What is Anti-Aliasing in Gaming and Why Do We Need It?

anti-aliasing in gaming

What is Anti-Aliasing in gaming

If you are not familiar with PC gaming and all the graphics settings in the options menus then you’ve probably asked yourself what is anti-aliasing. There’s hardly an options menu that doesn’t let you tinker with anti-aliasing and you may have turned it on at the same point only to get a noticeable performance drop without any difference in graphics so what is anti-aliasing how does it work and what types of anti-aliasing are there stick around the find out…

anti-aliasing in gaming

What does Anti-Aliasing do?

As you know your screen is made up of pixels, these pixels are usually very tiny but whatever their size maybe they have a rectangular shape but because of this problem arises whenever you try to make a rounded or diagonal shape with these tiny rectangular it has jagged edges it’s like trying to build a circle with normal legos it’ll never be perfect and these jagged edges are called aliasing and as the name implies anti-aliasing strives to reduce aliasing by employing a number of different techniques these techniques differ both in the ways, they deal with these jaggies and in how much they affect in-game performance.

anti-aliasing in gaming

Types of Anti-Aliasing

While the general idea behind anti-aliasing is the same, there are a lot of techniques available. The best result from anti-aliasing depends on the type of hardware you have and its capabilities. look at some of the most common anti-aliasing is given below.

Multi sampling Anti-Aliasing or MSAA

This is the most common type of anti-aliasing that balances out quality and performance it works by using color manipulation around the geometric shape to produce the effect of smoothness it can use 2, 4 or 8 samples the higher the sample count the higher the quality but also the performance impact. Nvidia and AMD also have their own anti-aliasing that function in a similar but more efficient Nvidia uses TXAA or temporal anti-aliasing and AMD uses MLA a which stands for morphologic anti-aliasing and they work better on their respective companies GPUs.

Fast approximate Anti-Aliasing or FXAA

The second type of anti-aliasing is the fast approximate anti-aliasing or FXAA for short where MSAA strives to provide a good balance of quality and performance FXAA is concerned with having the least performance impact so what it does is simply extensive blurring to obscure the jagged edges this results in an unnoticeable performance drop but a much blurrier image.

super-sampling Anti-Aliasing or SSAA 

The third and final type of anti-aliasing is SSAA or supersampling anti-aliasing it’s the most demanding type of three but it’s also the most efficient one its works by making your GPU rendering a game at a higher resolution and then downsamples it that way it increases the overall picture density leaving you with a much sharper image.

Coverage Sampling Anti-Aliasing or CSAA

Some anti-aliasing techniques are developed by graphics card manufacturers like Nvidia and AMD. An example is CSAA, developed by Nvidia. Results are equivalent to MSAA in high sample count, but only low or medium sample count requires MSAA performance value.

Enhanced Quality Anti-Aliasing or EQAA

EQAA is an anti-aliasing technology developed by a graphics card manufacturer is AMD. The results are very similar to CSAA. It provides high-end MSAA results but requires low PC resources.

Temporal Anti-Aliasing

This is a relatively new kind of anti-aliasing that is only seen in the new graphics card. TXAA actually combines several techniques that other anti-aliasing programs use to smooth edges. This is not too much demand on processing power and gives a better image than FXAA. However, you are still likely to feel some fading.

Which type should you use?

So which these types should you see use well it mostly depends on the processing power of your GPU but the general rule of thumb is to use FXAA for low-end MSAA for mid-range and SSAA for high end pcs what’s more how much anti-aliasing you will need will depend on the size and resolution of your display a 21-inch 1080p screen will have barely noticeable aliasing but the same can be said for a 40 inch 1080p and higher resolutions like 2K and 4 K will generally produce less aliasing because of the picture density.

If you’re running a mid-range PC and no access to EQAA or CSAA, go with MSAA. For everyone out there who has a low-end PC, if you want some kind of anti-aliasing measure then stick with FXAA. However, you can prefer aliasing over the blurred image that creates FXAA. The option is yours and will depend on your GPU more than anything. visit robinguide.com


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