ATI Radeon X800XL 512MB & Catalyst 5.6 Driver Update
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 game. We benchmarked Half-Life 2 with a long, custom- recorded timedemo in the "canals" map, that takes us through an outdoor and an indoor environment. These tests were run at resolutions of 1,024x768 and 1,600 x 1,200 without any AA or aniso and with 4X antialiasing and 8X anisotropic filtering enabled concurrently.|
At 1024x768 neither the additional 256MB of additional RAM nor the Catalyst v5.6 drivers had any meaningful impact on performance in our custom Half Life 2 test, but it was a completely different story at 1600x1200. At the higher resolution, having the additional memory available increased performance by a few frames per second but the new Catalyst v5.6s affected performance significantly. With the Catalyst v5.6s installed, performance went down slightly when no AA or Aniso was used, but with AA and Aniso enabled performance jumped by almost 20 frames per second.