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View Full Version : How to get the best from my new 8800GT - AA Settings


Roscoe
02-13-08, 07:28 AM
Hi,

I've just received my 8800GT 512mb a couple of days ago. I'm running the 169.38 beta drivers and so far I'm very happy :)

But this is the first Nvidia card I've used for a long time, and consequently I'm not really up-to-date with all the options and terminology...

At the moment I've got the AA and AF set to 'Application Controlled'. I've got something (MipMap quality?) set to High Quality.

All in all it's great - I've got stellar framerates, but I'm always keen to hear how to get the most from my system, and the one thing that tickled my interest is 'Enhance Application' - but I've not found a clear explanation of what it does and how to use it!

Could someone either explain it, or point me in the direction of a good tutorial?

I'm also on the lookout for any tips / hints / etc on what else I can/should do... I primarily play Source-engined games - Insurgency, TF2 and DOD:S, but I've also got the bundled copy of GRAW2 to play, along with demos of the new Unreal Tournament and The Club.


The only Image Quality 'problem' I've got is something I noticed in Insurgency (probably as it's the game I play the most).... even with high levels of AA and AF, the view of my gun and distant foliage are both affected by some twinkling... it's like thin lines or edges aren't being blurred as much as as my previous card (Ati X1950Pro), and consequently movement shows up more of a change in the colour of edge pixels... they don't look jaggy... I'm at a bit of a loss to explain what it looks like. Is this something the Enhance Application setting could resolve?


many thanks for your time

walterman
02-13-08, 08:19 AM
I recommend a tool like nHancer (www.nhancer.com), to manage the profiles of each game.

The help of this tool is excellent, and i'm sure that it will solve nearly all your questions.

I also recommend to read the feedback of the users here about the different Forceware versions. Some versions have problems with the SSAA modes, for example.

About your problem with "Insurgency", well, i'm not sure, but you could try to use a SSAA mode, or to force negative lod bias to 'clamp', if you're experiencing shimmering (disable the optimizations too). Have fun with nHancer, i'm sure you'll find how to fix your problem with this tool. :)

Roscoe
02-13-08, 08:26 AM
excellent, thanks :)

SLippe
02-13-08, 08:38 AM
What walterman said.

Plus, make sure Image Quality is set to High Quality. LOD Bias is set to Clamp. Triple Buffering set to On. As for AA goes, most people say you don't really need it set above 4x, but I always ran mine on 16x back when I had my 8800GTS 640MB card, along with 16x AF. Really, you probably don't need AA above 8x. I can't remember the other settings (sorry, I'm tired), but I used SuperSampling and Override. Override is for games that do not have an AA setting In-Game or if you turn off AA in the game. In other words, a game might only show 4x AA in the Game Options, but you want it higher. So, turn off AA in the Game Options and the nVidia driver should force whatever you have AA set to in the Control Panel, i.e. 8x or 16x. Alright, I'll stop there. Don't wanna overload ya. :)

Roscoe
02-13-08, 08:49 AM
cheers,

yes I'll have to check my LOD Bias, it must be set to whatever the default is..
The Source engine options are actually pretty good - the drop down list for AA modes specifically has (iirc, not necessarily in the right order):

Off
2x
4x
8xCSAA
16xCSAA
8xMSAA
16xMSAA

As I understand it there's more of a performance hit with MSAA which is why I hadn't tried that yet. But I'll see if that helps too.

Anyhow, it's not something that particularly worries me - now I know that distant foliage will be displayed in a certain way, I know not to shoot it now ;)
And I've always been more sensitive to framerates than absolute image quality, so I can take a bit of a tradeoff anyway.
Still this gives me an excuse to tinker some more with my new toy ;)

SlieTheSecond
02-13-08, 01:16 PM
Enhance means you set the AA through the game. Then nvidia drivers take that AA and enhances it to what ever level you set. This way the AA is more or less controlled by the game and the drivers just add to it.

Personally I always play games with 16xAA if I can. In some games I can even see, yet a very small, change between 16x and 32x.

walterman
02-13-08, 02:09 PM
When you use 'enhance in-game AA', the driver will "force" your selected AA method, "only" in the D3D surfaces that the game creates with D3DMULTISAMPLE flag. This way, the game will run "faster", cause not all the surfaces will be created with AA flag enabled.

This is what i learnt when i was coding my BR2 FSAA patch.

Roscoe
02-14-08, 03:51 AM
I didn't have much time to mess about last night, so I just set the Enhance option to 8X, set the LOD Bias to Clamp, and played my game.

I *think* the IQ is better - a bit less shimmering on the thin contrasting lines of pixels which cause the 'problem'. Tbh I really can't be sure the ATI card didn't do the same.

Anyway... my framerates were still very high, so it's all peachy :)


When I get time (unlikely tonight with Valentine's day, I think my wife might complain!) I'm going to download nHancer and then benchmark different settings... it'd be pretty nice just to see what effect each setting has on performance and IQ

thepiecesfit
02-17-08, 02:20 PM
If you want to run crysis at reasonable frame rates you'll turn AA and everything else , to off :( :P