If anyone were asked to name the two most anticipated games of this year, no thought would be required before putting forth the inevitable reply of "Doom 3 and Halflife 2". Order may very depending on the gamer's background and taste, and the occasional "Sims 2" response may be heard in the minority. So far, we have Doom 3 (even The Sims 2 is already Gold), but Halflife 2 is still MIA. We keep hearing rumors (though nothing substantial), but even last year's certain release wasn't set in stone.

Ever since the incendiary remarks made by Valve's Gabe Newell about the ability of Valve's programmers to come up with code that ran as fast on NVIDIA's hardware as it did on ATI's (and putting the blame for this square on NVIDIA's shoulders), and the following source code leak, both the buzz over the Halflife sequel and its delay have increased in what feels like an exponential manner.

Of course, last year, ATI "bundled" Halflife 2 with its cards, but consumers who made the purchase were left with little in the way of fulfillment of this offer. That is, until now. Last week, Valve pushed out a one level beta version of the Counterstrike mod fitted to the Halflife 2 core over steam for those customers who had registered their ATI HL2 coupons. Eventually, the game will be released as Counterstike: Source, but, for now, the beta version shows off the bells, whistles, and capabilities of the new Source engine that powers HL2.

Light blooming through windows, illuminating dust in the air in Counterstrike: Source Beta

As an added bonus, Valve included a video card "stress test" in the beta version of CS: Source. Now, with an updated version of the engine, refined drivers, and brand new cards, we take a look at another bit of the story behind the ever lengthening saga of Halflife 2.

Source, CS, and Halflife 2


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  • T8000 - Thursday, August 26, 2004 - link

    When you look at the CPU scaling, I think you have no need to worry about that, unless your CPU runs below 2 Ghz, like the Athlon 2200+ mentioned above.

    Besides, Geforce 6800 cards scale pretty predictable, so a $200 Geforce 6800LE should still get above 50 fps where a 6800GT has 80. (1280x960/4xAA/8xAF)
  • saiku - Thursday, August 26, 2004 - link

    ummm, can we have a few more mid-range cards in there? How about always benchmarking the cards in anandtech's mid-range and value buyer's guides? How about hot sellers such as the 9800 Pro.

    Most people who read these, IMHO, dont have $500 cards.
  • FuryVII - Thursday, August 26, 2004 - link

    #9, Running at that resolution is definitely in the minority. Just as #25 mentioned a $800 CPU isnt too common, so goes people running CS at that resolution. Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Thursday, August 26, 2004 - link

    bigpow: Again, same as #15. If you wnat to see the source engine limited on CPU, then we could stick an Athlon XP 2200+ in there and all of the cards would get 23FPS. That would not accurately show which card performs better. We are in the business of benchmarking hardware, not video games.

  • KristopherKubicki - Thursday, August 26, 2004 - link

    #15 this is true of any video benchmarking, whether from AnandTech or not. The idea is to eliminate bottlenecks to show video card performance.

  • bigpow - Thursday, August 26, 2004 - link

    I'm getting sick of reading reviews that rely on 800$ CPU (FX53)
    How many percentage of the readers do you think have Athlon-64 FX53
    IMO, I'd read, remember & enjoy these reviews more when they're more real.
  • saechaka - Thursday, August 26, 2004 - link

    hey araczynski maybe you didn't like cs cause u sucked. hehe Reply
  • klah - Thursday, August 26, 2004 - link

    Any chance we can see some preliminary benchmarks using the beta 66.00 Forceware?

    Early results show a 10-15% bump in VST scores.

  • araczynski - Thursday, August 26, 2004 - link

    ...hmmm, am i the only one in the world who doesn't give (and never did) a sh*t about CS?

    I love HL and probably will love HL2, but i think i had more fun playing 3D pac man then CS.

    BF1942(ForgottenHope) is a thing of beauty however.
  • DerekWilson - Thursday, August 26, 2004 - link

    /me notes the irony of having a typo in a comment about correcting typos ...

    We should work on getting editable comments :-)

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