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 2004 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. 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.|
Our custom Half Life 2 benchmark proved to be no match for any of the cards we tested here. In this benchmark, the Radeon X1600 XT put up some decent numbers, approaching 60 FPS at 1600x1200 with 4XAA and 16X aniso, and the Radeon X800 XL came out on top in every test configuration. The GeForce 6800 GS and GT were evenly matched, with a somewhat surprising edge going to the GS. Either the new GeForce 6800 GS' pixel shader pipes have been optimized for higher efficiency, and the optimizations give it an edge in some circumstances, or the GS's higher vertex processing advantage over the GT (531M/s vs. 525M/s) gives it an edge here.