Increased Antialiasing = MORE FPS? w/ tests


Dec 2, 2011
So I'm running an EVGA GTX 760; love the card, great performance, great price. I've been putting this off for a while, but I finally decided to fine-tune my graphics settings for each game that I play. I used the nVidia Control Panel -> "Manage 3D Settings" pane to change all the settings and I used Counter-Strike: Global Offensive as the program I wanted to fine-tune.

I used "Hellhound’s CS:GO Test Demo" as an FPS tester in-game.

After hours and hours of tinkering with the settings, reading hundreds of threads, referring to "Pro CS:GO graphics guides, high FPS guides", etc... I came to the conclusion that adding Antialiasing and setting it to "2x" INCREASED my FPS by 120fps. HUH!?

Even with all other settings maxed out, if I disable Antialiasing, my FPS would drop significantly (by ~120fps). With everything OFF, except Antialiasing ON 2X, my FPS would skyrocket. I ran tests with Antialiasing both on and off with other settings on low, medium, and high; but indeed, setting the Antialiasing to "2x," boosted my FPS gains tremendously.

So what's going on?

My Rig:
i5-3570K w/ Hyper 212 EVO
nVidia GTX 760
AsRock Z77 Extreme 4 Gen4
1TB Storage
Corsair 600W PSU
NZxT Case
ASUS VG236H 3D Monitor
Logitech G19
Razer DeathAdder
Steelseries QcK Pad



Dec 2, 2011
And here is a list of the tests and their results:

If your interested in looking at the results, check it out:
timedemo test1.dem

gamma on or off: 2-3 fps difference

occlusion off: 7735 frames 24.077 seconds 321.27 fps ( 3.11 ms/f) 12.421 fps variability
occlusion perf: 7735 frames 35.910 seconds 215.40 fps ( 4.64 ms/f) 5.556 fps variability
occlusion quality: 7735 frames 50.117 seconds 154.34 fps ( 6.48 ms/f) 3.778 fps variability

16x anisotropic/occ off: 7735 frames 25.081 seconds 308.40 fps ( 3.24 ms/f) 21.058 fps variability
7735 frames 24.910 seconds 310.52 fps ( 3.22 ms/f) 19.165 fps variability

everything off except 16x filtering: 7735 frames 24.731 seconds 312.76 fps ( 3.20 ms/f) 12.527 fps variability
everything off except 16x filtering, antialiasing 2x: 7735 frames 20.606 seconds 375.37 fps ( 2.66 ms/f) 20.907 fps variability
everything off except 16x filtering, antialiasing 4x: 7735 frames 21.074 seconds 367.05 fps ( 2.72 ms/f) 18.147 fps variability

antialiasing 32x CSAA: 7735 frames 29.988 seconds 257.94 fps ( 3.88 ms/f) 9.290 fps variability
16xQ CSAA: 7735 frames 29.597 seconds 261.34 fps ( 3.83 ms/f) 13.436 fps variability
16x CSAA: 7735 frames 23.726 seconds 326.02 fps ( 3.07 ms/f) 19.619 fps variability
8x: 7735 frames 24.955 seconds 309.96 fps ( 3.23 ms/f) 19.534 fps variability
8x CSAA: 7735 frames 23.577 seconds 328.08 fps ( 3.05 ms/f) 21.241 fps variability
4x: 7735 frames 22.734 seconds 340.24 fps ( 2.94 ms/f) 30.619 fps variability
2x: 7735 frames 22.631 seconds 341.79 fps ( 2.93 ms/f) 32.403 fps variability

8x: 7735 frames 31.475 seconds 245.75 fps ( 4.07 ms/f) 9.171 fps variability
4x: 7735 frames 27.620 seconds 280.06 fps ( 3.57 ms/f) 11.503 fps variability
2x: 7735 frames 25.744 seconds 300.46 fps ( 3.33 ms/f) 12.077 fps variability
multi: 7735 frames 24.778 seconds 312.17 fps ( 3.20 ms/f) 12.893 fps variability
off: 7735 frames 24.655 seconds 313.73 fps ( 3.19 ms/f) 12.078 fps variability
multisample & off: no fps difference...

max pre-rendered frames
4: 7735 frames 30.418 seconds 254.29 fps ( 3.93 ms/f) 83.980 fps variability
3: 7735 frames 30.073 seconds 257.21 fps ( 3.89 ms/f) 81.243 fps variability
2: 7735 frames 27.178 seconds 284.60 fps ( 3.51 ms/f) 66.975 fps variability
1: 7735 frames 24.646 seconds 313.84 fps ( 3.19 ms/f) 12.116 fps variability
3d app: 7735 frames 26.822 seconds 288.39 fps ( 3.47 ms/f) 63.196 fps variability

on: 7735 frames 64.551 seconds 119.83 fps ( 8.35 ms/f) 1.066 fps variability
adaptive: 7735 frames 64.476 seconds 119.97 fps ( 8.34 ms/f) 1.415 fps variability

random tests:

2x antialiasing AND 2x or 4x transparency: 7735 frames 20.929 seconds 369.59 fps ( 2.71 ms/f) 20.231 fps variability
2x antialiasing AND 8x transparency: 7735 frames 21.052 seconds 367.42 fps ( 2.72 ms/f) 20.900 fps variability
2x antialiasing AND 8x transparency AND 16x anisotropic: 7735 frames 21.239 seconds 364.18 fps ( 2.75 ms/f) 18.767 fps variability

NO 2x antialiasing but with 8x transparency AND 16x anisotropic: 7735 frames 31.487 seconds 245.66 fps ( 4.07 ms/f) 8.144 fps variability
so, turning OFF 2x antialiasing dropped my FPS by 120fps.

8x CSAA antialiasing AND 8x transparency AND 16x anisotropic: 7735 frames 25.880 seconds 298.88 fps ( 3.35 ms/f) 11.941 fps variability

ambient occlusion on performance, anisotropic 16x, antialiasing 2x, transparency 8x: 7735 frames 31.348 seconds 246.75 fps ( 4.05 ms/f) 8.563 fps variability

funniest thing about this whole test-
everything off except antialiasing setting 2x:
7735 frames 19.989 seconds 386.96 fps!!!!!!!!!! ( 2.58 ms/f) 19.395 fps variability


Dec 2, 2011

Haha, I know it's a lot of information, but any insight?

Also, this is the guide that I followed for the graphics settings:


Feb 3, 2013
Are you sure that the 120fps "skyrocket" is because you changed ONLY the AA? Not disabling other options/settings that you changed when reading those hundreds of tweaking guide threads?

Or, i'm pretty sure it's the game itself. Have you tried turning up ONLY the AA in other games also?

Having said that, it's either the game engine's fault or you're lucky as hell :D


Dec 2, 2011

The fps increase was *only* because I enabled AA, even with other options disabled/enabled. The nVidia Control Panel's settings are a general global setting that overpowers any in-game settings, so anything in-game wouldn't effect the settings if already configured through the nVidia Control Panel.

I haven't tried any other games other than Counter-Strike. I think it's because of the Source engine, and enabling AA unleashes more of the GPU's power, therefore increased FPS. Or it may be that the engine is dispersing the data to the CPU, taking more power from it in addition to the GPU.

Has anyone else had similar results?

I notice that your Motherboard support Lucid MVP Virtu. This is likely just a weird side effect of how it attempts to reduce latency. This tech will give you false FPS. What it will do is every time the GPU calls to create a frame, MVP Virtu will check if it is too early or not, and if it does appear to be too soon, it will not actually start rendering a frame. This will repeat until MVP Virtu feels it is the proper time to start rendering the frame so it finishes right before a refresh, reducing latency in the process. The problem is that every time it check to see if it is time to render a frame, your FPS meter thinks a frame is actually rendered, giving you a false reading on your FPS.

It is most likely related to the way that Lucid MVP Virtu behaves that is giving you false FPS reading.
Aug 19, 2019
->->fast forward a few years and I finally found someone else who had the same strange '2XAnti Alias FPS boost'. Only mine is on an entry level laptop that is about two years old! Acer Aspire E5-523G with an AMD Radeon R5 M430. The 2XAA thing (with all other settings on low or off) gave me about 6-10FPS before I overclocked. I couldn't believe it either!