"AT ABOUT 10PM CENTRAL TIME on Wednesday night, a beta version of Counter-Strike based on the new Source game engine became available to those holding an ATI Half-Life 2 voucher and a subscription to Valve's Steam content delivery system.
Counter-Strike: Source is basically just a port of the mega-popular team-based shooter to Half-Life 2's Source engine. The beta version of CS: Source, though, includes another feature that's very interesting: a video card benchmark. This benchmark, which Valve has dubbed the "video stress test," uses the same test level that we saw in our early Half-Life 2 benchmarks nearly a year ago. Of course, this time around, Half-Life 2 is very close to release--rumors abound about the game going gold very shortly.
Based on everything we know, we can only conclude that the CS: Source video stress test is essentially a Half-Life 2 benchmark that's available to the public right now. Naturally, that piques our curiosity, especially since last time around, the ATI cards were absolutely trouncing the NVIDIA cards in Half-Life 2 benchmarks. There was only one thing to do: we rounded up thirteen different DirectX 9-class video cards for a Source engine benchmarking bonanza.
Has ATI maintained its monstrous lead in Half-Life 2 performance over NVIDIA, or have the events of the past year allowed NVIDIA to catch up? Read on to find out".
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