What is Anti-aliasing? Is it important?

What is Anti-aliasing?

Since graphics are made out entirely of pixels, which as we all know are tiny little squares, it’s only given that you’ll be seeing jagged edges on images. This staircase effect is what you call ‘aliasing’. Using that definition of the word ‘aliasing’, you can probably guess what ‘anti-aliasing’ entails. To put it simply, it’s the near-absence of those jagged edges. The “antialiasing” technology blends the edges of the pixels with other surrounding pixels to try to create the illusion of a smoother edge.

antialiasing example

Source: Geeks3d

In the above example you see a type of anti-aliasing called Post-Processing Anti-Aliasing.

This peculiar anti-aliasing algorithm is for gamers with limited system horse-power, it is likely your best choice as it’s the best anti-aliasing method for performance. If you are indeed on a budget machine, you should consider this budget gaming monitor guide, as getting a new monitor can significantly improve your image and make gaming a lot more engaging, without having to spend a bunch.

There are other Antialiasing settings such as Antialiasing transparency.

What is antialiasing transparency?

Antialiasing Transparency Smooths out edges on so-called alpha textures – textures with transparency effects like wire fences and masses of leaves on trees. This setting should be applied only to games where you have the performance to spare.

How to enable Antialiasing mode?

In most games, you’ll have the option right there in the settings with all the different varieties, yet if you want to enable it on your desktop, you’ll have to dig in your video card’s control panel. Below is an example of antialiasing settings in the NVIDIA Control Panel.

nvidia advanced 3d image settings

First you need to enable the advanced 3D image settings.

Then you can proceed to the “Manage 3D settings” tab where you can enable anti-aliasing.

nvidia antialiasing settings

You can see the above anti-aliasing options, here you can choose your setup based on your PC’s performance.

HDR vs Anti-aliasing

A common misconception is that HDR has anything to do with antialiasing.

High Dynamic Range is completely independent of Anti-Aliasing.

HDR is designed to offer realistic lighting effects.

With HDR enabled, the range of possible light intensities is greatly increased. Brightness can be computed in an unbounded fashion. This is more computationally expensive but preserves the scene contrast. While, as we found out, antialiasing makes the lines between each pixel less obvious.

So now you’ve pumped your PC’s graphics to the bone. Do you still want a better image? The absolute best thing you can do is upgrade from a 60hz monitor to a 240hz monitor, it will be the best upgrade besides a new GPU. Everything will look so much smoother.

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XbitLabs Staff

We are a team of enthusiasts thriving to provide you with helpful advice on buying tech.

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