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Anti-aliasing or Graphics settings

Last response: in Video Games
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January 17, 2013 2:34:04 PM

This seems to be the most knowlegeable forum on PC gaming, so I wanted to ask which is better. Is it better to sacrifice graphics settings for AA or should you max the game before you worry about enhancing it with AA? Texture quality is a no brainer, but what about shadow quality, water quality, special effects, terrain? I've always been one to max graphics settings and seeing if my CPU can handle it before worrying about AA.
January 17, 2013 7:48:31 PM

No opinions on this? Really would like to know whether it looks better to bump up AA in favor of other graphics settings.
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January 17, 2013 8:06:52 PM

AA has a big performance hit. You should check if your graphics card can handle your desired settings without your temps going too high.
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January 17, 2013 8:11:35 PM

Personally I like to top out my other options before in-game Anti-Aliasing. Worse comes to worst I can always inject FXAA at low resource cost for nearly 4x MSAA results.
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January 18, 2013 1:43:04 PM

I like using 2560x1440 on a 1920x1080 monitor :D 

smooths things right out.
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January 18, 2013 6:19:49 PM

its a personal choice. it also depends on the game. cod 4 for instance i used to run on an 88gt at minimum settings but with x4 fsaa.
crysis on the other handi would max out then turn on aa for some areas and off for others.
a lot of games dont even bother changing settings. they come from consoles and think changing settings is to much effort. then complain to me when they get jerky frame rates and poor performance.
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January 18, 2013 9:26:26 PM

Quote:
You want to run at your monitor's max resolution, then medium/high settings with at least AA x2, and AFx4.

IMO high/ultra sucks when you can't run AA high enough to get rid of those jagged edges.


Turning AF to x16 has almost no performance impact on modern GPU's (of the last several architectures).
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January 18, 2013 10:05:21 PM

casualcolors said:
Turning AF to x16 has almost no performance impact on modern GPU's (of the last several architectures).



Yeah, I was wondering why Delta5 suggested AF x4. I notice no performance difference whether it is on or not.
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January 18, 2013 10:33:17 PM

AA, I love it, you should to. :D 
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January 18, 2013 10:55:12 PM

Quote:
Have you ever tried playing in 3d? It makes a difference.


I'll remember that for the 3d gaming thread. ;) 

In all fairness to you though, you did say "at least".
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January 19, 2013 4:49:14 PM

That's true. He did say "at least".
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January 22, 2013 1:57:56 PM

I'm not sure about this. I really like shadow and high quality texture detail/reflections. MSAA looks great as well, especially the MSAA that is designed for DX11 and works in combination with Tesselation. Problem is MSAA is probably the single most crippling option when it comes to performance. I know that it is truly better than something like FXAA, but I like FXAA. Problem is, FXAA isn't available on all games and when forced through the control panel sometimes it really overdoes the blur effect.

I'm leaning towards settings because when your playing a game, the only time I really notice the jaggies is when I'm sitting still, things like low quality shadow and texture detail are way more apparent even in motion. So, shadow and texture detail>AA for me. What I can't decide is whether I want things like special effects over AA (DOF, fire/explosion realism, bullet decal).

I wish there was an AA that gave preference to objects that are close to the character and less on the objects that are far away. MSAA smooths the edge of a railing that is at the very edge of your sight in the game world, no one can honestly tell me that they notice this type of stuff unless specifically looking for it. When you actually playing the game and not just admiring the scenery.
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January 22, 2013 4:15:45 PM

bryjoered said:
I'm not sure about this. I really like shadow and high quality texture detail/reflections. MSAA looks great as well, especially the MSAA that is designed for DX11 and works in combination with Tesselation. Problem is MSAA is probably the single most crippling option when it comes to performance. I know that it is truly better than something like FXAA, but I like FXAA. Problem is, FXAA isn't available on all games and when forced through the control panel sometimes it really overdoes the blur effect.

I'm leaning towards settings because when your playing a game, the only time I really notice the jaggies is when I'm sitting still, things like low quality shadow and texture detail are way more apparent even in motion. So, shadow and texture detail>AA for me. What I can't decide is whether I want things like special effects over AA (DOF, fire/explosion realism, bullet decal).

I wish there was an AA that gave preference to objects that are close to the character and less on the objects that are far away. MSAA smooths the edge of a railing that is at the very edge of your sight in the game world, no one can honestly tell me that they notice this type of stuff unless specifically looking for it. When you actually playing the game and not just admiring the scenery.


Personally I've found that using nvidia inspector to make custom profiles for games that do not support FXAA (by overwriting the profile of a game that does, Starcraft 2 for example) I'm able to get much crisper results than what passes for in-game FXAA. The in-game FXAA is usually not real FXAA at all, but rather a generic full screen blur filter. The problem with nvidia inspector enabled FXAA usually arises when the game has that faux-FXAA layer persistently displayed but neither gives you an option to enable it or disable it, and doesn't tell you that it's already enabled. Then you can run into extreme blurring.
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January 22, 2013 5:33:17 PM

I understand what you mean, but certain games implement it very well. Max Payne 3 for instance. I think I'm reaching the point where my card is no longer powerful enough to get max settings and high AA anymore. I'm perfectly fine with no AA in most cases. The weird thing is that there is a clearly noticeable difference between no AA and 2x AA, but then as you got to 4x AA and then to 8X AA the difference is less and less noticeable.

1080p is pretty darn clear, especially if you play console games, and things like texture quality effect the look of the game more than AA in my opinion. If you smooth the edges around a piece of poop, it will still be a piece of poop, just a smoother one.
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January 22, 2013 5:56:48 PM

Get a 7970 and max out everything. Can run it time for some overclocking... too hot ? watercool. Still to hot 360x360 external rad. all else fails get three more 7970s and 4way crossfire them lol
No but seriously i max settings before touching aa
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January 22, 2013 7:19:22 PM

xX_ZEAL123_Xx said:
Get a 7970 and max out everything. Can run it time for some overclocking... too hot ? watercool. Still to hot 360x360 external rad. all else fails get three more 7970s and 4way crossfire them lol
No but seriously i max settings before touching aa


Four way crossfire?! Haha, never been a fan of SLI or Crossfire, number one you need a beast PSU just to run them, number two you need crazy cooling systems to keep them at a safe temp, and number three an alarming amount of games not only don't fully support multiple GPU's, but actually perform worse. For the cost of two good cards you can probably get one great card and near the performance with almost none of the hassle.

But I agree the only settings that I would sacrifice for AA would be Physics and effects. Shadow, texture, and lighting are all superior in my opinion.
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January 22, 2013 9:03:14 PM

I generally put all the settings as high as possible, and if it isn't above 40FPS all the time, I lower AA. In some games I find I don't even notice AA since I'm looking at things in the foreground all the time.
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