I wanted to have this discussion for a while... what are your favorite options for AA ?
Methods I know of :
Multi-Sampling -> Native Skyrim's AA. Decent result and glitch free at 8 (max). Not to expensive (roughly 1.3 FPS on my system). Incompatible with ENB.
The downside of Multi Sampling is the lack of transparency AA. There are workarounds by AMD and NVidia, they do not always work though. MSAA tends to work less with newer titles (probably some pixelshading limitation?)
Driver's AA -> Depend on each system, I actually never tested mine, always left it to application-controlled.
Is often a good idea. The additional coverage sample AA methods (EQ for AMD) get you more AA virtually for free. You can also find the transparency hacks for MSAA here (they might not be needed, depending on the game). Adaptive MSAA (and the NVidia equivalent) is cheaper then Supersampling (SSAA) but doesn't always work.
SMAA -> Good results, a bit above MSAA. However I sometime have slightly "bright" edges (they seem to "glow" very slightly). Tend to screw up the UI.
EdgeAA -> Featured in enbseries. Give some ghosting for whatever reason when used alone.
Subpixel AA-> Featured in enbseries. Never did too much tests with this one.
Are many sides of the same coin (the 'S' in SMAA stands for Subpixel, Boris just has his own implementation). They are post processing methods. Short story is, they run an edge detect shader for every frame and then do AA. They all have the disadvantage of not really tackling issues of aliasing happening from frame to frame (the shimmering when moving, foliage and stairs are typical examples). They also slightly smudge the image. Not as bad as FXAA (which is much worse then no AA and unusable imho) but some, so don't mix and match different sources of AA, you usually get the disadvantage multiple options when you could just have turned up the quality of one.
Post processing AA is usually quite cheap. At least on good GPUs with decent shaders.
Temporal AA -> Featured in enbseries. Used to have a lot of issues (especially ghosting on medium FPS). Got fixed in later versions of enbseries. Performance hit a bit bigger then the other technique for what I know, but give really nice results. Actually fix completely AA with coupled with Edge AA for me (but the overall cost is about 4 fps...)
Temporal AA fixes AA problems when moving. Afaik all Temporal AA methods have some degree of ghosting. How much this is visible depends on your monitor and frame rate. If done right, this is what NVidia wanted FXAA to be.
Downsampling -> require ENB for what I know to function properly. Not an AA method by itself, it simply improve the already in use technique. Huge performance impact.
The pinnacle of AA. It does not only AA everything without problems, it also adds more detail. This is the only AA method I'd recommend combining. I use MSAA+Downsampling for older games on a regular basis. Very expensive as the game has to be rendered at higher resolutions.
For Skyrim, I personally think ENB AA with all 4 options + downsampling looks best, if your GPU can handle it.
Sometimes reading the posts here I think I'm the only user who dislikes DoF; it doesn't seem at all realistic to me.
I'll haven't been using EdgeAA but I'll look into it.
I'm usually not a huge fan either. I like the DoF of Opethfeld and Lumen ENB, the effect is very subtle.
Edited by Spock, 14 February 2016 - 11:51 PM.