Half-Life 2 is the latest game from Valve that pushes the limits of the DirectX 9 graphics to provide an extremely immersive environment. Benchmarking was conducted using the HardwareOC Half-Life 2 benchmark program. The demo file used for the tests was the d3c171 and was run always in the Max Detail setting.
Just looking at the differences between the standard clocked 7800 GTX and the 6800 GT graphics card show only modest speed increases when no anti-aliasing or anisotropic filtering is enabled. Once those features are enabled, the 7800 GTX shows its true graphics power. The 7800 GTX is clearly able to run with all filtering on at highest settings at the 1280x1024 resolution.
Another surprising result is the capability of the 7800 GTX to equal or surpass the 6800 GT SLI configuration at all graphics settings in Half-Life 2. This is really great because the 7800 GTX is actually priced at or below the cost of two 6800 GT boards at the time of writing.
Overclocking of the 7800 GTX was a bit disappointing in this benchmark. Since the clock was not able to be pushed very far, very small gains were posted in the benchmarking of the board. The overall effect is that the bonus is probably not worth the effort for Half-Life 2.