Tweak D3 Graphic Settings

Diablo 3 isn’t as visually breathtaking as Crysis 2  or Max Payne 3 —but it should run extremely well on current hardware. If you’re running on older hardware, there is some stuff you can and should do to get more FPS out the game. First, let’s look at what can be achieved with the in-game settings.

Texture Quality: High vs. Low?
Surprisingly, reducing the texture level through the setting only had a minor effect on overall performance. In our tests, yet again with the Alienware X51 and its GeForceGTX 555, Diablo 3′s performance went from 31 FPS (with everything else maxed out) to 33 FPS. This isn’t a lot, but lower-end machines might experience a wider gap between the two settings.

Visually, the low-resolution texture setting didn’t make a massive difference either. Only some of the icons look more pixelated, and the ground seems a bit blurrier. But, to be honest, it’s hardly noticeable.

Shadow Quality: Off, Low, Medium or High?
On the other side, the “Shadow Quality” has a direct and very visible impact on the visual quality of the game. If you turn shadows “Off”, the game quality suffers quite immensely but you will get a boost of up to 30% in FPS! On my test rig, the average frames per second (measured with FRAPS) went from 31 FPS up to 45 FPS. The other two settings give you a 5-15% boost in performance and may be a good compromise between visual quality and performance. To increase FPS on lower end systems, I suggest you use the Low or Medium settings – and the “Off” only when you have no other option!

Physics Settings: Low or High?
When you’re out and about destroying your environment, this setting determines the realism of the collisions and affects how objects move. It’s hardly noticeable, but the setting has up to a 20-25% impact on performance. I suggest turning it to “Low” if you’re experience stuttering issues before tinkering with the “Shadow Quality”.

Clutter Density: Off, Low, Medium or High?
This sets both the amount and the density of “ground clutter” including items, grass, foliage and various other objects lying on the ground. Depending on the amount of RAM and video RAM you have, you might want to reduce this—otherwise, leave it enabled. It makes the world of Diablo 3 feel alive. In my tests, I didn’t really notice a huge difference in terms of FPS when playing.

This is only a last resort option. Enabling this setting will allow Diablo 3 to run even on older Core 2 Duo machines with weak graphics and low memory. But, it will look pretty blurry and non-detailed. 

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