With the introduction of the AMD Radeon HD 6800 series and its new hardware texture capabilities, the AMD Catalyst A.I. user interface in AMD Catalyst Control Center has also been updated to allow direct user control over performance optimizations that may affect image quality.
The new AMD Catalyst A.I. options can be found by opening the 3D settings page, selecting the All tab and scrolling down. The Texture Filtering Quality slider has three settings High Quality, Quality (default), and Performance. The High Quality setting disables all texture optimizations. The Quality setting enables a trilinear optimization as well as an anisotropic sample optimization, which are designed to have no visible impact on image quality while offering improved performance.
The Performance setting enables more aggressive versions of these optimizations that offer further performance improvement, but may have a small impact on image quality. The AMD Radeon HD 6800 series continues to support fully angle invariant anisotropic filtering, and incorporates further improvements in LOD precision relative to the ATI Radeon HD 5000 Series.
These image quality benefits come with no additional performance cost and remain enabled at all Texture Filtering Quality settings. Here at Guru3D when comparing performance and image quality against NVIDIA products, we use the same Texture Filtering Quality setting in the NVIDIA Control Panel to ensure the most direct and fair comparison.
However, as of this writing NVIDIA products do not offer a comparable anisotropic filtering option with full angle independence. The Surface Format Optimization checkbox allows improved performance in selected games that use 16-bit floating point surfaces for HDR rendering. It is designed to have no discernable effect on image quality, and therefore we recommend it be left enabled as your default.
On the new AA mode, it's fairly similar to CSAA as you guys know from other products:
Morphological AA will become available in the December 2010 Catalyst drivers
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