What is Anti-Aliasing?

Anti-Aliasing
Anti-Aliasing

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If you are a PC gamer, you may have heard the term ‘Anti-Aliasing.’ If you check different graphics settings of the game, you will surely find anti-aliasing settings. In this guide, I will explain aliasing, anti-aliasing, and different anti-aliasing techniques.

Aliasing?

Pixel is the smallest element of every digital image and Pixel is rectangular in shape. Each object in digital screens is made from thousands of colored pixels. So, round shapes show jagged edges. This is called aliasing. Most gamers call it ‘jaggies’ or ‘the staircase effect.’

See a sample object shown in the image below.

Aliasing effect occurs when the display device doesn’t have a high resolution to represent a smooth line. Higher the resolution, least jaggies you see. If you increase the monitor resolution, you can reduce the jagged line effect. If you already have a high-resolution monitor, check if you can increase the graphics resolution from the game’s setting. This method can’t solve issues all the time because images are displayed based on their resolution. If the game is already if low-resolution graphics, it requires anti-aliasing.

What is Anti-aliasing?

Anti-aliasing is a process of removing the aliasing effect from computer objects. It reduces jagged edges that occur on different edges graphical objects or curved objects. Anti-aliasing makes curves or tilting lines smooth by adding a slender discoloration to the edges. It makes jagged edges blur and melts together.

Anti-Aliasing

Anti-Aliasing is often implemented by graphics cards using different methods of antialiasing. Most PC games have graphics settings to enable anti-aliasing.

Types Of Anti-Aliasing

SSAA (Supersampling antialiasing): Supersample Anti-Aliasing renders the image at a higher resolution and then downsized to a lighter resolution. It is power-hungry and puts a load on GPU.

MSAA (Multisample antialiasing): MSAA only smoothers certain parts of the frame where it is necessary. It speeds up the anti-aliasing without putting a load on the GPU.

CSAA (Coverage sampling antialiasing): CSAA is NVIDIA’s anti-aliasing solution and is only available on NVIDIA cards. It works similar to MSAA but offers better performance.

EQAA (Enhanced quality antialiasing): EQAA (Enhanced quality antialiasing): EQAA is AMD’s answer to NVIDIA’s CSAA. EQAA is similar to CSAA and is exclusive to AMD cards.

FXAA ( Fast approximate Antialiasing): FXAA doesn’t need high processing power. So, it also works fine on lower-end machines. FXAA is also not as effective because it also reduces details from images.

TXAA (Temporal Antialiasing): TXAA combines several techniques to smooth out the edges. It is slightly better than FXAA but is not as effective as SSAA, MSAA, CSAA, or EQAA.

SMAA (Subpixel morphological anti-aliasing): SMAA works like FXAA. It reduces blurred edges and also produces sharper images.

What Type Of Anti-Aliasing Should You Pick

I have already mentioned the different types of anti-aliasing techniques a game could offer. Now the primary question is what to choose from the above. As you know, SSAA comes out on top. It is the best but also requires a high-end PC to work smoothly. If you have a high-end gaming setup, use SSAA. If you have a less powerful PC, FXAA should be your choice. This anti-aliasing technique will smooth jagged edges without impacting the performance of your PC. If you have a mid-range gaming CPU, MSAA can be a good option. MSAA is a balanced anti-aliasing technique that sits in between SSAA and FXAA It has a bit impact on performance but also provides smoother graphics.

The best way to find out what Anti-Aliasing works best for you is by trying all and finding the one that offers a good image enhancement without affecting the performance of your PC.

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