On an LCD monitor, the LCD's native res is best. On a CRT, as high as you can go with the bells and whistles turned on that does not degrade performance. I usually try out several different resolutions, it's going to vary by game. I usually wind up settling on no lower than 1024x768.
I use 1280x1024 in BF2 and CSS, because it looks the best and it is my LCD's native resolution. I play Aoe3 at like 1154x960 or something, because it plays better there, and I played FEAR at 1024x768 because for some reason that was the highest option.
I titrate my res down to where it keeps a solid ~60FPS with all the bells and whistles. For different games, it varies. I run HL2 at 16x12 and quake 4 at 12x10. I tend to tweak the developer's console to fine-tune exactly what performance I need.
For example, on some games, it is worth it to get rid of the animation for the ejection of shell casings because in an intense firefight things like this drop the framerate and it doesn't decrease my enjoyment of the game to not have the feature. Lighting created by muzzleflash is another one that can sometimes free up some FPS as well.
I would recommend you learn each game's console commands to make the game do what you want it to do and/or personal prefs. For example, while I know that framesync hurts my overall FPS, I love the smoothness of not having any tearing.
single player as high as you can go, 1080p is a good res also 1600x1200 is just as good if you struggling at 1080p for a few more frames, but for multiplayer (FPS) the best res is as LOW as you can go (maybe 800x600) with everything turned down
If you're playing online FPS games if you can get 100+ fps constant at w/e resolution use it much more visual quality i play all my games at max 1920x1200 except for cs 1.6 i have to do it oldschool and go 800x600 120hz on an old 19"crt because I'm just use to playing that game that way :/ cant play it on 1920x1200 at 60 hz >.<
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