ATI Radeon X1900 XTX And CrossFire: R580 Is Here

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AA Image Quality Analysis

Prior to benchmarking the new Radeon X1900, we spent some time analyzing its in-game image quality versus a GeForce 7800 GTX. First, we used the "background 1" map in Half-Life 2 to get a feel for how each card's anti-aliasing algorithm's affected the scene.

Image Quality Analysis: Standard Anti-Aliasing Modes
NVIDIA vs. ATI
NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX Screenshots

GeForce 7800 GTX
1280x1024 - No AA

GeForce 7800 GTX
1280x1024 - 2x AA

GeForce 7800 GTX
1280x1024 - 4X AA

GeForce 7800 GTX
1280x1024 - 8xS AA

ATI Radeon X1900 XTX Screenshots

Radeon X1900 XTX
1280x1024 - No AA

Radeon X1900 XTX
1280x1024 - 2x AA

Radeon X1900 XTX
1280x1024 - 4x AA

Radeon X1900 XTX
1280x1024 - 6x AA

In this first batch of screenshots, 16X anisotropic filtering was enabled in conjunction with the various levels of anti-aliasing offered by each card. As you can see, the "No AA" screen shots look quite similar on both cards, as do the 2X AA screen shots. In the 4X AA screen shots though, you can pick out some subtle differences. The cables at the top of the screen are softer and more realistic looking on the X1900, but the tree loses some detail. In contrast, NVIDIA seems to do a better job with the antennas on the top of the buildings. The ATI 6XAA vs. NVIDIA 8xS AA shots reveal similar differences, with NVIDIA having a clear edge in detail, especially in the trees where ATI's multi-sample only algorithm has minimal impact.

Image Quality Analysis: Adaptive/Transparency Anti-Aliasing Modes
Still NVIDIA vs. ATI

In this next batch of screen shots, our goal is to compare NVIDIA's and ATI's various single-card anti-aliasing modes when used in conjunction with each company's transparency or adaptive AA techniques. Please note that we used NVIDIA's super-sample transparency AA here, as we've been unable to find a clear in-game example where MSTAA has a measurable impact on image quality.

NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX Screenshots with Transparency AA

GeForce 7800 GTX
1280x1024 - No AA

GeForce 7800 GTX
1280x1024 - 2X Trans. AA

GeForce 7800 GTX
1280x1024 - 4X Trans. AA

GeForce 7800 GTX
1280x1024 - 8xS Trans. AA

ATI Radeon X1900 XTX Adaptive AA Screenshots

Radeon X1900 XTX
1280x1024 - No AA

Radeon X1900 XTX
1280x1024 - 2X AAA

Radeon X1900 XTX
1280x1024 - 4X AAA

Radeon X1900 XTX
1280x1024 - 6X AAA

As you browse through each progressing level of AA, you'll see a similar trend to the images above. As the AA level increases, visible jagged edges are decreased. In these specific tests, NVIDIA clearly has an advantage, because fine detail just seems to disappear on the Radeon X1900. Hopefully a future driver update will resolve this issue on the Radeon X1900.


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