Despite the huge number of complex shader-based special effects in this game, Gigabyte’s cards yields similar results: the Radeon X1900 XTX is a little better in high resolutions, but the GeForce 7900 GTX is one step ahead in lower ones. Note also that the Gigabyte GeForce 7900 GTX provides a higher minimum speed than its opponent. It’s not clear why the 48 pixel processors of the Radeon X1900 XTX don’t make it a winner in this test. It’s possible that this card’s performance is limited by its 16 TMUs (the GeForce 7900 GTX has 24 TMUs).
This shooter is quite a resource-consuming application, so you don’t have a playable frame rate in 1600x1200 even on single top-end graphics cards, not if you turn on full-screen antialiasing.
For reasons hidden in the driver or in the design of the Source engine Half-Life 2 runs on, graphics cards on GPUs from ATI Technologies have better results than Nvidia’s solutions in this test.
This is not a big problem, though. Both the Gigabyte cards deliver enough performance in all the resolutions with full-screen antialiasing. You can even increase the level of FSAA from 4x to 6x on a Gigabyte Radeon X1900 XTX to improve the visuals quality without losing anything in your playing comfort.