d1_canals_09, Eye Candy Mode
Only two graphics cards allow playing all resolutions with full-screen antialiasing and anisotropic filtering enabled. They are the ATI RADEON X800 XT Platinum Edition and the RADEON X800 XT. The RADEON X800 PRO is again faster than the GeForce 6800 Ultra and 6800 GT, while the GeForce 6800 is competing with the RADEON 9800 XT. The GeForce FX and the RADEON X600 XT don’t run the game at an acceptable speed in this mode at all.
Probably in 1024x768 resolution the game will run at playable levels with eye candy caps enabled on a number of performance-mainstream graphics cards, including such as the GeForce 6600 GT and RADEON 9800 PRO, however, once we boost the resolution up, performance mainstream segment will not deliver sufficient speed. If you play on mainstream boards like the GeForce FX 5900-series or RADEON 9500-/9600-series or lower, then certainly FSAA and anisotropic filtering in Half-Life 2 is not for you and you will have to find certain compromises.
The results suggest that we really deal with a new-gen game. Half-Life 2 takes and consumes everything the graphics card can yield. Weak cards have nothing to do with this game.