Besides 32x FSAA, we will compare the quality of antialiasing of transparent textures in ATI and Nvidia solutions’ Adaptive AA and Transparency AA modes, respectively. This will help us find the ultimate answer what modes to use for our tests of graphics cards’ performance. Like in the previous case, ATI’s products go first.
It is virtually impossible to find a difference between the lack of adaptive antialiasing and the Adaptive AA:Performance/Quality modes even if you come up to the mesh fence. When we compared the Performance and Quality modes directly in The Compressonator, the resulting screenshot (produced by deducting the original screenshots from each other) was a black screen, meaning that the originals were 100% identical. But perhaps it is only Fallout 3. Let’s see what we have in Half-Life 2: Episode Two.
There are differences here, even though negligible ones. Take a look at the spruces’ branches: Adaptive AA improves their rendering quality even in Performance mode, although does not make it ideal. When we compared the spruces in Adaptive AA: Performance and Quality modes, we again got a black screen as the result. Thus, Adaptive AA is itself beneficial but there is absolutely no difference between the different Adaptive AA modes: Performance and Quality provide a same-looking picture.
Now it’s Nvidia’s turn:
As opposed to ATI’s solutions, the difference is far more obvious: when you turn MS TAA on, the fence is displayed more neatly, with fewer undesired gaps. The fence looks sharper than on the ATI Radeon HD. It improves even more in the SS TAA mode and becomes better-looking than in the Adaptive AA modes on the ATI Radeon HD cards.
Like with the ATI Radeon HD solutions, the effect from the enabled Transparency AA is conspicuous in the spruces in the first place. The antialiasing quality provided by MS TAA is roughly equal to ATI’s Adaptive AA. The quality of SS TAA is somewhat higher but not as conspicuously higher as in Fallout 3.
Thus, Nvidia’s Transparency Multisampling is roughly equal to ATI’s Adaptive AA in terms of quality. Therefore our choice of transparency antialiasing settings for our gaming tests is justifiable as it ensures equal visual quality for all products. We don’t see any reason to change our method as yet.
And now we can proceed to our gaming tests.