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Better Mac Performance, Hardware Survey Results, TF2 Avatar Database

News & Rumors Other

Minor Valve-related news has been piling up on my desk here at Lambda Generation HQ, and it’s really getting in the way of playing Team Fortress 2. So on a mission to improve my hand-to-keyboard interaction, I present to you a compilation of various Valve news.

I’ll let you figure out which button to press to read on.

Better Mac Performance, Hardware Survey Results, TF2 Avatar Database

Mac Performance Increase

Mac users found that the native client for games (specifically the Source engine) didn’t run well compared to Windows benchmarks on the same system. Valve has put out a few massive patches for their games to increase performance, and Apple put out a software update, referencing Steam in the patch notes.

You can read more about it on the Steam blog and on Thingq. It’s a lot of CPU and hardware stuff, but they do a good job explaining it. I’m not sure how the benchmarks currently stand against a Windows system with identical hardware, but we’ll keep you updated.

On a slightly unrelated note, I have a feeling Valve is working on bringing Source SDK/Hammer to the Mac. And like they did with Half-Life 2, it’ll hopefully be updated to modern standards. There’s several competing game engines that are much more practical and user-friendly, and surely Valve knows this.

All we can do is cross our fingers and hope for a new version of the editor that rivals UDK and Crysis’ editor.

Steam Hardware Survery Results

Valve released the results of the July 2010 hardware survey. It includes much more data than previous ones, and is quite interesting to say the least; there are stats on GPU brand, number of CPUs, amount of RAM, etc. However, new stats include the Mac folk and installed software.

It’s quite fascinating to see new technologies gain popularity and what’s the industry standard. For example, 97% of Steam users have Flash installed, and more people use NVidia cards than ATI or Intel. Only 5.6% of people have DirectX 11, but 56% are using Windows Vista, and thus, DirectX 10. And 100% of Steam users have Steam installed, just thought I’d let you know.

Team Fortress 2 Community-Made Avatar Database

Back when Valve opened up the Team Fortress 2 community site, they accepted submissions for weapons and avatars. No not, the blue people. Since then, they’ve added several community weapons to the game such as the chocolate bar or giant axe of decapitation.

All of these were high quality and a wonderful addition to the game, but if only that could be said about the avatars. Most are user or clan-specific, and others only simple Garry’s Mod poses. There are some notably creative ones, but there is no rating system, and thus, there is a lot of sorting to be done. Of what I’ve seen, there’s nothing offensive, but a few too many avatars have nothing to do with Team Fortress 2. It is disappointment, but there is hope for an update.


  1. Only 19.82% have Internet Explorer installed, and 33.43% have Windows Media Player installed. Tell me how this makes sense, as long as this is Windows operating systems only (I am quite aware of the version that doesn’t include Media Player).

  2. A Hammer update? Wow. The mod massacre continues.

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