Martin Griffiths is the PC Lead on SHIFT 2 Unleashed and was nice enough to talk shop, discuss the upcoming Shift 2 patch and take other questions/concerns from the sim community. My favorite quote from him:
User Question: "Also I'd want to know why is this game so demanding on pc. Does it have better, richer more complex graphics than consoles?"
Martin Griffiths' Answer: "Yes it does,
In the graphic options - 'medium' for 'Car Detail' is the same as the PS3 and Xbox 360 as a level of detail for opponent cars. At the 'high car detail' all other AI cars get 2x detail/triangles compared to console. Textures were authored 2x higher than the consoles and PC high detail uses this. Environment maps and shadows are also twice the resolution in high detail. Draw distance for track/car LOD scaling are higher, procedural grass distance and particle numbers and texture anisotropy superior. High-end anti-aliasing too. Was this a lazy port? If you think that, think again - we built this game to scale "