Gigabyte Geforce 7800 GTX GV-NX78X256V-B - Page 14

Written by John Chen    Thursday, 01 September 2005 11:00
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Image Quality

Perhaps one of the most anticipated features of the new 7800 GTX architecture is the addition of new anti-aliasing modes.  In addition to the anti-aliasing modes present within the older 6800 architecture, the 7800 GTX features two new modes of transparency anti-aliasing: multisampling and supersampling.  The new modes are unique in that they provide much better anti-aliasing methods than what we are used to seeing.  Being able to smooth out edges inside of a polygon, the new modes are most obvious in fences, brush, and any other complex flat piece of polygon with complex shapes inside of it.  I demonstrated this added mode with Half-Life 2's fences.

4xAA / 16xAF

This is a graphical issue we are used to seeing with all games: fences just do not look convincing enough even at 1600x1200 at 4xAA / 16xAF.  The fence itself is very jaggy, and you can notice it even more when fences overlay each other (as you can tell in the distance near the right side).

4xMSAA / 16xAF

Here, I enabled multisampling anti-aliasing.  Although you can not see much of a difference between this and 4xAA / 16xAF, if you look REALLY closely at the fence, you can notice the jaggies getting slightly smoother.

4xSSAA / 16xAF

Here, I enabled supersampling anti-aliasing.  While you could not notice the difference much with multisampling, the benefit of supersampling is obvious.  You can easily notice how the fences are nor longer jaggy, and the back fences are actually crystal clear instead of a mess of pixels.  Half-Life 2 never looked so good, and I am not sure if the game is actually meant for ATI cards anymore.  For performance results, I tested Chronicles of Riddick and Half-Life 2.  Riddick is a perfect example of a system hogging game while Half-Life 2 is a perfect example of a graphically beautiful game that is not as demanding.  As you can see from the results, MSAA does not take much of a performance hit, but SSAA takes a much bigger hit.  Although not that much, the use of SSAA in these games is simply incredible and well worth the small hit if you enjoy incredible graphics.