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Half-Life 2: Performance Testing

Author: Ryan Shrout
Manufacturer: General
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Test System and Quality Settings

Test System




































Video Card Test System Setup


CPU


AMD Athlon 64 4000+


Motherboards


MSI K8N Neo2 nForce3 Ultra


Power Supply 


Antec 460 watt


Memory 


2x512MB Corsair PC3200LL DDR


Hard Drive


250GB Maxtor 7200RPM SATA


Sound Card


Creative Labs Live!


Video Card


ATI X800 XT Platinum Edition
ATI X800 XT
ATI X800 Pro
ATI 9800 Pro
NVIDIA 6800 Ultra OC
NVIDIA 6800 Ultra
NVIDIA 6800 GT
NVIDIA 6800 OC
NVIDIA 6600 GT


Video Drivers


NVIDIA 67.02 BETA
ATI Catalyst 4.12 BETA


DirectX Version


DX 9.0c


Operating System


Windows XP w/ Service Pack 1




Graph Breakdown



As I mentioned before, we have a LOT of data here.  One hundred and forty-four graphs in total.  That's a lot, so here's how it is broken down for easy reading.


First, we have seperated the testing into groups of each demo.  Then we have seperated all those results into three categories: Ultra High End Cards, High End Cards, and Mid-Range Cards.  The Ultra High End Cards consist of the X800 XT PE, X800 XT, 6800 Ultra OC, and 6800 Ultra.  The High End Cards include the 6800 GT and the X800 Pro.  Finally, the Mid-Range cards are the 6800 OC, 6600GT, and 9800 Pro.  I seperated them this way to showcase what performance you are getting based on the cost of the card.  All the Ultra High end cards are priced above $500, if you can find them, the high end cards are priced at $400 and, the mid range cards are $300 and below. 


I think you'll find this method to simplify things quite a bit.  Oh, and it was completely impossible to get 9 data sets on a line graph to be legible. 


Quality Settings


For our testing, we ran benchmarks at 1024x768, 1280x960, and 1600x1200 resolutions.  For each of those resolutions, we ran the tests at both 0xAA / 0xAF and 4xAA/ 8xAF settings. 



IQ Settings for our 0xAA and 0xAF tests



IQ Settings for our 4xAA and 8xAF tests


Now, let's move on to the hordes of data.

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