ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT - R600 Has Arrived

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AA Image Quality Comparisons (Cont.)


In addition to the comparisons on the previous page, we thought we'd snap off a few more screenshots with the Radeon HD 2900 XT using Half Life 2 to illustrate most of the other new anti-aliasing modes available with ATI's new flagship GPU architecture.

Image Quality Analysis: Radeon HD Anti-Aliasing
Every Mode Available - Almost





2X AA + Narrow Tent
(Samples - 4X)


4X AA + Narrow Tent
(Samples - 6X)


2X AA + Wide Tent
(Samples - 6X)



4X AA + Wide Tent
(Samples - 8X)

8X AA + Narrow Tent
(Samples - 12X)


8X AA + Wide Tent
(Samples - 16X)

8X AA + Edge Detection
(Samples - 24X)

The sampling of images above represent almost all of the standard anti-aliasing modes available with the new Radeon HD 2900 XT. We say "almost" because these images don't take into account the temporal anti-aliasing modes available or the adaptive modes that also help smooth the jaggies visible in partially transparent textures.

We present these images to you to illustrate the effects of the different modes on a nearly identical frame. If you flip through the images, you'll see that ATI's new modes definitely do a better job as the number of overall samples is increased. Focus your attention on the antennas on top of the building at the upper left of the scene and you'll see what we mean.

But if you also focus your attention on the cobblestones in the street, particularly in the lower left portion of the scene, you'll also see that ATI's new custom filtered AA modes also blur the textures a bit, even if 16x anisotropic filtering is enabled as we have here.  Image quality Nazis or anisotropic filtering aficionados may be put off by the slightly blurred textures in some of these images, but for the most part the affect is minimal.

While inspecting all of these new anti-aliasing modes, we also ran some benchmarks using Half Life 2: Episode 1 to see just how much of an effect they had on in-game performance.

As you probably expected, as the effective number of samples increases, performance decreases in the game. For these tests, we had EP1 set to a resolution of 1280x1024 with 16X anisotropic filtering enabled. At these settings, this particular game's framerate drops to a point where it becomes noticeably slower (at least to us) once the number of samples hits the 12x mark. This data point is dependant on the game being played, however.

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