Half Life 2
|Thanks to the dedication of hardcore PC gamers and a huge mod-community, the original Half-Life became one of the most successful first person shooters of all time. So, when Valve announced Half-Life 2 was close to completion in mid-2003, gamers the world over sat in eager anticipation. Unfortunately, thanks to a compromised internal network, the theft of a portion of the game's source code, and a tumultuous relationship with the game's distributor, Vivendi Universal, we all had to wait until November '04 to get our hands on this classic. We benchmarked Half-Life 2 with a long, custom-recorded timedemo in the "Canals" map, that takes us through both outdoor and indoor environments. These tests were run at resolutions of 1,280 x 1,024 and 1,600 x 1,200 without any anti-aliasing or anisotropic filtering and with 4X anti-aliasing and 16X anisotropic filtering enabled concurrently.|
The game may be pretty, but Half Life 2 is no match for today's high-end graphics cards. All of the 512MB cards are CPU bound in Half Life 2, at both resolutions regardless of whether or not anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering are enabled. The 256MB GeForce 7800 GTX drops falls in behind all of the other competitors here because of its smaller frame buffer, but even the "slowest" card of the bunch manages to put up over 115 frames per second at 1600x1200 with 4X anti-aliasing and 16X anisotropic filtering enabled.