ATI Radeon X1900 XTX And CrossFire: R580 Is Here

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Anisotropic Filtering Quality

With this next set of screen shots, we followed a similar procedure outlined on the two previous pages to evaluate the effect of the ATI's new anisotropic filtering techniques on a given scene. The screen shots below are from Half-Life 2's "background 4" map. We've again compared similar settings using the GeForce 7800 GTX and a Radeon X1900 XTX. For this set of screen shots, anti-aliasing was disabled to isolate the effect each card's respective anisotropic filtering algorithms altered the images.

Image Quality Analysis: Anisotropic Filtering
Standard & High Quality Aniso
NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX Screenshots

GeForce 7800 GTX
1280x1024 - No Aniso

GeForce 7800 GTX
1280x1024 - 4x Aniso

GeForce 7800 GTX
1280x1024 - 8x Aniso

GeForce 7800 GTX
1280x1024 - 16x Aniso

ATI Radeon X1900 XTX Standard Aniso Screenshots

Radeon X1900 XTX
1280x1024 -
No Aniso

Radeon X1900 XTX
1280x1024 -
4x Aniso

Radeon X1900 XTX
1280x1024 -
8x Aniso

Radeon X1900 XTX
1280x1024 -
16x Aniso

 

ATI Radeon X1900 XTX High Quality Aniso Screenshots

Radeon X1900 XTX
1280x1024 - No Aniso

Radeon X1900 XTX
1280x1024 -
4x HQ Aniso

Radeon X1800 X1900 XTX
1280x1024 -
8x HQ Aniso

Radeon X1900 XTX
1280x1024 -
16x HQ Aniso

When perusing the images above, pay special attention to the road and the hill to the lower right, as these areas are where anisotropic filtering has the most impact. In the "No Aniso" shots at the top, which have only trilinear filtering enabled, the blurring in the road and on the hill is clearly evident.

However, with 8X anisotropic filtering enabled, the detail in the road is dramatically enhanced. If you open each of the standard shots individually and skip through them quickly, you're likely to notice a bit more detail in the shots taken with the GeForce 7800 GTX versus those taken with the Radeon using its standard angular dependant anisotropic filtering mode, disregarding artifacts produced by the JPG compression.

The same seemed to be true when inspecting the 16x aniso images. Of course, image quality analysis is objective by its nature, but based on these images, we think the GeForce 7800 GTX has the better image quality as it relates to anisotropic filtering when standard "optimized" aniso is used, by a small margin. The new Radeon X1K family of graphics cards offers another "high quality" anisotropic mode, that doesn't have the same angular dependency as ATI's previous generation of cards. The new high-quality aniso mode offered by the X1K Family, applies nearly the same level of filtering regardless of the angle. Overall, the effect of enabling ATI's high-quality aniso mode is positive, as it does an even better job of sharpening texture and increasing the detail level. The fully appreciate ATI's high-quality aniso mode though, you've got to see it in action. Still screen shots don't convey the full effect.  If you focus on the furthest part of the road, and on the hill though, you can see some areas where HQ aniso does a better job than NVIDIA.


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