Valve Software, which recently started to sell video games for Apple Macintosh personal computers, has admitted that Apple’s systems have performance issues and computers with similar hardware configuration provide different performance under Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X. The software maker said it was working with hardware vendors to improve performance of its games on Macs.
One of Mac owners has complained about performance issues on Valve’s Steam forums claiming that he/she got only about 33% of a video game performance on Apple Macintosh system compared to normal speed of a similarly configured Windows-based personal computer. A representative for Valve admitted the issue and claimed that hardware suppliers, namely Apple, ATI (graphics business unit of Advanced Micro Devices) and Nvidia Corp., have to develop new drivers in order to boost performance of popular games designed by Valve.
“Performance is going to improve as drivers are updated. I would expect modest improvements in short term and larger ones in longer term. I cannot 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,” an official for Valve said in the forum thread.
Fairly speaking, Macintosh systems are hardly designed for games or gamers. The most powerful graphics card that can be installed into premium Mac Pro system is ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB GDDR5, which is two years old. Popular iMac systems feature ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB GDDR3 in maximum configuration and ATI Radeon HD 4670 256MB in mainstream setups. Performance of such graphics solutions is hardly sufficient for modern games.