In the Forums...
Posted: September 10, 2000
Written By: Keith "Farrel" McClellan
There are tons and tons of different settings available in the advanced video and sound menu - I am going to go over all of the ones that will affect performance (and even a few that won't) here.
Texture Filter - This controls whether the game uses Bilinear or Trilinear filtering for the texture filter. Bilinear is generally a faster method (two bands of texture detail) but trilinear (three bands of texture detail) looks a lot better. If you can, put this on Trilinear but if you need some extra speed go for Bilinear.
Shadows - This controls how complicated the in-game shadows are, or if there are any at all. There are three possible values for this setting - off, simple, and complex. If you are looking for some extra speed but you still like the atmosphere that shadows give a game, go for simple. If you are really in need of some extra speed, turn them off entirely. But for the most part, I recommend leaving this set to complex.
Curve Detail - This controls how many polygons are used to calculate the curved surfaces in the game - left being the most polygons and right being the least polygons. Turning this setting down (right) will definitely give your system a performance boost. Thanks Jason C. for the news on this one.
Model Detail - This setting controls how many polygons are used to calculate the models within the game (this includes character models). The farther to the right that this slider is pushed, the more detailed (the more polygons) the game will use to render the models. Sliding this to the left will increase performance.
Sound Quality - This setting determines the sampling rate of the sound files used by the game. The lower sampling rates (11 and 22 kHz) will let the game perform better but are lower quality than the 44 kHz sounds.
Force 8-bit sound - 8-bit sound uses far fewer resources than 16-bit sound does but at the cost of quality. I would personally never use 8-bit sound, I would rather lower the sample frequency than resort to lowering the bit depth.
GL Extensions - Enabling GL Extensions allows the program to use some special OpenGL extensions that will increase visual quality and performance. I recommend enabling this setting.
Vertex Lighting - If you ever compared vertex lighting to lightmap lighting in Quake 3, you probably remember how much worse vertex lighting looked... well, this is based on the Quake 3 engine, so as you probably guessed, it's basically the same rule. It's not as bad though; vertex lighting doesn't look too much worse. I would personally leave this enabled unless your computer has a video card that has onboard T&L (or it's relatively fast), because otherwise you could take a very significant performance hit (if disabled).
Dynamic Lighting - Enabling dynamic lighting will turn on colored lights and some other fancy things within the renderer that really look nice but can cause a performance hit. If you are hurting for a higher frame rate, try disabling this first.
Multitexturing - This setting turns on and off the process of applying more than one texture to a pixel during a clock cycle. I would recommend enabling this unless you have a very old card that doesn't support multitexturing.