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How FXAA or MSAA affects to CPU&GPU loads

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I have been playing with the v5 benchmark mission (temporary) kindly created by SYN_Vander to know that.

I have put all in-game settings to low using a 1080p monitor, and I have been touching the AA settings in a number of runs of the mission.

These are the results:

Frames: 5934 - Time: 49000ms - Avg: 121.102 - Min: 101 - Max: 161
Frames: 5957 - Time: 49000ms - Avg: 121.571 - Min: 101 - Max: 163


Frames: 6050 - Time: 49000ms - Avg: 123.469 - Min: 104 - Max: 160
Frames: 5969 - Time: 49000ms - Avg: 121.816 - Min: 101 - Max: 163


Frames: 5910 - Time: 49000ms - Avg: 120.612 - Min: 100 - Max: 162
Frames: 5853 - Time: 49000ms - Avg: 119.449 - Min: 100 - Max: 159


Frames: 5943 - Time: 49000ms - Avg: 121.286 - Min: 98 - Max: 159
Frames: 5863 - Time: 49000ms - Avg: 119.653 - Min: 99 - Max: 159


During all these runs the GPU load was well below 100% (each setting had different load), so we could say that it is not GPU constrained. So the fps limit was determine purely by the CPU/RAM performance. As we can see, there is not measurable diferences in all these runs. So we can conclude that AA alone doesn´t load more the CPU.


The impact it is seen in the GPU. I have logged MSI Afterburner %GPU load during these runs and I have composed an image that sumarize the load:




So the GPU cost of each option for a not constrained 1080Ti in a 1080p monitor is about:

+3% for 4xFXAA

+12-18% for 4xMSAA

+22-26% for 8xMSAA


This is the beauty of having a benchmark!


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Since many people run IL-2 in higher resolutions (4K monitor or VR) I also wanted to know what is the cost at those resolutions.

To test that I maxed out all in-game settings except clouds to Low using a 4K monitor. And also down-clock my CPU from 4.8GHz to 4.0Hz. I did this to run the benchmark at a low fps rate (to try having the CPU as the only limiting factor during the test, so GPU is always below 100% and gains can be measured).


The runs in 4K are:

Frames: 3345 - Time: 49000ms - Avg: 68.265 - Min: 58 - Max: 91

Frames: 3194 - Time: 49000ms - Avg: 65.184 - Min: 55 - Max: 88

Frames: 3193 - Time: 49000ms - Avg: 65.163 - Min: 56 - Max: 88

Frames: 2967 - Time: 49000ms - Avg: 60.551 - Min: 50 - Max: 77


The last run is not only CPU limited since GPU reached 100%. But here the CPU cost of using AA is really marginal. (less than 3 fps).


The GPU% load for 4K are:



So the GPU impact in 4K with a 1080Ti are:

FXAA: negligible

MSAAx4: +25-30%

MSAAx8: +40-45% 

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Did a lot of PWCG Campaign flying today as I was adjusting graphics for my new Reverb G2.

I ended up dialing out the MSAA ( Previously had that at x4), flew that for a bit, then added x4 FXAA.

If there was a hit on my performance from that I could not notice it.


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