NVIDIA GeForceFX 5900 Ultra: The Way FX is Meant to be Played!!

Aniso Image Quality, Continued

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NV3.x: Anisotropic filtering results with the new 44.03 driver
No aniso Filtering - QualityNo aniso Filtering - PerformanceNo aniso Filtering - High PeformanceNote: no difference to Performance
8x anisotropic - Quality8x anisotropic - Performance8x anisotropic - High Peformance

The new Quality mode using trilinear filtering does a fine job. It only shows some minor weaknesses around 45° angles. The two Performance modes only employ bilinear filtering.

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R9800: Anisotropic filtering results with Catalyst v3.4
No aniso Filtering Quality8x anisotropic Quality16x anisotropic Quality
Row 2 - Cell 0
Comparsion between R9800 8x and 16x anisotropic. Only 90° areas are filtered with 16x.

We were only able to test ATi's Quality mode, since the program was unable to initialize Performance mode.

We see that ATi's driver doesn't filter at full quality around angles of 22.5°. The level of filtering around these angles is also lower than that of NVIDIA's implementation. 16x filtering is only done at 90° horizontal and vertical angles.

NVIDIA has reacted to the harsh criticism and has vastly improved its driver's image quality. Rendering performance in Quality mode was very good as well, as our benchmarks show further on in the article. The faster performance modes aren't really recommendable as far as image quality is concerned, though.

As we mentioned above, we intend to follow up this article with a full image quality comparison article, which will compare floating-point and pixel shader performance and also focus on overall quality, FSAA quality and anisotropic filtering quality in real-world games. A prerequisite for such a test would be WHQL versions of both NVIDIA's Detonator FX and the upcoming Catalyst 3.4 from ATi, so we will have to wait until those become available.