View Full Version : Please help me (apples to apples) compare high-perf ATI vs NV AA modes

07-07-10, 09:04 PM
I have to preface this by saying that I have not done an extensive read-up on AA modes since a MikeC article in 2003. I need to be a little better educated on this, I know.

Besides, I've never been much of an AA junkie. Usually 2x in whatever incarnation it took at the time was my cup of tea (though I did enjoy Quinxunx or whatever it was called for a while).


I have two cards, an ATI and an NVIDIA, both of current generation, and I'm working on a performance comparison. I've done this plenty of times before, but after the last time I published a review, I was forced to question how I have AA modes configured for differing makes of cards.

I'd like to run tests with 2xAA and 4xAA, on two cards that by all rights and means should run the lowest quality of AA due to the fact that they are not high end cards... and they are in a midrange system.

I don't want alpha textures AAed, I want regular 'ol AntiAliasing.

For NVIDIA's Control Panel, I turn Antialiasing - Transparency to OFF and NOT Multisample, but then select the AA mode in the menu option above that, right? That would in effect allow me to run 2x, 4x and 8x AA that does not use transparency, and is not multisample. ... right? By NVIDIA's wording, all of their multisample AA modes utilize transparency AA (which is functionally equivalent to Adaptive AA, right?)

And For ATI... it seems to me that I cannot select a non-multisample AA mode though! So I can select multisample without AAing alpha textures, but it's still multisampling. Well, ok, then that's ATI's most economical AA mode then, right? If I can turn multisampling off and just run straight AA with ATI, someone please let me know.

So as it stands, it appears to me that the most apples to apples and economical AA mode is just multisample for both. But what confuses me there is that the setting for multisample for NVIDIA is under the "transparency" setting.

Meh... :nuts:

07-08-10, 06:58 AM
Regular old AA is multisample.

The transparency setting is completely separate from the actual AA setting, so choosing multi or super sampled TSAA won't effect the AA for the entire screen just the transparent textures.

If you want apples to apples, just turn off TSAA on both cards and pick 2xAA or 4xAA in their respective CP's.

07-08-10, 08:05 AM
It's far superior to Nvidia's quicunx method and in many cases is superior to MSAA. Visually, it's quite easy to tell.

This was a good comparison test that Anandtech ran back at the launch of the 4xxx series between the different AA methods for both Nv and ATI. Edge-detect offered a superior image to all of them.


In this image in particular, a comparison of Nvidia's 16xCSAA to ATI's 24x Edge Detect, look at the difference in smoothness of the edges:


And here, a comparison of Nvidia's 8xMSAA to ATI's 24x Edge Detect, look how much sharper the bricks in the building are with Edge Detect. They appear to stick out from the building whereas they're badly blurred in the MSAA Nvidia shots:


Edge Detect is simply the best looking AA method that I've seen to date. It offers smooth edges while at the same time not blurring the image.

That what you are looking for?

For more, see this thread (http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=143134).

07-08-10, 08:28 AM
Thanks guys. I got some help @ r3d and [H] as well... I think after just a bit more studying on this I'll be current again. :)