Image Quality: Anti-aliasing, Anisotropy

Mainstream Graphics: FX5700U vs Radeon 9600XT - Graphics Cards  1 Anti-aliasing Quality

Mainstream Graphics: FX5700U vs Radeon 9600XT - Graphics Cards  2

“Jaggies” are the result of rendering an edge using the display’s default pixel locations. Anti-aliasing removes these jagged edges by softening the edge to make it appear more smooth – creating the illusion of rendering an edge on the screen as if it were at a higher resolution. As a result, anti-aliasing is generally more important on lower resolution displays (i.e. 1024×768 on a 19″ monitor) as there are less pixels to render an edge. But many users, regardless of resolution and monitor size, use anti-aliasing to generally improve the way images look. Here we will test the three major chipset’s in anti-aliasing performance.

 
NVIDIA FX5700 Ultra
Asus Radeon 9600XT
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Each time we write an article here at AMDMB, we redo the anti-aliasing and aniso tests just to see if there are any improvements over previous models or differences between models released the same time. It may not be a surprise to many of you when I say that there’s very little difference between the results comparing the FX5700U to the Radeon 9600XT and the FX5950U to the Radeon 9800XT.

In both cases, the NVIDIA FX and Radeon perform nearly the same at 2x anti-aliasing, with each card being better than the other in certain spots. But the Radeon pulls ahead at 4x anti-aliasing where the Radeon does a little better along diagonals as seen along the edges of the house on the left and on the chimney on the right. However, I wonder how many of you would notice this when playing a game since not many of us just sit still and look at edges of polygons. 🙂

Mainstream Graphics: FX5700U vs Radeon 9600XT - Graphics Cards  9 Anisotropic Quality

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We will now take a look at the anisotropic filtering quality of the Asus Radeon 9800XT compared to the NVIDIA FX5950 Ultra. The game we are using to compare samples is from Halo using the best texture quality settings from both the videocard driver and from the game.

 
NVIDIA FX5700 Ultra
Asus Radeon 9600XT
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Mainstream Graphics: FX5700U vs Radeon 9600XT - Graphics Cards  12
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Comparing the samples from Halo, we can see that the Radeon 9600XT has richer colors and more detailing on the textures. This is especially obvious when comparing it to the FX5700 Ultra samples. The FX5700 Ultra looks pale and flat compared to the Radeon. I even adjusted the gamma settings thinking it was gamma that was washing out the textures, but it wasn’t the case (I did multiple screen shots using different gamma settings and the results were all very similar). Unlike the anti-aliasing samples earlier, the choice is a little more obvious here and your money should go towards the Radeon 9600XT.

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