Half Life 2 Comparison Shots
No AA Reference image
For these screenshots you may wish to adjust your gamma some. My reasoning for taking them so dark was to highlight the effects with various lighting conditions. Gamma correction would skew the results and defeat the purpose of the test. Keep in mind theres an odd bug with TSAA that is being fixed in future drivers. The fence line is white and without texture with transparent super sampling enabled.
2x AA Comparisons
2xAA/16xAF (Gamma Corrected)
2xAA/16xAF (Gamma Correct, Transparent Multisampling)
2xAA/16xAF (Gamma Correct, Transparent Supersampling)
2xAA represents a slight improvement to overall image quality. If you look across the power lines as well you can see a small improvement by the implementation of gamma correction. Transparency AA represents a significant improvement to image quality. Paticularly the super sampling implementation. While multisampling seems to have a lower overall effect. However there is much room for improvement.
4x AA Comparison
4xAA/16xAF (Gamma Corrected)
4xAA/16xAF ((Gamma Corrected, Transparent Multisampling))
4xAA/16xAF (Gamma Corrected, Transparent Supersampling)
4xAA shows a pretty significant overall improvement in image quality. Gamma correction provides a slight subjective improvement to the overall image including power lines. Transparent Supersampling once again making a significant improvement to the chain link fence.
8xS AA Comparison
8xAA/16xAF (Gamma Corrected)
8xAA/16xAF ((Gamma Correct, Transparent Multisampling))
8xAA/16xAF ((Gamma Correct, Transparent Supersampling))
The supersampling nature of 8xS once again provides an instance boost to the overall scene effectively removing significant aliasing from the chain link fence. Enabling transparent super sampling creates a beautiful image with almost no visible aliasing.
Half Life 2 Multi AA Comparison Screenshot
Special thanks to Clay for helping me with multishot.
I realised that Half Life 2 would show signs of CPU limitation
when next generation hardware came around. But I didnt realise it would be this severe. . There are rare cases where performance drops lower to what you see here generally providing excellent performance and image quality. Modern 7800 cards are significantly CPU limited in this title and can get away with 8xAA on SLI setups or 4xAA on non SLI setups with Transparency Supersampling enabled for unheard of quality improvements from anything we've seen before
Final Thoughts and Conclusions:
For the last 7 months I have been pretty consistent in saying anti aliasing would take a back seat to new technology improvements. I am willing and happy to admit I was wrong about this. My biggest criticism with the current trend of raising sample pattern density was that it increased framebuffer consumption considerably. However the new modes are not only able to increase quality but they manage to do it without affecting performance too much. Add this to the fact that Nvidia has the best legacy anti aliasing modes
available. I am left very satisfied by the improvements made to the Geforce 7800GTX. With these new modes transparent texture problems should be a thing of the past.
I would also like to point out I took screenshots comparing World of Warcraft with Normal 4xAA
and 4x Transparent Supersampling