RSS Feed

HCW Tech Blog

For the latest info on computer hardware, tech, news, video games, software tips, and Linux, check out our new improved front page: HCW Tech Blog

Reviewed by: Bryan Pizzuti [06.25.03]
Card Manufacturer: InnoVISION

MSRP: $199
Est. Street Price: $150

Discuss this article in the forum!
Registration NOT Required!


Intellisample tests

Quality modes

Back to Unreal Tourney 2003, to see how much of a performance difference the Quality settings make on the FX5600 Ultra.

It's not a huge difference from Performance to Quality, but it's there.  I also ran the same test in Quality mode, switching Bilinear and Trilinear filtering using a custom INI file, and the results were identical (Bilinear: 103.43; Trilinear: 95.43).  So that might be what the Quality slider does, though we're not sure.  High performance mode doesn't really seem to do anything over performance mode: the test was run 3 times and results never varied more than 1 FPS!


And here's how the different settings look on the FX5600 Ultra: that is to say, they don't look much different at all. Keep in mind though: this is just one game. Others might have a more noticable difference, so let your own eye be the judge.  Unlike ATI, NVIDIA doesn't integrate AA and Aniso into their quality settings, so that's completely apples and oranges, so to speak.  Let's see how things look when we start using the new Intellisample engine.  We'll leave the quality settings at Quality, for consistency's sake.

FSAA Modes

Here's a comparison of the performance of the FSAA modes from Quincunx through 8X on both NVIDIA cards (the GF4 only supports Quincunx and 4XS, and 4XS brings it right down to a crawl).  We're skipping the old 2X and 4X modes, since they're supersampling leftovers from the GeForce2 days.

Obviously the FX5600's extra fillrate muscle helps here, but the Intellisample seems to be better performance-wise than AccuView.  Notice that with texture sharpening disabled Quincunx is now extremely playable: there's no reason to not use it anymore if you like the effect. 4XS, while slower, is also quite playable, even in Quality mode. Tweak the in-game settings some and it'll be fairly fast too.  And even 6XS isn't an incredibly large performance falloff from 4XS, though 8X gets down into the territory of jerky framerates. Now it's time to see how they look:

Image Quality is really starting to get into the territory of opinion rather than fact: that's why I'm not going to declare one of these "best."  Quincunx and 6XS produce a blur effect that some people might like (TV shows and moves use motion blur to make some things appear smooth).  If that's your thing, go with Quincunx, since  it'll get better framerates than 6XS.  4XS seems to produce much sharper textures, as does 8X.  However, 8X produces much more of a performance penalty. All of these modes are varyingly good at reducing the edge-stairstepping, which is the primary focus of an AA engine.  On the next page, we'll get into the effects of the "Texture Sharpening" checkbox.

Next Page: (8)