Benchmarking: 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 '04 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. This test was run using "High-Quality" settings at resolutions of 800 x 600 and 1024x768 without any anti-aliasing or anisotropic filtering and with 2X anti-aliasing and 4X anisotropic filtering enabled concurrently.|
After benchmarking a plethora of cards with Valve's Source engine, we've been fairly impressed on how well it runs on lower end hardware. At 800x600, you'll get a very playable 78.38FPS when using 2xAA and 4xAF. The demo scores are a little misleading though, as things such as sound processing, physics, and enemy AI aren't taking up any resources. When playing the game, you'll get some noticeable slowdowns every now and then, but it still runs well.
When upping the resolution to 1024x768, playing Half-Life 2 with AA or AF becomes a bit harder. An average framerate of 54.77FPS is still quite playable, but gets pretty sluggish in some parts. Without AA or AF, it runs much better while still looking fairly good.