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Testbeds and Methods

We have been hearing lots of requests from our readers to publish Half-Life 2 test results, but having a pretty small amount of time to accomplish the tests, we have decided to publish the article in two iterations. The first one includes three demos and only high-end and performance-mainstream graphics cards available to date, the second one will include five custom demos and a wide range of graphics cards released in the last couple of years. Later on, we will continue to investigate Half-Life 2 in various other aspects.

It has already become our tradition to use two testbeds to run the benchmarks on.

Testbed 1:

  • AMD Athlon 64 4000+ CPU (2.40GHz, 1MB L2 cache);
  • ABIT KV8 Pro mainboard;
  • OCZ PC-3200 Platinum EB DDR SDRAM (2x512MB, CL2.5-3-2-8);
  • Samsung SpinPoint SP1213C HDD (Serial ATA-150, 8MB buffer);
  • Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 2 sound card.

Testbed 2:

  • Intel Pentium 4 560 CPU (Socket 775, 3.60GHz, 1MB L2 cache);
  • Intel Desktop Board D925CXC;
  • 1GB DDR2 PC2-4300 (533MHz) SDRAM (Micron Technology, 2x512MB);
  • Samsung SpinPoint SP1213C HDD (Serial ATA-150, 8MB buffer);
  • Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 2 sound card.

Software:

  • Microsoft Windows XP Pro SP2, DirectX 9.0c;
  • ATI CATALYST 4.12 beta;
  • NVIDIA ForceWare 66.93.

As usual, we set the graphics quality of the game to the same level so that the RADEON and the GeForce hardware produced an image of the same quality. We also wanted to check out the influence of NVIDIA’s new driver (ForceWare 67.02) on the performance, but found that the difference between the new version and ForceWare 66.93 was no more than 1-2fps in the three scenes we used in our tests. Considering that the absolute fps rates are about 60-100fps, this difference fits into the measurement error range.

After we expanded the list of graphics cards used for testing, we got the following products that we reviewed:

 
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