OK installed the game and very first thing which really bugs me - the Ageia PhysX driver installs itself regardless of whether you have a PhysX card installed or not (in fact it tells you it knows you don't have a PhysX card but it installs anyway). Then it restarts itself every time you restart windows, adds a tray icon, and also adds an icon to your Control Panel. All of these have to go, very annoying.
So some obvious things to change are:
Removing PhysX Drivers from Startup
To remove the PhysX item from startup, see the usual methods in the Startup Programs section of the TGTC (p.87). To remove the Control Panel item, delete (or rename) the PhysX.cpl file in your \WINDOWS\system32\ directory.
Of course if you know you won't have a PhysX card very soon, you can just uninstall the PhysX driver altogether (Control Panel>Add/Remove Programs>Ageia PhysX).
Removing Startup Movies
The startup movies are contained in the Program Files\Ubisoft\Demo\Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter Demo\Data\movies\ directory. Rename the following files to remove them from startup:
Note however that you will need to leave the ESRB_Fade.bik startup movie as it is, as removing it prevents the game from starting up. Also note that there may be a black screen for a while in place of the startup movies as the game loads up in the background - just click a few times and you'll reach the main menu. Not elegant but will do until I find the real way to skip startup movies quickly.
The settings files are in .XML format and can be opened with any text editor like Notepad. The main settings files are under \Program Files\Ubisoft\Demo\Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter Demo\Data\settings and are called renderer_settings.xml and sound_settings.xml. Back them up before changing anything.
The advanced audio settings are in the settings.xml file found further under the \Sound directory.
The game doesn't appear to support AA in-game because it is using HDR on systems which support it, meaning no AA + HDR is possible except on ATI X1000 series (I believe).
If you're having graphical glitches or slowdowns, disable forced AA in your graphics card control panel as this causes problems if HDR is enabled (See below).
High Res Textures
These are disabled for people who don't have 512MB graphics cards, but to set Textures to high, go to your \Program Files\Ubisoft\Demo\Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter Demo\Data\settings\ directory, open renderer_settings.xml file with Notepad, and set each of texture lines with 'medium' in them to 'high', e.g:
<variable name="texture_quality_buildings" value="medium"/>
<variable name="texture_quality_buildings" value="high"/>
and so on for all the lines below this. Obviously higher res textures will mean slowdowns on some machines and/or more stuttering.
Official Tips - Readme.txt
Keep in mind the official performance/troubleshooting tips from the game's Readme.txt file itself:
Video refresh rate:
Always select the highest refresh rate supported by your monitor. This
ensures a more fluid and visually pleasing game.
**** Sound Compatibility ****
Use of HeadSet (Headphones/Microphone):
- Depending on the setup (operating system + DirectX), it may be necessary to change the hardware acceleration (setup panel > sound > audio > sound reading > advanced).
- Some drivers apply an effect to sounds read by the PC. For some setups, this may interfere with the operation of the sound engine.
- With some cards, a half-duplex/full-duplex manual setup is possible. For this game, the card should be set up for full-duplex.
- As far as the headset is concerned, if the Internet connection is poor, there is a risk of interference or breaks in voice communication during the game.
- It is often possible to configure sound cards so that they only put out the sound signal on their digital output. In this event, you should check that this is compatible with the audio equipment used (you should use a digital amplifier connected to the digital output). See the sound card manual.
- Check that the input/output cables are correctly connected (2 cables to connect when using a headset). Do not forget that sometimes there is a volume control or a switch for the microphone on the headset lead.
**** Graphics Compatibility ****
- If the game is very slow, or the display corrupted, check that anti-aliasing is not forced at the level of the drivers. If this is the case, deactivate it.
- If your monitor switches to Energy Saving, update the drivers for your screen.
**** Network Compatibility ****
Problems with Firewalls
If you have a firewall on your Internet connection, check the "Playing on Gamespy" paragraph.
**** Hardware Compatibility ****
Motherboard drivers and BIOS settings:
If your computer does not respond, check that your motherboard drivers are up-to-date. If you have carried out changes to BIOS and the game crashes, try restoring the default settings (or security settings).
It is recommended to deactivate the sticky-keys when playing. (Control Panel -> Accessibility Options -> Keyboard -> Use sticky keys should be unchecked).