How well does the Mac version of Dragons Age Origin work as compared to the PC version.

I want to play it on a macbook pro with the minimum specs, so I am curious if it will function at a reasonable level. I don't mind if it has to be run at low settings, but I do want it to be fully playable. Am I asking too much?


I think it depends on which Macbook Pro you have. Look at the recommended settings:

Dragon Age: Origins (Mac) Minimum System Requirements

  • OS: Mac OS X 10.6.2 Snow Leopard or higher (10.5.x Leopard NOT supported)
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo Processor 2.0 GHz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: ATI X1600 or NVIDIA 7300 or greater
  • At least 17 GB of hard drive space for installation
  • This game will not run on PowerPC (G3/G4/G5)-based Mac systems, or Intel GMA class of video cards.

Dragon Age: Origins (Mac) Recommended System Requirements

  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo Processor 2.4 GHz or higher
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM or more
  • Graphics: ATI 3870 or NVIDIA 8600 or greater

As for how it will run, VGBlogger has a nice Mac vs. PC review of Dragon Age: Origins. It comes down to being a good port performance-wise, but some of the features are missing. For instance, there seems to be problems with getting DLC in the Mac version:

There were concerns about the Mac version from the moment of release, because the nicely-done DLC purchase and DLC system used for the PC version simply didn’t work for the Mac version. For example, on the PC if you bought the standard version you could buy extra content such as the Warden’s Keep (normally included as part of the Deluxe Digital version) through an in-game vendor. On the Mac version if you didn’t buy the Deluxe Digital version you can never get the Warden’s Keep. Ever. Period.

I'd suggest reading over that review to see if you can live with the shortcomings. The PC version can chug on my rig (Core i7, GTX 260) in heavy battles, but on low settings that might not be a problem. One last thing: this game plays havoc with your hard drive, so if you are in the least bit concerned about your laptop's hard drive, I would consider getting it for a desktop (or for the Xbox 360, if you have one and don't mind missing out on some of the tactical gameplay).

  • Would the harddrive problem still exist if I'm playing it off an external? What kind of havoc? – Ritwik Bose Jul 22 '10 at 4:54
  • The way the texture and map caching system works in Dragon Age is that it streams data in from its data files while you're playing, instead of waiting to load it all in one big chunk. This means that intra-region zoning is much faster, resulting in less loading time for the player. The downside of this is that it results in huge amounts of fragmentation on the drive and results in a lot of reading and writing from the drive. It's a lot of wear and tear. I wouldn't recommend running from an external, as you'll notice definite performance problems from the limited bandwidth of an external. – Michael Herold Jul 22 '10 at 6:47
  • Would I have the same problems if I played this off a solid state drive? Also makes me wonder if games can be optimized by segmenting the files onto several different hard drives. I guess we'll see multi-drive machine standards soon. – Ritwik Bose Jul 23 '10 at 0:38
  • I would definitely NOT recommend running it on a solid state drive. When I was playing Dragon Age regularly, I would regularly have 50%-60% fragmentation of the partition the game was on. Since this fragmentation is the result of random replacement of the data files on the disk, there are many writes being performed during play. You can think of the streaming data files as a page file for the game. See this SuperUser question for concerns on constant writing to SSDs. – Michael Herold Jul 23 '10 at 0:54

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