ECS GeForce 9800 GTX+ Hydra, Liquid Cooled SLI
Half-Life 2: Episode 2
||Thanks to the dedication of hardcore PC gamers and a huge mod-community, the original Half-Life was one of the most successful first person shooters of all time. And courtesy of an updated game engine, gorgeous visuals, and intelligent weapon and level designs, Half Life 2 became just as popular. Episode 2 - the most recent addition to the franchise - offers a number of visual enhancements including better looking transparent texture anti-aliasing. These tests were run at resolutions of 1280 x 1024 and 1600 x 1200 with 4X anti-aliasing and 16X anisotropic filtering enabled concurrently. Color correction and HDR rendering were also enabled in the game engine as well. We used a custom recorded timedemo to benchmark all cards for these tests.|
In the first non-synthetic benchmark, a single GeForce 9800 GTX+ ran numbers in Half Life 2 that were almost on par with an overclocked HD 4850 from HIS, with only a frame or two per second separting the two. The biggest concern for these two cards would be the 25% percent hit that they took when we switched over to the higher resolution. When running in SLI, the performance at 1280x1024 didn't scale all that well, as we were only able to pick up and additional 5 fps, but it did lessen the gap between a single card and the GTX 260 or HD 4870. Better yet, there wasn't the same pronounced dropoff when running at 1600x1200, where the ECA Hydra setup and GTX 260 were running at a virtual tie.