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Gainward GeForce PowerPack! Ultra/650-8X XP “Golden Sample” - Page 17 Of 17

Image Quality - Serious Sam

Settings: Serious Sam: First Encounter (Extreme quality, 1280x1024 / 32bit)

Just for reference, there are no major differences between Serious Sam: First Encounter and Serious Sam: Second Encounter. Basically TSE uses a twekaed engine and has different maps. Again the game has been updated to latest version, in this case 1.05. As mentioned before there was some texture curruption while playing version 1.00. Anyway, let's take a look at the image quality.

For your convenience, we are comparing two images with a help of Java script. Just hover over an image to see Image Quality comparison. In Anisotropic filtering tests none of the images were enlarged.

Legend:
NoAA - No Antialiasing
NoAF - No Anisotropic Filtering
2AF - Level 2 Anisotropic Filtering
4AF - Level 4 Anisotropic Filtering
2AA - Level 2 Antialiasing
QuinAA - Quincunx Antialiasing
4AA - Level 4 Antialiasing

Performance - Balanced
NoAA-NoAF / NoAA-8AF


2AA-NoAF / 2AA-2AF

2AA-4AF / 2AA-8AF


QuinAA-NoAF / QuinAA-2AF


QuinAA-4AF / QuinAA-8AF

4AA-NoAF / 4AA-2AF


4AA-4AF / 4AA-8AF

Performance - Aggressive
NoAA-NoAF / NoAA-8AF


2AA-NoAF / 2AA-2AF

2AA-4AF / 2AA-8AF


QuinAA-NoAF / QuinAA-2AF

QuinAA-4AF / QuinAA-8AF

4AA-NoAF / 4AA-2AF


4AA-4AF / 4AA-8AF

The guys from Croteam have developed awsome game engine. It is very similar to Quake 3 engine in terms of OpenGL extensions. Of course Serious Sam supports Direct X, but it's mainly built on OGL API. If you want multi-texturing support only OGL can provide it. What makes me go back to this game is superior performance even with highest settings. The game itself has enormous amount of video options you can fiddle with. You can also execute custom quality scripts. While we tested the card, we have used the "Extreme Quality" script which was provided in the game.

Allow us to explain the Anisotropic comparisons above. Please note that Aggressive Mode does *not* use trilinear filtering (that's why it doesn't look as good as on Balanced mode). NVIDIA uses its own adaptive filtering which stands somewhere between trilinear and bilinear filtering in terms of IQ.

First we have tested the card without any Image Enhancing options: No Antialiasing, No Anisotropic filtering, and the performance slider was set to "Balanced". What we compare it with is Level 8 of Anisotropic Filtering. As you can see, this produces a spectacular effect. So even if you don't want to apply Antialiasing, you will be very happy with Aniso alone. Next we take a look at Level 2. You can clearly see a difference between the image with no Anisotropic filtering. The textures on side-walls are a bit blurry, but it doesn't look bad at all while you play. When we apply Level 4 AF to Level 2 Antialiasing, you will notice a nice change. The textures appear much sharper now and the view range has been extended by a nice chunk. In Quincunx, we get a similar effect. Now in Level 4 of AA we get fabulous results when combining it with Anisotropic filtering. Unfortunetly you will lose quite a few frames when applying 4AA-2/4/8AF. Next up we change the Performance silder in our drivers and switch to Aggressive Mode. Again, one thing you will definetly notice is that the textures are not filtered the same way as with Balanced Mode.

As you can see Anisotropic filtering produces breathtaking results here. Especially at Level 4 and 8. Combine that with NVIDIA's Balanced Mode and you are ready to kick some monster ass!

Now, the Antialiasing tests...
Again, hover over images to see the results.

Settings: Serious Sam: First Encounter (Extreme quality, 1280x1024 / 32bit)

Performance - Balanced
NoAA / 2AA

QuinAA / 4AA

You probably noticed that the second test (QuinAA and 4AA) does not look like apples-to-apples. *Somehow* Quincunx shifted the image to the right. I'm 100% sure I have taken the screenshots in the same position. Take a look at it...

As you can see Level 2 produces really good effects. As long as you are playing with highest settings available, Level 4 *might* be an overkill at 1280x1024. We were hoping to see less jaggies with 4AA, but I guess you can't have everything :)

As stated earlier you should be golden running at high resolution with some 2X AA 4X AF modes. Try Quincunx, it doesn't look bad at all. Some people will probably want to smack us for recommending Quincunx. But guess what? This particular mode has improved a lot becuase of the drivers. It's not as blurry as it was before. Happy fraggin!

That would conclude our Image Quality adventures :)


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Last Updated on April 12, 2003

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