Ok, first let's give a little background on how we tested and what we tested. First off, we used only one game for this round of comparison testing. Homeworld suited our needs perfectly; it had both OpenGL and Direct3D modes. Since FSAA is used to improve image quality we enabled all the eye candy that Homeworld had to offer. Resolutions from 640x480 to 1024x768 in 16 and 32-bit modes were used. This basically meant a whole lot of jaggy action for me.
We used the same settings as last time with the Voodoo drivers. There were no additional settings except for the usual 2x/4x combo.
A Tad Beta?
The NVIDIA drivers were a different story. Starting with the OpenGL settings, if we look at the advanced settings (well it's a bit deeper but whatever) in the display area we will find a little box that needs to be enabled in order for FSAA to be functional. According to reports from NVIDIA there are actually 3 different settings for OpenGL FSAA. Perplexing… I can either leave the box empty or checked. 1… 2…yup that's two by my count. A little more digging and prodding revealed that the settings were in the registry. The value FSAAquality was by default 0, and had a range of values all up to 2. O…1…2…. three values!
NVIDIA tells us that value 0 is 2x mode (2.25 screen resolution). Value 1 is NVIDIA's "4x" mode which means 2x screen resolution, with LODs (MIPMaps) at the native resolution. The final value, 2, set the card to 4x mode (2x screen resolution with MIPMaps at the 2x resolution). Increasing values increase the detail. How convenient.