Brand new in ATI’s Catalyst 7.7 driver is a new type of Coverage Sample Anti-Aliasing, called Edge Sampling.  Multi Sample Anti-Aliasing is starting to show it’s age, as gamers are looking for better detail for their high resolution ~20″ (or more) monitors.  Elite Bastards gives you a look at the difference this new type of AA brings to games, and the performance hit your HD 2x00XT series card takes to use it.

You can also check out Ryan’s brand new review of the Diamond Multimedia Viper HD 2900 XT 1GB GDDR4, which will be able to use ESAA if you pick one up.
“In essence, the concept of ATI’s edge detect anti-aliasing is all in the name. It detects edges. Hold the front page! In slight more complex terms, this particular anti-aliasing mode looks for geometry edges in the rendered scene which sit across a pixel, and uses both the position on screen and the direction of the edge which has been detected to weight and then anti-alias that edge. ATI currently has two levels of edge detection available, one labelled 12x (which sits under the 4x mode with the edge detect filter selected in Catalyst Control Center) and the other 24x (which correlates to 8x with the correct filter in use in the driver control panel).

Needless to say, this isn’t a cheap process to carry out computationally, so it should be noted right here and now that performance hits have the potential to be rather large using this mode of anti-aliasing. Of course, we’ll take a look at just how hefty that performance hit is in a handful of game titles in due course.”

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