We have yet another contender with FSAA, the ATI Radeon. So far, the Radeon seems like a yuppie in comparison to the GeForce2 and Voodoo5, which seem more like the managerial types at this point in time. Why yuppie? You see, the Radeon's got the toys, but it's nowhere near mature yet. The Radeon is joining the ranks of the video card elite a tad late but with a slew of new features, FSAA among them.
FSAA, full scene anti-aliasing, has been a highly debated issue. On the extreme end, we have some people saying that it is no more than going myopic. Others might be inclined to say that FSAA is a gift from god (Brian Burke)…or something along those lines.
The whole issue of blurring is a rather complex one. Even if we agree that FSAA is essential then we still have to settle other arguments, such as which type of implementation is superior. ATI and NVIDIA both use a method called OGSS, ordered grid super sampling. 3dfx, on the other hand, uses a method called RGSS, rotated grid super sampling.
Regardless of how it is done, it's generally agreed upon that both methods reduce the amount of jaggies, crawlies and sparklies on the screen. This, we hope, leads to a better gaming experience. If you should require a more in depth explanation of FSAA feel free to look at our previous articles:FSAA Part II and FSAA Part III. If your hunger for jaggies has not been satiated, drop by Beyond3D and take look at the white paper they wrote on the topic.
Currently ATI is using the same method as NVIDIA for FSAA. The hurdles they have to overcome are slightly different though. NVIDIA had trouble with Direct3D implementations. In the process of running tests on the Radeon, it was very clear that FSAA isn't finished yet. ATI had to send us a new driver file to get FSAA to work. Keep this in mind when going through the comparison. This is not the end result of ATI's work on FSAA, it's merely the beginning.