Anti-Aliasing Analysis, Part 1: Settings And Surprises

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burnley14

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Awesome article. I am unfortunately not one of the elite few who know all the ins and outs of graphics performance, so this was very enlightening for me.
 

dragonsqrrl

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Great article, very informative. I've never really used forced anti-aliasing through the driver, and from what I've read it doesn't really sound like a good idea anyway, given the fact that most modern games provide adequate AA levels through in-game settings (these are usually better optimized as well). Seems like forced driver level AA is pretty hit-or-miss. With a few rare exceptions it just doesn't seem like it's worth the effort.

...went to the link for Tom's Geforce3 article. The good old Geforce3, now that takes me back.
 
G

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what are you talking about?
we can still force Supersampling
as of 266.58 on Nvidia cards
 

JimmiG

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Great article, but this is really something Nvidia and AMD will have to fix together with game developers...

The settings I select in the driver control panel should apply without me having to worry about coverage samples, multi samples, DirectX versions or the alignment of the planets. It should just work.

Similarly, any self-respecting game made in the last 6-8 years should have proper anti-aliasing options in its in-game menu. Not just an On/Off switch, but the full range of AA settings available with the video card being used.
 

BulkZerker

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[citation][nom]MrBonkBonk[/nom]what are you talking about?we can still force Supersampling as of 266.58 on Nvidia cards[/citation]


IF the game lets it! Drivers trying to force AA doens't mean the game will allow it. If the game doesnt' support it your not goting to get tehy type of AA.

Either way this AA fragmentation is almost as bad as all these custom versions of Driod.
 

heycarnut

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@army_ant7:

Nvidia article is wrong, or at the very least semantically sloppy.

4X samples generally means doubling of resolution for both axes. 4*(x*y)==(2*x)*(2*y).
 

army_ant7

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Nvidia article is wrong, or at the very least semantically sloppy.

4X samples generally means doubling of resolution for both axes. 4*(x*y)==(2*x)*(2*y).
Thanks for the reply heycarnut.

With that it mind, what does 2X sampling multiply the axes by?
 

nileshd

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if the game doesn't support anti aliasing, forcing through the driver may or may not work, but the point here is that nvidia drivers still do support supersampling as opposed to that mentioned in the article.
 

rpgplayer

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how about some benchmarks with the games that accepted forced driver settings? that way we can see if the in game setting is biased toward one card company. like left for dead 2, benchmarks of the ingame setting for 2x,4x,8x. then benchmarks of the driver setting 2x MSAA/SSAA, 4x MSAA/SSAA and so on. that way we can see if the game is being biased.
 

feeddagoat

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Ive always wondered what was the difference between and what was better between application decided and driver based AA. In far cry 2 using my HD4870 The trees turned into green blobs using driver based AA but in game AA worked perfectly. Since then Ive just left the let the application decide box ticked and ignored Driver based. Can't wait for part 2 to see what gives the best result if it even works. Great work toms!!
 

warhammerkid

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Nvidia Inspector (http://blog.orbmu2k.de/tools/nvidia-inspector-tool) is like the Nvidia control panel on steroids. It gives access to many more of the configuration options than the Nvidia control panel, like SSAA, several settings for transparency anti-aliasing, and a whole bunch of other advanced configuration options. I prefer it over nHancer (http://www.nhancer.com/), as I've had better luck with it in the past, but both should work. I'm somewhat surprised, though, that no one at Tom's Hardware actually used it to test out Nvidia SSAA, as I've had quite a lot of success with it.

[citation][nom]assmar[/nom]Maybe I'm wrong, but no Batman or Mass Effect 2 forced AA settings?[/citation]
I used Nvidia Inspector on Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2 to play the game with 2x2 SSAA (2x horizontal and 2x vertical), and it definitely works if you set it to force the game to use those settings. Forcing MSAA in those games didn't seem to work though, or if it did the effect wasn't noticeable enough to be worth it, not surprising considering some of the issues Unreal Engine games have with anti-aliasing. I didn't bother trying this with Batman because the built-in AA for the game looked fine.
 

cleeve

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[citation][nom]army_ant7[/nom]Why does it say here, http://www.geforce.com/#/Optimize/Guides/AA-AF-guide (go to the next page of this article), that it internally renders the frame at a resolution 4 times greater? But according to the 2nd page of this article, it says that at x4 AA it only internally renders a frame at a resolution 2 times greater.[/citation]

Depends on how you frame it I guess: when the dimensions are doubled, the area is quadrupled.

Twice the size is four times the samples: Like a 2"x2" grid contains four square inches, and twice the size is 4"x4" but it contains 16 square inches... four times as much area, but only twice the size when you look at the dimensions.

[citation][nom]army_ant7[/nom]With that it mind, what does 2X sampling multiply the axes by?[/citation]

1.5 times? :p

It's probably easier to just think of the number as how many samples per pixel. 2xAA=2 samples per pixel, 4xAA=4 samples per pixel, etc...
 
Really great article.

Personally, I dislike morphological AA. I find it blurs the image usually, and some games really don't like it. Dragon Age 2 gets quite blurry from it. I usually use MSAA unless my FPS is really high, then I'll bump up to SSAA.

Anyway, yeah, awesome look at the field of AA. Any chance of showing what AAA (analytical anti aliasing) really does, as seen in Metro 2033?
 

cleeve

Illustrious
[citation][nom]wolfram23[/nom]Any chance of showing what AAA (analytical anti aliasing) really does, as seen in Metro 2033?[/citation]

Unfortunately, since you can't turn the feature off it'd be difficult to test. I'm probably not going to dig into it because of that, and the fact that it doesn't seem to help with aliased edges from what I've seen.
 
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