What are Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic filtering and can I use these options with an ATI video card?

Depending on the model of the video card you have, these features could have either a positive or negative impact on gameplay performance and image quality. If you feel you are experiencing sluggish system performance with these features on, it is best to disable them to ensure optimum gaming performance. When proceeding higher then 4x AA or ASF, this is where you will notice the performance hits. Please note, there are other variables within a users system that will also hinder game performance when enabling these options.

Below are explanations on each possible option a particular video card may have. Please note, not all video card models may have all of the below options.

Anti-Aliasing - Aliasing is the jagged edges on curves and diagonal lines in a bitmap image. Anti-aliasing is the process of smoothing out those jagged edges. Another term commonly used is font smoothing. Without anti-aliasing, diagonal edges appear jagged, like staircases, which may be noticeable on a low resolution display. The default for this setting is "Application Preference". Increasing this setting to 2x or more may improve overall image quality while having the possibility of degrading gaming performance.

Anisotropic filtering - Anisotropic filtering makes it easier for the viewer to see the quality of textures on surfaces at greater angles. If you are using an older video card and have Anisotropic filtering enabled, you may take a huge performance hit. The default for this setting is "Application Preference". Increasing this setting to 2x or more may improve overall image quality at a distance while having the possibility of degrading gaming performance.

Texture Preference - By increasing the texture quality setting you may or may not notice an overall increase in quality, but the chances of system performance taking a hit with a higher texture quality setting are greater.

Mip-Mapping Detail - The biggest benefit from this setting is that a user can display high resolution textures without having to be in a high resolution state. By increasing this setting to the highest available option may result in game performance degredation.

Vsync - Vsync stands for 'Vertical Synchronization'. Having Vsync disabled will generally increase performance while image quality takes a loss. Having Vsync enabled also has the possibility of removing any graphic anomalies, artifacts or tearing that you may be experiencing.

TruForm - The latest incarnation of ATI's innovative higher order surface technology. It is designed to smooth out the curved surface of 3D characters, objects, and terrain by increasing the polygon count through a process called "tessellation". The end result displays an image having the objects edges appear smoother and more detailed.

Please note, by increasing or turning on any of the above options may result in system instability.

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