Anti aliasing improves the appearance of polygon edges, so they are not "jagged", but smoothed out on the screen. However, it incurs a performance cost for the graphics card and uses more video memory (there's no cost on the CPU though). The level of anti-aliasing determines how smooth polygon edges are (and how much video memory does it consume).
Without anti-aliasing, polygon edges are "jagged".
With 6x anti-aliasing, polygon edges are smoothed out.