Best Graphics settings guide?

Just curious... is there a really detailed guide out in the ether that goes through exactly what each graphics setting does, what performance impact it has, and specifically what spec will benefit that setting (ie it uses more VRAM, or gpu, or ram, or cpu).

I’m specifically thinking for VR. Trying to optimize for the Vive Pro right now, but trying to truly maximize what my system can do feels like solving a rubics cube.
 
This isnt as specific as you'd like and I hope someone will chime in with more information later on in this thread however the following is a crash courise based on what I find works for me:
First offdownload Dr.Kaii's excellent Elite: Dangerous Profiler, it makes it so much easier to tweak settings in VR.
resolution: this is for the viewer window, not the vr display whcih in vr you cant see it so make it as small as possible to save resources
supersampling: same as above
3d - HMD headphones - for obvious reasons
no camera shake - less nausea inducing
no blackout - really confusing in an SRV when rolling
model draw distance, if using ED Profiler, tick the unlock box, regardless you want this maxxed out nothing breaks immersion like seeing a starport pop into existence out of thin air
texture quality - high - in VR the Screen Door Effect negates the advantage of ultra textures but going too low makes it look cartoony
shadow quality - ultra - not a lot of GPU usage, but really adds to the atmosphere
bloom - I run high as it makes light sources look bright - it is essentially the lense flare surrounding lights thrusters etc
anti aliasing, being honest with you in ED its a waste of time, it chews up loads of resources for very little difference in image quality so I turn this off
ambient occlusion, not a great resource hog but this is what creates the sunsets / sunrises on earthlikes as you fly past them and transition from the dark side to the day side of the planet
environment quality, not entirely sure so I run it high?
fx quality - visual acuity of explosions etc, more is better and not that particularly resource hungry
reflections quality, like shadows adds a lot of presence to the game for not alot of resources so run it high
hmd quality, this is the most important setting for a VR experience, all the resources we've pinched earlier on get squandered here, adjust this as high as your pc will run while still getting acceptable frame rates. be aware that space stations and planet sides have so much going on that you experience lower frame rates than what you experience in the black.
galaxy map quality - bit of a misnomer, as its most prevalent effect is on the skybox, but it also adjusts the image quality in the galaxy map, so for the sake of your best experience, max this out to high
terrain quality, ultra or high - how elaborate the terrains contours are biggest visual effect for the processing power on planets
Terrain LOD blending - high - how much post processing goes into surfaces, a diminishing return, no need for ultra, can even go off
terrain sampler quality - any - try them all - something else to do with how much post processing goes into surfaces, a diminishing return, no need for ultra, can even go off
terrain material quality - high - very little visible difference but large performance effects, a diminishing return, no need for ultra, can even go off
jet cones - neutron stars and supercruise comet effects not resource hungry so go high
volumetric effects - ultra - nebulas and clouds
 
This isnt as specific as you'd like and I hope someone will chime in with more information later on in this thread however the following is a crash courise based on what I find works for me:
First offdownload Dr.Kaii's excellent Elite: Dangerous Profiler, it makes it so much easier to tweak settings in VR.
Totally agree about installing EDProfiler and great that you've given this detailed reply but I'm afraid I disagree on a number of points (sorry). :p

resolution: this is for the viewer window, not the vr display whcih in vr you cant see it so make it as small as possible to save resources
Yes it's for the on-screen viewer window. Not much point changing the default currently as the setting is not saved anyway and will revert to 800x600 (or whatever the default is) the next time you start up. If you want to capture video then set this to full screen to get a larger capture window (standard video capture software will grab what's on screen and not what you see in the headset).

supersampling: same as above
Nope - supersampling does affect what you see in the HMD but I'd personally recommend leaving it set to 1.0 and bump HMD quality instead.

3d - HMD headphones - for obvious reasons
no camera shake - less nausea inducing
no blackout - really confusing in an SRV when rolling
Yes (although some people find the "no blackout" helps with SRV nausea, initially at least).

model draw distance, if using ED Profiler, tick the unlock box, regardless you want this maxxed out nothing breaks immersion like seeing a starport pop into existence out of thin air
I haven't really experimented with this a lot but I did read somewhere that, because of the low resolution in VR, you can actually wind this down since you won't be able to see things at a great distance anyway. I tried briefly but I didn't gain enough to be able to increase anything else significantly so I left it at High (or Max?) in the end.

texture quality - high - in VR the Screen Door Effect negates the advantage of ultra textures but going too low makes it look cartoony
Fair enough.

shadow quality - ultra - not a lot of GPU usage, but really adds to the atmosphere
I disagree with this, shadow quality is one of the big(ish) hitters for GPU usage. Personally I set mine to high because I like shadows and anything lower than High just looks like blobs but I sacrifice Ultra (iirc) so I can increase HMD quality.

bloom - I run high as it makes light sources look bright - it is essentially the lense flare surrounding lights thrusters etc
Personally I turn this off. There's enough blurriness going on already without this effect adding to it.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloom_(shader_effect)

anti aliasing, being honest with you in ED its a waste of time, it chews up loads of resources for very little difference in image quality so I turn this off
Totally agree. ED really suffers from aliasing (because of all the high contrast, thin lines and ship/station edge detail at a distance) but alas the anti-aliasing options don't do much to rectify it, certainly not in VR (again, HMD quality does a better job).

ambient occlusion, not a great resource hog but this is what creates the sunsets / sunrises on earthlikes as you fly past them and transition from the dark side to the day side of the planet
Another subtle effect that I simply turn off in VR.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambient_occlusion

environment quality, not entirely sure so I run it high?
fx quality - visual acuity of explosions etc, more is better and not that particularly resource hungry
reflections quality, like shadows adds a lot of presence to the game for not alot of resources so run it high
Ditto, yes and yes.

hmd quality, this is the most important setting for a VR experience, all the resources we've pinched earlier on get squandered here, adjust this as high as your pc will run while still getting acceptable frame rates. be aware that space stations and planet sides have so much going on that you experience lower frame rates than what you experience in the black.
Yup, totally agree. It works a bit like supersampling and in that regard is a great way to reduce the aliasing problems and make things like text more readable. Unlike supersampling tho' it's actually an instruction to the underlying Oculus rendering software (it's the same thing as the "Pixels per pixel" setting which people used to tweak using the Oculus Debug Tool - don't use both methods of setting it tho! they combine in slightly unpredictable ways). Basically set SS to 1.0, then try HMDQ at 1.5 with these other settings as suggested. Land at a planetary base and check your framerate (best to turn ASW off by pressing Ctrl + Numpad 1 so your framerate isn't locked to either 90 or 45). If you're getting around 90 most of the time then maybe try increasing it. If you're getting way below 90 then turn it down to 1.25.

galaxy map quality - bit of a misnomer, as its most prevalent effect is on the skybox, but it also adjusts the image quality in the galaxy map, so for the sake of your best experience, max this out to high
terrain quality, ultra or high - how elaborate the terrains contours are biggest visual effect for the processing power on planets
Terrain LOD blending - high - how much post processing goes into surfaces, a diminishing return, no need for ultra, can even go off
terrain sampler quality - any - try them all - something else to do with how much post processing goes into surfaces, a diminishing return, no need for ultra, can even go off
terrain material quality - high - very little visible difference but large performance effects, a diminishing return, no need for ultra, can even go off
jet cones - neutron stars and supercruise comet effects not resource hungry so go high
volumetric effects - ultra - nebulas and clouds
Yup, pretty much concur on all of that. Did some testing of volumetric effects over here ..

https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/262552-EDProfiler-A-New-Display-Switcher-Robust-Settings-Profiler-Switcher-Detector!?p=6168070&viewfull=1#post6168070

Aside from all of that I recommend turning down the gamma level until deep space is black (and not a washed out grey), turn down HUD brightness to reduce some of the glare and make text more readable and try an alternative set of HUD colours (I suggest drkaii's "Spiritual Teal"). This latter is because the Oculus (don't know about other HMDs) has more green pixels than red (something like that anyway) so using colours with more green makes the text more reasable.

o7 and enjoy VR - it's mind blowing isn't it!
 
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Guys, thanks so much for the responses! I was familiar with the basics (ie taking advantage of HMD quality) but the detail on the other settings is really gonna help me optimize. I've read mixed reports on whether to use HMD quality, or to leave it alone and instead use the headset software's equivalent setting (steam vr ss or oculus ss). Do you guys have a preference? I've seen some people suggest actually setting in game ss to .5 and raising the native ss, but that resulted in a blurry mess for me.

Thanks again for the help.
 
Guys, thanks so much for the responses! I was familiar with the basics (ie taking advantage of HMD quality) but the detail on the other settings is really gonna help me optimize. I've read mixed reports on whether to use HMD quality, or to leave it alone and instead use the headset software's equivalent setting (steam vr ss or oculus ss). Do you guys have a preference? I've seen some people suggest actually setting in game ss to .5 and raising the native ss, but that resulted in a blurry mess for me.

Thanks again for the help.
Like I said, HMD Quality IS the Oculus SS setting (which you can also set using the Oculus Debug Tool or another utility called the Oculus Tray Tool). So yeah, now FD have wired it into their settings just use it there and don't bother with the other ways of setting it (unless you really want finer granularity than 0.25 increments).

And re: setting SS low so you can set HMDQ high - yeah I've seen that recommended a lot. Personally I don't "get it" tho'. You're asking Elite to generate a low res' image so you can then feed that to the Oculus renderer to create a higher than necessary res' image so that can then be scaled down to the HMD hardware. It sounds like a case of "garbage in garbage out" to me. That said, some people swear by it.
 
Good info in this thread (should be sticky as it's the most current and this question is asked all the time).

One thing I've changed recently is raising the gamma to 3/4 the way up that slider. Sure, space doesn't look absolutely dark but I find it enhances the graphical fidelity of everything else. Maybe not having so much contrast everywhere is just easier on my eyes personally, but I am definitely keeping that setting.
 
I have found turning down SS one notch to 0.75 is not noticable in VR. (I think the HMD resolution is just too low to benefit from SS at 1.0!)

I then bump up HMD quality to 1.5. This runs at the same performance as SS 1.0 and HMD 1.25 BUT looks better.

I realise people think rubbish in rubbish out but you try it! It defo performs the same as 1.25 HMD at 1.0 SS whilst looking slightly better too :)
 
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I have found turning down SS one notch to 0.75 is not noticable in VR. (I think the HMD resolution is just too low to benefit from SS at 1.0!)

I then bump up HMD quality to 1.5. This runs at the same performance as SS 1.0 and HMD 1.25 BUT looks better.

I realise people think rubbish in rubbish out but you try it! It defo looks better than 1.25 HMD at 1.0 SS and performs a little better too :)
I'll give it a shot. I'm running on the vive pro now, so even if it worked with gen 1 headsets it may not work as well with the increased resolution.
 
Evening guys, just a quick not to say thanks to alecfor correcting the bits I got wrong, i'll have a play with hose suggestions in the near future.
 
I have found turning down SS one notch to 0.75 is not noticable in VR. (I think the HMD resolution is just too low to benefit from SS at 1.0!)

I then bump up HMD quality to 1.5. This runs at the same performance as SS 1.0 and HMD 1.25 BUT looks better.

I realise people think rubbish in rubbish out but you try it! It defo performs the same as 1.25 HMD at 1.0 SS whilst looking slightly better too :)
I should probably give it another try.
 
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