Half-Life 2 Performance - e3_c17_02.dem

Here we see something very interesting, and something we haven't really seen before - the Radeon 9600 all the way up to the Radeon 9800 Pro performing within 12% of each other. This is because with shader-heavy games, such as Half-Life 2, the bottleneck is no longer memory bandwidth - rather it is pure computational power; basically, how quickly these GPUs can process through those shader programs.

The GeForce FX 5900 Ultra is just edged out by the Radeon 9600 Pro. What's even more interesting is that NVIDIA's GeForce4 Ti 4600 manages to beat all of the other contenders quite well - granted that the Ti 4600 doesn't look as good as it is using the base DX8.0 code path.

The Radeon 9200 puts up a good fight; however, there were some rendering issues during the benchmark, which may invalidate this score. We'll have to wait for the final build to see if things change any.

At 1280x1024, a smaller subset of the cards were run. You can tell why just by looking at the frame rates. Interestingly enough, the Radeon 9600 Pro comes out ahead here by a slight margin over the Radeon 9700 Pro - possibly due to its updated architecture. The GeForce FX 5900 Ultra still lags behind. This time, even more significantly because of the fact that we're shading many more pixels at a higher resolution.

Half-Life 2 Performance - e3_bugbait.dem Final Words
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  • uturnsam - Friday, November 28, 2003 - link

    #110 continued
    Now I know why the guy behind the counter told me to steer clear of the ATI Radeon cards because of the known compatability problems when running games.

    (Computer sales guy thinking-I just read the article in the AnandTech post)

    Translated: I have a shit load of Nvidia cards and if I don't lie my ass off to my Customer's it will be game over for me!!!

    The only reason I started looking at ATI cards was I decided to spend what I saved on the CRT monitor (over the $$LCD) for higher performer card. Mr $Sales$ had me convinced I would be buying an inferior card with ATI. Worth shopping around and scouring reviews :O)
    Reply
  • uturnsam - Friday, November 28, 2003 - link

    I was going to buy a Geforce5600 but looked at a 9600Pro today the thing is I was wondering if I should really blow the budget and lash out on a 9800Pro.
    I am so glad I came across this article I will stick with the 9600Pro, save some cash, sleep better at night and know when half life 2 is released I will be getting the best performance for the outlay.

    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, October 16, 2003 - link

    you can count on your 9500 being in between the 9800 and the 9600, about 30% frame rate above the 9600. the 4 pipelines will help.
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - link

    I would like to see a test of the dx8 paths on some of the really older cards for those of us who are too broke for these new ones!!

    For instance, I have a geforce2 GTS that I love very much and works just fine on everything else. I don't want to have to upgrade for one game.
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Sunday, September 21, 2003 - link

    I would like to see how they compare with a 5900 using Detonator 44.03 driver. Yes I know its an older driver. But in my tests it provided higher benchmarcks than the 45.23 driver.

    Has any body else noticed this?
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Friday, September 19, 2003 - link

    So actually Nvidia shader(16/32) are not
    comparable with ATI shader(24-ms dx9 standard)!
    Too bad in a way or another they try to cheat
    again and again.......
    Very bad idea!
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - link

    #104, the benchmarks and anand's analysis show that hl2 is gpu power limited, not memory/fillrate limited... the 9600 will be limited more by that than by memory or fillrate. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Monday, September 15, 2003 - link

    I think #84 mentioned this, but I didn't see a reply. In the benches, the 9600 pro pulled the exact same (to within .1 fps, which could just be roundoff error) frame rates at 1024 and 1280.

    I don't think I've ever seen a card bump up res without taking a measurable hit (unless it was cpu-limited). In every other game, the 9600 takes a hit going from 1024 to 1280. And the 9700 and 9800 slow down when the resolution goes up, even though they're basically the same architecture. Someone screwed up, either the benchmarks or the graphs.
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Monday, September 15, 2003 - link

    #61 Did you take the time to see that valve limited their testing use. Anandtech had no say in all the tests because they were very time limited. Also, try to make coherent sentences. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Sunday, September 14, 2003 - link

    It's not as if GIFs gobble bandwidth, I (as CAPTAIN DIALUP) don't even notice them loading. They're tiny. Even though I don't have trouble receiving this Flash stuff, it pisses me off, because sometimes the same scores will load for all the pages. Why not have a poll or something on this? Reply

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