Reality Check - PC GFX Explained! Antialiasing, Vsync, Tessellation and More!

Cam dives head first into the confusing waters of PC graphics settings on Reality Check. What exactly do they mean, and how do they result in sexy graphics?

Discussion

95 comments
Wensea10
Wensea10

There is always technical errors with computers but they are often minor.

Brando008
Brando008

Fantastic episode, I learned a ton. Thanks Cam!

Zloth2
Zloth2

I love that tessellation!  My biggest hope for the next gen console is that we'll start seeing a lot more of it.

P.S.  Another nice way to reduce anti-aliasing: use 3D.  Your two eyes will see the jaggies in different locations and your brain will smooth them out for you.  It's about time that brain thing started pulling its own weight!

cratecruncher
cratecruncher

Another nice article.  I didn't realize my stutters were related to refresh rate/fps matching.  I plan to look further into that. 


Just a niggling aside. When listing the different resolution options in the graphics settings I wish these programmers would include the aspect ratio in parenthesis.  My mental fraction simplifying isn't as fast as it used to be so I guess and half the time end up with a funhouse mirror, lol! 

filthy_casual_
filthy_casual_

Hello Cam:
Can you explain what the deal is with Amazon listings and website/trademark registering?
I keep seeing headlines like "Amazon listing for Half Life 3!" and "Trademark registered for Assassin's Creed 17!"
And then people start speculating that these games are coming out.

Who is doing these listings and registerings? Do they have some kind of insider knowledge?

badass1982
badass1982

What Specs did the rig you ran most of those examples have? It looked gorgeous for the most part!

The-Neon-Seal
The-Neon-Seal

Lol. Minecraft and Terraria laugh in the face of Aliasing!

arruu2000
arruu2000

I wonder why they didnt put a Dead Island gameplay to explain image tearing..  haha. Jezz, that game has a f**** up engine.

arruu2000
arruu2000

I keep forgeting the difference between MSAA and FXAA... until I try them out on my pc.

mogsub
mogsub

excellent video! Which game is on 3:00?

RomanKingNYC
RomanKingNYC

I appreciate the recent focus on PC as of late.  I would do a column on what settings should be on/off for particular games. Oh, and part 3 plz.  Good job explaining.

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

Open Sync will kill Gsync. Any proprietary technology is really bad for consumers compared to open solutions.

ptown58
ptown58

What game is that graphics menu from? new game to play with friends, just flash the menu will quick see if they can guess it. FC3

torrne667
torrne667

This is a really cool idea! All these arguements about resolutions can now take a back seat as this is where its at when it comes to graphics! PART 3!!

Darkhol0w
Darkhol0w

Love tweaking my games the second I start them..give me that 60fps baby!

Babelfish112
Babelfish112

Great episode - I'm sure this will help out those new to PC gaming or those unsure of what these settings mean in newer games.

johnwck90
johnwck90

There was a time when I understood what to do: turn down (or off) shadows; turn down (or off) reflections, turn down (or off) anti-aliasing and you can play great, then suddenly everything got very complicated.  Now, I just look for shadows and abbreviations with AA in them and turn them down and hope for the best.

rlakhani11
rlakhani11

Thanks a lot Cam. That was informative. Looking forward to the second part.

Lawrencevanrijn
Lawrencevanrijn

Amazingly cool episode! I actually picked up a few things here.

groga127
groga127

This was a lot of help cool episode.

TimberWolf_CLT
TimberWolf_CLT

Yet another excellent show.  I appreciate the focus GS is putting on the PC recently.  So many folks are "in the weeds" trying to understand all of this and shows like this help immensely.

Jskosoff
Jskosoff

I love how Gamespot has been focusing on the PC. Sadly, it gets left out... A lot.

maitkarro
maitkarro

Well with vsync, you don't need it anymore if you use borderless window. The frames then can never go out of sync. You get the tears because the desktop refresh rate and fullscreen application refresh rate aren't in sync.

losstoney
losstoney

Well,  i learned something new today :D

Gaming-Planet
Gaming-Planet

Educating the console kiddies. Love it! I hope their brain has enough processing power to process all this information. 

Matthew_Bester
Matthew_Bester

This is an excellent video, it really does help to see examples of these different graphics options and the effect they have on a game explained so simply. I hope you get to cover everything because most in game tooltips are not very helpful...



DeusGladiorum
DeusGladiorum

V-Sync still isn't perfect, as Cam said, but not for the same reasons he's stating. G-Sync isn't the first thing to come along and solve the stuttering issue. Triple buffering has been here for some time and has mitigated the problems V-Sync has and prevents the annoying stuttering cam is talking about, wherein V-Sync would usually result in your fps dropping to the next multiple of your refresh rate. That problem being that normally if you were rendering at 60 fps, and all of sudden your graphics card could only output 58 fps for one point in time, your frame rate would instantly drop to 30 fps until your graphics card was able to output 60 fps once more. Triple buffering, or triple buffered V-Sync, fixed that problem and is available in most modern games... with exceptions being from developers who seem to not care at all about PC (a.k.a. Ubisoft). If you have triple buffering on and you drop to 58 fps, you stay at 58 fps. The only downside is that it causes slightly more input lag, and depending on who you are and how competitive and reaction-based your game is, might prove annoying... and THAT'S when we can all talk about how Nvidia's G-Sync really shines. 

trackles
trackles

There are programs available with Graphics cards like Nvidia, that optimise all your games for you at reccomended settings.

4kgamer_lmxxx
4kgamer_lmxxx

Absolutely loving the PC love that Gamespot has been giving us lately. 


<3 <3 <3 PC <3 <3 <3

Rickiej
Rickiej

Very good explaination! Loving these video's so far!

Gencic
Gencic

Graphics settings, screen tearing, and a myriad of settings is precisely why I'm not too keen on PC gaming. On a console you get good graphics and a steady framerate.

Yes PC can be better in graphics and framerate however it costs much more.

Pelezinho777
Pelezinho777

I'm still satisfied with 30, thank you very much!

Zloth2
Zloth2

@Jskosoff  The other sad thing is that consoles could do this, too.  Want faster frames?  Just turn off anti-aliasing here!  Want a prettier image?  Turn on anisotropic filtering here!  But on consoles the developers decide and you just take what they give you.

maitkarro
maitkarro

@jamesaliba Console only owners will prolly boast that "we don't need to waste time with it". -.-

thekid_02
thekid_02

@Gencic As a soon to be computer science grad, i use to get annoyed by the pc "mater race", now i laugh at them since at least half of them obviously have no where near as much knowledge of how their precious computers and games actually work as they think they do.

EXile1a
EXile1a

@Gencic 
Then get a Nvidea graphic card. Setting up will be under one button.

Ps. you will have to click that button. Just saying.

Gaming-Planet
Gaming-Planet

@Gencic So what you're telling me is that you're a casual and learning what each setting does is too much for your brain to process, just like graphic fidelity is too much for a console to process. 

arruu2000
arruu2000

@maitkarro @jamesaliba you're right... they feel comfortable with lower quality graphics...hehe. Also you're talking about people who need a big stick and big round color buttons to actually control a game.

Gencic
Gencic

@Gaming-Planet @Gencic  I'm a .NET dev. and I can't be bothered with certain things. I just prefer a hassle free gaming experience.