Originally Posted by OpTicaL
I'm particularly interested in what Spectacular Map, Glow and Soften Smoke Edges do. I tried enabling and disabling these options on the map Crossfire and I do not see a visual difference.
For Soften Smoke Edges I threw a Smoke Grenade and saw no noticable difference with Soften Smoke Edges on or off.
For Glow I chose Marines and looked down the road towards Spetnaz spawn on Crossfire and saw no noticable difference.
For Spectacular Map I did the same as with Glow and looked down the road towards Spetnaz spawn on Crossfire and saw no noticable difference.
Will lowering Texture Settings improve my fps?
Will disabling Number of Dynamic Lights, Model Detail and Water Detail improve my fps?
The attached pics are my current Graphics settings.
If you are looking for an FPS increase I would recommend lowering the anti-aliasing if you really need it as the anti-aliasing has been the setting which produces the biggest performance hit in my experience without any noticeable effects on visual experience (For 4x anti-aliasing it renders the image at 4 times the normal resolution then downsizes it, smoothing edges).
The soften smoke edges effect has an effect objects passing through smoke. When it is off the objects, when emerging from thick smoke, can end up looking as if they are emerging straight through a wall so if you threw the grenade in an open area you would not notice the difference. When the setting is on the object emerging from the smoke will fade in through the smoke rather than cutting through it instantly at a set point. I do not know about the performance hit from this but it would be worth keeping on just for the sake of the immersion and realism it provides.
However the lighting and shader effects do also come with a drop in fps as well so glow, which creates a sort of glowing effect when the player enters an area with harsh light contrasts, would probably give a hit to fps as well so, judging by the test you gave it. you can not expect to see much of a difference there. The glow effect comes into action when exiting a building and stepping into a sunny area, for example, and can really add to immersion as can lighting effects. If the frame rate is tolerable, or could be compensated for by turning off anti-aliasing I would recommend leaving the setting on.
The specular map setting basically makes objects that are supposed to be shiny, shiny by changing the way objects reflect light so if you either don't mind or don't notice whether things like dessert eagles are shiny then don't worry about this setting. Again it is a lighting based effect and if you want more fps then I would recommend turning it off but if its not too important then I would keep it on to add to immersion.
Anisotropic filtering and texture settings are very important to image quality and do not come with much of a performance hit at all. I would definitely recommend keeping these at full unless you have a graphics card with a really low amount of video memory (under 256MB). Texture sizes determine what resolution the images that cover the 3D models in the game and anisotropic filtering increases the quality of the textures when viewed from a distance.
The dynamic lighting setting is a real-time lighting effect that only takes place when an object in the game, e.g. a flash grenade or gunfire, casts a light. The effect enables shadows to be drawn by the GPU while the light source is active. Without this setting flashing objects that do not have a set position will not cast a shadow. The higher the setting the more detailed the shadow is. Again this is a lighting effect so it will probably have a fair impact on performance but no where near that of anti-aliasing so if you want a higher fps then choose on if you want immersion and more realistic qualities then turn the setting on. The effects provided by the setting may be negligible in the heat of the moment but the fps hit is probably not too bad either. It is a matter of opinion really.
Model detail controls the complexity of 3D models in the game so if it was on low a grenade may appear more like a block but if set to high it may appear smooth. The processing of 3D models is usually a job for the CPU not the GPU and for most CPUs that are dual core or more the job of processing 3D models is easy and does not often cause an fps hit at all. I would recommend keeping this setting on unless you have a low end CPU.
Water detail changes the quality of water textures but also has an impact on other things like the detail of reflections and lighting effects on water. I would set this on high personally because it makes the water look really nice but if you notice a large fps hit (It can vary depending on different maps. Bog, for example, has one of the greatest fps hits due to water detail and on less powerful machines can cripple the frame rate) then I would suggest keeping it on normal as a compromise or low if you feel it is necessary.
I really hope this helps you and everyone else here.