I play on a 24" LED Cinema Display at 1920x1200, powered by my MBP. I got tired of the four basic settings today, and decided to manually tweak my settings for a playable fps while extracting maximum detail at 1920x1200. I've never been very happy with the look of minimum or low settings, and recommended never had a good fps for me. After a few hours visiting various places, everything is MUCH better looking and still playable. I will list my machine specs/OS tweaks at the end.
Monitor vertical sync: On
Optional, I prefer the way it looks. Turning off does help.
Half resolution: Off
Speed <---> Quality: Maximum
This is frustrating because of the fps lag it causes, I know. The catch for me was, if I didn't set it to maximum, I had a persistent low detail with computer consoles, Earth/the Moon when viewed from Earth Spacedock, the stars when viewed from a window in ESD and tactical view, and the galaxy in sector space, regardless of how high everything was set. Once you're done, the detail won't hurt the frame rate. You'll be amazed at what we were missing.
Show advanced video settings: Check
This was the big one that needed to be turned off, apparently. Even 2x makes everything much sharper, but the frame rate will suffer every time.
Dynamic lighting: On
Lighting quality: Low
You can probably get away with Low.
Max lights per object: 5
Max shadowed lights: Auto-disabled
Texture anisotropic filtering: 16x
World texture quality: 200%
Character texture quality: 200%
World detail distance: 200%
Terrain detail distance: 300%
Character detail distance: 200%
Show high detail objects: On
Max physics debris objects: 0
You can get away with more than 0, but I haven't tried for the max. It did need to come down from 200.
Raise settings in character creator: On
Visual fx quality: High
Soft particles: On
Bloom quality: Low
This one needs more investigation.
Bloom intensity: 100%
Screen space ambient occlusion: Off
Cinematic focus (depth of field): On
Underwater view: On
Reflection quality: High
Lens flare quality: High
Our 9400s can handle a lot, just not antialiasing.
My MBP is a late 2009 2.26 Core 2 Duo. It has 8 GB of RAM, but is otherwise stock with a 160 GB/5400 RPM hard drive. I run Windows 7 Professional 64-bit. As far as tweaking, I do turn off Services, which you can find by typing services.msc in the Start Menu's search bar. I like Black Viper's "Safe" list for Win 7 SP 1. www.blackviper.com
I started fiddling around with my video settings the other day, and got noticeably better results without much drop in playability as well; however, when I log out/quit the game, all of those settings get reset to the default, so if I want to play with the upgraded graphics, I have to change them every time I log on. Did you have this problem? If so how did you fix it? Or do you know how to fix it?