Catalyst Antialiasing Guide Antialiasing explained Spoiler http://www.beyond3d.com/content/articles/37/1 Catalyst antialiasing methods The Catalyst Control Centre allows for three standard antialiasing methods or types. These are multisample antialiasing (MSAA), supersample antialiasing (SSAA) and adaptive antialiasing. Each of these methods works differently and carries a different performance penalty depending on the software application and resolution in use. All the different methods can be controlled using the antialiasing samples drop-down menu when override application settings antialiasing mode is used. When using the other antialiasing modes, different antialiasing methods can still be applied but a predetermined antialiasing sample level is used. It should, however, be noted that when use the application settings antialiasing mode is selected, edge detect antialiasing may also need to be enabled from the filter drop-down menu before an alternative antialiasing method can be applied. Another recently introduced non-standard method of antialiasing is called morphological antialiasing (MLAA). This method employs a shader based post-processing filter and carries a relatively small performance penalty. MLAA works with all games and in-conjunction with all the other standard antialiasing methods but it can also introduce excessive blurring. Multisample antialiasing (MSAA) Spoiler Multisample antialiasing is the most widely used antialiasing setting and can be enabled by leaving the antialiasing method drop-down menu at the default setting. www.mpi-inf.mpg.de/~mschwarz/papers/msaappg-eg09.pdf Main advantages: Lower performance loss when compared to other traditional antialiasing methods. Most aliasing takes place at the edges of polygons and these are cleaned up effectively. Main disadvantages: Cannot remove aliasing from transparent/translucent textures, i.e. textures containing a mask or alpha channel. Supersample antialiasing (SSAA) Spoiler Supersampling is an antialiasing method where all screen textures are antialiased. It is, however, computationally expensive due to collecting a relatively large number of samples and using a much larger memory buffer and this requires greater video card memory space and bandwidth. http://www.x86-secret.com/articles/divers/v5-6000/datasheets/FSAA.pdf Catalyst drivers can make use of two supersampling based antialiasing techniques. The first is a type of supersampling known as rotated grid - as it does not employ an ordered grid like other supersampling techniques - and generally provides the highest antialiasing quality. RGSSAA was the preferred supersampling technique for DX9 based applications but it is not clear if a rotated grid will still be used - even for DX9 based applications - starting with the Catalyst 12.3 beta drivers that further introduce driver based supersampled antialiasing for DX10 and DX11 applications and also implement a new supersample antialiasing technique. http://www.beyond3d.com/content/articles/37/ The new driver based supersampled antialiasing technique is called sparse grid supersample antialiasing (SGSSAA) and is the only supersampling technique used for DX10 and DX11 applications. However, SGSSAA can only be applied to DX10 or DX11 applications that already contain at least some form of traditional antialiasing through the game engine and is consequently only available as an addition. Furthermore, driver based supersampled antialiasing for DX10 and DX11 applications is not backwards compatible and requires a Radeon HD 7000 series or later graphics card. SGSSAA, moreover, is not always as effective as other traditional supersampling techniques, due to collecting a lower number of samples and a heavier reliance on interpolation and approximation. Nevertheless, it does allow for higher performance and the current implementation also includes automatic level-of-detail adjustment which should reduce the blur introduced in some circumstances. http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/foru...2165-amd-radeon-hd-7870-hd-7850-review-4.html Adaptive antialiasing Spoiler Adaptive antialiasing is a method used to antialias transparent textures and only the edges of other textures. This allows for higher performance than supersampling and works by using a combination of MSAA and SSAA, where SSAA is applied to transparent textures only. Therefore, this technique allows for the benefits of full scene antialiasing without many of the limitations of either MSAA or SSAA. http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2006/04/07/transparency_adaptive_aa_explained/1 Morphological antialiasing (MLAA) Spoiler Another recently introduced non-standard antialiasing method is a post-processing filter known as morphological antialiasing (MLAA). This method is the least computationally demanding form of antialiasing and is designed to work with all games and can also be used in-conjunction with standard antialiasing methods. However, MLAA can lead to excessive blurring and is therefore only useful where traditional antialiasing methods are not available or when performance is a limiting factor. http://sites.amd.com/us/game/technology/Pages/morphological-aa.aspx The launch of the Radeon HD 7000 series also coincided with a revision to AMD's Catalyst driver based MLAA, which is not exclusive to the HD 7000 series and should allow for higher image quality and improved performance. Catalyst antialiasing modes Catalyst Control Centre based antialiasing methods can be applied using three alternative antialiasing modes. These modes allow the user to either apply further coverage samples and filters to enhance current application settings or completely override them. This distinction is particularly important for DX10 and DX11 based applications because driver based antialiasing methods for those can currently only be used in addition to application based traditional antialiasing. 1. Use application settings Spoiler Use application settings mode is the default setting and allows the application to control antialiasing settings. However, driver based antialiasing methods can be enabled if the application internally supports traditional antialiasing, which is also a requirement when using driver based antialiasing methods with DX10 and DX11 based applications. Furthermore, this mode allows for one other driver based antialiasing technique to be applied alongside any other antialiasing settings in use. Known as edge detect antialiasing, this antialiasing technique can be enabled from the filter drop-down menu. Edge detect antialiasing Spoiler http://www.elitebastards.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=443&Itemid=29&limitstart=1 2. Enhance application settings Spoiler Enhance application settings mode works, like the name suggests, as an enhancement only and requires application based traditional antialiasing to be active. Similar to use application settings antialiasing mode, this option does not allow access to variable antialiasing samples and works by applying an additional antialiasing technique called EQAA or enhanced quality antialiasing on top of the application based antialiasing method. Furthermore, enhance application settings mode allows for all driver based antialiasing methods to be applied and can also be used alongside edge detect antialiasing. Moreover, enhance application settings mode may be enabled when driver based antialiasing methods such as supersampling or adaptive antialiasing are to be applied to DX10 or DX11 applications. In addition, EQAA as an antialiasing enhancement technique can also be selected as a combination when using antialiasing modes that allow access to the antialiasing samples drop-down menu. Enhanced quality antialiasing (EQAA) Spoiler http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/amds_power_trip_radeon_hd_6950_and_6970 http://alienbabeltech.com/main/introducing-the-worlds-fastest-graphics-card-amds-flagship-hd-6990 3. Override application settings Spoiler This mode allows for antialiasing to be applied to most DX9 based applications regardless of application settings and allows for all the individual antialiasing methods to be used with full access to the antialiasing samples drop-down menu. However, when using this mode, any application based antialiasing settings should ideally be disabled because they may cause conflict and result in graphical anomalies or reduced performance. Finally, it should be noted that antialiasing cannot currently be forced for DX10 or DX11 based applications and must be used in conjunction with application based traditional antialiasing.