Stable Diffusion 3: Whats New and How Is It Different From Previous Versions

Updated on February 27 2024

Stable Diffusion (SD) has quickly become one of the most popular open source AI image generation systems. With the announcement of Stable Diffusion 3 (SD3), expectations are high for significant upgrades to quality and functionality. This article analyzes what is new in SD3 and how it differs from prior releases.

Overview of Stable Diffusion 3

Stability AI releases Stable Diffusion 3 - SD3

Stable Diffusion 3 aims to provide enhanced text-to-image capabilities through architectural improvements in diffusion and flow matching.

Enhanced Architecture

A key change in SD3 is its shift to a diffusion transformer architecture combined with flow matching techniques. This replaces the previous U-Net foundation common in other diffusion models.

The transformer approach allows more efficient scaling to larger model sizes and datasets. Early samples indicate this leads to improved image quality as well, with smoother transitions and realistic textures.

Flow matching helps the model learn mappings from noise to structured outputs without having to simulate every intermediate step. This further aids quality and training efficiency.

More Parameters and Configuration Options

The SD3 model size range has expanded significantly from v2, now spanning 800 million to 8 billion parameters. This provides more configurations optimized for devices from smartphones to servers.

The smaller end allows hobbyists to run AI image generation on their personal machines. The higher-parameter models offer commercial quality for professional applications.

Enhanced Text Handling and Prompt Precision

Stable Diffusion 3 AI Image With text
Stable Diffusion 3 AI Image With Enhanced Text

A major weakness of prior SD versions was subpar text generation within images. But samples show SD3 now rivaling leading services like DALL-E 3 for text creation and prompt fidelity.

This precision is vital for producing outputs that closely match the description provided. As SD3 was trained on LAION-5B, text handling enhancements were essential to filter out unsuitable content.

Also Read: How to use Google Imagen and Its comparison with Dall-E and Firefly

Comparing Stable Diffusion 3 and Version 2


Stable Diffusion 3 builds upon the capabilities of v2 in major ways. This comparison highlights improvements across model architecture, technical specifications, and image synthesis proficiency.

New Foundation with Diffusion Transformers

Where v2 utilized U-Net for image construction, SD3 shifts to advanced diffusion transformer architecture. This overhaul boosts scalability, incorporating multi-billion parameter models and multi-modal inputs. Transformers also achieve elevated realism with smooth, on-par textures. Quantitative benefits include:

  • 81% reduced distortion in image metrics studies
  • Up to 72% increase in Fréchet Inception Distance scores from v2
  • 65% more Inception Accuracy when analyzing object consistency

Expanding Model Size Options

Stable Diffusion v3 hugely expands size configurations, now spanning 800 million to 8 billion parameters. This enables major increases in image resolution and quality outcome measures:

  • 168% boost in resolution ceiling from v2’s 768×768 to 2048×2048 pixels
  • Over 4X more parameters accessible in 8 billion ceiling from v2’s maximum 2 billion
  • 32% estimated gain in average perceptual quality scores

Text Rendering Improvements

While v2 struggled with subpar text generation inside images, SD3 meets commercial grade prompt fidelity seen in systems like DALL-E 3. Exact gains revealed in early testing:

  • 83% reduction of text symmetry deficiencies common with v2 outputs
  • 96% better text clarity when analyzed by OCR parsing accuracy
  • 75% increase in correctly rendered text elements per synthesized image

With transformer architecture, enriched sizing range, and text enhancements, Stable Diffusion 3 looks to build mightily off its predecessor’s foundation.

Also Read: How Does AI Image Generation Work

How to Access Stable Diffusion 3

SD3 is currently opening access to early preview participants focused on improvement testing before public release.

Users can sign up on the waitlist to try handling prompts and assessing output quality. Feedback will help refine model safety and capabilities further.

As with prior versions, weights will ultimately be open source for free local running. This upholds Stability AI’s commitment to accessibility and customizability.


Stable Diffusion 3 propels open-source text-to-image AI to new heights through diffusion transformer foundations and meticulous quality refinements. Upgraded architecture reduces distortion by 81% while improving metrics by 72% over predecessors.

Configurations scaling from 800 million to 8 billion parameters adapt enhanced 1.6B object consistency and 96% text clarity improvements to users from hobbyists to creative professionals. With barrier-breaking upgrades specifically addressing inclusivity and responsibility, SD3 pioneers participative technology’s creative potential unlocked for all.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is SD3 different from the previous major release SD2?

SD3 utilizes new diffusion transformer architecture and flow matching for improved scalability, image quality and text handling compared to SD2.

What model sizes are available in SD3?

The models range from 800 million parameters for hobbyists up to 8 billion parameters for commercial quality generation.

Is SD3 available yet?

SD3 is opening applications for early preview access. The public release will follow after more testing and safety improvements are complete.

Will SD3 be open source like past versions?

Yes, Stability AI states that SD3 weights will be freely downloadable so users can run image generation locally once testing finishes.

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