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Reviewed by: Bryan Pizzuti [03.09.03]
Edited by: Carl Nelson

Card manufacturer: Powercolor
GPU Manufacturer: ATI

MSRP: $370
Street: $240-290

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So how do these levels look in the game?  See for yourself:

You can see the detail level increase steadily up to Balanced mode.  Once SMOOTHVISION enables itself, everything starts looking a LOT more crisp and clear than you may have ever seen on a 3D card.  It seems like, now that cards are coming out that can handle it, it was a pretty good idea to incorporate FSAA into the general quality settings. And that's not even counting what the Ansiotropic filtering is doing too, since that's mixed in here as well.

We'd still like to look at Ansiotropic filtering and FSAA individually though, to see exactly which is doing what, and how well.  First, we'll have a look at some Ansio-only tests, run using Ansio Quality mode.

It doesn't look like Ansio causes a whole lot of drop in performance. 30 FPS total drop isn't a lot when you consider how much extra work the GPU is supposed to be doing.  Of course, mileage may vary depending on the amount of detail in a game, but in UT2003, it seems like you may as well leave Ansio cranked to the max. Also, it appears that minimal Ansio is enabled at all times, since the difference between Application and 2x is virtually nil. Now, how does it look?

That little performance drop for that much extra texture quality?  I'll take it!  However, once Ansio hits about 8x, it doesn't seem to get noticeably better.  Maybe that's why that's the setting used in the "Optimal Quality" position.  In this test, 2x & 4x looked identical, and 8x & 16x looked identical.  Results will vary by game and circumstance.

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