Getting the Best Gaming Visuals out of your Graphics Card and Monitor
Native Resolution and Non-Native Resolution
Native Resolution – your LCD has a single fixed resolution. The image that is being displayed and the physical display are at their best when they are the same ratio. The best overall display quality can be reached when the signal input is equal to the native resolution.
Non-Native Resolution – when your game runs at a lower resolution than your native resolution your monitor overcompensates the difference by stretching and scaling the images. Your graphics card may run faster, but the game may have some blurring and imaging distortions.
Anti-Aliasing On – Anti-Aliasing is an illusion used to fool the eye when viewing a jagged edge image on screen. Anti-Aliasing smoothes the image by blurring the jagged edges and will make the image look smoother to the naked eye. With Anti-Aliasing turned on, your game visuals will look better but it will cost you framerates. Don’t worry though, even with the cost of framerates it is usually worth it for the best overall gaming experience. I recommend testing your game out with Anti-Aliasing turned on at 2x. If they game runs fine, go to 4x and so on until you get to the best visual and playable experience.
Anti-Aliasing Off – when it is turned off, your game will look less spectacular because of the jagged edges of the images. Your game will run faster but not be as visually appealing as intended by the game designers.
Anisotropic Filtering Settings
Anisotropic Filtering On – with Anisotropic Filtering turned on, you will be able to see images in the distance better. Distant images will be more crisp and recognizable. One thing you can like about Anisotropic Filtering is that is does not require as much from Graphics Processor Unit on your video card as does Anti-Aliasing filtering. This means you can try higher settings and not worry about the graphics card yelling at you. Even older graphics cards usually can handle some setting of Anisotropic Filtering turned On.
Anisotropic Filtering Off – get ready for blobs in the distance! You will be killing your eyeballs trying to decipher what is coming at you from a distance.
V-sync On – V-sync combats page tearing by synchronizing your graphics card and monitor. Page tearing occurs when your graphics card is not in sync with your monitor’s refresh rate. When playing a game, a screen tearing incident will create a torn look because the edge of an image will not match up as intended. This can create a “line” going across the screen because the image is not lining up. V-sync turned on will prevent this from happening but it will cost you frame rates. If your monitor’s refresh rate is set to 60Hz you could be stuck at a 24-30 in game frame per second rate, which is about half your monitors refresh rate. You can still play the game fine but it might not deliver the best speed. Test this setting first to see if it helps your game.
V-sync Off – Your game will run and you will get a performance boost, but page tearing may occur frequently but it all depends on your gaming rig setup.
High and Low Texture Quality settings
High Texture – max this setting as high as you can. Texture detail is one of the best ways to experience a game. Your graphics card should be able to handle higher settings as long as your card has 512MB of RAM or more.
Low Texture – at this setting your game will run faster but man will it look like a game reject from the late 90s. Why bother?
High and Low Shadow Quality settings
High Shadow Quality – If you are playing the game in single player, enable this. This is a big part of the game’s realistic experience. Lighting is a powerful thing in art and gaming. But if you are playing in multi-player, this could make you drag behind the other players that are getting faster framerates with High Shadow Quality turned off.
Low Shadow Quality – if you have performance issues in a game, this is one of the options you can turn off to help. The game will not look as realistic but it will run faster.