You'll see my own numbers tomorrow night at midnight, but we've been given the go ahead to reveal a bit of information about Half-Life 2. I'll keep it brief and to the point and will explain it in greater detail tomorrow night:

- Valve is pissed at all of the benchmarking "optimizations" they've seen in the hardware community;
- Half-Life 2 has a special NV3x codepath that was necessary to make NVIDIA's architecture perform reasonably under the game;
- Valve recommends running geforce fx 5200 and 5600 cards in dx8 mode in order to get playable frame rates.
- even with the special NV3x codepath, ATI is the clear performance leader under Half-Life 2 with the Radeon 9800 Pro hitting around 60 fps at 10x7. The 5900 ultra is noticeably slower with the special codepath and is horrendously slower under the default dx9 codepath;
- the Radeon 9600 Pro performs very well - it is a good competitor of the 5900 ultra;
- ATI didn't need these special optimizations to perform well and Valve insists that they have not optimized the game specifically for any vendor.

There you have it folks, there's much more coming tomorrow.


View All Comments

  • Anonymous User - Thursday, September 11, 2003 - link

    hey... it's almost midnight... where is our article :)... i know... 26 mins to go Reply
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, September 11, 2003 - link

    I'm poster #126, but as OpenGl seems able to encompass and work with NVidia's hardware 'limitations' why couldn't MS have made DX9 more flexible given NVidia would have made any issues known before? MS seems to have let NVidia down rather dramatically. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, September 11, 2003 - link

  • Anonymous User - Thursday, September 11, 2003 - link

    First off, I'm no fanboy. I only buy hardware on price/performance. As such I must say my only reaction to (recent) nVidia customers is sympathy. I would certainly be upset. I can't think it's entirely (perhaps even mostly) nVidia's fault given their R&D took place before the DX9 standard came out - the point when their hand was already played. Is it MS's fault then having been informed of Nvdia's hardware specs? Perhaps. My hope is that future games will come out with OpenGL support such that Nvidia customers will have an alternative. That would make such unreasonable poor framerates a temporary problem with some soon to be realeased sole DX9 games. Most expectation is already that the Doom3 engine will become the most widely adopted engine - perhaps this will ensure it even more so? As someone else pointed out OpenGL currently is not mature that everyone is looking to implement it in that game. Doom3 should definitely change that. In any case don't berate NVidia too much, the optimisations are for their customers benefit given they have been arguably failed by DX9. Nonetheless these benches are going to scare alot of people who don't understand the technical reasons. The current Nvidia *still are* good cards albeit under everything except DX9.

    To cut it short please don't gloat or deride eachother. Alot of people have been unlucky. And surely all being consumers aren't we all in the same boat - I don't understand the gloating or fanboyism.

    I think people with FXs shouldn't worry too much. OpenGL may become more of a standard than DX9 - what game developers want to alienate a large segment of the market. If you own an FX and HL2 was one of your most anticipated games then you won't be able to run it in DX9 in it's full glory. Instead you'll have to run it at a very high resolution with 4xAA etc - IMHO that's not bad, not bad at all. If that's not enough then buy ATI - your money.

    I've finished my ramblings. Peace all.
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, September 11, 2003 - link

    #124, they're just pissed at having forked out the moolah for the WRONG card for HL2. Feels good to be on the "right" side for once. Reply
  • akdjr - Thursday, September 11, 2003 - link

    to anyone who has said that valve has no coding skills, i'd LOVE to see you make a game as good looking and as fast as hl2. if you can't, then you have NO RIGHT to judge the competence of valve's programmers, as they are obviously better than you. i'd say HL2 proves they are extremely talented, and with everything that HL2 is throwing at the cpu and gpu, those numbers seem fine. keep in mind, the game isn't out yet.

    (personally, i'm very happy to see thaat my aiw 9700 pro will run hl2 just fine :D )
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, September 11, 2003 - link

    #121, wrong thread. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, September 11, 2003 - link


    VALVe didnt make cs they merely bought it when it became extremely popular then proceeded to ruin it by making it so noob friendly it has lost all its depth and strategy
    cs is now a shitty dm game

    hl2 will be good but i think most people are more interested in hl2 mods rather than the actual game
    most of which will be retail only and making a mod for hl2 with its advanced gfx etc will be a lot more difficult than it was for hl1
    making maps for hl2 might even require a team yet alone an entire new mod

    the hype around hl2 is getting so ridiculous that it can only be a dissapointment if people arent careful - i didnt think hl1 was amazing it was very good but not amazing, if you expect the world from hl2 then you will probably dissapointed whereas someone who expects an ok game will be impresed if it only turns out to be a good game
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, September 11, 2003 - link

    AMD Athlon64 3200+ with the MSI motherboard and the h/s to (dont trust the h/s)
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, September 11, 2003 - link

    I'm just wondering, does anyone remember when the first sneak peaks of Doom3 came out and the catalyst drivers were broke for them. The 9800pro got like 10fps, shortly after the situation was resolved. I have a AIW 9800pro, but I also have a BFG fx5600 256 that oc's nicely to above ultra specs. Just wait until after the game ships to decide what is best and where if fits into the big picture. Reply

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