Retina vs 4xAA for gaming

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Tovenaar, May 22, 2015.

  1. Tovenaar macrumors member

    Oct 21, 2008
    So I just ordered the RiMac and have been reading a lot about the GPU's ability to power the display during gaming. It seems people have no issue running at non retina resolution with 4x anti aliasing.

    My limited understanding of 4xAA is that each pixel is calculated four times in slightly different positions and an average is taken. Would I get the same gaming performance if I turn off AA and run at retina resolution?

    Has anyone tried this? Does it work and does it result in a better overall image?
  2. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2013
    You would get lower performance running at 5K instead of running 1440p w/ 4X AA. The size of the performance drop would vary depending on the type of AA used. If you used FXAA (Fast Approximate Anti Aliasing) at 1440p, you would get the best performance (unless you lower down the resolution of course or not even use AA at all, obviously). MSAA (multisampling AA if I remember correctly) actually would render the game at 4 time the resolution (5K) but then down scale it to 1440p (so you would be better off running at 5K instead).

    4X MSAA + 1440p will be too much of a performance hit for most games.
    4X FXAA + 1440p should give you the best performance to nice graphics.
    8X FXAA + 1080p will give you even better performance, but won't look as nice.

    Basically, FXAA has little to no effect of FPS, but doesn't do the best job at smoothing out jaggies (some people feel it makes it look slightly blurry but I don't don't think this). Therefor, if you are wanting good performance but also sharp graphics, I would recommend a high resolution with FXAA over a lower resolution and MSAA.

Share This Page