View Full Version : NV40 antialiasing sample patterns

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06-24-04, 07:39 PM
I have been looking into the drivers, Finding out what modes are still usable. From 61.32 and forward.

I have been going through the Various Anti Aliasing sample patterns currently available to the Geforce 6 6800. This is what I have currently Discovered. For Reference sakes.

Note: Green Dots: Are Geometry sampling and green dots are texture sampling. Super Sampling does texture sampling. Hence why they are seperate from geometry sometimes in Nvidias Hybrid Modes. Texture sampling can effect Alpha Textures and improve overall scene quality unlike geometry sampling.

OGMS: Ordered Grid Multi Sampling
RGMS: Rotated Grid Multi Sampling
OGSS: Ordered Grid Super Sampling
RGSS: Rotated Grid Super Sampling

2x: 2x hasnt changed any. Same 2 Sample Rotated Grid Pattern Found on the Nv3x/NV2x Series. Quincunx Shares this pattern Sample


2xQ: Quincunx is a special anti aliasing mode that dates back to the Geforce 3 series, Its share the same sample pattern as 2x. However a post processing pixel sharing occurs on ramdac which can decrease edge aliasing., This can introduce a "blur" effect to the screen. Once heralded as 2x performance at 4x Quality, it effectively removes edges better than 4x OGMS but inferior to 4x RGMS, Performance is in line with 2x multisampling.


4x RGMS: Large Change, 4x Rotated Grid Multi Sampling. Does a much better Job at hitting Horizontal Edges. With Nvidias compression. This mode produces optimal Image Quality/Performance of all modes available within drivers.


4x OGMS: Legacy Mode from NV2x/NV3x line. Sample Patterns are aligned in an ordered grid pattern. While effectively hitting vertical edges. It does little against horizontal aliasing.


4x-9tap: Another legacy mode from the Nv2x/Nv3x line that was never officially supported. Similar to quincunx it uses pixel sharing post processing that reduces edge aliasing.. It does however cause a blur effect like quincunx.


4xS Still usable on the Geforce 6800, Same as Previous card. 2x RGMS + 1x2 Super Sampling. (Direct3d Only) Notice the green texture sample patterns which will improve overall scene quality. This mode is usually faster than 8xS by a few frames per second. (Ut2004 is an anomaly)


8xS Appears to be 4x RGMS + 1x2 SS, I was testing this mode and to be honest the Performance is definately there and usable in many situations. The pink sample pattern represent the super sampling and its overall effects on textures.


16xS The very first 16x mode ever available under a Direct3d Enviroment! It consists of 4x RGMS + 2x2 OGSS. Notice the 16 Grey Geometry samples and the 4 pink texture samples. This mode requires massive amounts of framebuffer usage. Owners of 256 meg cards might find this more usable.


16x Super Sampling: Another new mode available under Direct3d. This mode consists of pure 16x ordered grid super sampling. This mode fillrate and bandwith limited and will bring even NV4x chipsets directly to it's knees.


2x1 Super Sampling: 2x1 Ordered Grid Super Sampling. Good for Compatibility, Still available with a registry tweak tool. Only good for hitting vertical edges, Horizontal Edges will not be affected.(direct3d only)


1x2 Super Sampling:Similar to 2x1, Also good for compatibility. This pattern is designed to anti alias horizontal edges, It will not do anything to verticle edges.(direct3d Only)


2x2 Super Sampling: 4x Ordered Grid Super Sampling. This pattern does best against verticle edges, But also removes aliasing on horizontal edges as well(Direct3d Only)


Old 6x: Consists of 4x OGMS + 2x1 Super Sampling. This mode was one
of the initial NV30 launch modes. It was long since replaced, Since it doesnt
hit horizontal edges at all it is not very useful.


12x Anti Aliasing: Also Known as 6xS for Geforce FX users. Its combination of OGMS and Ordered Grid Super Sampling. Noticing this pattern leaves me to believe the Geforce 6800 still supports Ordered Grid Multisampling somewhere within the drivers.


Old 8xS(Broken): Geforce FX users 8xS Anti Aliasing. A Combination of 2RGMS with 2x2 OGSS. Notice the pink patterns as well. Much larger performance hit than Nvidias new mode. However it seems to sharpen textures better. Unfortunately with later forceware drivers, This anti aliasing is currently broken.


No AA (http://www.nvnews.net/articles/chrisray_iq/comparison/noaawheel.png)
2X AA (http://www.nvnews.net/articles/chrisray_iq/comparison/2xaawheel.png)
2XQ AA (http://www.nvnews.net/articles/chrisray_iq/comparison/2xqwheel.png)
4x AA (RGMS) (http://www.nvnews.net/articles/chrisray_iq/comparison/4xaawheel.png)
4x AA (OGMS) (http://www.nvnews.net/articles/chrisray_iq/comparison/4xogmswheel.png)
4x9tap AA (http://www.nvnews.net/articles/chrisray_iq/comparison/4x9tapwheel.png)
4xS AA (http://www.nvnews.net/articles/chrisray_iq/comparison/4xSwheel.png)
8xS AA (http://www.nvnews.net/articles/chrisray_iq/comparison/8xSwheel.png)
16xS AA (http://www.nvnews.net/articles/chrisray_iq/comparison/new16xwheel.png)
16x SS AA (http://www.nvnews.net/articles/chrisray_iq/comparison/16xogsswheel.png)
2x1 AA (http://www.nvnews.net/articles/chrisray_iq/comparison/2x1wheel.png)
1x2 AA (http://www.nvnews.net/articles/chrisray_iq/comparison/1x2wheel.png)
2x2 AA (http://www.nvnews.net/articles/chrisray_iq/comparison/2x2wheel.png)
Old 6xAA (http://www.nvnews.net/articles/chrisray_iq/comparison/old6xwheel.png)
12X AA (http://www.nvnews.net/articles/chrisray_iq/comparison/12xwheel.png)
Old 8x AA (http://www.nvnews.net/articles/chrisray_iq/comparison/old8xwheel.png)

Nvidia once again has unchallenged legacy support for its Anti Aliasing methods.

06-24-04, 07:52 PM
I collected data and gathered results.

Note: All data gathered, With the exception of the Reference shot with no AF is done with 16x Quality Anistropic Filtering.

No AA/NoAF: Reference Point. Performance used as baseline

Image Quality Shot


2xAA/16xAF: Marginal performance Hit from moving from 2xAA/16x Quality AF, Large increase in Image Quality.

Image Quality Shot


2xQAA/16xAF: Performance hit as shown is similar to 2xAA, the blurring side effect of quincunx can be seen here.

Image Quality Shot


4xAA/16xAF(RGMS): With Nvidias New 4x RGMS pattern the jump from 2x to 4x is about the same as the jump from from no anti aliasing to 2x. Bringing significant quality improvements at a very marginal frame rate hit from 2x. Highly recommended mode for 6800 users. Please note horizontal edges and how 4x AA effectively removes aliasing.

Image Quality Shot


4xAA/16xAF(OGMS): Nvidias old legacy 4x Multi Sampling. This mode is also found on NV2x/NV3x Variant Nvidia GPUs, It employs the same compression as Nvidias new mode. It does appear to be marginally faster than the new mode. However it doesnt do much for horizontal edges at all rendering it pretty useless in comparison to the 4x RGMS pattern

Image Quality Shot


4x9tap/16xAF: As seen on the original NV2x/Nv3x GPUS, This mode is a bit slower than 4x multisampling modes. An exception seems to be Unreal Tournament 2004 which seems to not differ in performance much at low resolutions. More bandwith limited titles/resolutions will show more of a disparity.

Image Quality Shot


8XS/16xAF: Impressive results. Able to maintain an average of 50 + FPS in the Antalus Map. This setting has proven to be more usable than I expected. (Recommended for Jagged edge nuts) Offers twice the performance of the old 8xS mode and seems to remove horizontal edges better. Compare to the old 8xS Mode.

Image Quality Shot


16xS/16xAF: The new 16x is exclusive to people with NV40 variant graphic cards. This mode is overkill. It does however provide the absolute best Image Quality. It effectively removes aliasing better than any other mode nvidia offers and also serves to sharpen textures. It does however have dire effects upon performance.


16xAA(SS)/16xAF: The other 16x pattern within Nvidia drivers is 16x Super Sampling. Its quality seems slightly below 16xS when it comes to edge removal. However texture quality will be very high using this mode. Performance is very low due to the massive fillrate and bandwith requirements.


4xS/16xAF: This result surprised me alot. I absolutely cannot see any reason to use this mode on a Geforce 6800, While one of my favorite modes on the geforce FX series, the 4x Multi Sampling mode completely obsoletes this method. Providing twice the frame rates at the same Image Quality. One thing to note is that UT2004 shows an unusual anomaly compared to other aps. Generally 4xS is few frame per second faster than 8xS.

Image Quality Shot


2x1/16xAF: Not really an ideal Gaming mode. This mode is useful for playing Old Games with Alpha Texture, Doesnt effect horizontal aliasing at all

Image Quality Shot


1x2/16x AF: Same as Above, Not ideal Gaming Mode. This mode is useful for playing Old Games With Alpha Textures, Doesnt effect Vertical Aliasing at all

Image Quality Shot


2x2/16x AF: Best Legacy AA Mode. Pure Super Sampling. Works excellent in older titles which have trouble with Multi Sampling. Image Quality Comparable to 4x ordered grid multi sampling

Image Quality Shot


Old 6xAA/16xAF: Another not terribly useful mode. This mode was originally used during the launch of the Geforce FX 5800 Ultra. It was
highly criticized for not being much better than 4x. There is not much use
to this current mode.

Image Quality Shot


12xAA/16x AF: Not Terribly useful. IQ results above 4x Multi Sampling are marginal. Hybrid mode so not even paticularly useful for Alpha textures.

Image Quality Shot


Old 8xS/16xAF: Interesting mode. Edge removal is comparable to New 8xS mode. However it does tend to offer better quality on textures due to it being super sampling. Not reccomended unless you want sharper textures. Be sure to compare to the new 8xS.

Image Quality Shot


Performance: For the new graph I decided to use DM: Ice Tomb because it more effectively limits the GPU than Antalus. All tests were conducted with max quality in DM Icetomb. I took three preset runs and divided the results to reduce margin of error. Margin of error was within .5 FPS.


To Enable: To Enable copy this .cfg to your riva tuner and remove your old AA .cfg settings.

FSAAMode01 = 2 x 1
FSAAMode02 = 1 x 2
FSAAMode05 = 2 x 2
FSAAMode0E = 2x
FSAAMode0F = Quincunx
FSAAMode10 = 4x RGMS
FSAAMode12 = 4x 9-tap
FSAAMode13 = 4xS
FSAAMode17 = 12x
FSAAMode19 = Old 8x
FSAAMode1A = 16x Hybrid
FSAAMode16 = Old 6x (D3d)
FSAAMode18 = New 8x
FSAAMode1B = 4x Gamma Corrected
FSAAMode0D = 16x OGSS

Conclusion: Nvidias new 4x mode results in the best balance of image quality and performance. However there is lot of tweakability within Nvidia's drivers, Finding a mode that suits you shouldnt be hard.

Final Note: Unfortunately there are some minor discrepancies in my Image Quality shots. I apologise for this. Due to the fact that I was unlocking these modes over a course of time.. Some modes were not taken at the exact "position" and time frame. I do intend to correct this as soon as possible.

06-24-04, 08:59 PM
Excellent work there ChrisRay! :)
This would be the most detail and useful AA investigation for NV cards!

06-24-04, 09:01 PM
cool stuff...can ya bench with games liek ut2k3/ut2k4 ..far cry etc with some of unofficial AA modes thanks ;)

06-24-04, 09:05 PM
Excellent work there ChrisRay! :)

p.s. why use GeForce 6 6800 instead of GeForce 6800 ?

because I keep prefixing it as the 6th Geforce card to carry the name. Bad habit :)

cool stuff...can ya bench with games liek ut2k3/ut2k4 ..far cry etc with some of unofficial AA modes thanks ;)

I am beginning to write an Image Quality review in my spare time for Nvnews. It's gonna be a massive undertaking project wise. So Might have to wait for that. :)

06-24-04, 11:08 PM
hey why not some screenshots of old and new 8xS in Geforce6800.?

everytime i use 4xS i notice a huge diference in the IQ of the games.. instantly.. 8xS should be awesome!! and usefull in games not to demanding in power and using conservative resolutions.. like 1024x768.

06-24-04, 11:10 PM
hey why not some screenshots of old and new 8xS in Geforce6800.?

everytime i use 4xS i notice a huge diference in the IQ of the games.. instantly.. 8xS should be awesome!! and usefull in games not to demanding in power and using conservative resolutions.. like 1024x768.

Problem with screenshots, Is Currently I lack webspace, I would love very much to Quality COmparison Shots, (Which is why I am writing a review) But I have no place to host screens that would either mode justice.

*edit* Update! screenshots posted below comparing each respective mode.

06-25-04, 03:13 PM
I just updated the results to show Image Quality among the various Modes. I hope this investigation helps some people.

06-25-04, 04:12 PM
Very nice work. I hope this gets a front page link ASAP!

06-25-04, 05:59 PM
Nice work Chris, in that shot 8xfsaa isnt really that much slower than than 4xfsaa :bugeyes:

Its always impressive how much better even just 2xfsaa looks than no fsaa. Do you know what the performance is in that shot at 0xfsaa +16xaf/2xfsaa +0xaf?

Good job, hope it makes the front page

06-25-04, 07:46 PM
I thought ATI had the edge anti-aliasing solution in the bag, now I am not so sure. The quality for 2x/4x MSAA is far as I am concerned the same. The ATI 6x compared to Nvidia's new 8xS I think will go to Nvidia due to the FSAA part. I am definitely looking forward to all of this. Temporal AA is interesting but I've only found one game that it worked well on and that was MaxPayne II (that was on an old 9700Pro I might add). The choice of both using MSAA and FSAA as well as a combination of the two is great. Some games won't do MSAA but will do FSAA, Splinter Cell is one of them if I am not mistaken. If so, then I will probably get Splinter Cell now.

ChrisRay, could you check into titles that do not do MSAA like Splinter Cell, that is if you have them and see they will work with FSAA?

06-25-04, 11:08 PM
I'll try Noko. But at the moment I am very pressed for time. Trying to do alot of things, benches, IQ Comparisons ect :)


P.S. Updated again. Should be much easier to read now.

06-25-04, 11:14 PM
nice work chris ;)

06-25-04, 11:17 PM
Yes, this is comendable work Chris. :thumbsup:

06-25-04, 11:30 PM
wow, chris... nice job. :)

06-25-04, 11:31 PM
Looking good Chris!

06-25-04, 11:34 PM
Very informative stuff. Kinda filled me in on super sampling which I know little to nothing about.

Thanks! :thumbsup:

06-25-04, 11:42 PM
Thanks guys, it started out as something small. Just a buncha general data I gathered. I just couldnt stop! :ORDER:

06-26-04, 12:24 AM
What does rotated grid super sampling look like?

06-26-04, 06:43 AM
Nice work Chris, that 4xAA sure is a sweet spot now they have copied ATi AA :toast:



06-26-04, 03:07 PM
Nice work Chris, in that shot 8xfsaa isnt really that much slower than than 4xfsaa :bugeyes:

Its always impressive how much better even just 2xfsaa looks than no fsaa. Do you know what the performance is in that shot at 0xfsaa +16xaf/2xfsaa +0xaf?

Good job, hope it makes the front page

alright dan, That is a good idea, Later today I'll add these results to the main graph. I was somewhat surprised by these results so I did 8 runs each time with fraps and Divided the results. The results were remarkably conclusive with only 5. FPS margin for error. As you can see 2x AA and 4x AA yield practically "no" performance hit.

AF yielding in a much larger hit than both of them in Quality Mode. Does anyone remember the days when anti aliasing was harder to do than anistropic filtering? Color compression really does its work.

Keep In Mind AF with Performance/High Performance and High quality yield different results. Since this is an Anti Aliasing comparison I will keep it simple and focus on anti aliasing performance figures.


06-26-04, 08:23 PM
Is 2xQ still suported in the 6800??

I ask cause I didn't see in on the comparison

06-26-04, 08:40 PM
Could you provide the sampling pattern for 16x AA (openGL)?

06-26-04, 08:59 PM
Is 2xQ still suported in the 6800??

I ask cause I didn't see in on the comparison

Yes, it is still supported. But I left it out of the equation due to various factors.

But 2x <--->Quincunx are essentially the same performance. (usually within 1 FPS of each other at most)

16x should still be supported, But I havent had a chance to run those tests yet. And its not compatible with Direct3d. Hence why its been left out of these tests. Which are all done within a DirectX enviroment.

I am also trying to find 4x9tap (4x Quincunx) To see if its still supported. But it's hard since there are no tweakers currently compatible with the Nv4x. I tried to contact Unwinder to see if theres a way to force rivatuner to recognise my chip as an NV3x. When I get more information I promise I will post it.


06-27-04, 09:58 AM

OMG, the NV4x has 16x SSAA. Can you test it, ChrisRay? It's only usable in D3D.