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Leadtek Ti4400 GeForce4 Review
By: Typedef Enum - April 15, 2001

Antialiasing necessity

The GeForce4 GPU provides the following Antialiasing modes to the user:

  • 2x Rotated-Grid Multisampling Antialiasing
  • Quincunx Multisampling
  • 4x Ordered-Grid Multisampling Antialiasing
  • 4x + 9-Tap Multisampling
  • 4xs (Direct3D only)

Let me get this right out in the open: Higher resolution gaming does NOT fix the problems associated with aliasing. Anybody who insists that this notion is true doesn't understand basic sampling theory. I'm not going to go into a full blown discussion into sampling theory; rather, I'm going to drive this point home by providing you with a simple screenshot.

Let's focus on a genre of software that exhibits aliasing, possibly, more than any other: racing games. For this analysis, we'll compare lower resolution screenshots (with Antialiasing enabled) versus higher resolution screenshots (without Antialiasing enabled). In addition, I will only utilize the highest quality Antialiasing mode (4xs).

In order to conserve space on the page, I "cut out" these fotos from their respective fullscreen shots and created a side-by-side shot. Lets take a look.

I must be frank and up front: racing games aren't my typical 'cup of tea,' but I found this game to be really enjoyable. Having said that, playing this game with nVidia's 4xs Antialiasing mode, in my opinion, literally changes the gaming experience. I don't often say this, but it's true. Play this game for a couple of minutes without Antialiasing, and then restart it with 4xs Antialiasing. The quality is totally evident. I have added a couple of arrows to the screenshot to point out some of the obvious jaggies, if you're not sure what to look for.

If nothing else, this comparison should pretty well lay to rest the notion that jacking up the resolution is 'just as good' as Antialiasing. Granted, some games look better at higher resolutions than this particular title, but I believe this is the best 'worst case scenario.' Later on, you will have an opportunity to witness more than 10 titles comparing various Antialiasing modes.

Let's continue down the path of Antialiasing and discuss some issues surrounding 4xs Antialiasing and Anisotropic filtering.

Next Page: Anisotropic filtering/4xs

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Last Updated on April 15 2002

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