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StealthHawk
08-02-03, 02:34 AM
I thought it would be interesting to revisit the secret FSAA modes made available with a tweaking program, as they offer much better quality than the ones NVIDIA allows you to select via the control panel :( aTuner (http://www.3dcenter.de/atuner/index_e.php) was used to force each FSAA mode. The results speak for themselves, each FSAA mode was correctly enabled, although you maybe notice that the screenshots say that the program says no FSAA is enabled. All screenshots are high quality .png. Screenshots taken with a good old GeForce3 and Detonator 44.03. Screenshots with a "GFFX" suffix succeeding the FSAA mode name were taken on a GeForceFX5900Ultra with Detonator 45.23.

Depending on what card you own, and what driver you use, different FSAA modes will be available to you. GeForce3, GeForce4, or GeForceFX users all have the same FSAA modes available after using tweaker programs, the control panel may or may not offer all modes.

*Important* The 50 series driver(5x.xx) has had some massive changes to FSAA modes. On a GeForceFX, 4x Super Sampling, 4x+9tap, 6x, and 8x have all been removed from the driver. You cannot get any of these modes. The control panel is also misleading. Quincunx has been renamed "2xQ." 12x(also known as 16x in D3D in certain drivers that exposed it in the control panel) is known as "6x" in the control panel. The old 6x is gone. The "real" 8xS is known as "8x" in the control panel. The old 8x is gone, and good riddance. I applaud NVIDIA for replacing old modes which hardly differentiated themselves with higher quality modes. I do not however, condone the misleading naming schemes.

The FSAA modes below use their 40 series driver(4x.xx) naming conventions, as they were taken on 4x.xx drivers ;)

Edge quality(Listed from worst to best)
2x (http://www.mrclam.com/~stealth/2x.png)
QCA (http://www.mrclam.com/~stealth/qca.png) | QCA GFFX (http://www.mrclam.com/~stealth/FXqca.png)
4x (http://www.mrclam.com/~stealth/4x.png)
4x Super Sampling (http://www.mrclam.com/~stealth/4xSS.png)
4xS (http://www.mrclam.com/~stealth/4xS.png)
6x (http://www.mrclam.com/~stealth/6x.png)
8x (http://www.mrclam.com/~stealth/8x.png)
4x+9tap (http://www.mrclam.com/~stealth/4x9.png) | 4x+9tap GFFX (http://www.mrclam.com/~stealth/FX4x9.png)
8xS (http://www.mrclam.com/~stealth/8xS.png)
12x (http://www.mrclam.com/~stealth/12x.png)

For comparison, you can find some shots taken on a GeForceFX5900Ultra here. (http://www.nvnews.net/reviews/sapphire_radeon_9800_pro/images/aa_comparison.shtml) As expected, 2x, QCA, 4x, and 4xS have the same AA quality on a GeForce3 as on a GeForceFX. 6x on a GeForce3 appears to have the same quality as 6xS on a GeForceFX. Ditto for 8x and 8xS. In other words, I would go as far to say these are exactly the same modes, just with different names on different cards. 8xS on a GeForce3 looks noticeably better than 8xS on a GeForceFX, and is clearly not the same mode. 4x+9tap actually looks better on a GeForceFX than it does on a GeForce3. On the GeForce3 shot, you can see some weird anomalies where part of the image is not getting smoothed.

While 6x and 8x provide slightly better IQ at vertical angles, 4xS is superior at horizontal angles. In my opinion, 4xS provides superior edge quality compared to 6x or 8x.

You may notice that 6x and 8x look almost exactly the same. 8xS and 12x are also almost exactly the same. 4x+9tap provides very good edge AA quality, roughly equal to 8xS/12x. Of course, straight edge quality does not tell the whole story. Let's see what each FSAA mode does to a 3d rendered scene to get the whole image quality picture and draw some accurate conclusions.

3d scene quality(Grouped for similarity and worst to best where applicable)
QCA (http://www.mrclam.com/~stealth/qca3d.png) | QCA GFFX (http://www.mrclam.com/~stealth/FXqca3d.png)
4x+9tap (http://www.mrclam.com/~stealth/4x93d.png) | 4x+9tap GFFX (http://www.mrclam.com/~stealth/FX4x93d.png)
2x (http://www.mrclam.com/~stealth/2x3d.png)
4x (http://www.mrclam.com/~stealth/4x3d.png)
4xS (http://www.mrclam.com/~stealth/4xS3d.png)
6x (http://www.mrclam.com/~stealth/6x3d.png)
8x (http://www.mrclam.com/~stealth/8x3d.png)
12x (http://www.mrclam.com/~stealth/12x3d.png)
4x Super Sampling (http://www.mrclam.com/~stealth/4xSS3d.png)
8xS (http://www.mrclam.com/~stealth/8xS3d.png)

Both QCA and 4x+9tap are blurring the whole scene.
4xS clears up vertical parts of the scene compared to standard 4x or 2x MSAA.
6x and 8x clear up horizontal parts of the scene compared to 2x or 4x. Notice that 8x actually clears up some angles better than 6x does.
12x clears up vertical angles better than 6x or 8x. 12x clears up horizontal angles at least as well as 6x, but not as well as 8x. 12x cleans up vertical angles at least as well as 4xS.
8xS clears up all angles better than or at least as well as 4xS, 6x, or 8x.
4x Sumper Sampling cleans up all angles to the same degree as 8xS.

GeForceFX's QCA appears to be slightly blurrier than GeForce3's QCA. I compared the screenshot on the GeForceFX to the output on my monitor and they were the same. GeForceFX's 4x+9tap is much improved over GeForce3's. Notice that GeForce's 4x+9tap causes some distortions on parts on the image. These distortions do not exist for the GeForceFX.

Conclusion
Well, now you know how each FSAA mode affects not only edge quality, but also scene quality. When factoring in overall quality, straight MS modes are unchanged in their ranking. Other modes fall because they blur the whole scene. And still other modes may gain favor because they clear up textures and allow for finer detail to be seen. It should be noted that QCA supposedly does not blur the scene as much in cards after GeForce3, although it still blurs text. Oddly enough, from what I've seen QCA still still seems to blur on later cards. The claim that QCA stopped blurring the scene came about from evaluating screenshots. But this discrepancy between what is shown on the computer screen and what is shown in screenshots could be due to the post filter that is involved. This analysis is missing a critical component: performance. Image quality is only as good as a game's playability. Performance numbers may be found in this post (http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&postid=168725#post168725). Of course, this evaulation answers many questions you may have had about different FSAA modes, it certainly did for me. It also raised a few more questions that may be answered later ;)

If you want to see the sample patterns, download the attachment in this post (http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&postid=168674#post168674). You will see that 4xS, 6x, 8x, 8xS, and 12x all are hybrid modes with employ Super Sampling and Multisampling. Hence why these modes clear up textures.

NVIDIA graphic card owners who want different FSAA modes shown here but can't get them through the control panel should try different drivers and/or use a tweaker program like aTuner.

ragejg
08-02-03, 04:24 AM
wow, good read, stealthy... if it wasn't 5:20 AM, I'd have something intelligent to say about that, but all my brain can process right now is "good read" ;)

your scene vs. edge quality comments give me something to think about tho...

way to come up with a fresh topic! I haven't really seen anyone else bringing this up!

:)

ChrisRay
08-02-03, 06:17 PM
You wouldnt happen to have an AA viewer program. Where you can precisely see the pattern and how its done no?

StealthHawk
08-02-03, 07:38 PM
Originally posted by ChrisRay
You wouldnt happen to have an AA viewer program. Where you can precisely see the pattern and how its done no?

Sure, I can test that too.

StealthHawk
08-02-03, 09:15 PM
Ok, I took screenshots of the sample patterns for each FSAA mode. Download the .zip file attached to this post to see them. Each mode is labeled by the file name and is in .png format. The .zip file is less than 5K so file size is defintely not a concern.

ChrisRay
08-02-03, 09:59 PM
Originally posted by StealthHawk
Ok, I took screenshots of the sample patterns for each FSAA mode. Download the .zip file attached to this post to see them. Each mode is labeled by the file name and is in .png format. The .zip file is less than 5K so file size is defintely not a concern.

Excellent thank you. I'm wanting to compare the new modes + Hidden modes to old modes ect :)

G6-200
08-02-03, 10:14 PM
Nice job StealthHawk!
When I had my Ti-4600 I loved 4xS and especially 8xS modes when playing Morrowind. I am CPU limited in that game anyway so I cranked up the AA.
Makes me wonder WTH nVidia does not expose the RGMS+OGSS modes instead of the crappy ordered grid modes they have.
I suppose since they only work in D3D maybe that's why, they could still have seperate AA controls for D3D and OpenGL though.
I'm really tempted to try out a 5900 to see how playable these modes are on a card with far more bandwidth than my Ti-4600 had.

G6

The Baron
08-02-03, 10:22 PM
We should sticky this.

SO IT IS WRITTEN, SO IT IS DONE. (Plus, I want to kill your bandwidth. ;) )

StealthHawk
08-03-03, 01:22 AM
Performance numbers. System tested: 1.33GHz Athlon, 256MB RAM, GeForce3@stock clocks. 3dmark2001 used as it is a good system benchmark.

No FSAA: 6570 (baseline)
2x: 5104 (-22.3%)
QCA: 4641 (-29.4%)
4x: 3399 (-48.3%)
4x+9tap: 2841 (-56.8%)
4xS: 3247 (-50.6%)
4xSS: 2701 (-58.9%)
6x: 2044 (-68.9%)
8x: 1645 (-75.0%)
12x: 1958 (-70.2%)
8xS: 1499 (-77.2%)

edit: Appended to the first post in the thread, "GeForceFX users who want the hidden 4x Super Sampling, 12x, or the "real" 8xS modes can also use them via aTuner."

If you own a GeForceFX I would take a long, hard look at using 12x or the "real" 8xS.

ChrisRay
08-03-03, 02:00 AM
Hey Stealthhawk. What program did you use to get those? I seem to have lost mine.

I am quite curious about my Radeon 8500's different AA mode.

2x 3x 4x 5x 6x and Quality Performance.


Since I finally got my second PC up I could put it back in :P

StealthHawk
08-03-03, 04:42 AM
Originally posted by ChrisRay
Hey Stealthhawk. What program did you use to get those? I seem to have lost mine.

I am quite curious about my Radeon 8500's different AA mode.

2x 3x 4x 5x 6x and Quality Performance.


Since I finally got my second PC up I could put it back in :P

http://www.users.on.net/triforce/d3d_fsaaviewer/d3d_fsaaviewer-3.zip

Kruno
08-09-03, 02:20 AM
Quit bashing QCX AA. IMO it's the best AA mode ever.

I would take QCX over 16/12/4/6/8/etc...xAA anyday.

You colour blind bastard. :lol:

ChrisRay
08-09-03, 08:31 PM
Originally posted by K.I.L.E.R
Quit bashing QCX AA. IMO it's the best AA mode ever.

I would take QCX over 16/12/4/6/8/etc...xAA anyday.

You colour blind bastard. :lol:

Gag me with KILLER avatar please. K thx :(


One other thing about Quincunx that should be noted. On geforce 4/FX class GPUs, It has the exact same hit as 2x.

Hellbinder
08-11-03, 01:00 AM
"It's a real shame to see a wonderful product such as the r300 held back by ATI's Lead Software Engineer(Catalyst Maker) because he refuses to implement features that are comparable to the competition."

Just what the hell is that supposed to mean??? :mad:

There are PLEANTY of features like FSAA where Nvidias entire Hardware line is being held back. But no one i know goes around with insulting junk like the statement you have plasterd in their sig.

ChrisRay
08-11-03, 02:17 AM
Originally posted by Hellbinder
Just what the hell is that supposed to mean??? :mad:

There are PLEANTY of features like FSAA where Nvidias entire Hardware line is being held back. But no one i know goes around with insulting junk like the statement you have plasterd in their sig.

So you just now noticed my sig huh Hellbinder :)


Its called Lobbying. The fact that its getting attention is a good thing. Negative or Positive.

Until Catalyst Maker quits play gating the features I want out of software. I will continue to lobby my beliefs. :)

I'm sure if you look at my post history on the forums. You Will know the features I want and just exactly how I feel about them and Catalyst Makers General attitude towards them.

*edit* P.S. This is off topic so we'd probably wanna discuss it elsewhere :)

Hellbinder
08-11-03, 04:47 PM
hmmmm... From the Front page, Quote from latest 5900 review..

While itís still debatable who has the fastest graphics core, with both ATI and NVIDIA claiming their fair share of wins, there can be no doubt that the GeForce FX 5900 Ultra chip powering the NBox N5900 Ultra has more than enough power for all of todayís latest games. And with its 256-bit memory interface it has the memory bandwidth to crank up the screen resolution and/or image-enhancing features like anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering without suffering too much of a performance hit. Finally, the 128-bit floating point architecture supports 2.0 pixel and vertex shaders, so youíre all set from a features perspective for the next generation of games that will be released over the course of the next 12-18 months.

I actually got a little irritated when i read that. Considering the wealth of information on what % hit FSAA and what Quality you get on Nvidia hardware.

You simply cannot *Crank up the AA+AF* and get playable frame rates. You cant even *crank it up to levels that are reasonbly close to ATi's 4x FSAA* and get reasonable performance.

ragejg
08-11-03, 06:57 PM
c'mon, HB, that's an old argument... you wanna talk in circles with people?

it doesn't need to be brought up here...

///BACK ON TOPIC///

StealthHawk
08-11-03, 09:05 PM
Originally posted by G6-200
Nice job StealthHawk!
When I had my Ti-4600 I loved 4xS and especially 8xS modes when playing Morrowind. I am CPU limited in that game anyway so I cranked up the AA.
Makes me wonder WTH nVidia does not expose the RGMS+OGSS modes instead of the crappy ordered grid modes they have.
I suppose since they only work in D3D maybe that's why, they could still have seperate AA controls for D3D and OpenGL though.
I'm really tempted to try out a 5900 to see how playable these modes are on a card with far more bandwidth than my Ti-4600 had.

G6

Actually, the "real" 8xS mode is available in OpenGL too :eek:

ChrisRay
08-11-03, 09:12 PM
Originally posted by StealthHawk
Actually, the "real" 8xS mode is available in OpenGL too :eek:

is it really? I no longer own an Nvidia, could you like post a screenshot?

Not that I dont believe you.. I just really wanna see that :D

saturnotaku
08-11-03, 09:27 PM
Originally posted by StealthHawk
Actually, the "real" 8xS mode is available in OpenGL too :eek:

And this is exposed using aTuner? And correct me if I missed thisk, but what drivers did you use?

fivefeet8
08-11-03, 11:02 PM
Originally posted by ChrisRay
is it really? I no longer own an Nvidia, could you like post a screenshot?

Not that I dont believe you.. I just really wanna see that :D

I'm pointing you here ChrisRay.

http://www.ngemu.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=38701

Almost all those shots there are done with either 16xFSAA or 8xSFSAA in OGL or D3d. All games(emulated or PC) are running at amazingly playable speeds. And yes, the shots which I state are running OGL are using the "hidden" 8xSFSAA enabled with Rivatuner or Atuner!.

StealthHawk
08-12-03, 01:28 AM
I stumbled across a great article at 3DCenter which compares and benchmarks hidden FSAA modes on a GeForceFX5600: http://www.3dcenter.de/artikel/geforcefx_aa_modi/index_english.php. The performance hit of the hybrid modes aren't all that different from my numbers, which is completely to be expected. According to them, the hidden 8xS mode in D3D is the same mode exposed in OGL for GeForceFX users.

Perhaps the most noteworthy for those who are more technical is the breakdown of each FSAA mode: http://www.3dcenter.de/artikel/geforcefx_aa_modi/index6_english.php. If you are interested in what degree of SSAA and MSAA are used in each hybrid mode I suggest you take a look. For people too lazy I will just list it ;)

4xS: 2xRGMS + 1x2OGSS
6x: 4xOGMS + 1.5x1OGSS
8x: 4xOGMS + 2x1OGSS
8xS: 2xRGMS + 4xOGSS
12x: 4xOGMS + 1.5x2OGSS

Looking at the sample patterns (http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&postid=168674#post168674) you can see that 4xS and 8xS do indeed use RGMS, and this is why the quality is so high compared to the "higher" degree hybrid FSAA modes :)

StealthHawk
08-12-03, 01:31 AM
Originally posted by saturnotaku
And this is exposed using aTuner? And correct me if I missed thisk, but what drivers did you use?

Yes, for GeForce3/4 users this is exposed with aTuner. GeForceFX5600 and higher already have it exposed in the driver control panel, if I'm not mistaken. I used driver 44.03 on my card. Heh, originally I did not list what driver I used :o

G6-200
08-12-03, 10:28 AM
Originally posted by StealthHawk
Actually, the "real" 8xS mode is available in OpenGL too :eek:

So, yet another inexplicable blunder by nVidia. Why on earth would they not expose the highest quality AA modes in the drivers? Considering the sample patterns, performance should be similar with both 8x modes.
Also, looking at the screenshots I'm not 100% convinced that the 8xS OpenGL mode is the same as D3D, but I'll take your word for it. :)

G6

StealthHawk
08-12-03, 08:16 PM
Originally posted by G6-200
So, yet another inexplicable blunder by nVidia. Why on earth would they not expose the highest quality AA modes in the drivers? Considering the sample patterns, performance should be similar with both 8x modes.
Also, looking at the screenshots I'm not 100% convinced that the 8xS OpenGL mode is the same as D3D, but I'll take your word for it. :)

G6

Because the "real" 8xS has a bigger performance hit.

Also, I am not the one saying that 8xS in OGL is the same as 8xS in D3D. 3DCenter, creators of aTuner, said that. I have yet to verify this.