Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Why You Don't Need Antialiasing

I read a great article on Nvidia's website on the different graphics effects, what they do and how they work.  Specifically in Skyrim.  This lead me to do my own tests with different settings and trying them out in game.  What I found was that antialiasing was not worth the substantial FPS (frames per second) loss.  However Anisotropic Filtering was definatly worth buffing up to the highest level.

Starting with Antialiasing.  AA smooths out the jagged edges in games, simple as that.  The more samples you use (2x 4x 8x) the more work it its for the GPU.

This screenshot comparison I made shows the difference between no AA at all, and the max Skyrim setting of 8x samples.  Note that the only difference the AA makes is the jaggedness of edges

This chart shows the FPS change between the different AA settings on different resolutions (from the Nvidia article)
almost 20 FPS difference

Now for Anisotropic Filtering.  Anisotropic Filtering improves the clarity of textures, making a noticeable and fantastic difference.  This picture comparison is from the Nvidia article, I cut it together and added the thoughtful comparison emotional response indicator.

The difference between no AF and 16x AF
Now to show the effect on FPS

So there you have it.  You can significantly improve your FPS by turning off AA (or putting it to 2x) and pushing up AF to the maximum setting.

References:
http://www.geforce.com/Optimize/Guides/the-elder-scrolls-v-skyrim-tweak-guide

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