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    The Gamer's Graphics & Display Settings Guide


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    default The Gamer's Graphics & Display Settings Guide

    Post by IMMORTALZ on Sun May 30, 2010 8:49 pm


    One of the main problems of computer graphics is that any curved or angular lines are a lot of jaggedness, almost like steps on a set of stairs. These jagged lines can also 'spark' When animated, so the problem even more annoying. This jaggedness in 3D graphics is often referred to by players as simply "the jaggies", but the effect is formally known as Aliasing. The reason is aliasing occurs because the image on your screen is just a sample pixel of the original 3D data has been calculated your graphics card. At high resolutions increasingly, as more pixels are used, the sample comes closer to the original source and therefore, the image is clearer and shows less aliasing. However, apart from the fact that higher resolutions may degrade performance, many people simply monitors can not display the high resolution needed to effectively eliminate the problem.

    This is where a technique originally called Scene Anti-Aliasing (FSAA), and now simply Antialiasing (AA), can be used by the graphics card to the jagged lines in computer graphics appear smoother, without increasing resolution. In essence, it is recalculated irregular lines and blends with its surroundings, and can be applied to any 2D or 3D. A comparison of screen shown below, demonstrating how AA can work to reduce the jaggedness of lines:

    You can also view a comparison of animated screen game Antialiasing in action by clicking on this link: Antialiasing.gif (763kb).

    As always, the obvious question that arises is whether antialiasing jaggedness resolved, then why not come with built-in games in 'anti-aliasing is already enabled? The reason is that the antialiasing is a graphics-intensive task that can use up large amounts of video RAM and GPU calculations depending on how soft you want the picture to watch, and this can drastically reduce performance. That's why most games and graphics control panel of the card, give you a range of different types and levels of antialiasing may want to enable. Or maybe you can switch off completely for best performance.

    Antialiasing Levels

    The first option you have to do if you want to enable AA is the sampling frequency, usually expressed as 2x, 4x, 6x, etc. This tells your graphics hardware to sample many pixels in the area of anti-aliasing - as larger the number, samples of pixels used to mix the jagged lines, and therefore smoother the image will appear in the cost of greater processing power and therefore lower performance.

    Importantly, because its resolution can also affect the number of pixels and samples are being taken, and therefore the smoothness of the graphics appear generally have to experiment with alter both the resolution and AA level to see which offers the best combination of performance and image quality. For example 4x AA is usually sufficient resolution of 1280x1024, while you may only need 2x AA to achieve the same effect at 1600x1200, and its overall performance can be better too. There are no hard and fast rule to carry out or looks better, depends on the particular combination of hardware, monitor limitations and taste, so experiment.

    Antialiasing Types

    There are different methods to perform antialiasing, and although I can not cover in detail here, we take a quick look at what we are and what they basically do.

    The most common form of AA a few years ago was a Supersampling which is a brute force method that more or less alone increases the resolution of the image within the graphics card to remove jaggedness, then scaled down to show the resolution original least jaggies. This method reduces the performance greatly.

    Multiple is a new form of AA which occurred with the addition of optimizations in the graphics hardware for more efficient AA. Still can reduce performance, especially at high resolutions, but not in the latest graphics cards. Is sometimes referred to as MSAA.

    Quincunx, Transparency and Antialiasing gamma correction are variations of the methods used by antialiasing NVIDIA graphics cards and are covered on this page of my Nvidia Forceware Tweak Guide.

    Temporal Antialiasing and adaptation are the changes in the methods used by antialiasing ATI graphics cards and are covered on this page of my ATI Catalyst Tweak Guide.

    More recently, the GeForce 8 series onwards CSAA has introduced is the coverage of sampling Anti-Aliasing. This method produces quality results even better than the standard manifold (MSAA) approach, around the same benefits as MSAA. Similarly, ATI has introduced CFAA is Custom Filter Anti-Aliasing, from the series HD2X00. This method can also provide better results than standard MSAA as the filter used, but can also darken the image slightly.

    To see the impact of different levels and standard modes of AA, you can use Interactive Presentation Antialiasing. Simply select the relevant mode, then wait a moment, as the new graphics upload images, and attention to detail in each of the four shots shows half life 2 game.

    As a final tip for users of LCD monitor when the screen is not in their original resolution, a form of anti-aliasing with no impact on performance can be achieved, since the graphics card or the monitor has to resize the digital image and in doing so, you must calculate and pixel blending - see the end of the Resolution section for details.

    The key point is that modern graphics cards, antialiasing can be achieved at a reasonable performance cost, because they have been designed to incorporate these techniques in his hardware. The oldest is the graphics card, and / or less VRAM you have, the more likely to suffer a greater loss of performance from enabling AA. At the end if any antialiasing up to you, because it is a luxury and not a necessity.

    Anisotropic Filtering

    Under Antialiasing, we found that AA is a useful method to reduce the jaggedness of lines in the graphs, and in particular in the games. But AA is not going to solve another common graphical glitch in 3D graphics - ie surfaces more distant objects blurry. Textures are 2D images that have been placed on the surface of 3D objects in a game to look realistic. They can appear in all sorts of angles and distances, depending of course on the game world from which they are applied a. A brick patterned texture can be applied to the walls of several buildings, for example. A textured concrete or asphalt can be applied to the soil. And so on, until all the 3D objects are covered in them, eg the texture of wallpaper.

    Depending on the configuration of the texture detail in a game, these surfaces with crisp, detailed should appear relatively close. Unfortunately, however, as they recede into the distance away from the viewer, which begin to show a strange blurred vision, sometimes with clear gradations between levels of blur. Without getting too technical, the problem is essentially that simply are not enough samples of the original texture image that is displayed on the screen, which leads to distortion, detail loss and blurred vision in general.

    This is where a technique called texture filtering can help to raise the level of detail of distant textures using an increasing number of texture samples for the construction of the corresponding pixels on the screen. For starters there are two basic forms called texture filtering trilinear filtering and bilinear filtering. These texture filtering methods are 'isotropic' methods, which means that using a filter pattern which is square and works the same in all directions. However, as we have seen the common problem with blurry textures in games produced in the textures that are far in the distance, which means they require a place (usually rectangular or trapezoidal) filter pattern no. This pattern is known as a "unisotrópicos' filtering method, which logically leads to the creation called anisotropic filtering (AF). A comparison of screen shown below, which shows how distant textures AF improvement:

    You may wonder why game developers do not just build soil texture filtering in their games to automatically fixes blurry textures. The response as expected for now is that the texture can be advanced filtering very graphically intensive and more the texture of the samples, the better the image quality but lower the performance especially on older graphics cards. And so, like Antialiasing, virtually all parties, and the control panel graphics card, you get a range of different types and levels of filtering textures that you can enable or disable.

    Anisotropic Levels

    You can select from a variety of sampling rates of texture - also called "cores" short-term (eg, 8-Touch AF) - which range from 1x to 16x depending on your graphics hardware in particular. The higher the sampling rate of distant textures box appears in the cost of poor performance. The performance impact will be different in the latest graphics cards now using highly optimized selective methods of AF and 8x AF can do even with a relatively minimal impact on FPS, even at high resolutions.

    Anisotropic Types

    For the most part there are only two ways usually available for AF - Performance and Quality. The difference in image quality between the two is not significant, so that the execution mode is fine for most people. Performance mode uses bilinear filtering as its base, while the quality mode using trilinear filtering as a base, but in both cases, obviously, anisotropic filtering is applied on top, giving a combined effect that is more accurate than the use bilinear or trilinear only for himself. Remember patterns are not very helpful isotropic filtering for textures in the distance away, so the anisotropic filtering is always necessary to really reduce these forms of blurred vision.

    Texture filtering, and antialiasing, is also affected by screen resolution. From a higher resolution provides more pixels in the sample, even without texture filtering, usually makes the textures look sharper. However, regardless of resolution, some games still show significant degradation of texture and the textures in the distance away, so a certain level of AF you can always help improve image quality. Or if blurry distant textures are not a major problem for you, you can turn off AF together to maintain the highest FPS.

    This concludes our look at the graphics and various display settings. The next page offers a guide to a conclusion and has a number of resources for you to read if you're interested in learning more about these values.

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