Is there anything better than a nice car-ride along the steep riverside? This is exactly what we are going to do in the next demo. However, our hero will not just drive through the d2_coast_05 demo scene, but will also have to shoot a few enemies and overcome a few obstacles lying in his way.
If you have read our article devoted to the graphics cards performance in Half-Life 2, which was put up a few days ago, you should remember that this is a very processor-dependent game level. Even in the top resolution the CPU appeared a system bottleneck preventing the performance from going all the way to the maximum. But before we take a look at the top resolutions, let’s check out the systems performance in 1024x768 with disabled FSAA and anisotropic filtering.
Well, this is a pretty familiar picture, actually, with that only difference that AMD Athlon 64 processors are even farther ahead of their competitors. Well, it looks like this is typical of Half-Life 2: the more processor dependent the level is, the better perform CPUs with K8 architecture. And here the difference is simply dramatic: Athlon 64 2800+ outperforms Pentium 4 3.6GHz! Moreover, the pretty old Athlon XP CPUs seem to have caught their second wind: even Athlon XP 3200+ appears faster than any of the Pentium 4 3.2GHz.
Now let’s see how the picture will change when we set “normal” resolution.
Wow, this is a truly impressive CPU-dependence. We set the resolution to 1280x1024, enabled FSAA 4x and 16x anisotropic filtering, and the results remained almost the same. I have every right to state that the Half-Life 2 performance in this scene is fully dependent on the system CPU. This is exactly why you might want to have a faster processor for this game.