Half Life 2
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1
Timedemo or Level Used: Route Kanal, Water Hazard, Ravenholm, Highway 17, Nova Prospekt
Developer Homepage: http://www.valvesoftware.com
Product Homepage: http://www.half-life2.com
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By taking the suspense, challenge and visceral charge of the original, and adding startling new realism and responsiveness, Half-Life 2 opens the door to a world where the player's presence affects everything around him, from the physical environment to the behaviours even the emotions of both friends and enemies.
We benchmark Half Life 2 with our own custom timedemos as to avoid possible driver optimizations using the "record demo_name" command and loading the timedemo with the "timedemo demo_name" command - For a full list of the commands, click here.
Half Life 2 offers a range of environments guaranteed to punish a graphics card and is very scalable and responsive to changes in visual effects settings. As a result, it makes a terrific real-life benchmark.
We used five custom timedemos for our testing. As you can see, at 1024x768 the frame rates are eminently playable, and although there's an average performance drop of 36% across the board at 1600x1200, it's still enough to give the game a decent run.
Admittedly, Half Life 2 is very ATI/Catalyst-focussed - in the same way that Doom 3 was nVidia's flagship, so is Half Life 2 ATI's. Radeon-based cards, no matter which iteration, tend to exhibit good HL2 results. The HIS X700 box actually carries a sticker stating "Half-Life 2 Preferred Graphics" - and this is entirely justified.