Benchmarks & Comparisons With Half-Life 2
|Thanks to the dedication of millions of 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 began chomping at the bit. Unfortunately, thanks to a compromised internal network; the theft of a portion of the game's source code; a couple of missed deadlines; and a tumultuous relationship with the game's distributor, Vivendi Universal, we all had to wait until November 2004 to get our hands on this gem. We benchmarked Half-Life 2 with a long, custom- recorded timedemo that takes us along a cliff and through a few dilapidated shacks, battling the enemy throughout. These tests were run at resolutions of 1024 x 768 and 1600 x 1200 without any AA or aniso and with 4X anti-aliasing and 8X anisotropic filtering enabled concurrently.|
Half-Life 2 is one of those games that really delivers on most fronts. As soon as it arrived, we were eager to use it as a benchmark, but soon got wrapped up in the game play. Out of sheer necessity, I stuck with it and completed the game in four days, and what a ride it was. The last time I was this hooked was when FarCry hit our labs. Now that we got the fun out of the way, we could focus on the task at hand.
Even with its detailed graphics engine, Half-Life 2 is quite playable on low and mid-range cards. At 1024x768, all three cards put up playable frame rates with the X600 XT and X600 Pro All-In-Wonder taking the best spots respectively. The same was true at 1600x1200, where each card exceeded 30 FPS and seemed relatively fluid in our timedemo. Once we enabled AA/Aniso, the ATI cards were the most capable across the board.