Halo uses DirectX8 vertex shaders version 1.1 and pixel shaders version 1.1, 1.4 and 2.0. The game doesn’t support full-screen anti-aliasing, because it builds the image not in the frame buffer but as a texture in order to be able to apply all special effects. Therefore we ran all the benchmarks with the gaming settings at the maximum graphics quality, but without forced anisotropic filtering and full-screen anti-aliasing.
The results of the tested graphics cards in 1024x768 and 1280x1024 are limited by the processor speed and the overall system performance, however, in 1600x1200 this influence disappears. Nevertheless, in 1600x1200 most graphics cards perform equally fast. Only RADEON 9800 SE working at nominal frequencies, RADEON 9600 XT and NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra fall behind the leading group.
The top-end graphics cards on ATI and NVIDIA chips show almost the same performance, so it is really hard to single out a leader. The modified RADEON 9800 SE cards yield to the performance leaders, while GeForce FX 5900 XT manages to stay in the leading group even when it doesn’t undergo any overclocking.
Due to higher nominal clock frequency of the VPU as well as working HyperZ III technology, ATI RADEON 9600 XT manages to leave RADEON 9800 SE far behind and runs almost as fast as NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra or even a little faster.