With the launch of Maxwell we are introducing the world to Multi-Frame Sampled Anti-Aliasing (MFAA). This new, Maxwell-exclusive anti-aliasing technique improves upon the quality of MSAA, whilst simultaneously reducing the performance impact, enabling gamers to crank up rendering resolutions and game detail, and to activate DSR.
Previous-generation GPUs include fixed sample patterns for anti-aliasing (AA) that are stored in Read Only Memory (ROM). When gamers selected 2x or 4x MSAA for example, the pre-stored sample patterns were used. With Maxwell, we have introduced programmable sample positions for rasterization that are stored on Random Access Memory (RAM), creating opportunities for new, more flexible, more inventive AA techniques that uniquely address the challenges of modern game engines, such as the increased performance cost of high-quality anti-aliasing.
Maxwell's new RAM-based sample position technology can still be programmed with standard MSAA and TXAA patterns, but now the driver or application may also load the RAM with custom positions that are free to vary from frame to frame, or even within a frame. And it is with this technology that we have developed Multi-Frame Sampled Anti-Aliasing (MFAA).
By alternating AA sample patterns both temporally and spatially, 4xMFAA has the performance cost of 2xMSAA, with anti-aliasing properties equivalent to 4xMSAA. Simply select 2xMSAA in a compatible game and enable MFAA in the NVIDIA Control Panel.