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With 4x MSAA applied and a good boost in visual fidelity, can these cards still hack it?
The answer is a resounding yes. Only the Radeon HD 4650 has been rendered to the edge of playable, but it still sports a minimum frame rate of over 30 FPS. Once again, great news for the HTPC owner. Based on these results, the lower 720p resolution that is typical of a lot of flat-panel TVs would likely be a breeze for this class of card, even when coupled with 4xAA.
Every other card tested doesn’t really break a sweat with this combination of resolution and AA. Let’s amp up the resolution to 1920x1200:
The results still haven’t changed much from 1680x1050, with the GeForce 9600 GT and everything above it showing consistent 60 FPS averages. Think about it: 4xAA and 1080p is not an easy setting and this is a very highly-optimized 3D engine to allow these settings with reasonable hardware like the GeForce 9600 GT.
And now, for fun, let’s see what happens at 2560x1600:
We’re seeing some separation in the pack now, with the 9600 GT and Radeon HD 4830 showing signs of stress. However, with minimum frame rates well above 30 FPS, things are still playable, surprisingly. But the GeForce GTS 250, Radeon HD 4850, and GeForce GTX 260 are still charging away at full speed, hitting the 60 FPS vsync barrier.