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Prolink GeForce3 Ti 200 Review with NVIDIA's nForce
By: Mike Chambers - January 8, 2002

Antialiasing Under OpenGL

This review will focus on OpenGL antialiasing performance using Quake 3. Antialiasing performance and image quality under Direct 3D are covered on the next two pages. These results should provide you with a general idea of the antialiasing performance you can expect with the Prolink GeForce3 Ti 200 in other OpenGL based games. In the case of older games, such as Counter-Strike in 16-bit color, Quincunx or 4X antialiasing can be used at the games highest resolution which is 1280x960.

The Prolink GeForce3 Ti 200 has enough horsepower to accomidate all forms of antialiasing at a resolution of 640x480 and 800x600 in games based on the Quake 3 or Serious graphics engines. Those of you with a 15-inch monitor will appreciate that. At 1024x768, 2X antialiasing will offer good performance, but the use of Quincinx and 4X antialiasing falls in the grey area. However, antialiasing performance is superior when compared to the GeForce2 class of graphics cards which use the slower performing supersampling method.

Quake 3 Test Settings - Antialiasing

Setting Description
High
Quality
Standard High Quality
Setting
Maximum Quality Include High Geometry and Maximum Texture Detail

The following screenshots from Quake 3, which were taken at a resolution of 1024x768 with maximum texture detail, illustrate the texture quality associated with antialiasing on the GeForce3. As most of the comparitive screenshots used in this review, they are based on the same X and Y coordinates from the player point of view.

Again, clicking on any of the images below provides a link to a java applet which provides a better method of comparing image quality. I recommend using this feature when comparing the Quake 3 thumbnails. Examine the texture clarity associated with each of the antialiasing modes by focusing on the skull above the top stair. Also examine the results of removing the jagged edges on the steps and the platform to the right of the steps (which isn't visible in the thumbnail). You'll have to look closely when comparing these images and might notice that the Quincunx seems to be offset by one pixel although the screenshot was taken from the exact same position as the others.

Antialiasing - Quake 3

No AA 2X AA
Click To Compare Antialiasing Modes Click To Compare Antialiasing Modes
Quincunx AA 4X AA
Click To Compare Antialiasing Modes Click To Compare Antialiasing Modes

Quake 3 - Demo Four - 800x600 - 32-Bit Color

AA Mode NVIDIA GeForce3 Ti 500 Prolink GeForce3 Ti 200
High Quality Setting
No AA Avg: 229 Avg: 222
2X Avg: 182 Avg: 146
Quincunx Avg: 154 Avg: 118
4X Avg: 139 Avg: 110
Maximum Quality Setting
No AA Avg: 219 Avg: 207
2X Avg: 168 Avg: 133
Quincunx Avg: 142 Avg: 109
4X Avg: 130 Avg: 102

At a resolution of 800x600, the Prolink GeForce3 Ti 200 can handle all forms of antialiasing in Quake 3 and its derivatives and offers excellent performance.

Quake 3 - Demo Four - 1024x768 - 32-Bit Color

AA Mode NVIDIA GeForce3 Ti 500 Prolink GeForce3 Ti 200
High Quality Setting
No AA Avg: 212 Avg: 186
2X Avg: 123 Avg: 95
Quincunx Avg: 100 Avg: 76
4X Avg: 81 Avg: 64
Maximum Quality Setting
No AA Avg: 193 Avg: 161
2X Avg: 111 Avg: 86
Quincunx Avg: 92 Avg: 70
4X Avg: 76 Avg: 60

Moving up to a resolution of 1024x768, Quincunx and 4X antialiasing takes its toll on the Prolink GeForce3 Ti 200. Lacking the additional memory bandwidth found on the GeForce3 Ti 500, it's questionable if Quincunx or 4X antialiasing can be effectively used in Quake 3 without disabling some graphics settings (such as gibs, ejecting brass, or marks on wall). However, we still have an ace up our sleeve as these tests will be re-visited in the section on overclocking which should give us a few extra frames.

Quake 3 - Demo Four - 1280x1024 - 32-Bit Color

AA Mode NVIDIA GeForce3 Ti 500 Prolink GeForce3 Ti 200
High Quality Setting
No AA Avg: 165 Avg: 129
2X Avg: 76 Avg: 59
Maximum Quality Setting
No AA Avg: 139 Avg: 108
2X Avg: 68 Avg: 52

Using any form of antialiasing at a resolution of 1280x1024 in Quake 3 is best left to the GeForce3 Ti 500.

Here are a few more comparitive screenshots from Serious Sam under quality settings. Focus your attention to the clarity of the hieroglyphics and the ability of antialiasing to tone down the jagged edges on the top railing.

Antialiasing - Serious Sam

No AA 2X AA
Click To Compare Antialiasing Modes Click To Compare Antialiasing Modes
Quincunx AA 4X AA
Click To Compare Antialiasing Modes Click To Compare Antialiasing Modes

After going through this exercise there are a few points that need to be considered. The first is that textures are somewhat blurred with Quincunx antialiasing due to the nature of its sampling algorithm which was discussed on the previous page. Athough we sometimes tend to over-exaggerate the amount of blurriness that's associated with Quincunx, it still may be an issue for some people. However, in most cases Quincunx is the best solution to combat edge antialiasing. While antialiasing on the GeForce3 is effective and offers good performance, texture swimming along edges can still occur even when combined with anisotropic texture filtering. Considering that NVIDIA is still in the early stages of developing antialiasing solutions for consumer based graphics cards, it will take further enhancements before the use of antialiasing becomes mainstream.

Next Page: Direct 3D Performance

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Last Updated on January 8, 2002

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