind and play call of duty or battlefield (where frames are important) on ultra settings in said titles I get 144 which is capped because my refresh rate. But simulators do not need to frame chase, just my 2 cents