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Half Life 2: Episode 2

Valve's Half Life 2 engine is not known to be a GPU resource hog by any stretch.  In fact, the game has rather impressive visuals when you consider how well it runs on even mid-range or low-end graphics hardware.  We've turned things up a notch in image quality in our next round of tests though, in an effort to spread out the field a bit more.  

Performance Comparisons with Half-Life 2: Episode 2

Details: www.half-life2.com

Half Life 2:

Episode 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.  And thanks to an updated game engine, gorgeous visual, and intelligent weapon and level design, Half Life 2 became just as popular.  Episode 2 offers a number of visual enhancements including better looking transparent texture anti-aliasing. These tests were run at resolutions of 1,280 x 1,024, 1,600 x 1,200 and 1,920 x 1,200 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 file to benchmark all cards in this test.


At resolutions all the way up to 1920X1200 with 4X AA enabled, 3-Way SLI performance is completely negated by SLI loadbalancing transactions, as you'll note in the larger graph above.  However, for those of you that might consider plugging not two but three graphics cards like a GeForce 8800 Ultra into your rig, running 30" flat panel resolutions, like those you can run on a Dell 3007 WFP-HC, these three amigos pay off handsomely.  There's a 39% increase in performance with 8X AA enabled at a resolution of 2560X1600 for 3-Way SLI in this test versus standard SLI.  

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