Product: AMD Cayman HD 6970 & HD 6950
Company: AMD
Authour: James Prior
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: December 15th, 2010
Image Quality Updates

Enhanced Quality Anti-Aliasing

AMD's range of image quality enhancements is really quite broad, as we saw in our recent Image Quality investigation. Last year's 2009 Cypress tech day had AMD touting Eyefinity and Super Sampled Anti-Aliasing as the new features afforded by the incredible power of the new graphics processors. This year's event introduced Morphological Anti-Aliasing, a great full scene post processing effect that performs edge detection on the final rendered image to smooth aliased edges. However, AMD held one card back from their performance deck, and is now introducing their Enhanced Quality Anti-Aliasing mode, equivalent to Nvidia's CSAA mode. You can read more about different Anti-Aliasing methods in our Image Quality analysis article.

Enhanced Quality Anti-Aliasing
Enhanced Quality Anti-Aliasing
Enhanced Quality Edge Detect Anti-Aliasing
Enhanced Quality Edge Detect Anti-Aliasing

The Enhanced Quality Anti-Aliasing (EQAA) feature is currently exclusive to Cayman cards, and provides extra coverage samples per color sample. Applicable from 2xAA through to 16xAA (Crossfire configurations), EQAA can be enabled or forced through CCC control panel. Further enhancing EQAA with Adaptive Anti-Aliasing is suggested, and the use of Edge Detect is supported as well. Like regular MSAA, not all applications will allow forced EQAA, but that's what MLAA is for.

Edge Detect & Blend
Edge Detect & Blend

To test the performance hit associated with EQAA, we benchmarked Left 4 Dead 2 and normalized the average FPS results against 4xMSAA. In game highest settings were used, at 1920x1080 and 16xAF. For the MLAA benchmark, in game 2xMSAA was set. HD 6970 Crossfire was used for the 16xMSAA and 16xEQAA modes.


Enhanced Quality Anti-Aliasing is exactly that, preventing a Vaseline smeared screen while improving the jaggies and crawling associated with aliased edges. The performance hit is low compared to SSAA or EDAA, and offers impressive results. With dual Radeon HD 6970 cards you can run 16xEQAA at the same performance as 4xMSAA on a single card.

Enhanced Quality Anti-Aliasing
Enhanced Quality Anti-Aliasing

Anisotropic Filtering

Below you can see the results of Filter Tester. They are identical that seen from the Radeon HD 6800 series, using the Barts GPU. Click on the image to view the full size lossless .PNG.

AMD Radeon HD 6970 Kernel Transitions
AMD Radeon HD 6970 Kernel Transitions
AMD Radeon HD 6970 Angle Dependence
AMD Radeon HD 6970 Angle Dependence

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