Via Voodoo Extreme kwam ik op deze zeer interessante posting van Avater op een hardware forum. Vanuit Taipei (Taiwan) mocht deze persoon met een 64MB GeForce2 GTS en een Voodoo5 6000 spelen. De twee kaarten heeft hij vervolgens beoordeeld op de kwaliteit van Full Scene Anti-Aliasing. Het komt er in het kort op neer dat de GeForce2's implementatie van FSAA niet echt noemenswaardig is. De kwaliteit ervan is niet echt denderend, 'jaggies' en pixel popping is nog steeds waarneembaar en de performance hit is zeer groot. De VSA-100 chippies van 3dfx kunnen dankzij de grotere en effectievere geheugen bandbreedte veel beter met FSAA omgaan. Aangezien veel mensen full scene anti-aliasing nog steeds als dé belangrijkste feature van het moment beschouwen is het dus volgens Avatar niet slim om 3dfx nu al af te schrijven... Hieronder alvast een gedeelte, lees zeker zelf het hele verhaal, er staat nog meer info incl. een aantal links naar FSAA screenies.
Alright, specifications aside, lets get back to the V5. Ok, I hold in my hands, a Rev 2b V5-6000. This baby is a monster, or if you like to imagine ... you can place 3 and a half IDE harddrives side-by-side, this is the approx length. You get the idea. T-buffer FSAA is the main feature for 3dfx's V5 series of card. Why T-buffer you might ask? Ok, as seen in the above intro I gave on the GTS, FSAA consumes a huge amount of fillrate. The V5 has the raw power to handle it, be it the 2-chip 5500 or the 4-chip 6000. The main thing about the 3dfx T-buffer FSAA is it uses a segmented memory pool for textures instead of the unified one used in the GTS. To see the benefit here is simple ... it spells "flexibility", We take the V5-5500 2 chip solution as an example, with this segmentation, each of the VSA-100 chip has access to the data it requires independently. Thus, a chip can be fetching texture data while the other is writing a pixel to the screen. It's like 2 persons rotating a given job, with 2 pairs of hands passing the items around, it speeds up the operation as in contrast to that of 1 person. In addition, the memory bandwidth is effectively doubled since in this case, we have two memory interfaces (2 x 128bit vs 128bit in the GTS). This design tops out faster and more advanced memory (eg.DDR) in terms of "effective" speed and bandwidth because the flexibility is just not into the other implementations. (*I cannot imagine what the VSA-100 can do with DDR memory although it doesn't support it for now.) FSAA quality
Voodoo5 or VSA100. Period. I know this remark comes too swiftly. Nvidia supporters ... please calm down and hear what I have to say. The GTS was never intended to do good FSAA. Yes, this implementation of FSAA is an improvement over the original Geforce, I have no doubt about that. BUT the key issue here is, is the performance hit worth it for this sort of quality?. It's true too in the V5's case that there is a performance hit when x2 or x4 FSAA is enabled but well, my answer is It's MORE THAN WORTH the hit. Of course, this doesn't apply to hardcore FPS gamers. I played this genre of games briefly too and I know EVERY SINGLE FPS counts in a deathmatch. So, if you buy your 3D card just for FPS (or 3dmark2000 <-- sorry I cannot resist saying that) ... the GTS is for you, it's fast, damn fast! Else, if you consider yourself a non or "low" FPS gamer, you might wanna consider the V5 seriously. Well, you got it ... my views of FSAA on the GTS and V5. It's interesting to know that my entire publication team agrees with this, alongside Asus's video engineers. In conclusion. Both 3dfx and Nvidia are GREAT companies. The GTS is superbly designed as a single chip solution. On the other hand, the VSA-100 is one of the industry's finest scalable video architecture to date (*not including professional level). The choice is a difficult one. [break] Een korte samenvattende blurb hierover:[/break] Well, I seen it for myself, not just screenshots. It's clear to me that Nvidia "supersampling FSAA" is nothing more than a word in the spec sheet. Despite it's claim to do FSAA, IMHO it's far from being able to achieve it. Not only did it suffer a performance hit that's biting in high res, the image it delivers is simply not enough to justify the hit. Jaggies are still present, pixel popping is evidential too, I am sad to actually see this feature in the GTS. It's however a VERY fast T&L card without FSAA, good for those who needs every FPS they can get. The upcoming T&L title support is still lackluster (u can count them by hard, no need to argue here), taking this into mind, my sincere suggestion is IF you are going to get yourself a T&L card, do wait for the next gen to come (ie. NV20,3dfx Rampage, ATIR Radeon or Matrox G800). They should feature very robust features enough to satify the poweruser in you. In the FSAA dept, 3dfx wins hands-down. I pass this without a single doubt. Quality vs Speed, it's in your hands now.