HL2 Demo released

Discussion in 'PC Gaming' started by Miksu, Dec 20, 2004.

  1. Reznor007

    Regular

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Messages:
    628
    Likes Received:
    68
    Location:
    Norman, OK, USA
    My AthlonXP 3200+, 1GB CL3 400MHz RAM, and Radeon 9600 (non pro at default clock) runs the game just fine. The only stutters that ever happened for me was right after loading a level for about 3 seconds, then for the rest of that level the game was perfect.

    This was played at 1024x768, all options on, except for no AF/AA.
     
  2. Albuquerque

    Albuquerque Red-headed step child
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    3,864
    Likes Received:
    364
    Location:
    35.1415,-90.056
    Welp, wish I was as lucky as you. I was running 1600x1200 at 4xAA and 8xAF... But even changing to 800x600 with zero AA/AF didn't change the stutter. Hell, it's loading from a hardware RAID 0 pair of WD 250gb ball bearing drives.

    Audio card uses the Envy24 chipset, which while not being fully hardware accelerated under all circumstances, still supports 24 accelerated voices in EAX 2.0 mode. Doesn't seem to matter; last I recall the SB owners weren't doing much better either.

    To get back to the topic and to restate again: Had this demo been available before the game shipped, their sales would have been cut in HALF in my opinion. I don't necessarily regret my purchase, at least no more than I regret Doom 3. But in retrospect, there were much more worthy games that should have garnered my money instead.
     
  3. Crusher

    Crusher Aptitudinal Constituent
    Regular

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2002
    Messages:
    869
    Likes Received:
    19
    I doubt the sound card has anything to do with it. My SBLive! Value still runs fine, and I don't have any stuttering in the game. Also, while some parts of HL2 certainly appear to be DX7 era graphics (which only makes sense; the game still runs on DX7 hardware remember), the majority of the game looks very well I thought.

    And for all you praising Far Cry's graphics, you need to see your optomitrist. Far Cry didn't even have lighting outdoors (in the demos anyway, everything had very bright ambient lighting). The only reason the terrain doesn't look blocky is because it's covered with copy upon copy of the same 4 or 5 tree and plant models. The interior areas don't have much for detail at all, if you look beyond the shiny pipes. I found one area in particular in the demo where it was nothing but an empty hallway with the same texture on all the walls, floor, and ceiling. Yeah, super art detail there.

    And don't even get me started on the AI...
     
  4. micron

    micron Diamond Viper 550
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2003
    Messages:
    1,189
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    U.S.
    Did you even play Far Cry?....you keep talking about the demo :?
     
  5. Murakami

    Regular

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2002
    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Padua, Italy
    Hmm...the majority of Envy24 chipsets (all the latest) doesn't accelerate anything but Direct Sound (16 streams)...furthermore, HL2 sound system is not hardware accelerated...ergo, the sound card is not a factor here.
     
  6. Para

    Newcomer

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2003
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    I've heard a theory that the whole HL2 stuttering problem could be related to what sort of HDD:s you're using - I have one SATA drive in my computer and I get almost no stuttering at all, just random noise in very few parts.

    As for the lighting, I'd say it's per-texel since most of HL2's base lighting is in light maps. The skin shading and such are done per-pixel.
     
  7. fallguy

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Messages:
    1,367
    Likes Received:
    11
    I had hitching when I first started to play HL2. I have no changed anything hardware wise, other than drivers. From 66.93 to 67.03. It stopped hitching before I changed though I think. Steam updated itself a few times, perhaps that fixed it.
     
  8. Star_Hunter

    Newcomer

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Michigan
    THe sound card does have a performance impact in HL2 as there are benchmarks that show a difference

    http://hardware.gamespot.com/Story-ST-x-1240-16-25-x&body_pagenum=8

    There was a better site that had benchmarks but I can't find that other one.
     
  9. _xxx_

    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Messages:
    5,008
    Likes Received:
    86
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    It's not related to the sound card you're using. I tried it with an Envy24-based DMX 6fire, an Audigy and Soundstorm. No difference except that DMX sounds much better than the other two.
     
  10. Murakami

    Regular

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2002
    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Padua, Italy
    Interesting: maybe HL2 does use a Miles DS3D plug-in? :?:
     
  11. Para

    Newcomer

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2003
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    As far as I know, Source Engine has it's fully own made-from-scratch DSP sound processing system in it which works great.
     
  12. Albuquerque

    Albuquerque Red-headed step child
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    3,864
    Likes Received:
    364
    Location:
    35.1415,-90.056
    The DirectAudio / D3DAudio interface for the Envy24 shows 24 hardware-accelerated 3D voices and 96 software. Maybe it's the driver being dumb, I dunno, but it works fine for me. The 5% CPU utilization difference matters very little in my opinion...

    Have you ever been actually OUTSIDE on a summer day? Notice how the whole world has this relatively bright ambient lighting? Yeah, that comes from a huge flaming ball of gas a few million miles away that outputs somewhere around a trillion candela power worth of light. It tends to make everything bright... How would you expect "spotlights" in a daytime situation?

    If you had paid more attention, you'd notice that the shadows are dynamic and move in relation to the position of the sun. It becomes more obvious when using vehicles or when playing maps that have the sun in different positions.

    Having never used the editor, you have no way to actually say that. The terrain generator in FarCry doesn't generate "blocky" terrain, even when it's as bald as a baby's butt.
    Yeah, you obviously never played this game. The only thing I can think of in the demo that remotely resembles what you're talking about is the Fort demo with the dark corridor into where the elevator was. it's easy to write it off when you don't pay attention. SO you missed the floor grating, the random cracks in the wall, the broken light fixtures in the ceiling, the irregular shaped walls (they aren't straight up and down, and they aren't straight back-and-forth).

    I've played both games from start to finish, and FC gets my vote over HL2 just about any day. Demo included.
     
  13. Murakami

    Regular

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2002
    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Padua, Italy
    Yes, the first Envy24 has DS3D acceleration, but it was removed in all the latest Envy24 (ex. HT) chipsets.
     
  14. Murakami

    Regular

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2002
    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Padua, Italy
    Me too, but how to explain the graph that Star_Hunter linked?
     
  15. Albuquerque

    Albuquerque Red-headed step child
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    3,864
    Likes Received:
    364
    Location:
    35.1415,-90.056
    That explains it; I'm on the HT chipset :) I didn't think I was going insane ;)
     
  16. rashly

    Regular

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    Messages:
    269
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    NY, USA
    I have 2 SATA HDs (Maxtor DM9) in RAID0 and I still get the problem.
     
  17. Murakami

    Regular

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2002
    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Padua, Italy
    The stutter problem is in Valve's software, not in hardware: period.
     
  18. Crusher

    Crusher Aptitudinal Constituent
    Regular

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2002
    Messages:
    869
    Likes Received:
    19
    Yeah, dunno what I was thinking there, blocky was the wrong term. Lacking in detail I guess is a better description... which all heightmap style terrains are like. The point I was trying to make was that HL2 doesn't just take a tree and reproduce it a thousand times and call it spectacular detail. The environment is a lot more diverse.

    Not the full game, just the demo. Since this thread is talking about the HL2 demo and using Far Cry as a comparison, I think using the Far Cry demo as a comparison is valid.

    I don't think it's any less common than the lower detailed ares of HL2. People seem to be taking one or two screenshots in convenient places that are not very spectacular, and trying to make it seem like that is what the game as a whole is like. Most of HL2 is very nicely detailed, as are most of the areas in the Far Cry demos. But both have their bare patches.

    I don't think I missed them, but they must not be particularly memorable.

    That's fine. To my eyes, HL2 has much better looking models, textures and water (not the ocean, but the canals and other water areas). The only thing it doesn't have is global per-pixel lighting, but you still get it with the flashlight in dark areas, which is pretty good.

    some day I'll probably see if I can stand to play the full game of Far Cry, but it won't be easy. Anytime the AI can spot you through a solid wood floor, it makes it hard for me to enjoy the experience.
     
  19. hovz

    Regular

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Messages:
    920
    Likes Received:
    0
    if by more diverse you mean low poly than i agree.
     
  20. Ostsol

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2002
    Messages:
    1,765
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Global dynamic lighting is really only necessary if all the lights are dynamic. If you only have one or two amongst half a dozen static lights, it's much more efficient to use lightmaps and it can look just as good. This is the biggest fault of Doom 3. Static lighting is almost as costly to render as dynamic lighting, which needn't be the case.
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Beyond3D has been around for over a decade and prides itself on being the best place on the web for in-depth, technically-driven discussion and analysis of 3D graphics hardware. If you love pixels and transistors, you've come to the right place!

    Beyond3D is proudly published by GPU Tools Ltd.
Loading...