forget the optimal system settings, they always mean a 800x600 res.
with the system from my rig the game runs extremely well. for an ultra
smooth performance in multiplayer with 60 fps all the time, no stuttering,
this performance throughout all maps, i picked the following settings:
no aa & af
no soft smoke edges
this way it looks great (no noticable difference in picture quality to completely
maxed out, but great performance needed especially on crowded mp maps).
i made screenshots of the different settings and compared them. actually
i couldn't see a huge difference between a 1280, a 1440 and a 1680 resolution
on my screen. of course it looks sharper using the native 1920x1200.
in singleplayer i can even play smoothly at 1920, when i leave shadows &
aa & soft smoke away. or max everything out at 1280 or 1440 (no soft
smoke edges, 2xaa).
for everyone, who has to scale down, the most fps intensive settings are:
soft smoke edges
(in crowded areas: character detail; no difference for close characters,
only different about people far away).
specular map is nice, so better not turn it off. it makes the cars and other
objects look shiny.
soft smoke edges can be turned off, there is no big drop in image quality.
as for shadows: i prefer to turn them off, as they don't look that great
(pretty rough textured imo), but turning them off brings a great performance
boost. and there are still some (non-dynamic) shadows left, when they are off.
the game has not much aliasing, so it's ok to play without. people who really
like it, can turn it to 2x.
the game has a great performance compared to other titles, while still looking great
(best looking game up to date, imo). and it scales down greatly, so i can even play
with my friend, who has an ibm notebook with an ati mobility x1400 built inside,
which is really a low end card.
imo it's the best mp shooter at the moment (with quake wars being the best team-
based & tactical multiplayer shooter). i really enjoy playing it, it gives you the feeling
to actually be on the battlefield. however, i'm not a big fan of the setting (real world
war, usa vs. arab, extremely pro western, ...) and i didn't even play the singleplayer
yet. i just bought it for the multiplayer fun.
p.s.: for anybody who likes team based shooters:
try enemy territory: quake wars.
it has a steep learning curve, but a rewarding gameplay with a lot of depth, it is
objective based, no deathmatch, it includes vehicles & deployables, different classes
and really large outdoor maps. i like it as i like cod 4, it's just different. you need to
play as a team, if needed sacrifice yourself for it, and frags are not what counts in
the first line. of course, if you prefer to jump in a game, shoot some guys
for 20 mins without thinking too much, you should stick to ut3 or cod4.