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FSAA A Reality At Last ????

Well I managed to get hold of some figures, and screenshots of a Hercules 3D Prophet III card in action ,which I thought I would share, thanks to Carla (155&Rising) who purchased one of these beauties last week. All the benchmarks are done on her PIII 866mhz (a 650 overclocked to 866mhz) on a 133 MHz bus with 512mb of memory (for you tech freaks out there). The demos were done using a demo called T4Mash00p (available here) which is a bit of a killer. I suggest you download it and see how slowly your computer can crawl when its being asked to do too much.

The card has been tested in 2 different setups on Carla's machine. First of all there is Quake 3 Competition CFG which has high gamma, most graphics turned off, simple items turned on etc. Basically the sort of graphics that your ultra anal professional Quake 3 player likes to play in. Secondly we have Quake 3 Ultra Pretty CFG which has every graphic setting turned onto full, and also cg_shadows 3 for those realistic shadows while your playing.

Anyway without further ado here are those figures that you have been waiting for:-

Quake 3 Competition CFG
  640 800 1024 1280 1600
No FSAA 78.8 78.4 79.3 79.2 78.0
Quincunx 78.5 78.5 78.2 74.3 54.6
4x FSAA 78.7 78.7 78.0 67.3 43.9


Quake 3 Ultra Pretty CFG
  640 800 1024 1280 1600
No FSAA 40.8 40.2 39.9 36.8 31.7
Quincunx 37.3 34.8 28.4 18.9 9.1
4x FSAA 37.1 31.6 22.4 9.1 9.4


As you can see the GeForce 3 is clearly limited by processor power, and unfortunately Carla's machine just doesn't have the kick in it to make full use of the card. I'm not going to post results of a GeForce 2 in action as you can find comparisons like that all over the place at the moment however I would like to concentrate on the FSAA side of the card.

At the resolutions most people play at, there is not really that much of a drop in FPS if you decide to use FSAA. In competition mode there is no real drop at all in the most commonly used resolutions but I'm not too sure what sort of benefits you would get by using FSAA when you have turned all your graphics down. The point of this is that FSAA is now looking more and more like a reality that we will be able to use in everyday games. Maybe a GeForce 3 isn't needed for a great performance increase, but if you love your pretty graphics and want to be able to enjoy the benefits of FSAA the GeForce 3 is definetly the way to go.

So what is so great about FSAA Quake 3, well for a start the circular parts of the map are now actually circular, not jagged squareish shapes when you zoom in but real unadulterated circles!!!! and it has to be said that with FSAA turned on it does look damn pretty. Here are a few Screenshots for you to drool over, unfortunately they have lost some of their crispness in the conversion to .jpg but I'm sure you will agree that they are still very pretty.