Half-Life 2 Performance
Half-Life 2 is far less strenuous on our test equipment and proved itself to be such a walk in the park for the ASUS Extreme N7800GTX Top (or any other GeForce 7800GTX card for that matter) that we decided to only test single-card configurations within this benchmark.
Furthermore, and this is IMPORTANT, we turned up the AA and AF settings to their maximum for each single card tested. For the GeForce 6800 Ultra and GeForce 7800GTX based cards, this meant we dialed in their superior 8XS AA mode which also provides a 2X Super Sample above and beyond 4X AA. For the Radeon X850 XT PE, we enabled ATi's 6X AA mode, which doesn't look as good at NVIDIA's 8XS mode, since it doesn't work on transparent or opaque surfaces, as you can see in the Half-Life 2 screen shots on this page.
|Half-Life 2 is a game that needs no introduction. The underlying technology behind HL2, however, may not be as well known. The Source Engine powering Half-Life 2 is responsible for the game's realistic visuals, with support for shader model 2.0 shaders, bump mapping, and Cube and environment mapping. Half-Life 2 also makes use of dynamic lights, vertex lighting and light maps, and water with refraction and fresnel effects, among a host of other rendering features. We benchmarked Half-Life 2 with a long, custom-recorded timedemo taken 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 with 4XAA and max playable anti-aliasing and 16X anisotropic filtering enabled concurrently.|
Here the ASUS Extreme N7800GTX Top leads the BFG GeForce 7800GTX OC by a smallish 2 - 4%, depending on whether additional pixel processing is enabled with AA and AF. With the same levels of Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering enabled, the Extreme N7800GTX Top also took the lead by a solid margin over ATi's X850 XT PE. Finally, at its maximum image quality setting for a single card of 8XS AA and 16X Aniso Filtering, the Extreme N7800GTX Top was able to maintain a very fast frame rate of over 80 fps even at 1600 x 1200. Compared to the Radeon X850's 6X maximum AA setting, we'll take the higher image quality of NVIDIA's GeForce 7800GTX with 8XS AA any day, sacrificing a few frames in performance but maintaining completely glitch-free and smooth game play.