The Xbox and PlayStation version Battlefield 3 is roughly equivalent to the PC's lowest graphics setting, developer DICE has said.
Johan Andersson, the game's rendering architect, detailed at the recent GeForce LAN 6 event how the game's PC visuals were put together and what its graphical settings actually mean. Here's a summary:
Low = "lowest possible":
- Similar visuals to consoles, lots of stuff disabled
- Still contains the essential visuals not to be unfair in MP
- Minimum: GeForce 8800 GT 512 MB RAM
Medium = "good performance":
- Most important visual features enabled
High = "what the game is designed for":
- All major features on except MSAA (if you have DX11 card)
- Recommended: GeForce 560 TI or better
Ultra = "highest possible":
- Intended mainly for multiple GPU machines for 60+fps
When asked about Ultra Mode, Anderson said: "Ultra sort of cranks things up further."
"The shadows are a little bit sharper, the terrain is a little bit more tessellated. And also a big setting we have on Ultra is anti-aliasing. We use our multi-sampling there which is really memory-consuming and performance-consuming in general.
"It looks better but it's not a giant step in visual quality. So if you have a multi-GPU machine, like a dual 580 or a dual 560 for that matter, you can run Ultra at 60fps."