1. #1
    I've seen confusion and misunderstanding of some of the settings in IL-2 Setup so I thought I'd explain what each setting does. I know you all probably understand most of the settings but there are a few mysterious ones that you may have wondered about. Also, most of my reccomendations are for better performance on low to mid range computers.

    Driver Tab
    Providor: OpenGL or DirextX. OpenGL will most often give the best performance, especially on Nvidia cards, but try both and see which one gives better performance.

    "Full Screen" mode is the standard way to play the game and will often give the best performance/stability.

    Video Mode: Choosing lower resolutions and color modes will greatly increase framerate and lower memory usage. 32-bit color is needed to enable "Perfect" mode graphics. For a low range PC, I reccomend 800x600 with 16-bit color.

    "Use Stencil Buffer" enables translucent shadows (instead of full black shadows) and is required to enable "Perfect" mode graphics. For a slight performance boost, turn this setting off.

    Video Tab
    Texture Mipmap Filter: Simply put, this setting affects how sharp a texture may look when viewed from large angles or distances. Anisotropic offers the best image quality at a usually heavy performance loss (only folks with good video cards should use this), and bilinear filtering offers the best performance at a still acceptable texture quality. Trilinear is a tiny bit better than bilinear (it smoothes the transitions between mipmap levels) and the performance hit is very minimal depending on your video card. I reccomend bilinear but it is up to personal taste and your hardware.

    Texture Compression: This setting can greatly reduce the memory load and increase framerate by compressing textures. S3TC gives the highest compression ratio and may cause some minor artifacts like little squares on water but it can greatly help or eliminate stuttering (16bit has a smaller compression ratio and less performance boost but also a bit less artifacts). I reccomend S3TC compression.

    "Use Dither" helps eliminate the ugly color "banding" when running the game in 16-bit color mode. Has no effect in 32-bit color mode. Reccomended on in 16-bit color mode and can be turned off if running with 32-bit color.

    "Use Vertex Arrays" gives faster performance without image quality loss because it allows vertices to be used in groups (arrays) instead of individually. Turn this on.

    "Polygon Stipple" is a way of emulating or faking translucent shadows when the stencil buffer is turned off. It does this by creating a "dotted" effect that looks translucent (not unlike the stubble of incoming facial hair). Turn this off for a small performance boost. If stencil buffer and polygon stipple are both turned off, you'll get completely black shadows which isn't much of a drawback.

    "Multitexture" affects all multitexturing used in the game, most notably, some water effects, and the very high clouds that are textured to appear more "chunky." Without multitexture, these clouds are smooth white instead of textured. Highly reccomended to leave this on but turning off yeilds performance boost.

    "Combine" allows more advanced multitexturing effects. For example, the murky water effect near edges of rivers to simulate shallow depth uses this extension. Turning off gives small performance boost but I reccomend to leave it on.

    Turning off "Secondary Color" creates graphic anomalies during fog. For example, nearby forests may not appear to be "fogged out" while everythng else is. This may give a performance boost when turned off but I reccomend it to be left on.

    "Vertex Array Extension" allows the use of vertex arrays as explained above. Reccomended on.

    "Clip Hint" tells the driver that clip volume clipping for primitives is not neccesary. Basically, it tells the driver not to worry about something the game doesn't do anyway. Minor performance increase when checked (about 1 fps). Reccomended on.

    "Use Palette" uses paletted textures instead of full color textures. This can save memory with little to no image quality loss. About 1 fps increase when checked. Reccomended on.

    "Texture Anisotropic Extension" should be checked if you selected anisotropic as your mipmap filter. Otherise, uncheck it.

    "Texture Compress ARB Extension" should be checked if you're using S3TC for texture compression. Otherwise, uncheck it.

    Sound Tab
    Playback Channels: The number of channels sound can be played through. Fewer channels give better performance. 8, 16, and 32 are your options but 16 is pretty much the minimum or else sounds may cut out when firing the weapons on a plane with many guns. I reccomend 16 channels.

    Speaker Type: Self-explanitory, select your setup.

    "Reverse Stereo" should only be checked if your left/right sounds are reversed.

    3D Engine Mode: Affects sound engine quality/features. Settings are self-explanitory. I reccomend the minimal mode though I notice very little quality differences between the modes.

    Sampling Rate: Affects the sound quality (clarity), lower gives better performance. It's up to personal preference but I reccomend 22050 for low to mid range PC's.

    "Audio Enhancements and Hardware Acceleration" enables the use of hardware for sound and uses more sound features/effects. Some people report an increase in framerate when this is turned on (Audigy 2 for example) and others report a decrease (Turtle Beach Santa Cruz, some Soundblasters). You should test which setting gives best performance on your card.

    EDIT: Fixed some typos and added a bit more info. Also, since IL-2 uses Java, I highly reccomend everyone get the latest verion of the Java Runtime Environment ("JRE 5.0 Update 4"). You have to scroll down to find it, don't get the JDK or other stuff.
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  2. #2
    tsisqua's Avatar Senior Member
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    Aug 2002

    I'm going to copy this and save it . . . You have hit on some things that I wasn't aware of

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  3. #3
    How about a sticky?
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  4. #4
    -HH-Quazi's Avatar Senior Member
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    Mar 2004
    Thank You Covino. Great information, and needed information as well. I will give these a shot and report back any differences.
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  5. #5
    msalama's Avatar Senior Member
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    Feb 2005
    Definitely a sticky. Thank you Covino.
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  6. #6
    SlickStick's Avatar Banned
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    May 2002
    Gotta love the helpful folks 'round these parts.

    Thanks for posting this. I'll have to test out a few things tomorrow. Too pooped to pop at the moment.
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  7. #7
    Covino, if it's ok with you, I would like to add this to our technical guides on airwarfare
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  8. #8
    Thanx for that Covino, very usefull!!
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  9. #9
    F19_Ob's Avatar Senior Member
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    May 2003
    Great help for the community.
    THNX for posting.
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  10. #10
    Thanks for the responses guys. And yes, this information can be used anywhere you like.
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