Can someone explain what some of this stuff is... i just copied and pasted a previous posters text...
Buffer: Resolution (don't know what this is)
This is the resolution that FFXIV will render the game at. It is based on a multiple of the screen resolution. If you select 1920x1080 and set this to "half" it will render the game (but not the menus) at half of that resolution. Do not set this to "double" btw. That's full scene supersampling and is really really slow (and unnecessary with FFXIV having MSAA support)
If you need more detailed explanations about the rest of this Wikipedia is your friend.
Multisampling: 2x MSAA (don't know what this is)
Multi Sample Anti Aliasing, smooths the edges of objects. Higher settings = smoother edges. Starts to have diminishing returns after 4x
Ambient Occlusion: On (don't know what this is)
Turns on/off ambient shadows. There are two different types of shadows in FFXIV, the normal hard edged shadows that the "shadow detail" setting affects and ambient occlusion which is completely separate ("Shadow Detail" has no effect on it) This setting will nearly cut your framerate in half and currently has bugs that cause graphics glitches. This is an example of ambient occlusion
Depth of Field: Off (don't know what this is)
Simulates a camera's depth of field. Distant objects become blurry. Only affects the actual game. In cutscenes Depth of Field is always on.
EDIT: The "cutscene effects" checkbox affects depth of field and (I think) ambient occlusion in cutscenes.
Texture Filtering: High (don't know what this is)
Sets number of samples per pixel for anisotropic filtering.
AA: Application Controlled (don't know what this is)
Determines whether the level of anti aliasing is controlled by the application or is set manually.
AAMode: Adaptive multi sample (don't know what this is)
Determines whether anti aliasing will anti alias transparency maps. Multi sample AA will not anti alias the edges of transparency maps while adaptive multisample and supersample AA will.
Set AA in your drivers to 4x (not application controlled) and then go to the AA Mode screen and toggle between multi sample and adaptive multi sample. Watch the iron fence in the test scene as you do this. That's what this setting does.
AF: Application controlled (don't know what this is)
Determines if anisotropic filtering samples per pixel are controlled by the application. That one requires a lot of explanation so just go on Wikipedia. Set it to Application Controlled and then set "Texture Filtering" in FFXIV's config to "Highest"
Catalyst AI: High (don't know what this is)
Turns on/off driver optimizations that may result in rendering results that don't exactly match the Direct3D reference renderer but which are faster. Basically the drivers cheat in order to render the scene faster, but the resulting image may be slightly different than what it "should" be. The only place I have ever seen this cause problems was in Cinebench's Open-GL benchmark. It complained that the drivers were cheating and would not run the benchmark.
Mipmap detail level: High (don't know what this is)
Mipmap quality setting. Pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. Look up Mip Mapping on Wikipedia for an explanation of what mip mapping does. Edited, Sep 6th 2010 8:38am by Lobivopis