I know this sounds contradictory/silly- best performance may not be given (on all PCs) by setting lower quality.
Many of the sliders will ease up burdening the CPU/GPU, but (and this is a BIG BUT) sometimes a higher quality setting proves less hard work to supporting/supplementary systems.
From the other side of the coin, people with ninja rigs dont net more framerate by lowering settings in many instances either.
This game requires, more than any other, a fairly equal system. High end vid cards can get held back by slow memory or cpu intensive solid state drives (eg non 1tb version of samsung 850 evo/1tb has the better controller for systems in extreme use scenarios eg KCD).
My machine isnt cutting edge. (Dirt cheap to assemble from a second hand marketplace, as I have done)
I run the game at ultra plus settings, all sliders maxxed.
I even removed a 4.2ghz cpu overclock after the 1.2 /1.3 patch made much better use of cpu cores…
My RAM is slow @2133, but it is quad channel and I have tightened the timings.
Things like quad channel ram@cl13 and enterprise SSD drives arenot required by(or even noticably benefit) most games.
This is one of the few games that wants more than a four core w/hyper threading.
That being the case, once bottlenecks are figured out- changing relevant settings may allow a nice mix of graphically improved gameplay whilst giving BETTER framerates.
Eg if you have lots of video card RAM and the streaming system (with graphics set low) keeps aggressively clearing out texture and constantly trying to load from drive (some SSDs being high CPU hitters), PC performance might give less due to the CPU being overly used trying to load data, or even doing math for detail transistions.
Certainly drive performance is one of the biggest obvious bugbears for this game.
Users can tweak parameters at a config level changing memory pool sizes and a whole ocean of variables.
Whilst I didnt recommend this prior to 1.5 and ideally 1.6,… there is a lot we can do to tweak this game.
Setting everything low and testing for only a moment and then trying another setting (and testing for a moment) can lead to a worsening in performance.
I can only cite forza 3 horizon (another recent open world game), butbit often took up to forty minutes to load world textures after changing settings. Any new zone driven to after a sertings change could often perform INITIALLY worse.
Forza also revealed that open world games often require the strangest settings to be tinkered with.
Many forza players had massive stutters and hiccups until we manually locked our pagefiles to greater than 10gb. In an age when most people run with virtual memory off (many having transitioned to Solid State Drives or having huge memory amounts installed…) such an esoteric change proved the solution to getting a game to run very smoothly.
Belonging to a forum where people discuss mostly the product in question often proves the best place to hear about breakthroughs/discoveries.
Whilst I have nothing to offer for how to detune this game for better performance (being magically in the group of people with no game performance issues outside of a few key game areas which I am not done testing 1.5 for yet)- I do find the game play changes style if the framerate can be kept north of fourty, around fourty five frames per second…
I now tweak for fourty five as my framerate low.
I used to drop shadows and antialiasing a little to achieve 45 fps lows, but now I set everything ultra. I still get occaisional 30s (excluding a few framerate bombing locations in game, still untested by me in 1.5) but it is evident that performance keeps improving with this game. (Well done WH btw)
Especially the grass and landscape foliage/underbrush of present version… makes me think true ultra wasnt previously active. And I am a nutter for physics on cloth. With the improvements in graphics my framerate hasnt lowered. Arguably is improved across the board.
TL:DR some settings set ‘lower’ may affect negatively performance. Like notes with the HD texture pack saying may improve performance on some systems…
It all depends on how the underlying components are pushed and what they are capable of.
Know your bottlenecks and tune to suit.