Half Life 2 Performance

Once again, we were quite surprised by Valve's Source engine. These numbers are quite good for integrated components. The visual quality did not disappoint on either ATI or Intel hardware. The hardware support for the GMA 950 was listed as DX 8.1 rather than DX 9, but as we saw when we looked at the older NVIDIA hardware, the only real difference between the two rendering modes is in the water quality.

The fact that Intel's hardware performed the same at all three resolutions tested makes us think that Valve has built in some sort of minimum frame rate maintenance mechanism into Source. Playing on higher resolutions made it more difficult to interact smoothly with the world, but visually, there weren't many sacrifices. Again, nothing that a gamer would touch with a 50-foot pole, but casual home and business users who may want to play a game will be able to do so. And surely all parties involved will be hoping that the taste of what could be will inspire computer users everywhere to upgrade their hardware and software.

Half Life 2 Performance


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  • fishman - Monday, August 01, 2005 - link

    You can get these with either shared memory or dedicated memory - which configuration was used in the tests? Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Thursday, June 02, 2005 - link

    Sis and Via's integrated graphics solution is even more below Intel. They are more than one generation behind Intel's graphics. Even though Sis 660 or something had 2 pixel pipelines and hardware T&L, Intel's Extreme Graphics 2 beat it hands down, and IEG2 only has single pixel pipeline. Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Thursday, June 02, 2005 - link

    Apparently dual core doesn't help much if you look at other Intel GMA950 benchmarks. The only one helped is HL2 score, which went up by 30%, and 3dmark2005, which is multi-threaded so it doesn't count. Reply
  • ET - Tuesday, May 31, 2005 - link

    I'd find it interesting to see results with Intel's low end dual core CPU. Since the CPU is used for vertex processing, dual core might have a good effect on this. Reply
  • crucibelle - Saturday, May 28, 2005 - link

    #11,

    I agree with you completely!

    I particularly wish that the reviewer would have ran a benchmark for Sims 2. Perhaps they can do this in the near future? I certainly hope so.

    Reply
  • tbrooks40 - Friday, May 27, 2005 - link

    nice write up...

    i don't necessarily agree with akozak - memory is cheap enough now-a-days that seeing a basic system with 1gb of memory won't be all that surprising. i doubt that it's the norm but it's conceivable with memory prices continuing to drop.

    i have a question, one i'm sure akozak would roll his eyes to, would a dual core chip increase the performance of integrated graphics?

    i know an entry level system wouldn't likely have a dual core chip - i'm more curious than anything after reading the dual core performance article.
    Reply
  • ET - Thursday, May 26, 2005 - link

    #19, I don't think it's useless. They're benchmarking the graphics, so seeing how fast it can perform given optimal conditions is helpful. With a slower CPU and less RAM you get other bottlenecks, so the graphics scores will have less of a difference, but this won't really give you a better feeling for the integrated graphics.

    BTW, I'd consider 1GB pretty much necessary for a system running integrated graphics, if they take RAM away from the system. 512MB may be too little in such a case.

    That said, an article about game performance on entry level machines (Semprons with integrated graphics or whatever) might be of some interest.
    Reply
  • flloyd - Thursday, May 26, 2005 - link

    Thanks #18 but I know about refresh rates. Unfortunately the 915G that I have is much more "stable" and clear at 75Hz than 85Hz so I have to deal with that for now. Reply
  • abakshi - Thursday, May 26, 2005 - link

    Well yes, comparisons to older standalone cards like an R8500/GF4 would interesting, but you'd have to test these integrated chipsets on the same platform to get any meaningful results, which isn't possible here (at least yet) -- PCIe instead of AGP... Reply
  • iwodo - Thursday, May 26, 2005 - link

    Can anybody check if they have updated the benchmark? I am sure it wasn't this bad last time i check. As my news reader inform me something in this article has changed. Reply

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