Anti-Aliasing Analysis, Part 2: Performance

Test System And Benchmarks

We chose a wide variety of graphics cards for our tests, ranging from the Radeon HD 5670/GeForce GT 240 to a pair of Radeon HD 6850s in CrossFire and GeForce GTX 460s in SLI. The games we're testing include Just Cause 2, F1 2010, Aliens Vs. Predator, and Left 4 Dead 2; these titles allow forced AA modes from both graphics vendors. We're also including Lost Planet 2 to demonstrate supersampling on Radeon cards. Unfortunately, the feature does not work in most of the other titles we tested.

You may notice that the GeForce GTX 460 SLI results are not included in the Left 4 Dead 2 benchmark. This one is our bad. Our original test runs were rendered invalid after the game decided to self-update and break compatibility with our test sequence. We’re confident that the SLI data generated in the other benchmarks is representative of two 460s rendering cooperatively.

Also note that the GeForce GT 240 does better than some of the higher-end cards (like the GeForce GTX 550 Ti) in F1 2010. This is because the GT 420 is not DirectX 11-capable, forcing it to fall back to DX 9. This same limitation also explains why the GeForce GT 240 is absent from our Aliens vs. Predator DirectX 11 benchmark.

Test Hardware
Intel Core i5-2500K (Sandy Bridge)
Overclocked to 4 GHz, 6 MB Shared L3 Cache, power-saving settings enabled, Turbo Boost disabled.
MSI P67A-GD65, Intel P67 Chipset
OCZ DDR3-2000, 2 x 2 GB, at 1338 MT/s, CL 9-9-9-20-1T
Hard Drives
Western Digital Caviar Black 750 GB, 7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache, SATA 3Gb/s
Samsung 470 Series SSD 256 GB, SATA 3Gb/s
Graphics CardsGeForce GT 240 GDDR5
GeForce GTX 550 Ti
GeForce GTX 460 1 GB (Single and in SLI)
GeForce GTX 570

Radeon HD 5670
Radeon HD 5770
Radeon HD 6850 (Single and in CrossFire)
Radeon HD 6970
Power Supply
ePower EP-1200E10-T2 1200 W, ATX12V, EPS12V
CPU Cooler
Cooler Master Hyper TX 2
System Software And Drivers
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
DirectX 11
Graphics Driver
GeForce: 280.26 WHQL

AMD Catalyst 11.9 WHQL
Just Cause 2
Formula One 2010
Aliens Vs. Predator
DX11 benchmark version
Left 4 Dead 2
Lost Planet 2
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