Anti-Aliasing (Definition, Meaning, and Main Types) [MiniTool Wiki]

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The image you see on the computer monitor is composed of small pixels. The pixels are tiny rectangular lights in essence that’s why everything rendered on your computer has a tendency to look.

The pixelated edges you see on your PC games are often referred to as jaggies. You are able to eliminate the jaggies by improving screen resolution in most time. However, it’s not available for all gamers.

If your GPU is old or it isn’t built for gaming, you probably cannot reach higher resolutions without experiencing serious slowdown on your game. But you don’t have to suffer this by using anti-aliasing.

What is antialiasing exactly? To get more information, please keep reading this post of MiniTool.

Tip: To obtain great game experience, you need to make some adjustments. To be specific, you are required to modify the graphical settings and optimize your computer. As for graphical settings, VSync and anti-aliasing are two common types. Since VSync has been illustrated in our previous posts, we would focus on anti-aliasing here.

What Is Anti-Aliasing

Anti-aliasing is a technology that is used to solve jagged-edge issue. Most computer games include an in-game window where you are allowed to adjust graphical settings and anti-aliasing is one of them.

Some PC games require you to enable anti-aliasing the first time you launch the game. On some GPUs, you can adjust anti-aliasing settings in the GPU control panel.

What Does Anti-Aliasing Do

As the anti-aliasing definition indicates, it is a technique for minimizing the distortion artifacts when representing a high-resolution image at a lower resolution. Anti-aliasing usually is used in digital photography, computer graphics, digital audio, as well as many other applications.

With anti-aliasing, you can remove signal components that have a higher frequency than the frequency that the recording or sampling equipment can correctly resolve. This removal operation often is executed before sampling at a lower resolution. If the sampling operation is performed without removing this part of the signal, it can result in undesirable artifacts like black-and-white noise.

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Types of Anti-Aliasing

Here are several types of anti-aliasing and each of them has its own pros and cons. The following content will discuss them one by one.

CSAA and EQAA: They are often used by newer NVIDIA and AMD cards respectively. Both of them are similar to MSAA.

FXAA: It is a sort of fast approximate anti-aliasing that has a small performance cost. It can smooth out edges in all parts of the image. Nevertheless, it often makes the image blurry so that it wouldn’t be an ideal option for obtaining crisp graphics.

MSAA: It is short for multi-sample anti-aliasing, which is one of the common types of anti-aliasing in modern games. It can only smooth out the edges of polygons. Compared with SSAA, MSAA can cut down on processing power. Additionally, MSAA cannot solve pixelated textures.

SSAA (also famous as FSAA): Super sampling anti-aliasing is the initial type of anti-aliasing. It is often used on photorealistic image, but it’s not common in games now because of high processing power.

TXAA: Temporal anti-aliasing only works on some newer graphics cards. It combines with various techniques to smooth out edges. Though it has some blurriness, it is better than FXAA.

Generally speaking, you don’t have to choose an anti-aliasing among the above types. The case that you need to make a choice between two anti-aliasing is rare. In most cases, you will get one or none. Besides, as graphics become better and monitor resolution increases, anti-aliasing has become less and less necessary.

Some games even don’t need it at all. However, if you run an old game or the graphics driver has the anti-aliasing option, it is still needed.

Bottom Line

Do you know the anti-aliasing definition? After reading the post, you may find that and have a comprehensive understanding of it. Based on that, you can choose whether to turn on the anti-aliasing when playing game now! Here comes the end of the post!

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