Half Life 2
|Half-Life 2 is a game that needs no introduction. The underlying technology behind HL2, however, may not be as well known. The Source Engine powering Half Life 2 is responsible for the game's realistic visuals, with support for shader model 2.0 shaders, bump mapping, and Cube and environment mapping. Half Life 2 also makes use of dynamic lights, vertex lighting and light maps, and water with refraction and fresnel effects, among a host of other rendering features. We benchmarked Half-Life 2 with a long, custom-recorded timedemo taken 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 without any anti-aliasing or anisotropic filtering and with 4X anti-aliasing and 16X anisotropic filtering enabled concurrently.|
As great as Half Life 2 looks on-screen, it's simply no match for today's high performing video cards. Half Life 2 is CPU bound on every card except the GeForce 6800 Ultra when running at 1280x1024. The same is true at 1600x1200 when a pair of 7800 GTX cards are running in SLI mode, but every other configuration drops of off a bit when the resolution is cranked up.