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Complete Noob Question: PC Graphics Settings

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Since I started gaming on my rig, I have yet to understand the graphics settings for PC. Like what is Anit-Aliasing? MSAA? FXAA?

Can someone define these key terms for me? And since I am an AMD user, what they mean to me. Just really want to improve Skyrim. Thanks,
post #2 of 11
Okay, so all these settings essentially make the computer look better by smoothing out lines, smoothing out horizon lines, and making shadows look more realistic. Usually ,the higher the number (4x,8x,16x) will get you better looking graphics but a bigger impact on FPS, which is your Frames Per Second, or the number of pieces of video you see in a second. If that gets too low while you play, everything will seem to stutter, and then you turn settings back down to lower quality. AntiAliasing, MSAA, FXAA are all simply Antialiasing, but just have progressively better looking effects on the game
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
lol I knew what frames were.

So AA, MSAA, FXAA are all basically the same? So turning them all on, or up to 16x will make the game look better? Does view distances and fading intervene/relate with Anti-Aliasing?
post #4 of 11
FXAA is a type of anti-aliasing that blurs everything. MSAA is a type of anti-aliasing that attempts to blur just the edges of objects.
The purpose of anti-aliasing is to remove jaggies:
display-properties-03-aaexample.jpg

MSAA can get pretty resource intensive, FXAA is less intensive but you may not like the slightly-more-blurry textures.

View distances are just how far the game renders objects.
Edited by GuardianDuo - 12/3/11 at 5:54pm
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post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
So what are the points of second hand AA's?
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuclearSlurpee View Post

So what are the points of second hand AA's?

What do you mean by 'second hand AA's' ?

If you need and AA article, look here. It's older, but explains AA and AF decently.
    
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post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GanjaSMK View Post

What do you mean by 'second hand AA's' ?
If you need and AA article, look here. It's older, but explains AA and AF decently.

MSAA and FXAA. I have 8x AA, 8x Anisotropic filtering and FXAA enabled on Skyrim at the same time. Is that bad? All qualities are maxed and water reflects everything. View distances differ but are relatively high.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuclearSlurpee View Post

MSAA and FXAA. I have 8x AA, 8x Anisotropic filtering and FXAA enabled on Skyrim at the same time. Is that bad? All qualities are maxed and water reflects everything. View distances differ but are relatively high.

I wish I could be of help more in depth with regards to Skyrim in-game settings, but I don't own the game. frown.gif

What I can tell you is that you should be able to crank up the AF on just about any modern lower end mid range card or higher. It doesn't have a huge impact on performance by any means. AF improves the texture on flat surfaces (like ground, roadways) farther out into the distance.

AA can have serious impacts on performance, most notably with MSAA and SSAA. FXAA doesn't hit as big, but can depending on the scenes. There are several different methods of AA.
    
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post #9 of 11
Nope, it won't damage anything. They are there for you to decide what you like the most! for example, I usually don't like Depth of Field in my games, so I disable that setting if there is an option to. You can do the same with your MSAA and FXAA
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post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Skyrim doesn't have MSAA or SSAA in the options. Just AA, Anisotropic (or whatever) Filtering, and FXAA as a check box. Thanks for your guys' help.

After reading that article, wouldn't it make sense to have AF set to 0x or relatively low to make the game a bit more realistic?
Edited by NuclearSlurpee - 12/3/11 at 9:09pm
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