Authour: Mark "Ratchet" Thorne
Date: November 27th, 2006
Without doubt the biggest issue many people had with NVIDIA's 7-series was the terrible texture filtering it offered by default. Texture Shimmering, a side effect of overzealous filtering optimizations on NVIDIA’s part, was always an huge issue for 7-series cards, and while it was reduced over time, it never really went away completely.
With the tremendous texture filtering capability of the G80 it’s good to see NVIDIA take advantage of it and drastically improve their default texture filtering quality. Texture shimmering is completely gone now from what I can tell, even in the default control panel “Quality” mode.
Anisotropic Filtering Pattern Tests using D3D AF-Tester
Screenshots aren’t the best way to showcase filtering quality (you really need movement to spot texture shimmering and other issues), but we make do.
AF quality with GTR2
AF quality with Company of Heroes
AF quality with Far Cry
It’s difficult to quantify the results shown here. In Company of Heroes the 8800 filtering looks noticeably better, and in GTR 2 ATI hardware appears to make the textures cleaner and sharper. In Far Cry, conversely, it looks to be a virtual tie between the 8800 and the X1950. Overall, at least when directly comparing the settings used in this review, I would say that both the 8800 and ATI’s X1950 do an excellent job at texture filtering. As for default control panel settings, NVIDIA clearly has the better filtering pattern which they definitely deserve some credit for.
As with the AA tests on the previous page, AF quality is only good if it doesn’t hurt performance too much. The performance results below were gathered using the second timedemo in out Half-Life 2: Lost Coast benchmark test. I’ve found that this timedemo in particular shows performance differences on the various texture filtering levels more-so than any of our other tests.
[ Default Settings ] [ High Quality ]
|Performance drop using High Quality filtering vs default settings|
Even though they are doing more work you can see that the 8800 cards suffer much less of a performance impact when compared to the previous 7-series cards with High Quality texture filtering enabled. The ATI X1950 XTX, though, isn’t affected at all when HQ AF is enabled (slightly faster, even).
content not found