In Toms's hardware the best card is 6800Ultra or 800XT PE depending on whether there is 4xAA/8xAF or NO AA/AF
What are these AA/AF, where hidden, or what use?
Both cards have them, this is for the ATI card I've never used an NVIDIA card so I can't tell you how to set it.
Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering
If you want to adjust anything, AA or AF you can do it here.
Right click on your desktop.
Click on properties.
Click on the settings tab.
Click on advanced.
Click on 3D. (ATI)
ATI-Click on custom and set the sliders.
I have mine AA-4 AF-16.
***Don't have AA checked in the settings area of the sim
After changes don't forget to click on "Apply" on the bottom to lock your changes.
On this old PC the card is a GE Force FX5200 and does not seem to have all these niceties. I enquired since I plan to buy a new machine with 3.2MHz, 1G memory, and the best card for FS2004, hence the settings for these AA/AF.
Found an interesting site, based on yr desciption, on anisotropic filtering on
helps identify the best mix of settings with impact on visual performance and FPS.
Most of the members here that had the 5200 bought newer and better cards.
That's an interesting site, thanks, I bookmarked it.
AA will keep the "jaggies" away, with the right setting your aircraft will be smooth looking not have jagged edges.
When you get that super nice machine and if you get NVIDIA or ATI run this benchmark test, besides giving you an idea of the power of your machine and card it'll show you how beautiful objects can look with the right equipment.
Good luck and you will enjoy that machine. Get a good power supply, at least 350w or better and put an extra fan in the rear yourself, very cheaply done.