Which Orange Box to Buy for a PS3/Mac User
December 24, 2007 6:54 PM   Subscribe

Which Way to Go on Valve's Orange Box: the PS3, or Apple Boot Camp. A Two-Part Question.

I have both a new, powerful Mac and a PS3. I'm salivating over Valve's Orange Box (containing all Half Life 2 content, Portal, and Team Fortress 2.)

Now the trick is, in which format would I purchase the game?

The PS3 version would cost around $60, and while I hear it's a serviceable port, it's supposedly not the best.

The PC version would be $35, but I'd have to finally get a copy of Windows that can recognize all four cores on my Mac Pro. So it'll actually be MORE expensive, but I imagine a better overall experience. Also, this would not be the only use I'll ever have for Boot Camp, just the impetus to start.

So, the main question: Which way would you recommend I go?

Follow up: If Boot Camp, what's the best OS to get for a 4-core system, assuming gaming is the only use.
posted by Doctor Suarez to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Boot Camp is the way to go. You HAVE to play these games with keyboard and mouse. If you need the game on a big screen, get a DVI-to-video or DVI-to-HDMI adapter. I'm running Orange Box on a 2nd-gen MacBook Pro, and I love it.

Also, Steam on Windows will let you buy Episode 3 piecemeal, Counter-Strike, Half-Life Deathmatch, and lots of other goodies for less.

I don't know much about multi-core Windows, so I defer to others with experience.
posted by infinitewindow at 6:58 PM on December 24, 2007

Boot Camp. As you say, there are other reasons to have Boot Camp if you're a gamer.

I don't know about multi-core Windows either, but I do know that 64-bit versions of Windows (XP or Vista) are not supported.
posted by danb at 7:11 PM on December 24, 2007

Yeah, infinitewindow has it right. The Mac is a perfect platform for steampowered games through Bootcamp. Add to that, rumour has it that the PS3 version of the game has "severe framerate issues". No experience with it myself, just passing it along.
posted by purephase at 7:12 PM on December 24, 2007

Response by poster: Very convincing so far.

I'd just like to know the cheapest windows OS that can recognize my four cores. Can be XP or Vista.
posted by Doctor Suarez at 8:12 PM on December 24, 2007

Best answer: Even if you hadn't said "PS3" I'd still recommend the PC version over the 360, at the very least because of the user-created levels and because Valve is still a PC game developer first (thank goodness there's still some out there). But the PS3 version is less than optimal, probably because Valve handed the PS3 port off to another developer. Whether that's because of EA's meddling or because of Gabe Newell's self-proclaimed dislike of the PS3, who knows, but at least it makes your choice much, much easier.

The number of cores you have isn't as important as the number of processors you have, as far as Windows is concerned. Either version of XP will recognize a single CPU with multiple cores (so a single-processor quad-core system will work in any version of XP with all cores available) but only Windows XP Professional will recognize two physical processors (so if your quad-core setup is actually two dual-core CPUs, like some Mac Pro setups, then you'll need XP Pro). Vista is even more complicated; nothing less than Vista Home Premium for a single quad-core CPU, and nothing less than Vista Business for a two dual-core CPU system.

XP Pro is probably the best all-around option if you don't know what your CPU configuration is and just want something to recognize all your cores. Enjoy!
posted by chrominance at 8:45 PM on December 24, 2007

Vista is to be avoided at almost all costs, unless you really, really, really want DX10 and are willing to put up with the rest of it to get it.
posted by flabdablet at 8:47 PM on December 24, 2007

Best answer: You want XP Pro. It runs much, much better under Boot Camp than Home Edition, has backup capability and has better driver support under boot camp. And yeah, the multiple processor support is a big deal.

Avoid 64 bit Windows. Horrible under Boot Camp in a gaming environment (if it runs any games at all).

If you absolutely have to have DirectX 10, you need Vista. You do not need DirectX 10 for the Orange Box. Vista Ultimate Edition is the only version I'd consider using under any gaming environment.

My recommendation is to run XP Pro in Boot Camp.
posted by disclaimer at 8:52 PM on December 24, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks all!
posted by Doctor Suarez at 8:54 PM on December 24, 2007


Why would you care about Ultimate Edition for gaming?
posted by effugas at 9:04 PM on December 24, 2007

I know you've already marked "best answers," but I just wanted to Nth the sentiments to go with the bootcamp route. I played Portal on my computer, and then again on a friend's 360, and the 360's controllers (and probably the PS3's) just are NOT conducive to playing it!
posted by fvox13 at 9:38 PM on December 24, 2007

I really think the whole "FPSes suck on consoles" thing is bullshit—I prefer a controller, myself—but given the choice, Orange Box is probably a better PC buy because of the Team Fortress 2 community.
posted by secret about box at 9:43 PM on December 24, 2007

Response by poster: I have FPSes on both, and I think it depends on the game. Ghost Recon AW2 is okay on console because it's relatively slow-paced. Half Life, however, has all those headcrabs running around at your feet. It's really designed for the mouse, now that I think about it.
posted by Doctor Suarez at 10:16 PM on December 24, 2007

I read a review of the Orange Box on PS3 recently, and supposedly it's as buggy as hell with all sorts of glitches. I have it on the PC and it works great though.
posted by wackybrit at 1:30 AM on December 25, 2007

If you do go the bootcamp + steam route you might like to join the Metafilter steam community. We're a friendly group that play TF2 every Saturday on a private server. People of all skill levels are welcome.

Sadly I don't think there is an equivalent PS3 or Xbox group.
posted by Olli at 2:46 AM on December 25, 2007

« Older Help me identify a clothing brand with a side...   |   I want to get an external DVD burner for my new... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.