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Should I enable AA/AF?

Okay, so I am completely new to the world of PC gaming and I am learning new things about my computer every day, but I have a question: Should I enable AA or AF if the game I am playing has those options in the video settings? For example: Half Life: Source has an option of up to 8XAA and 16XAF if I'm not mistaken, while in Oblivion you can't use AA if you have HDR on. I'm just wondering what I should do.

Any help would be great!
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  1. Best answer
    Have you learned or read anything AA and AF?

    Depends on how powerful your GPU is and the montior that you have. Turning these on does effect the FPS a bit, but they do render a clearer and sharper gaming experience. If your GPU is weak it better to play at lower settings so that you can get better FPS overall.
  2. I have a basic knowledge of what both AA and AF do, yes. I just didn't know if having it activated in the ATI catalyst control was going to be more of an advantage than only using the game's AA/AF.

    Oh and I have crossfired 6870's.
  3. Well leave it as "application controlled"! At least that's what i do! You do have a monster GPU setup! Crank it up! :D
  4. Thanks for the info!
  5. Best answer selected by jakebaker13.
  6. AA and AF are settings designed to enhance the visual quality of edges and textures, respectively.

    AA (Anti-Aliasing) seeks to eliminate jagged edges on 3d models and other images by rendering an image at multiple times its original size, and recompressing the image down to the size intended for display on the monitor. For instance, if you have 16x AA enabled, your GPU is rendering the image at 16 times it's size on the monitor and recompressing it down to size in real time to eliminate the jagged edges.

    AF (Anisotropic filtering) seeks to eliminate texture aliasing (blurry textures in the distance) when viewing textures from extreme angles. This is done by taking samples of the texture and using that data to improve the quality of the texture when applied to an oblique surface. 16x AF requires approximately 128 samples from a texture to apply the filtering.
  7. Thanks for the vote!
  8. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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