Halo Tweak Guide
[Page 2] Essential Optimization
Before getting into any game-specific settings and tweaks, this section covers the obligatory system optimization information I include in all my guides. If you've followed this advice recently, you can skip this section.
Many people report problems with this game and in almost all cases these are due to general system issues and not the game itself. With that in mind I strongly urge you to take some time and follow the advice below if you truly want this game, and indeed every other game you own, to run at its fastest and most trouble-free.
The place to start is my: TweakGuides Tweaking Companion. The totally revised TweakGuides Tweaking Companion is the complete system optimization guide for Windows XP users. It contains an enormous amount of detailed descriptions and resources together in one free 175 page downloadable PDF file. Everything from the correct installation of Windows and critical software and drivers, through to recommendations for every significant setting in XP, all the major performance, visual and convenience tweaks, and descriptions of XP's functionality. The guide contains dozens of links to major free applications for optimizing and maintaining your system, as well as to a vast range of resources for finding out more about your PC and troubleshooting PC problems. Basically the TweakGuides Tweaking Companion is the mother of all Windows XP tweak guides and system optimization guides.
If you've ever wondered what common graphics and display settings like FPS, VSync, Refresh Rate, Antialiasing and Anisotropic Filtering are, and how they really work, then check out my Gamer's Graphics & Display Settings Guide for all the details in an easy to understand format. The guide also gives you a rundown on exactly how a game goes from a being a set of files on your hard drive to a 3D image on your screen, including relevant performance tips.
Finally, if you run an ATI or Nvidia graphics card, I have written two comprehensive guides which you should check out: the ATI Catalyst Tweak Guide and the Nvidia Forceware Tweak Guide. These guides cover absolutely everything about the latest graphics drivers, how to set them up correctly, as well as advanced tweaking, overclocking and benchmarking tips. They're a must-read for configuring your graphics card correctly.
The above information really will serve you well in the long run, not just in this game. If you don't optimize your system and keep everything updated and maintained correctly you will keep running into "mysterious" problems time and time again. Do yourself a favor and when you get a chance spend an afternoon or two optimizing your machine the right way with the guides above.
The next section goes into more detail about specific troubleshooting tips which address common performance issues with the game.