Mac Pro STEAM discussion

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by MatchFrame, May 27, 2010.

  1. MatchFrame macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #1
    I have a Mac Pro with the HD 4870 (see signature), and I was of course thrilled to hear that Steam was coming to Mac.

    I downloaded the Orange Box yesterday and have really enjoyed HL2 so far (played a PC demo years ago, and beat Portal last week).

    My question is, for those of you with similar specs, what settings you're using in-game for Valve games utilizing the Source engine?

    My frames-per-second are good (stuck on 60 with vertical sync), but HL@ doesn't seem to render smoothly when I swing my view from left to right (or up and down) swiftly. There's often a bit of choppiness to it. It usually happens if I'm turning and strafing at the same time.

    I'm running on the recommended settings, and I was just wondering if this is something I should just get used to (as in, it's just the way it is in modern PC games) or if there's some setting I can tweak to fix this?

    Anyway, I also just wanted this to be an area to discuss settings you're using in-game and how your experience has been so far. A lot of us Mac users haven't bothered with "PC" gaming in years, so I feel like a need a refresher course.
     
  2. bmb012 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    #2
    Yeah, it's a problem with HL2, though. If you try Ep2, mouse movement should be perfectly smooth, even though Ep2 is more demanding.
     
  3. reberto macrumors 65816

    reberto

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    #3
    They're equaliy demanding now. HL2/EP1/EP2 are now all on the exact same engine.
     
  4. MatchFrame thread starter macrumors member

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    May 2, 2008
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    Dallas, TX
    #4
    Oh, I figured it had to do with the graphics and not my mouse. Is this really somehow due to choppy mouse interpretation?
     
  5. chiefroastbeef macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    #5
    I too have a Mac Pro and the 4870, I have steam for Mac, but I am waiting for TF2 to come out before I start using it, I am not really interested in HL2 or Portal. So once TF2 comes out I will be watching this post!

    Have you thought of upgrading to a flashed card (a couple of threads about this in the mac pro forum)? I may get a better card and flash it (forum member Cindori wrote a program that flashes a PC card) now that games are coming out natively on the Mac. Since the latest updates with TF2, my TF2 via crossover games have been crashing constantly with no fix, waiting for tf2 for Mac!
     
  6. tomscott1988 macrumors regular

    tomscott1988

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    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    I Have the same spec mac pro 2008 8x2.8 wit 10gig of ram and 4TB but with the evga 285 i also purchased the orange box and im running all at full settings perfectly! The 4870 is getting on now and hopefully apple will release some new exciting graphics cards with the debut of the new mac pro and steam! exciting times ahead but i had the 4870 and the 285 knocks it out the water :)
     
  7. slpdLoad macrumors 6502a

    slpdLoad

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    Jun 10, 2009
  8. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #8
    My magic mouse chops the hell out of the game if scrolling through weapons, there is a mouse issue here that needs to be fixed. This isnt a Macpro problem its related to the mouse drivers or hardware as far as I can tell.
     
  9. tomscott1988 macrumors regular

    tomscott1988

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    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    No offence but what kind of gamer would use a mighty mouse or magic mouse to play games! Worst possible mice to use playing games! i mean the magic mouse is so uncomfortable and so low long periods of use are painful. Apples mice are abit of an archiles heal and although ok for general things like browsing, for gaming or producing artwork etc they are hopeless!
     
  10. bmb012 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    #10
    Heh, except, the beginning of Ep2 has a ton more geometry and water reflection than I remember ever being in HL2. I'm guessing they've back ported the flashlight shadows? Couldn't really tell how well HL2 was playing in OS X since the mouse was so stuttery (though it was definitely under 60 on my Mac Pro with a 4890 at some points). Ep2, though played almost identically in OS X as it did for me in Windows. Seems the Rerflect All option makes Ep2 dip under 60 in either, when you're looking at the water in the beginning. Going to have to play through some more to tell, I'm just mad since i can't get 7.1 in OS X like i can through HDMI with the 4890 in Windows, and no one will answer if the HDMI audio out in the new Macbook Pros carries a true multichannel (not ac3) audio signal...
     
  11. neilg macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2002
    Location:
    uk
    #11
    horrible experience starting up HL2 first off - really disappointing - then I turned off anti-aliasing and all the problems went away - all settings at recommended, some at higher. hoping that updates to graphics drivers will fix the antialiasing problem.
     
  12. Plutonius macrumors 603

    Plutonius

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    Feb 22, 2003
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    New Hampshire
  13. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #13
    In options under advanced, there's an option to enable the developer console. You bring up the console with the ~ key and then you type something like cl_showfps 1.

    P-Worm
     
  14. Plutonius macrumors 603

    Plutonius

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    Feb 22, 2003
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    New Hampshire
    #14
    Thank You
     
  15. MatchFrame thread starter macrumors member

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    May 2, 2008
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    Dallas, TX
    #15
    I'll play with the anti-aliasing to see if that's where the source of my problem is. Not terrible, just annoying.
     
  16. MatchFrame thread starter macrumors member

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    May 2, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #16
    I can officially say that setting my anti-aliasing from the (recommended) 4x MSAA down to 2x MSAA solved the choppiness when turning. Everything renders smooth as butter.

    I maxed out everything but the anti-aliasing, too, and it's still perfect. Glad this was solved. It was really irritating.Thanks for the help!

    I'm hoping they continue to optimize for the Mac and really go all out, because there are so few graphics cards in the entire Mac line-up, I would hope they make sure they each perform without hiccups. Hope the anti-aliasing issue gets fixed.
     
  17. Washac macrumors 68020

    Washac

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    Jul 2, 2006
    #17
    EP2, what is EP2 ?, abbreviations aaarrrrgggghhhhh....
     
  18. Yoley macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #18
    Episode 2.

    I'm getting some choppiness on my i7 MBP, but it should be ironed out with a few updates.
     
  19. victori macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    #19
    1027 windowed, max everything 16x ansimorphic and 4x AA; 75-125fps on average, no stuttering from what I can tell.

    Specs: 3.0ghz QuadCore MacPro / Geforce 8800GT

    <3 nvidia

    Nvidia currently seems to have the better drivers in OSX out of the two video card manufactures.
     
  20. MatchFrame thread starter macrumors member

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    May 2, 2008
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    Dallas, TX
    #20
    Very nice. I hope that Nvidia and ATI get a renewed interest in updating their drivers now that Steam's been brought to the Mac. Isn't it a big enough deal to warrant the companies to revisit and update for all of us?

    I'm maxed out except for having 2x MSAA, and I'm running at 1920x1080 fullscreen. Everything's quite smooth for me all around (don't have an exact fps right now), but I'd like to be able to throw AA up to the max since I'm pretty sure the 4870 could handle it (or can it?).
     
  21. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    #21
    i think you misunderstand...

    Apple controls the drivers for OS X. They require some input from nvidia and ati/amd, but the ball is in Apple's court.

    the graphics card companies are more than willing to help out with these things. Apple is notoriously slow and unconcerned about having decent-performing graphics drivers for OS X, as long as their video from the iTMS work properly with whatever hardware acceleration is available on any given machine, they don't seem to care at all.

    maybe steam and SC2 will motivate them to update drivers. I'm guessing that anyone with a computer from 2009 or earlier is pretty much SOL, though.
     
  22. Zortrium macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    #22
    I don't have a Mac Pro, but I'll corroborate the reports that there seems to be some MSAA issues. Performance on my i7 iMac (4850) at native resolution is smooth with everything maxed except MSAA, which, if enabled, causes really bad stutter even at 2x and sub-native resolution.
     
  23. MatchFrame thread starter macrumors member

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    May 2, 2008
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    Dallas, TX
    #23
    What I meant was that I was hoping this would motivate the card companies and Valve (or just the presence of Steam) to urge Apple to decide to update the drivers.
     
  24. Eltanin-Antenna macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    #24
    Multi-monitor set-up

    Does anybody know if it's possible to get Steam games to maximize to a monitor *other* than where the menu bar is? I have two monitors, one in landscape mode and a smaller one rotated to portrait. I have the dock and menubar on the smaller one, and all Steam games insist on going full-screen on this monitor.

    Playing in a window is a very poor workaround - does anybody have a better solution? Moving the menubar and dock to the landscape monitor is not an option, I need as much space there as I can get. :)
     
  25. lewdvig macrumors 65816

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    Jan 1, 2002
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    South Pole
    #25
     

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