I will go over with you quickly how I use the CCC. For a comprehensive guide on the CCC go HERE.
When you open the CCC go to the top left where it says "VIEW" and click on the little drop down arrow beside it. Choose "Custom". Now go down to the selection window on the left and expand "3D" then click on "all settings". Now you will see all settings available to adjust globally for DX and OpenGL. You can click on "API specific" to see settings unique only to Dx or OpenGL. I do NOT use the OpenGL specific settings for this game.
Now, If you do not like the little ATI icon they put in your taskbar, just go to the "preferences" tab at top and remove the check mark beside "enable system tray menu".
Now, Onto the actual settings for the game. For starters I will show you where to set your resolution, refresh rate and such. Click on "Displays Manager" in the left pane and you will see something like the pic below. You can set this to whatever you like to run at depending on your monitors capabilities. Keep in mind though, with every res you go up, your fps will go down. This games native resolution is 1024x768 and thats what I am using.
My Settings for FB+AEP+PF Ver 4.02m
Onto the "3D" settings. If you have not done so already, click on the + beside 3D and expand it. Then click on "all settings" to see the pic below. Now you see my current settings.
I use 4x AA right now with my current res. I can run 6x but for a loss of some fps for little gain in IQ.
Aniso is a tough one. 8X and 16x are playable in most situations. I just prefer 4x for the max fps. I will switch to 8x if I may be doing some ground pounding because it will give better ground textures. If you MUST run Max Aniso, here is a little tip! First, check the box that says "let application decide", THEN go back to IL2 SETUP and switch Mipmap filter to Anisotropic. This will be the same as running 16x aniso but the game is controlling it instead of forcing it with the drivers. This yields just a few more fps vs. setting it here in the CCC to 16x.
OK, Here is the BIG ONE, Pay attention! Be sure to set the Catalyst AI to "ADVANCED". This should yield a very nice increase in fps for no loss in IQ. Catalyst AI is optimizations for most games that are built into the driver. It just takes some experimenting to find the setting that fits the particular game you are playing. You should check different AI settings with each new driver because ATI is constantly fine tuning the optimizations.
As for the Mipmap detail level, crank it up for all X### series cards. For 9800 and earlier cards you will just have to experiment. I would recommend one notch back to the left for them.
Now for the rest of the settings
Vertical Synch(V-Synch)- If you sit in the cockpit and move your mouse back and forth while looking at the window frames, You will see them seperate if you do not have V-synch Forced ON. This is called tearing.
So, If you don't mind seeing this image tearing you can leave it off and get much higher FPS. As I said before, V-synch enabled will limit your FPS to your Refresh rate(RR). BUT, It won't fluctuate as much. Lets say you use a RR of 85. It will usually stay on 85fps unless you are in heavy action. Then it will drop down to about 42fps(about half the refresh rate) Then it will half again to 21fps if it cant stay at or above 42fps and so on.
Smartshaders can be customized and made by anyone for your ATI CCC. It can be something as simple as playing in Black and white or some very fine tuned enhancements to color, gamma and so on. There are some presets you can play around with and there are also many you can find throughout the net made by others. A google search can lead you in the right direction on how to make your own if you are interested.
Adaptive Anti Aliasing (AAA) is only available (natively) on X1### series cards at this time. As you can see it is greyed out on my X800XL. It can be enabled for all cards through a tweak tool if you want to try it. I believe ATI will enable this for all cards in the not to distant future.
OpenGL Custom Settings
One thing I have not covered is the CPU and Ram. I currently have an AMD64 3700+ SanDiego with 2Gb of Geil PC3200 RAM. When I upgraded from an OCed 2800+ barton I saw a HUGE increase in fps at identical settings. This gave me some headroom to turn up some other eye candy. I did not go crazy with the eye candy though. I still wanted that extra cushion for when the action got very heavy.
This game is VERY CPU intensive. So if you have a P4 2.4ghz cpu and an X1800xt, you will be very limited in the fps you will get because the cpu is choking your video card.
The 2Gb of ram gives me plenty of overhead for even the biggest of missions and maps. I don't have to be as worrysome over what else I may have running in the background now. With 1Gb of ram you will have to be cautious though.
Here are a couple of examples of the fps I get running the BlackDeath track from the :05 to 2:30 marks:
Current settings: Avg: 63.924 - Min: 26 - Max: 131
Now with 8x Aniso: Avg: 61.587 - Min: 26 - Max: 130
Finally, 8x aniso and using Aniso mipmap filter in IL2 setup: Avg: 57.343 - Min: 27 - Max: 126.
I will leave you with a link to my conf.ini file so that you can see other settings I am using. Please be sure to back up your file before making any changes to it.
I hope this is helpful to someone. Have fun!