Well, you all know about it. Modern graphics processors from ATI and NVIDIA run incredibly fast in current computer games. They often give out one or two hundred frames per second – you don’t actually need this much. However, there is a way to load any graphics card to the full extent: by simply turning on full-screen anti-aliasing (FSAA) or anisotropic filtering (AF) or both at a time. This makes the picture much smoother, eliminates the annoying jaggies on slanting lines and increases the texture quality.
You always have to pay for better quality, however, and 3D graphics is no exception. Even a most expensive graphics card may not cope with such a high workload. That’s exactly what we are going to check out today: how well modern graphics cards can handle the workload imposed by enabled FSAA.
This time we took two graphics cards that suit well for the planned investigation. The first is based on the R350 graphics chip from ATI Technologies and the second is its immediate rival based on the solution from NVIDIA – the NV35 GPU. Both cards came to us in colorful retail boxes and fully bundled with software and accessories.
Let’s take a closer look at them first.
VisionTek Xtasy 9800 PRO: Closer Look
The card from VisionTek seems to be appealing to the teenage public. At least, its package is gaudily colored and is made of translucent plastic. The front side of the box displays a psychedelic image with three strange creatures. Judging by the facial expression, they are either at the height of ecstasy or in the cramps of unbearable pain :).
The back side of the box depicts two animation-like graffiti people – a boy and a girl. The girl seems to be aiming at you with a sprayer as if she were drawing the V-shaped VisionTek’s logo on the box. Numerous slang-written captions are touting the advantages of Xtasy 9800 Pro. Overall, the box catches your attention with its bright colors and unusual material it is made of.