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Half Life 2 Performance

Again, we'd like to underscore the fact that our "Max IQ" settings in the following Half Life 2 benchmark comparisons are not what we consider a level playing field.  The directly comparable scores to look at are the 4X AA / 16X Aniso numbers, while the "Max IQ" scores are relative reference points in performance that show NVIDIA and BFG's current superior 8XS AA mode in action, versus ATi 6X AA mode.  So in short, the NVIDIA cards are doing more work in the "Max IQ" tests and while the end result might be a lower frame rate, the rendering outputs certainly reflect the trade-off, as we have shown you in the prior page's screen shot showcase.  There, if you're just a "chart scanner" type of reader, you can't say we didn't tell you so.

Performance Comparisons with Half-Life 2
Details: http://www.half-life2.com/

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 2004 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 with 4X anti-aliasing and 16X anisotropic filtering enabled and then again with each card's maximum image quality settings which are 8XS AA and 6X AA for the NVIDIA cards and ATi Radeon X850 respectively.

** Max IQ = 6X AA for ATi Radeon X850 XT PE
** Max IQ = 8XS AA for GeForce 6800 Ultra and BFG GeForce 7800GTX OC

With Half Life 2 and these new generation high-end graphics cards, it's a complete no-brainer to run at high resolutions with at least 4X AA and 16X AF on all the time.  At 1280X1024 res, even the legacy generation of GeForce 6800 Ultra and Radeon X850 cards barely break a sweat at well over 125+fps.  However, turn up the AA and AF to as high as is possibly available on both ATi and NVIDIA based products and things are a bit more challenging.  The BFG GeForce 7800GTX OC and the GeForce 6800 Ultra still both maintain more than playable frame rates running with the superior image quality of their 8XS AA mode, while the Radeon X850 XT PE has an even easier time since it's only running 6X AA at its max available image quality settings.

 

** Max IQ = 6X AA for ATi Radeon X850 XT PE
** Max IQ = 8XS AA for GeForce 6800 Ultra and BFG GeForce 7800GTX OC

Our test results are only magnified at 1600X1200 resolutions, where the BFG GeForce 7800GTX OC card easily blows by the Radeon X850 XT PE in 4X AA / 16X AF mode.  Half Life 2 has historically been a game engine that favors ATi cards but NVIDIA's new generation of 24 pixel pipeline GeForce 7800 GPUs have reclaimed a major-league overall performance lead.  Even with full 8XS AA enabled the BFG GeForce 7800GTX OC shows silky smooth 78+fps frame-rates at 1600X1200 resolution.  Again this is something we want to highlight that simply wasn't feasible on a GeForce 6 series GPU historically, so we previously would have given the nod to ATi, which can maintain playability even in 6X AA mode.  However, now the image quality edge easily falls the way of NVIDIA.  Running in 8XS AA mode with the GeForce 7800 GTX OC from BFG, along with a fast action shooter like Half Life 2 or Counter Strike: Source, proved to be a powerful and graphically stunning combination.  

Tags:  GeForce, GTX, BFG, force, GT, 7800, 780

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