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High-Resolution Antialiasing (HRAA)

With the advent of the GeForce3 GPU Nvidia introduced a new technology designed to provide a solution for high-resolution antialiasing. While other antialiasing solutions have been around for a while now, it is only now that high-resolution antialiasing is available and only offered on the GeForce3 and now the GeForce 3 Ti500. HRAA can offer the unique combination of high resolutions and high frame rates in combination with high-quality antialiasing. By implementing hardware support for multisampling, as well as innovating new sampling technology, GeForce3 makes HRAA available for all real-time content.

Multisampling: The Solution

NVIDIA GeForce 3 Titanium 500 Review - Graphics Cards  1 (This animation demonstrates the visual difference between when there is no antialiasing and when GeForce3’s Quincunx antialiasing is turned on. )

The biggest problem with supersampling is performance. Users don’t want to see their frame rate fall to one-half or one-fourth of what it should be.

Multisampling is a more sophisticated technique than supersampling that involves higher quality output than standard rendering with much higher performance, a win/win scenario compared to either alternative. Multisampling requires a more sophisticated GPU, however, so only the newest GPUs available support this technique. The basic idea behind multisampling is to embed the intelligence behind antialiasing inside the core of the GPU, in hardware. This makes the GPU more complex, but rewards the user with higher quality and higher performance. Multisampling works because the GPU itself is “aware” that multiple samples will be used to calculate the final pixel color.

You can think of these extra samples as extra “virtual pixels. The GeForce3 GPU has wider data paths internally so it can handle these extra virtual pixels without slowing down its standard rendering speed.

In fact, the GeForce3 GPU can compute these “virtual pixels” or additional samples at full speed, with no reduction in engine performance whatsoever. These wider data paths enable GeForce3 to use the same texture data for all of the samples in the pixel and significantly reduce the memory bandwidth required to texture all of the AA samples.

The GeForce3 GPU is the first product ever to deliver HRAA at a consumer price point. The hardware multisampling capabilities of the GeForce3 GPU offer an unprecedented level of performance and flexibility, giving end users more and better mode choices for antialiasing, and helping them tap the full potential of this ground breaking graphics processor.

NVIDIA GeForce 3 Titanium 500 Review - Graphics Cards  2

NVIDIA GeForce 3 Titanium 500 Review - Graphics Cards  3 NVIDIA GeForce 3 Titanium 500 Review - Graphics Cards  4 NVIDIA GeForce 3 Titanium 500 Review - Graphics Cards  5
NVIDIA GeForce 3 Titanium 500 Review - Graphics Cards  6
X 4 AA

I used a screen shot of Return to Castle Wolfenstein to demonstrate the benefits of antialiasing and also to show you the three different types available to the GeForce 3 and the Ti500.

Here you can see the quality of the image, the screenshot was taken at 1024X768 and the game play was smooth and fluid, the first of the three is X2 Antialiasing and is the least effective but still far better than having nothing at all.

Secondly there is X4 Antialiasing and as you can see it is better than X2 Antialiasing but also a tad out of focus, I also found that the frame rate dropped quite allot with this setting.

Finally I tried Quincunx Antialiasing and as you can see the improvements are considerable and due to the way that Quincunx works you get better than 4X Antialiasing quality at the frame rate of X2 Antialiasing, this alone is a bonus.

Admittedly Quincunx is a bit more blurred than X4, but this is the only sacrifice that you will have to bear with, so with Quincunx you will most likely gain in frame rate and have a more fluid and smooth gaming experience.

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