Anti-Aliasing Analysis, Part 2: Performance

Edge-Detect Anti-Aliasing: 1280x1024

AMD’s edge-detect AA is a programmable custom-filter mode that applies an algorithm to the frame buffer to calculate which pixels might benefit from smoother gradients. It is also capable of taking extra samples outside of the pixel boundary. For more information about edge-detect AA, check out our Anti-Aliasing Analysis, Part 1 article on the Radeon Exclusive Anti-Aliasing Modes And Driver Settings page.

There’s no equivalent to edge-detect AA in Nvidia's driver, but CSAA is comparable in some respects. Let’s see how edge-detect AA taxes performance. Will it exact more or less of a burden compared to coverage samples?

In all of our tests, the 12x edge-detect AA setting (based on four multi-samples) performs worse than true eight-sample MSAA. From what we’ve seen, the edge-detect AA result is quite subtle and 8x MSAA is far more desirable. So far, the edge detect filter doesn’t impress us much.