As a gamer or tech fanatic, you may have heard of TAA and FXAA graphics. Let's take a look at what they are, their differences, and their impact on game graphics.
TAA stands for “temporal anti-aliasing”, an algorithm that applies anti-aliasing methods to textures to reduce visual noise. FXAA stands for “Fast Approximate Anti-Aliasing.” It also known as FXAA or MS AA. Fast Approximate Anti-Aliasing uses Bloom filters to approximate anti-aliase textures and offers faster performance than TAA.
The two terms are almost always used interchangeably, but in reality, there are a few differences between them that you as a gamer should know. Now that you have a general idea of anti-aliasing, let us look at some of the differences between the two and how they can impact your gaming experience.
Differences in TAA and FXAA anti-aliasing Methodology
There are many differences between the technologies. Let's take a look at all of these differences as they may impact your gameplay experience.
FXAA is faster than TAA. While FXAA reduces visible aliasing during dynamic scenes, it generally presents faster performance compared to TAA. FXAA's Bloom filtering is adaptive and designed to work better on dynamic scenes where significant differences in pixel values are present.
Temporal anti-aliasing can also be very effective in scenarios where a lot of motion blur exists, such as panning shots or fast-moving objects; however it does not reduce judder or blurring when this occurs.
FXAA offers the best visual quality of all TAA algorithms at high settings without impacting performance. It can also be combined with high-quality MSAA implementations, which magnifies its effective performance.
FXAA is designed to eliminate the aliasing of textures in real-time environments, which means that it is less effective during panning shots or any shot with motion blur applied to it. This is why temporal anti-aliasing is generally more prevalent in video games that have such effects applied to them.
Some gamers argue that temporal anti-aliasing makes game graphics look more realistic. However, if you are a competitive, fast-paced gamer, you will probably not like this effect and prefer the pixelated graphics that we already have today.
Temporal Anti-Aliasing is also not as efficient as high-quality MSAA implementations. If you are looking for better anti-aliasing, temporal anti-aliasing will not provide it.
Temporal Anti-Aliasing is only available on Nvidia graphics cards such as the GTX 3080 and above, so if you have an AMD card, then you will not be able to use this technology.
Temporal anti-aliasing is not a real-time rendering technique as all the anti-aliasing methods we have, meaning that you have to wait until the game has rendered the scene and then apply the anti-aliasing approach.
There's a great video that compares FXAA and TAA (as well as AA off) on FFXV
As a gamer, the choice of which graphics you want to use is entirely yours. While the two techniques are among the best to reduce aliasing in-game, only you can decide which one works best for you. However, it is recommended that if you want to play competitively or if you want to get the most frames per second possible from your graphics card, then temporal anti-aliasing may not be for you. Try using FXAA instead.
Also read our article on SMAA vs. TAA.