Antialiasing setting vs. transparency
Yes, I know there are tons of information about antialiasing algorithms out there, but it gets too complicated and I want a simple answer. The NVIDIA Control Panel has various antialiasing settings:

2x
4x
8x CSAA
8x
16x CSAA
16xQ CSAA
32x CSAA

And some transparency settings:

Multisample
2x (supersample)
4x (supersample)
8x (supersample)

With a GTX 570 I normally use 4x with 4x supersampling, which already looks great. But if I wanted to move up a notch, what would be the next step? 4x with 8x supersampling? 8x CSAA or 8x with 4x supersampling?
Yes, I know there are tons of information about antialiasing algorithms out there, but it gets too complicated and I want a simple answer. The NVIDIA Control Panel has various antialiasing settings:



2x

4x

8x CSAA

8x

16x CSAA

16xQ CSAA

32x CSAA



And some transparency settings:



Multisample

2x (supersample)

4x (supersample)

8x (supersample)



With a GTX 570 I normally use 4x with 4x supersampling, which already looks great. But if I wanted to move up a notch, what would be the next step? 4x with 8x supersampling? 8x CSAA or 8x with 4x supersampling?

#1
Posted 06/01/2011 02:17 PM   
32xAA, 16xQ and 8xAA working with 2x, 4x and 8x Supersamples
16xCSAA , 8xCSAA and 4xAA working with 2x and 4x Supersamples
2xAA working with 2xSupersamples

4xAA and 8xSupersamples does not work, this is equivalent to 4xAA and 4xSupersamples.
For 8xSupersamples you need to enable 8xAA.
The next higher Step would be maybe 8xAA (16xQ,32xAA) with 2x or 4xSupersamples.
32xAA, 16xQ and 8xAA working with 2x, 4x and 8x Supersamples

16xCSAA , 8xCSAA and 4xAA working with 2x and 4x Supersamples

2xAA working with 2xSupersamples



4xAA and 8xSupersamples does not work, this is equivalent to 4xAA and 4xSupersamples.

For 8xSupersamples you need to enable 8xAA.

The next higher Step would be maybe 8xAA (16xQ,32xAA) with 2x or 4xSupersamples.

#2
Posted 06/01/2011 04:01 PM   
Thanks for the info. The NVIDIA Control Panel lets me combine 4x with 8x supersampling, but when I run the game I see that antialiasing is completely disabled. Sounds like NVIDIA shouldn't allow invalid combinations. I didn't get the part about 8xQ, which I don't have as an option. Is it equivalent to one of the others?
Thanks for the info. The NVIDIA Control Panel lets me combine 4x with 8x supersampling, but when I run the game I see that antialiasing is completely disabled. Sounds like NVIDIA shouldn't allow invalid combinations. I didn't get the part about 8xQ, which I don't have as an option. Is it equivalent to one of the others?

#3
Posted 06/01/2011 04:44 PM   
8xQ is now simply 8x in the new drivers. No matter which, it was always 8x Multisampling.
8xQ is now simply 8x in the new drivers. No matter which, it was always 8x Multisampling.

"This is your code. These are also your bugs. Really. Yes, the API runtime and the
driver have bugs, but this is not one of them. Now go fix it already." -fgiesen

#4
Posted 06/01/2011 04:52 PM   
[quote name='Quatrix' date='01 June 2011 - 05:44 PM' timestamp='1306946695' post='1245509']
Thanks for the info. The NVIDIA Control Panel lets me combine 4x with 8x supersampling, but when I run the game I see that antialiasing is completely disabled. Sounds like NVIDIA shouldn't allow invalid combinations. I didn't get the part about 8xQ, which I don't have as an option. Is it equivalent to one of the others?
[/quote]

I've updated my Message. 8xAA was previously called 8xQ but it is the same. If you enable 4xAA and 8xSupersamples in the Driver, is the 4xAA and 4xSupersamples and also works.
[quote name='Quatrix' date='01 June 2011 - 05:44 PM' timestamp='1306946695' post='1245509']

Thanks for the info. The NVIDIA Control Panel lets me combine 4x with 8x supersampling, but when I run the game I see that antialiasing is completely disabled. Sounds like NVIDIA shouldn't allow invalid combinations. I didn't get the part about 8xQ, which I don't have as an option. Is it equivalent to one of the others?





I've updated my Message. 8xAA was previously called 8xQ but it is the same. If you enable 4xAA and 8xSupersamples in the Driver, is the 4xAA and 4xSupersamples and also works.

#5
Posted 06/01/2011 04:57 PM   
eh...

8xQ is still there
8x is still 4x+4xcoverage.

anyway, for Transparency multisampling, you don't start seeing a difference till your MSAA level is pure 8x (so 8xQ, 16xQ, 32xQ, 32xS)

for TrSSAA, things work a bit differently based on the number.
The listed values are the results of the axis sampling multiplier. for 2x, its most likely 2x1 Super sampling, so it magnifies 1 edge more than the other, typically this is the horizontal edge.
for 4x, its 2x2, so 2 samples are taken on each axis.
and 8x... well you get the pitcher by now.

2x1 will be fine for games where most alpha textures only occur on a set angle.

However, 2x2 (4x) is the highest you really need. even the hybrid 32xS mode doesn't do more than 2x2 Super sampling, and alpha jaggies are eradicated with that.....

on the downside, is that neither msaa or traa affects shader aliasing, only pure fullscreen supersampling can help there.


Anyway, as for it appearing disabled, this is likely the case of VRAM being inadequate for the settings selected.

For what its worth, you absolutely do not need more than 4xSSAA for transparency.
eh...



8xQ is still there

8x is still 4x+4xcoverage.



anyway, for Transparency multisampling, you don't start seeing a difference till your MSAA level is pure 8x (so 8xQ, 16xQ, 32xQ, 32xS)



for TrSSAA, things work a bit differently based on the number.

The listed values are the results of the axis sampling multiplier. for 2x, its most likely 2x1 Super sampling, so it magnifies 1 edge more than the other, typically this is the horizontal edge.

for 4x, its 2x2, so 2 samples are taken on each axis.

and 8x... well you get the pitcher by now.



2x1 will be fine for games where most alpha textures only occur on a set angle.



However, 2x2 (4x) is the highest you really need. even the hybrid 32xS mode doesn't do more than 2x2 Super sampling, and alpha jaggies are eradicated with that.....



on the downside, is that neither msaa or traa affects shader aliasing, only pure fullscreen supersampling can help there.





Anyway, as for it appearing disabled, this is likely the case of VRAM being inadequate for the settings selected.



For what its worth, you absolutely do not need more than 4xSSAA for transparency.



In Memory of Chris "ChrisRay" Arthington, 1982-2010

CPU:Intel i7 920 @ 3.8(D0), Mainboard:Asus Rampage II Gene, Memory:12GB Corsair Vengeance 1600
Video:EVGA Geforce GTX 680+ 4GB, Sound:Creative XFI Titanium Fatal1ty Pro, Monitor:BenQ G2400WD
HDD:500GB Spinpoint F3, 1TB WD Black, 2TB WD Red, 1TB WD Black
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#6
Posted 06/02/2011 05:57 AM   
[quote name='Sora' date='02 June 2011 - 01:57 AM' timestamp='1306994254' post='1245911']
eh...

8xQ is still there
8x is still 4x+4xcoverage.
[/quote]

No 8xQ is not still there in the 275 series drivers (look at the modes Quatrix listed in his first post)... It is simply referred to as 8x now, and it is true 8x multisampling.
[quote name='Sora' date='02 June 2011 - 01:57 AM' timestamp='1306994254' post='1245911']

eh...



8xQ is still there

8x is still 4x+4xcoverage.





No 8xQ is not still there in the 275 series drivers (look at the modes Quatrix listed in his first post)... It is simply referred to as 8x now, and it is true 8x multisampling.

"This is your code. These are also your bugs. Really. Yes, the API runtime and the
driver have bugs, but this is not one of them. Now go fix it already." -fgiesen

#7
Posted 06/02/2011 03:35 PM   
[quote name='nvtweakman' date='03 June 2011 - 02:35 AM' timestamp='1307028950' post='1246120']
No 8xQ is not still there in the 275 series drivers (look at the modes Quatrix listed in his first post)... It is simply referred to as 8x now, and it is true 8x multisampling.
[/quote]


oh, i thought he meant 8xCSAA was gone.
[quote name='nvtweakman' date='03 June 2011 - 02:35 AM' timestamp='1307028950' post='1246120']

No 8xQ is not still there in the 275 series drivers (look at the modes Quatrix listed in his first post)... It is simply referred to as 8x now, and it is true 8x multisampling.







oh, i thought he meant 8xCSAA was gone.



In Memory of Chris "ChrisRay" Arthington, 1982-2010

CPU:Intel i7 920 @ 3.8(D0), Mainboard:Asus Rampage II Gene, Memory:12GB Corsair Vengeance 1600
Video:EVGA Geforce GTX 680+ 4GB, Sound:Creative XFI Titanium Fatal1ty Pro, Monitor:BenQ G2400WD
HDD:500GB Spinpoint F3, 1TB WD Black, 2TB WD Red, 1TB WD Black
Case:NZXT Guardian 921RB, PSU:Corsair 620HX, OS:Windows 7 SP1

#8
Posted 06/03/2011 01:58 AM   
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