Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Valve: Apple, ATI, Nvidia to Improve Mac Gaming

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 103 comments

Valve recently introduced Mac owners to Steam and the company is confident the Apple-made computers will make more than adequate gaming machines, especially now that Apple, ATI and Nvidia are working hard to improve things.

On the Steam forums, one user complaining of 'abysmal performance' was told Apple, Nvidia and ATI were all working with Valve to improve performance and things should improve as drivers are updated.

Lobsters:

Anyone else getting about 1/3 of the performance that they normally would under Windows?

I'm running a Mac Pro 2.93ghz 8-core machine with 16GB RAM. I have both the GeForce GTX 285 and a Radeon 4780 and neither of them get anywhere close to where I'm at under windows. Either card under OS X gets around 45 fps average under mild settings whereas under windows will net me ~150fps with completely maxed settings.

I know there are some performance tuning options that guys use under windows to squeeze more performance out of the game. Does anyone have any tips for running under OS X?

Rbarris (VALVE):

Performance is going to improve as drivers are updated. I would expect modest improvements in short term and larger ones in longer term. No, I can't put dates on them.

We are making a lot of progress is identifying specific issues that need work inside the game and inside OpenGL and drivers. Apple, ATI and NVIDIA are all involved.

Check out the full thread here (via Engadget).

Discuss
Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the News comments forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 37 Hide
    sliem , June 18, 2010 8:10 PM
    "I'm running a Mac Pro..."

    STOP! Well there's your problem right there, fella.
  • 35 Hide
    aznguy0028 , June 18, 2010 8:26 PM
    "I'm running a Mac Pro 2.93ghz 8-core machine with 16GB RAM. I have both the GeForce GTX 285"

    So let me get this straight, my quad core with 4gb ram and a 4890 which could be built for <900$ now, blows your $3300 Mac out of the water by a FPS factor of 3x? Silly Mac bois...gaming is for Windows :) 
  • 29 Hide
    dark_lord69 , June 18, 2010 8:14 PM
    Perhaps gaming performance will improve but unless prices improve as well... I'll pass.
    I was looking at a 4870 for a MAC. A used one on eBay still goes for $220. While a used 4890 for PC I have seen as low as $100.
Other Comments
    Display all 103 comments.
  • 37 Hide
    sliem , June 18, 2010 8:10 PM
    "I'm running a Mac Pro..."

    STOP! Well there's your problem right there, fella.
  • 29 Hide
    dark_lord69 , June 18, 2010 8:14 PM
    Perhaps gaming performance will improve but unless prices improve as well... I'll pass.
    I was looking at a 4870 for a MAC. A used one on eBay still goes for $220. While a used 4890 for PC I have seen as low as $100.
  • 20 Hide
    Tuguz , June 18, 2010 8:17 PM
    It won't be easy and will probably take a while to reach an adequate level.
  • 35 Hide
    aznguy0028 , June 18, 2010 8:26 PM
    "I'm running a Mac Pro 2.93ghz 8-core machine with 16GB RAM. I have both the GeForce GTX 285"

    So let me get this straight, my quad core with 4gb ram and a 4890 which could be built for <900$ now, blows your $3300 Mac out of the water by a FPS factor of 3x? Silly Mac bois...gaming is for Windows :) 
  • 5 Hide
    megamanx00 , June 18, 2010 8:35 PM
    I'm sure alot of it has to do with moving a primarily D3D game, under DirectX, to OpenGL. Driver optimizations will indeed help, but the source engine is going to need alot of work. Of course, it seems Mac users are deliriously happy to pay more for their hardware, so they probably won't spend too much time improving it :p 
  • 8 Hide
    jimmysmitty , June 18, 2010 8:50 PM
    Even if they make improvements, the performance will never be the same. DX has had the gaming spotlight for nearly 20 years while OpenGL has not. That means game devs had the time to leaqrn the tricks, tweaks and optimizations on DX while not the same in GL.

    Mac is getting its start, but I doubt it will be on par with or better than WIndows in gaming anytime soon.
  • 18 Hide
    rembo666 , June 18, 2010 8:51 PM
    I would never own a Mac, but I'm happy that OpenGL drivers will finally get some love. This will benefit Apple, Windows, and Linux. The reason is that there are a bunch of cross-platform applications that use OpenGL and could use a performance boost.
  • 2 Hide
    anthropophaginian , June 18, 2010 8:55 PM
    A lot of Macs have underpowered graphics cards as they were not designed with gaming in mind. It's just as well that valve started with the mature source engine games as many of them wouldn't handle any more than that.
    The drivers are a good start, but some of those machines need more that drivers!
  • 14 Hide
    razercultmember1 , June 18, 2010 8:56 PM
    Mac Pro. 'Nuff said. :p 
  • 12 Hide
    builderbobftw , June 18, 2010 9:01 PM
    More like mac-unpro.

    His multi thousand dollar machine would get kicked in the pants, even if he used windows, by my machine wich costs 1/4 as much for me to build.
  • 6 Hide
    scuba dave , June 18, 2010 9:06 PM
    aznguy0028"I'm running a Mac Pro 2.93ghz 8-core machine with 16GB RAM. I have both the GeForce GTX 285"So let me get this straight, my quad core with 4gb ram and a 4890 which could be built for <900$ now, blows your $3300 Mac out of the water by a FPS factor of 3x? Silly Mac bois...gaming is for Windows


    And try to play something only optimized for a mac, and you'll likely see the same thing, but reversed. Don't blame the rig. Blame the programmers.
  • 2 Hide
    tolham , June 18, 2010 9:06 PM
    i'm sure in a couple years they'll have games running fast on macs, but unless apple lowers their prices (which is part of the allure so that's not going to happen), macs still won't be viable gaming rigs.
  • 4 Hide
    False_Dmitry_II , June 18, 2010 9:24 PM
    That's actually good news for the linux version of steam when it comes out.

    First, they're working on the source engine for openGL and that's instantly applicable to linux.

    Then there's the fact that they have the graphics people onboard for this on macs, so some of that should also spill over to linux.
  • 2 Hide
    drutort , June 18, 2010 9:24 PM
    im confused are there no native openGL games? i would think that with decent drivers they should run on part on osx and linux but im sure windows would still be on top... maybe its just a problem with the games :p  but I agree at the end this will help linux probably more then apple :p  cause those who wish to run linux will get the best of both worlds one day... well we can dream right?
  • 8 Hide
    zuke , June 18, 2010 9:34 PM
    I saw the words Mac and Gaming together and lol'd.

    Mac folks will never admit the Wintel boxes beat them in anything (for 1/2 the price)...
  • -2 Hide
    SneakySnake , June 18, 2010 9:38 PM
    I'm a mac folk and i will admit to you very freely that my homebuild with 5850 rapes my Mac Pro, however my Mac Pro isn't for gaming, it's for video rendering, and it would rape my PC in that.

    Mac Pro's aren't meant for gaming, they're meant for number crunching
  • 6 Hide
    matt_b , June 18, 2010 9:54 PM
    I welcome the improvements gladly, this could only eventually mean the uprising of OpenGL once again!?! Still waiting on that Linux Steam client now.....
  • 0 Hide
    Trueno07 , June 18, 2010 9:57 PM
    Mac Users are surprised that their computers can't really do anything... But, I too welcome the Improvements for the sake of PC/Mac gaming as a whole.
  • 6 Hide
    nforce4max , June 18, 2010 10:15 PM
    This is also why people who do heavy CAD work as well 3DS Max use windows.
  • -2 Hide
    dante01010 , June 18, 2010 10:25 PM
    mac was never intended for gaming until now, It will take some time to get Windows gaming peformance, but it isn't just job for Apple to get this it's for the game developers too , to learn more about Mac OS X
Display more comments