Half-Life 2 appeared exactly the game where the CPU performance and potential do matter a lot. Even in high screen resolutions with enabled FSAA and anisotropic filtering, a powerful graphics card is not enough to ensure high fps rate. Quality physical model of the gaming environment in Half-Life 2 does require a powerful CPU.
Since physical modeling sets most of the workload on the central processor during Half-Life 2 gameplay, AMD’s solutions appear the fastest as they have always been known for their high performance in scientific math1ematical and physical tasks. These processors appear a way ahead Intel CPUs: Intel’s top processors lose even to the mainstream AMD solutions. This is also partially explained by the fact that Valve doesn’t use any of the Intel’s advanced features, such as SSE3 or Hyper-Threading, which should significantly speed up Intel Pentium 4 based platforms.
In conclusion we decided to make a graph illustrating average performance of the testing participants in Half-Life 2 basing on the results obtained in the above discussed five demo scenes and two resolution modes:
Well, this diagram can actually serve as a direct advisor when choosing a CPU for Half-Life 2. If you got really excited about the new game and would like to upgrade your system in order to enjoy comfortable gaming experience in Half-Life 2, this diagram should help you to make the right choice. And please keep in mind that we also have a very detailed guide, which will help you also decided on the graphics card for your system (for details please see our recent article called Half-Life 2 Performance Preview: The Graphics Hardware Squeezer).