Ultra settings offer significantly diminished returns (offering very little visual benefit in exchange for more demands on your system’s performance).  I only recommend Ultra settings if a game’s frame rate exceeds the monitor’s refresh rate (maximum supported frame rate).

This Youtube video by Joker Productions makes a very compelling argument in favor of High settings over Ultra.

His main points:

  • Gameplay performance is far more important than slight graphical improvements.
  • Enthusiast gaming culture has overhyped the benefits of Ultra settings.
  • Video card benchmarks should be based High settings rather than Ultra, so the benefits of lower end cards in real-life scenarios would be seen.
  • Having 60+ frames per second is far more important than having Ultra settings.