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First of all, here are my system specs:
2008 era Intel iMac running Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit via Boot Camp
2.16GHz dual core Intel processor
Nvidia 7300 GT 128MB graphics card
I had always been able to run Source games (Counter-strike: Source, Half-life 2 and Episode One, etc.) very well with everything except anti-aliasing cranked up to the maximum. But when the Orange Box came out I was very disappointed to find that all the games in that package ran poorly on my system.
Each title (Portal, Team Fortress 2, HL2: Episode Two) all gave me roughly 30fps that would dip wildly. Compare this to older Source engine games where I would get very high consistent framerates. The peculiar thing is that I experimented a lot with the graphics settings and even with everything turned down I would still get this jittery almost 30 framerate. I seem to recall having to force the games to run in direct X 7 or 8 just to maintain a good framerate. This also made the games look ugly as sin though, so I'd rather find a different solution.
Now, after a long break from PC gaming, I've returned to find all my older Source games have also had the Orange Box features added to them resulting in poor framerates across the board.