I have an ATI Radeon 9800PRO video card, a 2.8 Pentium, and 1.75 Gb of memory.
I was playing around with some settings last night, trying to get the best performance out of Battlefield 2 and F.E.A.R. (I'm getting some strange stuttering while playing BF2 that seems local to my system rather than network lag.) And I stumbled upon the Catalyst settings for the card itself. I noticed that I can change the Anti-Aliasing settings and Isotropic filtering and others as well. However, I also noticed a button that overrides these settings and allows the individual applications/games to determine how the AA and filters are set. And the button seemed to be clicked by default (allowing the applications to handle the settings).
So, which way is better/more efficient for games and graphics? Would "combining" the settings be more efficient? i.e., using the AA settings native to the Catalyst drivers and turning off the AA in the game itself. Or would this sort of thing cause conflicts between the program and the card? Is it better to allow the different applications to handle the graphic settings? I always thought that Hardware was more efficient/reliable than software. For example, I always default to my soundcard if that is an option. Am I wrong in that assessment?