Half-Life 2 Hier kann alles rund um Half-Life 2 gepostet werden!

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Alt 10-07-2004, 15:35   #1
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HL2 Hardware Q&A

Hier ist das Q&A betreffend den Hardwareanforderungen von Half Life 2

Intro & Video Cards

It seems that a lot of people are worried about whether or not they need to upgrade for Half-Life 2 and, if so, what to buy. I've decided to write a small article answering the most commonly asked questions. I will also try to give people a rough outline of what to buy. However, in the end it's up to you to research any particular product that you are considering buying and compare to other products in its price range. I will just point you in the right direction.

This Q&A is aimed at gamers wanting to put together their own system (or upgrade parts) but have little experience in the hardware field and need some sense made of all these GeForces, Radeons and xWhatevers.

The first thing you should do is compare any proposed system to the minimum requirements. According to a Gabe Newell forum post, HL2 requires a semi-recent PC.

Minimum Requirements

1.2 GHz Processor


DirectX 7 level graphics card

Windows 2000/XP/ME/98



Preferred System

2.4 GHz Processor


DirectX 9 level graphics card

Windows 2000/XP



Q: Will my graphics card run HL2?

Half-Life 2 will run on DX7 hardware and above, an example of DX7 hardware is a GeForce 2 or a GeForce 4 MX (really just a glorified GF2). It won't run very fast, though, and without any of the fancy effects. If you have hardware this old then you really do need to upgrade if you want to experience HL2's graphics anywhere near its potential. Likewise, if you have an integrated solution then you need to buy something new.

If you have slightly newer hardware in the DX8 category like the GeForce4 Ti or Radeon 8500+, then HL2 should run pretty well and with some of the shader effects. However, you may still want to upgrade if you have the money and it's definitely a good idea for owners of low end GeForceFX cards. The GeForceFX 5200 is barely capable of rendering a scene using DX9 technology and has been know to go slower than a GeForce4 Ti. ATI's very low end offerings are much better either and can subsequently be treated like a DX8 card.

Generally speaking, if you have a Radeon 9600 or above then HL2 will run pretty well. If you have a GeForceFX then HL2 won't run so well. Keep in mind that the graphics card, while having the biggest impact in 3D games, is only one component. The other parts (CPU, RAM etc.) need to be in the same ballpark of performance to avoid bottlenecking the system. There's no use having a V8 ready to hit 200kph with tyres that won't go the distance. In particular, your CPU needs to be modern enough to handle HL2's complex physics and AI calculations.

Q: Which graphics card should I buy?

The first thing to remember when buying a graphics card is the bottom line. Realistically speaking, you're not going to get a decent card for under £100 inc. VAT ($120 USD). If it costs less than that then either it's either out-dated technology or you've scored yourself one sweet deal. Every time I have spent less than £120 on a graphics card I've been severely disappointed.

Side by side comparisons are the only sure way to compare the myriad of cards and models.
Secondly, if it's in the GeForce FX 5xxx series, it's really not going to perform as well in HL2 as an “equivalent” ATI card. Valve have not specifically optimized HL2 for ATI cards, it's just a result of the way the cards work the DX9 and the Source code paths. If you look at the early performance of any FX card in Far Cry (or any shader benchmark) and at the image quality you will see Valve's concerns with this particular line of NVIDIA cards. Valve have repeatedly said that these FX cards will really not do the job well. This has nothing to do with “fanboyisms”, it's just down to the simple fact that FX 5xxx cards have issues with SM2.0. NVIDIA have done their best to increase performance on these cards, but this has often led to decreases in image quality.

If you're short on cash then you may want to consider a Radeon 9600XT or a 9800pro (not SE), the 9800Pro costs a bit more but is significantly faster. The 9800XT is a bit faster than a 9800Pro but not really worth the extra cash. Anything slower/cheaper than that is going to be dodgy -- it's not going to last very long and soon you will be upgrading again, it won't run HL2 at or close to the highest settings either.

If you have wads of cash and are looking for a long term upgrade then you have a hard choice ahead of you. NVIDIA have come back on form with the 6800 series and ATI have kept up with the x800s. Although ATI's new cards will be faster in HL2 (unless Gabe Newell is a filthy liar) they may not beat NV in other games, especially Doom III and possibly S.T.A.L.K.E.R which will apparently take advantage of SM3.0 (shader model 3.0). Another point to consider is the API support. The 6800's seem to outperform ATI's new cards quite markedly in OpenGL games (e.g. Doom III). HL2 is DirectX only, so it's a moot point in that regard.

The x800s do not have support for the full SM3.0 feature set which won't cause them to lose any image quality in SM3.0 games, but may give NVIDIA a speed advantage. This has yet to be proven*. The x800s have something called 3Dc which will help boost performance in games that support it. One of which should be Half-Life 2.

For a complete listing of nearly all modern video cards and their features, I recommend taking a look at The Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide.

The new NVIDIA cards eat up more power and twice the space of the x800 (thanks FS).
If you can't decide which one to get then take into consideration heat, power requirements and size. The x800 seems to come out on top in all these areas. On the other hand, if money is no object and you've got a beefy power supply and case, it might be best to wait for actual benchmarks of HL2 (not from the HL2 leak) and Doom III. Even if you're not going to buy D3, you will likely end up playing a game based on the D3 engine.

*It has been tested in FarCry and there was some improvement, however it's early days yet.

Q: Do I need PCI-Express?


Should you get a PCIe motherboard? Not unless the graphics card you're buying requires it or if you plan to upgrade your graphics card, but not your motherboard in over a year's time. Early results seem to show that PCI Express isn't giving much of a performance boost at all (at least in this generation of video cards). In addition, only a couple of the most recent cards (the PCIe flavours of the X800 and 6800 chips) actually use PCI Express at the moment.

Q: Is my CPU fast enough?

Half-Life 2 makes a lot of physical and AI calculations, therefor your CPU has to be reasonably fast to keep up with them. The bare minimum is 1.2GHz, anything below that won't be capable of running HL2 even on the lowest settings.

The point where HL2 will become playable at medium settings will probably be around 2.0GHz (Athlon XP2000), I would advise anybody with something slower to upgrade. At around 2.4GHz (Athlon XP2500) the games speed will become more reliant on the graphics card, but an increase in CPU power will still make a significant difference especially if you have a high-end graphics card.

At around 3.0GHz (Athlon XP3100 or XP64 3000) you don't need to upgrade although there is still performance to be gained from buying a faster CPU.

Q: Which CPU should I buy?

Well this depends on a lot of things. If you really don't want to buy a new motherboard then you're limited to whatever it can take. For most users, the price to performance ratio is the most important consideration. Getting the best performance for your budget is key, and doing so is pretty straightforward: read reviews. Read through at least a couple of reviews to get an idea of how fast the card actually is and whether it has any problems or special requirements. You should then take a look at products with the same price tag to compare performance.

You should not look at products with similar numbers in there name (e.g P4 2.8, Athlon XP2800) and make assumptions based simply on the fact they have similar names. Usually, it's what the price tag says that counts. However you shouldn't presume that because something costs more it's faster, or vice versa – always check reviews.
CPU naming methods are getting more obscure by the day. Again, the benchmarks show their true colours.

Unlike graphics cards, I can't give you specific advise on what to buy. Having said that I can tell you to buy either an AthlonXP or a Pentium 4 over 2GHz (XP2100). Anything else is either for laptops, servers or ripping you off. Also when you're buying a CPU, be aware that the number of MHz a processor can push isn't as good a performance indicator as it used to be. To give you an example, a hardware company recently developed a 300Mhz CPU that outperformed a 2GHz CPU. Although this was in the “integrated” market it applies to the consumer market as well. In a real world scenario, a 2Ghz AMD 64 can outperform a 3.2Ghz Pentium 4 in a number of tasks.

When buying a CPU you should make sure that the product you're buying is the same one you've been checking in reviews. One “2.6Ghz” P4 isn't necessarily the same as another. For example, there are a number of Pentium 4's with the same clock speed but different cache sizes and front side bus speeds (FSB). There are even different variations of the P4 core which have different levels of performance and heat production. This is also the case for some AMD CPU's. If you're not careful, you might buy something that's not what you thought it was or doesn't work on your motherboard. This is especially important if you're planning on doing any overclocking.

As soon as you start looking at CPU's you will see AMD have “64-bit” plastered to their more expensive products. Unfortunately, there isn't a single commercial game out there that specifically supports a 64-bit code path at the time of writing, mainly because Windows XP64 is still in a testing phase and ATI's and NVIDIA's 64-bit drivers are in very early stages. However, it's been extrapolated from information already gained, that when 64-bit is finally in a useful state, it will make a worthwhile increase in performance (roughly 20-30% in games). Valve have said that when the 64-bit edition of Windows XP appears, they will most likely release a Source/HL2 patch to take advantage of it. 64-Bit isn't the only difference between an Athlon XP and an Athlon 64, however. There are other things that make it faster justifying the increase in price (including cache size and SSE2 capabilities).

Mobos, RAM and Monitors

Q: Which motherboard should I buy?

I could recommend something, but half the online populace would disagree with me. Simply put, there are a number of quality products for both the AMD and Intel platforms and it's a matter of choosing based on your desired feature set, CPU and budget. All I can say is make sure you get something that is compatible with your other hardware -- don't buy something that is extremely cheap or indeed something that is over qualified for your purposes. Unless you like burning money, or something. Some motherboard's now come with decent enough 5.1 audio onboard but stay clear of any integrated video chipsets.

Once again, look at the products in your price range then do some research on them.

Q: Do I have enough ram? Is it fast enough?

If you don't have DDR ram then it's about time you upgraded, which most likely means upgrading your motherboard too. However, the chances are that if you have SDR (non-DDR) ram then I've already told you to upgrade your CPU anyway.

Basically, if you have a slow CPU then you probably have slow ram as well and vise versa. As for memory size, I would recommend adding some if you only have 256mb, 512 is good enough for Half-Life 2. Adding another 512mb to make 1GB won't make a lot of difference to HL2 , but would increase the responsiveness of your system when multi tasking (with programs that take up a heap of RAM, obviously).

Q: Which ram should I buy?

Whatever your motherboard can handle and you can afford. The only real question here is whether or not to get branded or unbranded ram. If you buy unbranded it's down to luck whether or not it's any good, the only indication of its quality are the comments left by other buyers. With branded ram you can normally track down a review or two, although it normally costs a great deal more.

If you have a large budget then you have the option of buying some very expensive ram which will probably perform a bit better, but bear in mid it's mainly aimed at overclockers and probably will just be wasted on you.

Q: Is an LCD monitor better than a CRT?

As far as image quality is concerned, no. An expensive CRT will give you a far better picture than any LCD can. What it really comes down to is how much space you have to fit your monitor in and the fact a 17” LCD has a bigger display area than a 17” CRT.

If you already have a decent CRT then there is no reason to buy an LCD, especially if you can't afford one more than a couple of hundred pounds/dollars.

Q: Which component is the most important to upgrade?

Usually this is either the graphics card or CPU, it depends on which is currently most up to date. However, if you've got a reasonable video card and CPU and less than 512MB of RAM, memory should be your priority.

Q: Where can I look up hardware reviews?

The best place is Google -- just type in the product name you're looking for and have a peek at whatever comes up. When looking at benchmarks, make sure you have a look at the test system they are using. If it's extremely different to your planned system, the results may not be anything like what you'll actually see. Commonsense is the key: the more expensive the component you're buying, the more time you should devote to checking reviews and comparing products.

Quelle: http://www.hl2fallout.com/
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Alt 10-07-2004, 16:16   #2
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Schleudertrauma eine Nachricht über ICQ schicken
haettest doch noch flott mal locker flockig den Text uebersetzten koennen??? ODER??
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Alt 10-07-2004, 16:39   #3
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das war mir zu viel arbeit!!! aber soviel englisch sollte ja jeden noch können odeR?
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