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NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4600 Preview
By: Mike Chambers - February 6, 2002

OpenGL Antialiasing Performance - Quake 3

The performance and image quality tests on this page are centered on the Accuview antialiasing sub-system of the GeForce4 Ti 4600. As with the GeForce3, the GeForce4 supports 2X, Quincunx, and 4X antialiasing modes under OpenGL. As we learned on the previous page that without antialiasing enabled, the GeForce4 Ti 4600 took a significant hit in performance with anisotropic filtering enabled.

Therefore, within each set of antialiasing tests I've included results with 2X and 4X anisotropic filtering enabled. This page concludes with an image quality comparison based on two different scenes from Quake 3.

2X Antialiasing - Maximum Quality

Resolution GeForce4 Ti 4600 GeForce3 Ti 500 Percent Change
Trilinear Filtering
1024x768 Avg: 187 Avg: 111 + 68%
1280x1024 Avg: 130 Avg: 68 + 91%
1600x1200 Avg: 72 Avg: 40 + 80%
2X Anisotropic Filtering
1024x768 Avg: 157 Avg: 93 + 96%
1280x1024 Avg: 100 Avg: 58 + 72%
1600x1200 Avg: 58 Avg: 33 + 76%
4X Anisotropic Filtering
1024x768 Avg: 130 Avg: 80 + 63%
1280x1024 Avg: 82 Avg: 50 + 64%
1600x1200 Avg: 50 Avg: 29 + 72%

Quincunx Antialiasing - Maximum Quality

Resolution GeForce4 Ti 4600 GeForce3 Ti 500 Percent Change
Trilinear Filtering
1024x768 Avg: 187 Avg: 92 + 103%
1280x1024 Avg: 130 Avg: 56 + 132%
1600x1200 Avg: 63 Avg: 34 + 85%
2X Anisotropic Filtering
1024x768 Avg: 157 Avg: 79 + 99%
1280x1024 Avg: 100 Avg: 49 + 104%
1600x1200 Avg: 52 Avg: 29 + 79%
4X Anisotropic Filtering
1024x768 Avg: 130 Avg: 70 + 86%
1280x1024 Avg: 82 Avg: 43 + 91%
1600x1200 Avg: 45 Avg: 25 + 80%

4X Antialiasing - Maximum Quality

Resolution GeForce4 Ti 4600 GeForce3 Ti 500 Percent Change
Trilinear Filtering
1024x768 Avg: 114 Avg: 76 + 50%
1280x1024 Avg: 64 Avg: 39 + 64%
2X Anisotropic Filtering
1024x768 Avg: 104 Avg: 68 + 53%
1280x1024 Avg: 60 Avg: 34 + 76%
4X Anisotropic Filtering
1024x768 Avg: 92 Avg: 61 + 51%
1280x1024 Avg: 54 Avg: 31 + 74%

Based on these results, the GeForce4 Ti 4600 is first and foremost an antialiasing powerhouse. The Accuview sub-system is delivering blistering frame rates at high resolutions with 2X and Quincunx antialising. In fact, at 1024x768 and 1280x1024, Quincunx is performing at the same level as 2X antialising.

What about the new antialiasing sampling pattern? Has the exceptional performance of the GeForce4 Ti 4600 come at the expense of image quality when compared to the GeForce3?

The following image quality comparison, which utilizes a java applet to overlay images, contains 40 screenshots each of which average around 300KB in size. The comparison has two scenes with each scene containing a series of screenshots taken at a resolution of 1024x768 and 1280x1024 from a GeForce3 Ti 500 and GeForce4 Ti 4600. The screenshots were taken with include no antialiasing, 2X, and Quincunx antialising. The antialiased screenshots also contain a set of screenshots with 4X anisotropic texture filtering enabled.

Specific areas of the thumbnails are outlined in white and are what the image quality comments are based on.

Scene 1

Scene 2

Some comments after studying these images at their original size and resampled at 200% of the original size. In the first scene I concentrated on far right window, the edge of the top stair, and the top and bottom edge of the deck extending to the right. In scene two, my primary focus was on the stairs and surrounding textures.

Scene 1:

  • 2X antialiasing on the GeForce4 Ti 4600 is of slightly better quality than 2X antialising on the GeForce3 Ti 500. The quality improves at 1280x1204.


  • The new sampling pattern doesn't have much of an affect on Quincunx antialiasing in this scene as the quality is comparable on both cards.

  • The quality of 2X antialiasing and Quincunx antialiasing are very close.


  • With the exception of Quincunx, anisotropic filtering doesn't add significant value to this scene other than further defining the left side of the ledge under the far right window.

Scene 2:

  • The darkened lines that appear when antialiasing is enabled on the GeForce3 Ti 500 in the area above and to the left of the stairs have been virtually eliminated on the GeForce4 Ti 4600.


  • The quality of 2X antialiasing on both cards is very close - even at 1280x1024.


  • Quincunx does a better job than 2X antialiasing on the stairs and the new sampling patten gives the GeForce4 Ti 4600 the nod (especially on the second and third stairs from the top).


  • 2X antialiasing and Quincunx antialiasing are very close in quality but at 1280x1024 Quincunx looks better.


  • Anisotropic filtering has a greater effect on the GeForce4 at blending colors along the stair edges - especially with Quincunx.


  • Anisotropic filtering has a greater impact in this scene. The wall where the torch is located, the lower portion of the wall over the stairs, and the ground to the left of the bottom stair exhibit increased texture detail.


  • Anisotropic filtering sharpens certain textures with Quincunx that exceed the sharpness found in the non-antialiased and 2X antialiased images without anisotropic filtering.

General Comments:

  • Textures are sharper with 2X antialiasing than with Quincunx.


Based on this examination, I would give 2X and Quincunx antialiasing image quality a slight edge on the GeForce4 Ti 4600 over the GeForce3 Ti 500. However, there are an endless number of similar examinations that could be made at varying angles or other game engines. The main point that's being stressed here is that antialiasing image quality has not been compromised on the GeForce4 Ti 4600 in order to gain added performance.

Next Page: More OpenGL - Serious Sam 2 And DroneZmark

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Last Updated on March 16, 2002

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