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Bethesda’s incredibly popular The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim recently received a significant patch that put more of an emphasis on graphics performance. Let’s begin with 8x MSAA in conjunction with FXAA to smooth out the edges of foliage:
The new 7800-series boards do well in this game, both outrunning AMD’s Radeon HD 6970.
This is one of those titles where AMD’s Adaptive AA feature really interested us. Because there are so many transparent textures on leaves, branches, and plants, applying Adaptive AA could make a profound impact on graphics quality.
We’re also able to test Nvidia’s Transparent AA technology, which similarly anti-aliases transparent textures.
With Adaptive AA enabled, AMD’s Radeon HD 7800-series cards compare much more favorably to the Radeon HD 6900-series boards. In fact, both 7800s blow right past the fastest card in our charts, Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 580.
To be fair, Nvidia’s TrSSAA looks a little better than AMD’s Adaptive AA in this game. Notice also that the Radeon HD 7800s are faster when Adaptive AA is turned on compared to MSAA with FXAA in the charts up top. Strange though that may be, we confirmed it through multiple iterations of our benchmark. We also took screen shots that prove the 7800’s Adaptive AA yields the same output quality as the 6900s, despite the performance difference.