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View Full Version : I'm kinda wondering why Valve bothered with a Mac Client.


Surfheart
05-13-2010, 07:29 PM
Don't get me wrong, I think it's high time that the Mac got some decent game support, but why bother to develop a Mac Steam when the games run so poorly on Mac OS X in comparison to Windows on the same hardware.

I'm not sure who is to blame, Apple's crummy graphics drivers, inherent performance issues in OpenGL or just bad Mac ports by Valve.

The client needs an intel Mac to start with and intel macs can run windows. I can boot into Windows in 2 minutes flat and be running the same games (and more) in far higher detail and with far higher framerates.

For example,on my 27inch i5 iMac portal under OSX with all settings on high, native res, and 2xAA runs at a pretty inconsistant 30 frames per second. In Windows, on the exact same hardware, I can run Half life2, a far more detailed game, at an unfaltering 60fps with everything at max, native res and 4xAA.

I'd love to never have to leave OSX, but with such a massive performance disparity, I'll take the 2 minutes it costs to boot windows to enjoy a significantly better gaming experience.

My hope is that the presence of Steam on the Mac will inspire Apple to pull their fingers out and take a good look at improving their graphics drivers for OSX. Until then, I'll keep gaming under windows.

d10sfan
05-13-2010, 07:31 PM
I'm kinda wondering why you bothered to post this.

The fact that Valve bothered to make steam for mac will probably mean we will see much better performance gamewise on os x.

dafootballer
05-13-2010, 08:05 PM
i kinda wonder why people keep making these threads the performance is just find on both sides

jarunasax
05-13-2010, 08:17 PM
Then is not a Valve issue, its an Apple issue... I think they do have a forum.

Scared
05-13-2010, 08:26 PM
I hear that it is mainly due to poor drivers on OSX.

robodude666
05-13-2010, 08:29 PM
Give it time? It's one day old. Valve is most likely already working on updating everything. They put out an update to Portal earlier today, and have dozens more fixes in the works.

Valve is a type of company that makes outstanding products, like Apple and Blizzard. Unfortunately, like Apple and Blizzard they like to keep things a secret and take as much time as needed until it's perfect.

-robodude666

Ooomph
05-13-2010, 08:33 PM
Personally, I can't afford Windows and don't want to pirate it. Boot camp isn't an option for everybody.

PaperTiger
05-13-2010, 10:48 PM
They did it to sell more games. And they have. I've bought more games in the last 24 hours than I have in the last 24 months. I don't have any performance issues. Everything just works.

unconed
05-13-2010, 11:09 PM
Regarding performance, note that the source engine games run in a faux-fullscreen mode on Mac. Drawn to an offscreen buffer, then upscaled to native desktop res, then the Steam overlay is added—it seems—at the Quartz level. I can imagine at 1920x1200 or 2560x1440 desktop res, that takes a noticeable chunk of fill-rate away from the GPU since the upscale now happens inside the rendering pipeline instead of at the output stage.

I wouldn't necessarily blame all the performance differences on nVidia or Apple.

dtastones
05-13-2010, 11:21 PM
They did it to sell more games. And they have. I've bought more games in the last 24 hours than I have in the last 24 months. I don't have any performance issues. Everything just works.

They did it to make mac users happy not to make money just as they are making a linux client. From what i've seen not too many mac users are happy due to driver issues. Valve can't fix driver issues i wish they could but they do not have that power. Please keep this in mind.

Also isn't apple seeding betas for better opengl drivers?
God Speed :)

darcagn
05-13-2010, 11:31 PM
They did it to make mac users happy


I'm not saying that Valve is a greedy company, but if you think they did this just to make Mac owners happy, you're incredibly naive.

There's definitely a market here to be tapped. There aren't really any game distribution systems for Mac, and Steam allows Mac users to easily find games for their platform, which normally can be very annoying. I'm sure they're also very interested in selling cross-platform compatibility as a perk for licensing the Source engine to other developers.

PaperTiger
05-13-2010, 11:51 PM
They did it to make mac users happy not to make money just as they are making a linux client.

Yeah... and I sell Insurance just to make people happy, and the guy at McDonalds makes burgers just to make people happy. NO... We do it to make money. Valve put a tremendous amount of man hours and resources into this Mac client. You think they did that to make you happy? It's an investment. The steam client is their store front. Now they have a Mac store front (that will probably pay for itself in about 6 months).

Do you think they're going to be giving away the games on Linux? WRONG... Linux users will be paying for their games too.

dtastones
05-14-2010, 12:13 AM
I'm not saying that Valve is a greedy company, but if you think they did this just to make Mac owners happy, you're incredibly naive.

There's definitely a market here to be tapped. There aren't really any game distribution systems for Mac, and Steam allows Mac users to easily find games for their platform, which normally can be very annoying. I'm sure they're also very interested in selling cross-platform compatibility as a perk for licensing the Source engine to other developers.

Not that naive. Sure they have a market, they also have to work to gain that market. People just need to take some time, watch valve work, etc. To say on the 2nd day valve sucks, why bother, they are greedy idiots who can't do nothing right is wrong i'm sorry. Wait for better opengl drivers to be released as they will be and for a few updates from valve. Then hold the right to say why bother if you still feel this way.

Seems to me around christmas when portal 2 is out people will be going "this flippin rocks". Right now steam on mac is nothing more than a beta. Bugs happen tho and you can't just go well it wasn't rushed so it should be aye'ok. Everything will at some point besides a few video cards mind you will run source fine. If two months down the road source isn't running just as well or steam on osX you can hang me ok? Just for now wait and see saying valve won't fix what is broken is just being naive "besides some video cards that don't have the req opengl extensions".

Pretty much this is a beta, they are working out the kinks, everyone has trouble in betas, can't judge a book by a beta. Kinda comes down to this they should not have released this so soon i guess and you can't make everyone happy, true?

rbarris
05-14-2010, 12:14 AM
Regarding performance, note that the source engine games run in a faux-fullscreen mode on Mac. Drawn to an offscreen buffer, then upscaled to native desktop res, then the Steam overlay is added—it seems—at the Quartz level. I can imagine at 1920x1200 or 2560x1440 desktop res, that takes a noticeable chunk of fill-rate away from the GPU since the upscale now happens inside the rendering pipeline instead of at the output stage.

I wouldn't necessarily blame all the performance differences on nVidia or Apple.

The scaled blit is very low cost.

The game overlay is zero cost until you activate it.

Farnam14
05-14-2010, 12:53 AM
Bootcamp=No Bueno.

Anything to avoid is appreciated.

The.Dot
05-14-2010, 01:14 AM
Guys patience is the key. You canīt expect it to be perfect in one day ... I donīt know what you guys think but I think this is a great step in the right direction. Thank you Valve.

If we are lucky the drivers will fix the problem.

nano....
05-14-2010, 01:19 AM
In my circumstance, I can't install Boot Camp. Not only am I strapped for HDD space, but I don't have the cash lying around to fork out another Windows licencse just so I can play a few games.

And a Steam client is great, now I can use community from OS X.

dtastones
05-14-2010, 01:50 AM
Guys patience is the key. You canīt expect it to be perfect in one day ... I donīt know what you guys think but I think this is a great step in the right direction. Thank you Valve.

If we are lucky the drivers will fix the problem.

I would love to see the drivers fix many issues and i think they will. The only question i have is how long will it take the last seed was may 6th if i'm correct. Here's hoping for new drivers before tf2 :)

km_
05-14-2010, 04:28 AM
Personally, I can't afford Windows and don't want to pirate it. Boot camp isn't an option for everybody.

You cant afford Windows....so you bought a Mac...makes sense...

Ooomph
05-14-2010, 04:55 AM
You cant afford Windows....so you bought a Mac...makes sense...
Seriously?

This Mac was bought two years ago. Right now, no, I can't afford it. Having a Mac doesn't make you rich, y'know.

km_
05-14-2010, 04:58 AM
You couldnt have saved $9 a month over the past 2 years to afford Windows?

Ooomph
05-14-2010, 05:03 AM
I probably could, but I didn't want to. I just used Crossover Games, which is a lot cheaper and doesn't require as much HD space.

I'm not whining about not having Windows, I was just saying that Boot Camp isn't an option for everybody...

jabberwik
05-14-2010, 05:21 AM
I agree with Ooomph. Even though I can afford Windows, I don't want to use Boot Camp. Either I burn a chunk of my hard drive on an OS I never use, or I repartition every time my game library grows. Both options are lame.

Plus, not all of us play TF2 all the time. Steam has a ton of casual indie games, and is it really worth it to reboot TWICE to play Osmos over my lunch break? Casual games ain't exactly a small market either.

jagger27
05-14-2010, 05:24 AM
Want some cheese with that whine?

FFS. http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?p=14943626#post14943626

RcknShdw
05-14-2010, 07:59 AM
Don't get me wrong, I think it's high time that the Mac got some decent game support, but why bother to develop a Mac Steam when the games run so poorly on Mac OS X in comparison to Windows on the same hardware.

I call BS on this statement right here. I have a desktop PC that has slightly lower specs than my Fall '09 mini but a more powerful GPU and a netbook running W7 with more or less the same specs as my mini. Both PCs run games like complete crap. Torchlight, as an example, will only run on my desktop or PC if all the graphics settings are turned off or to the lowest setting and is run at 800x600 resolution.

My mini on the other hand runs Torchlight at my native desktop resolution of 1280x960 with the graphics settings completely maxed out.

So no, they actually run much better than on PC hardware and the Windows OS. At least in my experience. Even Cider games or other native Mac games like C&C3 and Red Alert 3 run okay on max settings but perfectly in the mid-range (which is OK with me).

Perhaps you should invest in a Mac Pro, especially if you plan on gaming since you can upgrade the hardware whenever you feel like it?

chevelleking
05-14-2010, 08:11 AM
I call BS on this statement right here. I have a desktop PC that has slightly lower specs than my Fall '09 mini but a more powerful GPU and a netbook running W7 with more or less the same specs as my mini. Both PCs run games like complete crap. Torchlight, as an example, will only run on my desktop or PC if all the graphics settings are turned off or to the lowest setting and is run at 800x600 resolution.

My mini on the other hand runs Torchlight at my native desktop resolution of 1280x960 with the graphics settings completely maxed out.

So no, they actually run much better than on PC hardware and the Windows OS. At least in my experience. Even Cider games or other native Mac games like C&C3 and Red Alert 3 run okay on max settings but perfectly in the mid-range (which is OK with me).

Perhaps you should invest in a Mac Pro, especially if you plan on gaming since you can upgrade the hardware whenever you feel like it?

Actually it's quite bad atm, while one game is not very conclusive, the difference is pretty outstanding.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/3726/quick-look-mac-os-x-portal-performance

JessicaSideways
05-14-2010, 09:22 AM
It's also a beta - Valve is likely working out all of the bugs with the Mac Client so we can have a better gaming experience. I'm certain that Valve has a vested interest (it's brand power, et cetra) to resolve all of the issues on it's end, hopefully that will compel Apple to resolve all of the issues with gaming on their end. I'd love to see some marked performance improvements by the release of OS X 10.7.

Or at least something to make up for their ♥♥♥♥♥♥baggery as of recent...

Froschm4nn
05-14-2010, 09:28 AM
For example,on my 27inch i5 iMac portal under OSX with all settings on high, native res, and 2xAA runs at a pretty inconsistant 30 frames per second. In Windows, on the exact same hardware, I can run Half life2, a far more detailed game, at an unfaltering 60fps with everything at max, native res and 4xAA.



Dude portal was made years later than half-life and imo, portal has far superior graphics to hl2, though thats just imo, so that is a really unfair comparison.

tokeio
05-14-2010, 09:29 AM
I'm very glad VAVLe bothered with Steam for Mac and happy to see that rbarris was one of the fine folks working on it.

I have no doubt that many of the issues we have today will be worked out in the weeks and months ahead. Releasing something of this magnitude is no small undertaking. I'm glad to be apart of it honestly, Mac gaming is once again alive. I haven't felt positive about Mac gaming since the Myth days and then Bungie breaking our hearts in the summer of 2000.

As an aside, rbarris did a wonderful job (as well as the other Mac team members at Blizzard) on working out all the performance issues with World of Warcraft back in the day. I have no doubt that rb will work his magic again with Steam and the Source Engine.

Edit: Also realize that Apple is at fault for performance issues on Mac OS X due to the GPU drivers. This has always been an issue for Mac gaming, this is nothing new. You will not see 1=1 performance against Windows on the same hardware, won't happen.

madsbent
05-14-2010, 09:38 AM
I'm kinda wondering why you bothered to post this.

The fact that Valve bothered to make steam for mac will probably mean we will see much better performance gamewise on os x.

+1. there are many mac users out there, why not make steam possible for more than just windwos ?