If you've ever played a video game on your PC, you've probably seen a setting called "anti-aliasing", which smooths out jagged graphics. But there are different types of anti-aliasing, and some are better than others.
We've talked about anti-aliasing before, but only delved into the basics. Linus over at Techquickie gives a great explainer on all the different types of anti-aliasing in the video above, and their strengths and weaknesses, such as:
- SSAA (also known as FSAA): Super sampling anti-aliasing was the first type of anti-aliasing available. It's useful on photorealistic images, but isn't very common in games anymore, because it uses so much processing power.
- MSAA: Multisample anti-aliasing is one of the more common types of anti-aliasing available in modern games. It only smooths out the edges of polygons, not anything else — which cuts down on processing power compared to SSAA, but doesn't solve pixelated textures. (MSAA still uses quite a bit of power, though.)
- CSAA and EQAA: These types of anti-aliasing (used by newer NVIDIA and AMD cards, respectively) are similar to MSAA, but at a fraction of the performance cost.
- FXAA: Fast approximate anti-aliasing, which we've mentioned before, has a very small performance cost, and smooths out edges in all parts of the image. However, it usually makes the image look blurry, which means it isn't ideal if you want crisp graphics.
- TXAA: Temporal anti-aliasing only works on certain newer graphics cards, but combines lots of different techniques to smooth out edges. It's better than FXAA, but still has some blurriness to it, and uses a bit more processing power.
Of course, when you fire up a game, you usually don't get to choose between all these types of anti-aliasing. If you're lucky, you might get a choice between two, but in most cases, you either get one (or none). However, you can often enable them in your graphics card's drivers, or even download new drivers with other types of anti-aliasing not mentioned above.
All that said, anti-aliasing has become less and less necessary as graphics become better and monitor resolution increases. You may find that some games don't need it at all, while others do. It probably isn't worth stressing out about, but if your graphics drivers have the option, you may find that you have more choices than you realised — and introductory knowledge to these methods can come in pretty handy. Check out the video above for more.
Different Types of Anti-Aliasing as Fast as Possible [Techquickie]