Review Index:

Half-Life 2: Performance Testing

Author: Ryan Shrout
Manufacturer: General

pcp_town01 - Ultra High End Cards

Our first demo takes place on the map "d1_town_01."  This level has a lot of neat affects including fire and explosions, and of course, the saw blades.  With all the flammables near by, I was able to do a lot of "catching things on fire" which created brilliant light, seen below.

The demo takes place mostly indoors, with the outdoor scenes being fairly small areas.  I used the flashlight quite a bit as this area is darker than most. At the end of the demo, there is a big bon-fire of aliens that is pretty hard on the machines, and that is the portion of the results below at the end of the line graphs. 

At 1024x768 we can see that all four UHE (Ultra High End) cards perform very well at both AA/AF settings.  The Min FPS on all the cards is basically the same as is the Max FPS.  The average FPS on the NVIDIA cards is about 8% behind (comparing the XT to the Ultra) at 4xAA/8xAF but as you can see from the line graph the differences aren't major.

At 1280x960, the 0x/0x results show performance right on par between the ATI and NVIDIA cards, but at 4x/8x things pick up for ATI a bit.  The minimum FPS on the ATI X800 XT is 4 frames higher than on the Ultra card, and the average frame rates show a 10% edge to ATI.  Looking at the FRAPS line graph data, you can see a slight seperation between the ATI and NVIDIA cards at certain stretches of the demo. 

Without AA and AF, the NVIDIA cards actually out paced the ATI cards in both min and max FPS.  The average shows a slight favor to the ATI, but the game experience on either is great.  At 4x/8x ATI has a lead again, by about 22% when looking at the average frame rates.  The minimums however are right with each other and so gameplay isn't affected too drastically by that.