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Skyrim PC Anisotropic Filtering Screenshot Comparison
Nov 20, 2011PC GamingComments (1)
Anisotropic Filtering affects how sharp textures look at a distance, especially textures that are at extreme viewing angles. Skyrim allows you to choose from 2, 4, 8, 12, or 16 anisotropic samples, or to leave anisotropic filtering off.

See the below screenshot comparison of each setting (except for 12, which didn't look any different than 16). Note that these were taken on Ultra settings with anti-aliasing off (anti-aliasing didn't affect the blurriness or graphical anomalies shown in the screenshots at all).

Off2 Samples4 Samples8 Samples16 Samples

I found that 8 samples is a sweet spot. Anything over 8 shows little improvement, while anything under 8 gets noticeably worse. Specifically, leaving anisotropic filtering off or setting it at 2 samples leaves very noticeable graphical anomalies in areas and some very blurry distance textures.

In addition to the bridge and road, you can see quality differences in some of the hillsides on the left side of the screen.

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Alexandre Rosa Graziani   May 04, 2012