Leadtek WinFast A300 Ultra TD MyVIVO
A "Friendly" GeForceFX 5800 Ultra...

By - Marco Chiappetta
April 25, 2003

There has been quite a bit of discussion over the last few months regarding the GeForce FX's image quality. Direct image quality comparisons between Radeon 9700 / 9800 Pros and GeForce FX 5800's prove the Radeons have better overall image quality, especially when Antialiasing and Anisotropic filtering are used.  We're not going to do another direct comparison here, because NVIDIA has stated that a future driver update, that should be available soon, will significantly change the GeForce FX's image quality.  We'll do another direct comparison when those drivers are released.  We did take some screenshots to show what to expect from a GeForce FX 5800 Ultra today though...

Screenshots with Antialiasing Enabled
This should give you some idea...
 

PIN-WHEEL: NO AA
 

PIN-WHEEL: 2X AA
 

PIN-WHEEL: 4X AA

This first group of screenshots were taken with the Pin-Wheel demo that debuted in our Radeon 9600 Pro review.  The Pin-Wheel spins slowly, so the jagged edges of each sector are never stationary.  It's a very simple tool, but it does a great job of demonstrating the effect of Antialiasing.  As you can clearly see, the jaggies on each line are much less apparent as the AA level is increased.


UT 2003: NO AA
ENLARGED 400%


UT 2003: NO AA
 


UT 2003: 2X AA
ENLARGED 400%


UT 2003: 2X AA
 


UT 2003: QUIN. AA
ENLARGED 400%


UT 2003: QUIN. AA
 


UT 2003: 4X AA
ENLARGED 400%


UT 2003: 4X AA
 


UT 2003: 4XS AA
ENLARGED 400%


UT 2003: 4XS AA
 


UT 2003: 6XS AA
ENLARGED 400%


UT 2003: 6XS AA
 


UT 2003: 8X AA
ENLARGED 400%


UT 2003: 8X AA
 


UT 2003: 16X AA
ENLARGED 400%


UT 2003: 16X AA
 

We also took some screenshots with the A300 Ultra at every different AA level available in NVIDIA's drivers using Unreal Tournament 2003.  Luckily we used the Pin-Wheel demo as well, because we weren't able to accurately represent 2X and Quincunx AA with these screenshots.  These AA levels were functioning properly in-game, but when we took the screenshots, they looked as if AA was not applied.  We took all of the screenshots above at 1024x768, with all of UT2003's graphical options set at their maximum values.  We enlarged a small portion of the screen 400% to give you a better idea of the affects of AA on the image.  From 4X -  6XS, it's clear the jagged edges are significantly reduced. The 8X and 16X shots are also much less "jagged", but differences between these two settings aren't very apparent.  After what we saw with the 2X and Quincunx screenshots however, we can't be certain the 8X and 16X AA methods are properly represented.  Also, keep in mind all of the screenshots on this page are compressed JPEGs.  Actual in-game image quality is much better than what you see here...

In Game Screenshots with Anisotropic Filtering using Quake 3 Arena
Quick and Dirty Screenies

QUAKE 3 NO ANISO WITH
COLORED MIP-MAPS


QUAKE 3 NO ANISO
 


QUAKE 3 2X ANISO WITH
COLORED MIP-MAPS


QUAKE 3 2X ANISO
 


QUAKE 3 4X ANISO WITH
COLORED MIP-MAPS


QUAKE 3 4X ANISO
 


QUAKE 3 8X ANISO WITH
COLORED MIP-MAPS


QUAKE 3 8X ANISO
 

We used Quake 3 Arena to demonstrate the affects of the GeForce FX 5800 Ultra's Anisotropic filtering method.  Quake 3 has a feature that basically color codes each mip-map level to demonstrate the transition from one level to to the next.  To put things very simply, each band of color in the screenshots above (also taken at 1024x768) represents a different level of detail.  The areas "closest" to the viewer at the front of the image have the highest level of detail, areas "furthest away" at the rear of the image have the lowest level of detail.  As each level of Anisotropic filtering is enabled, textures are sharpened more and more.  The portion of the screen with the highest level of detail extends further back into the screen.  We also included screenshots without the colored banding so you can see exactly what the FX 5800 Ultra's Anisotropic filtering is doing to the image.

Let's Look at Some Numbers