I use a fairy old machine (3 Ghz, single core Pentium IV, 2GB RAM) to run ToMI. I used to have an ATI Radeon X850 Pro 256MB but that sucked for my main OS Ubuntu so I swapped it for a GeForce 6600 GT 512 MB (only one with AGP I can still fit into my crummy barebone) just today. I usually don't run Windows at all but every time the new episodes come out I hook up my old windows hard drive (unplug the current OS) and play through the episodes that way.
Now I did some performance testing and while I could play the first four ToMI episodes on 1280x720 Quality 6 with a slight bit of choppiness on the "old" card, my "new" gfx card is a bit slower despite more memory and I have to tone down the quality. Changing resolutions is not really an option because there is no aspect ratio correction and 720p is the lowest widescreen mode there is.
I notice that anything above 3 is barely playable (~15-20 fps) but 3 runs a silky 45-50fps. Now I made some screenshots from the docks and I can't see much of a difference between the settings except for bloom, a few more dynamic lights and what I believe to be anti-aliasing on some edges in the higher settings. To be honest in the higher settings I find the bloom effect extremely annoying because it makes the entire game look blurry as all hell. I know that is what bloom does, but I'd love to activate the features individually to get the best compromise. Dynamic lights yeah, ani-filtering/AA no thanks etc.
Is anyone from the TellTale crew willing to explain what exactly the settings do so I know what I'm missing? It still looks fine even on quality setting 1 but I'm just wondering. Is there any difference in textures at all? I didn't notice any in the few spots I looked at. I'll play through ep 5 on Q3 so I get the best performance but not knowing what the settings actually change is weird. When you turn it up from 3 to 4 the wooden arrow sign in the menu gets shaded differently but I notice little difference in game.
Here the screenshots for comparison:
Q1 - http://i35.tinypic.com/kbogsk.jpg
Q2 - http://i33.tinypic.com/1679hm1.jpg
Q3 - http://i34.tinypic.com/29fdus6.jpg
Q4 - http://i38.tinypic.com/5l0x9i.jpg
Q5 - http://i35.tinypic.com/10sgh75.jpg
Q6 - http://i35.tinypic.com/20k2dfb.jpg
Q7 - http://i34.tinypic.com/2z70mf6.jpg
Q8 - http://i34.tinypic.com/11rb2xl.jpg
Q9 - http://i35.tinypic.com/2m2jtcy.jpg
All taken on 1280x720 resolution. Notice the significant framerate drops between 3 and 4 that's where I get the biggest impact. It just goes downhill from there xD