|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. This test was run using "Medium-Quality" settings at resolutions of 800 x 600 without any anti-aliasing or anisotropic filtering and with 4X anti-aliasing and 8X anisotropic filtering enabled concurrently.|
Half-Life 2 has some impressive graphics, and thanks to an efficiently coded engine by Valve, budget cards can put up some decent scores in this game. We ran our games at a resolution of 800x600 since neither card is much of a powerhouse. We wanted to use a resolution where we could get playable frame rates, and at 800x600 using high quality settings, both cards did put up some excellent frame rates. The XFX GeForce 6600 DDR2 256MB is powerful enough to play the game a higher resolutions, however the AIW 2006 might have a harder time. Remember these are average frame rates, so when actually playing the game, you'll find a few occasions where the frame rate drops a noticeable amount as the action intensifies.