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Graphics Games Apple

Steam Prompts OS X Graphics Update 313

Stoobalou writes "Mac gamers got a massive boost when online gaming hub Steam started supporting the platform a few months ago. The arrival of the online service, which allowed Mac-toting gamers to play some of the same games as their PC brethren, in some cases cross-platform, created a great deal of debate between the two camps, with the PC crowd pillorying Mac fans for the relatively poor performance of their expensive hardware. Now it seems that Apple has gotten the message, as they have provided a graphics update for OS X Snow Leopard which will make progress toward closing the gap between the two platforms."
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Steam Prompts OS X Graphics Update

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 20, 2010 @02:09PM (#33316664)

    Even with this update, Macs still lag behind PCs, not because the OS is bad, but because the hardware that ships with even the latest refreshes is just plain outdated. 2008 called, wants its graphics card back from the i7 iMac for example. Wake me up when new Macs can run the latest Crysis sequel as a game, not a pretty slide-show.

  • Valve... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by epiphani ( 254981 ) <epiphani@d[ ]net ['al.' in gap]> on Friday August 20, 2010 @02:16PM (#33316734)

    Valve, if you're listening...

    Please, please, please do steam and your games on linux. You've already made them POSIX and OpenGL, you're 85% of the way there.

    I will buy every damn game you release on linux. I never want to run windows again, and if I can get portal and TF2 on linux, I won't.

  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Friday August 20, 2010 @02:22PM (#33316810)

    That would be rather complex, but their certainly control the drivers. They dictate what they do, what can be released, and so on. Net effect is the same.

    However it is a larger problem than that, OS-X also doesn't have a very fast 3D layer. Despite what you might think, DirectX is fast and able when it comes to getting things to graphics cards. Also Windows provides a good way to plug in an OpenGL (or any other) API that can get at the hardware fast and low overhead. OS-X is not so good in that regard. Apple has never really had a gaming focus.

    Perhaps this is going to change, we'll see. Apple has in the past talked up the games thing and hasn't delivered anything, but maybe they are more serious this time around.

  • Re:Vendors (Score:4, Insightful)

    by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Friday August 20, 2010 @02:30PM (#33316878)

    Couple that with the fact that the end-user can't really upgrade their video hardware without throwing away the whole computer (excluding the prohibitively expensive Mac Pro)

    That's generally true of all laptops. Very few of them allow you to update the video. Most of the time the video chip is soldered on the MB.

  • Re:Valve... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by not already in use ( 972294 ) on Friday August 20, 2010 @02:36PM (#33316940)

    You've already made them POSIX and OpenGL, you're 85% of the way there.

    More like 10%.

    This is the problem with Linux: What company in their right mind would port to the platform that is both hardest to develop for and has the smallest user base? xorg, driver issues, distro inconsistencies all make porting games to linux an absolute nightmare. A lot of fundamental changes need to be made to desktop linux before it will really be taken seriously by anyone but Id. John Carmack even came out and said that Rage wouldn't be commercially supported on Linux, and that they'd provide an executable and let people fend for themselves as far as actually getting it to run.

  • Re:Mobile chips (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dog-Cow ( 21281 ) on Friday August 20, 2010 @02:39PM (#33316984)

    I'm guessing you're a complete and utter moron. And my guess is correct.

    Those complaining are complaining about the games performing better ON THE SAME Mac running Windows.

  • by Moridineas ( 213502 ) on Friday August 20, 2010 @02:49PM (#33317128) Journal

    You know, FWIW, the vast majority of computer users don't need to upgrade their video card, and don't upgrade their video card. I play a decent number of games on my media system PC and so far everything I have runs just fine on my Geforce 8800gt that must be about 3 years old by now. The reality--the people that REALLY care about the tiniest framerate differences, the hardcore gamers, etc--would never buy a mac in the first place. Back in highschool it was really fun to whip out the framerates and optimize for tiny differences, but, IMHO, with today's hardware it just doesn't matter to me or most people anymore. So, for most other people, it's fine. Yeah, mac hardware is more expensive, but I don't think I've ever seen anybody deny that. It also tends to have very good support from Apple and lasts well in my experience. I don't begrudge you your choices, why do you care so much what choices other people make?

    What does Flash performance have to do with Apple? I also think your assertion is wrong. Flash does suck, but what else is new. It's supremely ironic to me how many geeks have come out as roaring advocates for Flash since the Adobe/Apple battle started, when before that most self-respecting techies (rightfully!) loathed Flash.

  • by DurendalMac ( 736637 ) on Friday August 20, 2010 @02:50PM (#33317130)
    $700 Mini, and Apple is hardly pitching it as a gaming system beyond casuals.

    In case you didn't notice, the Mac Pro is NOT a friggin' commodity box. It's a Xeon-based workstation. It's not supposed to be a gaming machine. It's supposed to be a production machine.

    And honestly, I don't think Apple will ever seriously care about gamers. They're happy to pick up fence-sitters who would come over with more gaming possibilities, but the hardcore gamers are a small market and one with which there is almost no crossover with Apple's current market. Casual gamers won't care a great deal if they can't max out all of the details. Apple will make some improvements to help pick up that crowd, but serious gamers wouldn't consider a Mac in the first place and Apple knows it.

    I would love to see an Apple midtower, but I don't see it happening.
  • Re:Valve... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 20, 2010 @02:51PM (#33317150)

    Then Valve should jump in with a major distro and only guarantee support for that one. Any distro would be insane to turn them away. I imagine Ubuntu would be a good fit.

  • Re:Vendors (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blackraven14250 ( 902843 ) on Friday August 20, 2010 @02:52PM (#33317164)
    MXM is a rarity.
  • Re:Valve... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Friday August 20, 2010 @03:00PM (#33317268)

    Yes, adding another distro is a great idea ... if you want to run games from Value you have to use their distro. If you want to run EA games you have to use their distro.

    Contrary to the common but ignorant belief that more Linux distro's is a good thing, they aren't. Linux's main problem to commercial adaptation is the number of distros and the problems dealing with inconsistancies between them (did you even read the post you're responding too?) ... adding more distros doesn't help the problem when the problem is already 'too many distros'.

    And for what? A few thousand sales at the very most? When instead they can dedicate that same person to Windows and get 100,000 sales from their work?

    Don't expect Value to start asking for your resume, you've already show you have absolutely no idea why they haven't done it already.

    DLL Hell on Linux is actually far worse than DLL hell on Windows, package management tools or not, its not a problem they can solve, again, contrary to popular belief. If you think package management tools can solve the problem then you clearly don't understand the problem.

  • Re:True. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jythie ( 914043 ) on Friday August 20, 2010 @03:18PM (#33317506)
    I disagree that most mac users are 'technophobic'. I see the lions share of our engineering students using them now, and many CS students have macs that dual boot or just go with linux boxes.

    And yes, you can get a cheaper Dell. You can always get a cheaper Dell. I can go down the local korean computer shop and get something cheaper then that. There will always be cheap solutions that have the same 4 or 5 basic metrics people use to compare systems when they are lazy.

    I have been building custom game rigs since the 80s and am still running one when my MacBook is not sufficient. I agree, you can get the best $/Perf out of role your own, but it also eats time. I spend more time maintaining my windows gaming rig then all my OSX machines put together, which when I only have a few hours for gaming per week can really add up. Next non-trivial part that fails (last one was just the CMOS battery) I will probably be simply replacing the machine.

    One of the 'places' where macs excel is for people who just want (or only have the time) to use the computer, not treat the computer as part of the experience.

    I will agree though, having some mac offerings in the midrange (Mac Pros are serious overkill for gaming) that you can swap out the video and sound systems would be nice.
  • by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Friday August 20, 2010 @03:24PM (#33317592)

    So your upset that the bottom end Macs dont' include high end graphics cards?

    Are you retarded? When did low end machines start coming with modern high end graphics cards from Dell or HP?

    My Laptop from last year runs Crysis versions currently available just fine. Of course, its not the bottom end model, but its certainly not the high end model either. I can't say it runs Crysis 2 great, but neither can you say it runs it bad since neither one of us can actually run it ... So your slideshow comment was just a ignorant jab due to your lack of any real logic or reason for your statements.

  • by bonch ( 38532 ) on Friday August 20, 2010 @04:31PM (#33318400)

    Wake me up when Crysis is worth playing. Crysis is the game every single PC gamer cites when mocking the Mac, but it's not even a good game. The days of graphics demos disguised as games died in the late 90s. Visuals are a solved problem. More people play 2D FarmVille than all the copies of Crysis ever sold because most people don't care anymore about high-end graphics. Gamers like you are now a smaller niche than the Mac userbase itself.

  • Re:Valve... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 20, 2010 @05:08PM (#33318840)

    I could go and scrape blog posts on the 'net and find at least one that would support whatever bullshit you or any other idiot could come up with. Doesn't matter what it is. Does that constitute proof? Er, no. Except in the minds of imbeciles like yourself. Again, if people with shit for resources can write great games like Penumbra, et al, then games like Penumbra, et al, can be made by Valve, Blizzard, id and so forth. Do you get it, dummy?

  • Re:True. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Divebus ( 860563 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @07:07PM (#33328308)

    "thats' really an indication of your skill, not the platform"

    I'd have to side with @jythie on this one.

    I came from a video post production house heavy with Mac workstations and now work at a major network channel that's very Windosey. My god - I truly can't understand the world's sad devotion to Windows. I hardly ever heard from the 60 Mac users at my last job and now I spend most of my day keeping a few dozen HP 360 and 380 shitboxes connected, booted and trying to finish the work you ask them to do. There's always something falling apart on these systems and they're slow as ass.

    There's also a Mac graphics department with 12 machines. I MIGHT spend an hour a MONTH maintaining ALL of them put together.

    My two year old 8-core Mac Pro at home can run rings around the 12-core HP 380 G6 server at work. On top of that, the people here THINK THAT'S HOW COMPUTERS ARE SUPPOSED TO WORK and keep buying them. Cripes.

    On top of that, I'm sure I only spent half the money on all the Mac servers and workstations as they spent on this stuff.

    There's something to this OS X thing. I wouldn't write it off so fast.

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