I got some emails requesting I post some scores from a system featuring a high-end videocard, all that I have is a X800XT PE AGP, I can't comment on X850 PE scores yet, I've posted the scores below for your reference:
Even when I found the article good, and the idea that Valve's programming skills were so into the game that developed a highly eficient game under mid range video cards, I still think that CPU requirementes should be taken more into account. 76% of valve subscribers have a system that's below the 2.7Gz mark (or 2700+) And if they will like to upgrade the CPU it will be to a top mark of 3.2Gz unless changing the whole arquitecture (in my case a Socket A A7n8X Deluxe). Then when taking into account memory requirements we see that 512Mb to 1Gb is the standrad, and that really matters when thinking of loading time (avoiding the disk cache as much as possible between loading sections) but still there is no reflection to that issue on the article. And lastly, the GPU's that most subscribers have (and due to the fact that there is 1M subscribers as reference I can say is a quantity large enough to take it as a standard average of gamers around the globe) range from GeForce 4 and 4MX on the nVidia side, and 9600 to 9800 on the ATi side (summing 41.5% of all GPU's, and almost 30% is of GeForce5x00 and other 9x00 models) Which means that, this cards should be the main focus. I used to have a 9600XT and sold it now and put back my old ATi 7000 (and HL2 runs), but soon upgrade to 6800 or 6600GT, but I don't want to think that my XP 2700+ with 1Gb of Dual memory will score the same with the 6800 as when I had the 9600XT. Too bad I don't have my old card to test now, but as soon as I get the 6800, I will post the results and see what happens. Cheers.
Well I did some tests and posted them in the other thread. I found that a 9700 pro paired with an AMD 2500xp cpu got twice the fps that the author in the article got with a 9600xt and a P4 2.4 ghz cpu. And while he found that adding a x800 pro did nothing for him I found that adding a 9700 pro to a cpu roughly equivalent of a P4 did alot.
And you're right about loading time and memory for HL2. I had 512MB in my machine. Loading times were insane. I popped in 256MB more and boom they were cut at least in half, I'd even say more like 75%.