Half-Life 2: Episode 1 Performance
|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. Fortunately, HL2 proved popular enough that we are getting more play in the form of episodes. We benchmarked Episode 1 at 1280x1024 and 1600x1200 with a long, custom-recorded timedemo that takes us through both outdoor and indoor environments.|
The ATI cards excel in the Half-Life 2 tests. Actually, all of the cards post good scores for the 1600x1200 4xAA / 8xAF test. Once HDR is enabled, though, the MSI 8800 GTX shines through to show that not even HDR makes it break much of a sweat in HL2. This is the kind of difference we think you should get from a $600 card.