updated 04:10 pm EDT, Tue June 15, 2010
Suggests drivers to blame for performance hits
Apple, ATI and NVIDIA are working with Valve on improving the performance of Source-engine games, says Valve's Robert Barris. Source is used in all of Valve's current titles, such as Portal and Team Fortress 2. These have so far suffered in speed, however, next to the original versions developed for Windows. Drivers are largely to blame, according to Barris.
"Performance is going to improve as drivers are updated," he explains. "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."
Macs have generally lagged behind Windows PCs in terms of 3D gaming support. Apple typically offers slower hardware in similarly-priced systems, and Mac OS X lacks drivers and APIs optimized for the intense demands of games. It has been hoped that the arrival of Valve and the Steam platform could help spur Mac gaming as a whole.