28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Half-Life 2 on an older computer,
This review is from: Half-Life 2 (DVD ROM) (Video Game)
I'm not going to do a lengthy review of the game - suffice to say that it is superb.
What I thought would be useful for people to know is my experience of playing Half-life 2 on a computer fairly close to the minimum specs. I have a 1.4GHz (pre XP) Athlon processor and a GeForce 2 graphics card that is only DirectX 7 capable and has 64Mb of RAM. My computer does have 512Mb of RAM which is double the minimum requirement, but it is only PC2100 speed.
The game automatically set itself at 800x600 with most of the settings on medium and of course no AA or AF. At these settings it runs smooth as silk (although the fact that the graphics card is only DirectX 7 capable means that I don't get to appreciate any pretty water effects etc). However, there are two main compromises -
i) Only surfaces very close to Gordon are rendered in detail. While moving it is fairly easy to see the border between sharper and more blurred texture changing.
ii) Non-important objects (boxes, non-explosive barrels, bits of wood, etc) become transparent and then disappear altogether at a distance from Gordon. This is mostly of no significance, but can occasionally be troublesome. Cleverly, objects such as medkits and supply boxes are visible from any distance.
As the game was running so well, I tried upping the resolution to 1024x768. At this level it still runs superbly well, with the only problem being a second or so of stuttering following a load screen. (By the way, load times are fairly long, but that seems to be a problem on higher specced machines aswell.)
Overall I am extremely impressed at how well this cutting edge game runs on an old computer. It has certainly not detracted from my enjoyment (although I do sometimes think how truely stunning it must look on a high spec system!). I would highly recommend this game, and I hope this review has convinced anyone with a less powerful computer that they won't be disappointed.