When launching, Half-Life 2 attempts to detect the video card installed in the system. It then highlights the suggested quality settings. For our tests, we chose two different quality settings: once with the model, texture, water, shadow, and shader details set to "high" and once with all these details set to "low". Trilinear filtering as well as FSAA were deactivated in both cases. Valve's "Source" 3D engine, which Half-Life 2 is based on, is surprisingly efficient and scalable, coaxing astonishing frame rates even out of slower graphics cards at acceptable detail levels.
Half-Life 2's different quality settings (High and Low) side by side. Click on an image for a larger, unscaled view.
The original screenshots:
In 3DMark 2005, we contented ourselves with the standard test at the in standard resolution (1024x768).