Do Mac gamers using Steam have better systems than PC fraggers?

Do Mac gamers using Steam have better systems than PC fraggers?

Summary: The Steam online gaming platform has recently been launched for Mac users, but already it seems that the average gamer using an Apple computer has a superior system than his or her PC brethren, though not everywhere that it counts.According to Valve's Steam Hardware Survey for May, the average Mac has more RAM (4GB to 2GB) and is more likely to have a dual-core processor running at 2.

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TOPICS: Mobility, Apple, Hardware
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The Steam online gaming platform has recently been launched for Mac users, but already it seems that the average gamer using an Apple computer has a superior system than his or her PC brethren, though not everywhere that it counts.

According to Valve's Steam Hardware Survey for May, the average Mac has more RAM (4GB to 2GB) and is more likely to have a dual-core processor running at 2.3GHz-2.69GHz or higher. Mac systems using Steam are also more likely to have an Internet connection speed of 2Mbps or higher than PCs.

One important area where PCs still lead is in terms of graphics memory, with Macs more likely to have 256MB of video RAM and PCs more likely to have 512MB. Of course, that may be more an effect of Apple's meager selection of graphics cards than what a Mac user would want in his or her system.

What can be gleaned from these survey results? It seems like many PC gamers are still getting by with older, single-core systems, but the more refreshed Mac hardware could stand for a graphics boost. Though with Nvidia and Apple on the outs, who knows when Mac fanboys will see some more options.

Are you using Steam? If so, what are your specs? Let us know in the Comments section.

[Via Engadget]

Topics: Mobility, Apple, Hardware

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24 comments
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  • RE: Do Mac gamers using Steam have better systems than PC fraggers?

    Isn't this kind of obvious. The Macs cost is at a premium. PC's can come in all flavors. PC buyers trying to save as much money as they can, so they try to game with as little as possible. They could easily buy more upgrades. Not sure this is a revelation. The sad thing is that you can buy the same hardware for a PC that a Mac has for less money. But, Mac customers love to give Apple money for some reason. I still think Apple should just put a PayPal button on there website for donations.
    phess11
    • RE: Do Mac gamers using Steam have better systems than PC fraggers?

      @phess11
      Spoken like a true Ugo, I mean PC owner.
      Seriously, I'd use that PayPal button, it's that much better.
      h8w8ing
      • Ya know h8w8ing,

        if you're going to make fun of the PC crowd, at least learn how to spell Yugo.
        nix_hed
    • RE: Do Mac gamers using Steam have better systems than PC fraggers?

      @phess11 And may we assume you are also residing in a rental, have no debt, small car, parsimonious with food and clothing .. all serve the same purpose of shelter, hunger and bodily protection.

      We have both PCs and Macs and our cars are of different flavors -- we choose the one that provides the most comfort for the task.

      As resources become available most folks stop the harping about things that cost more and start enjoying them.
      781lc
  • I'have Steam on my 6 year old PC

    My PC is in Dire Need of upgrade as I can't even put new video cards in it. Still have the old AGP slot.

    Now why haven't I upgraded. Well the PC game market has been in slump. I haven't bought PC game in years.
    voska1
    • RE: Do Mac gamers using Steam have better systems than PC fraggers?

      @voska1

      I'm waiting in anticipation.

      Starcraft 2, Civilization V, WoW: Cataclysm - it's the calm before the storm :D.
      CobraA1
  • My system beats the Macs above

    And it was less expensive. And it is about 3 years old so it isn't even all that new.

    Regardless, this really is quite the silly stat, sorry to say. Does your Mac Mini run Crysis better because the average Mac is more powerful than the average PC on Steam? Does my system run Crysis worse because the average Mac is more powerful than the average PC on Steam?

    Of course not. All that matters is what is sitting in front of [b]you[/b] when you play. The rest is just immature zealotry.
    NonZealot
    • RE: Do Mac gamers using Steam have better systems than PC fraggers?

      @NonZealot You are in the minority then, according to figures gathered by Steam.
      hill60
    • RE: Do Mac gamers using Steam have better systems than PC fraggers?

      @NonZealot <The rest is just immature zealotry.>

      And, YOU are a pro at that!!
      781lc
  • Easy answer: No.

    Easy answer: No.

    Okay, the [b]average[/b] PC doesn't beat the Mac, but the [b]top of the line[/b] PC certainly will. PCs are generally more flexible machines, and well suited for gaming.

    Yeah, I use Steam.

    My own PC?

    -Quad core (a Core 2, but yeah I eventually want to move to an i7)
    -8 GB memory
    -Dual graphics cards
    --For video, a 1 GB card (GeForce GTS 250)
    --For physics, a 512 MB card (GeForce 9600 GT)

    . . . although I should note that video memory is one of many factors, and not always even the most important factor: Video cards with the same memory can have [b]vastly[/b] different performance depending on the number of shader units, the internal clock speeds, and other various factors.
    CobraA1
  • RE: Do Mac gamers using Steam have better systems than PC fraggers?

    I use steam i am wondering since mac uses a unix kernal does that mean i can use my linux/unix box to run steam?<br><br>Here my specs:<br>Core i7 920@3.5ghz<br>GIGABYTE GA-EX58-EXTREME Mobo<br>XFX GForce 8800GTX x2 in SLI<br>Antec Quattro TPQ-1000 1000W PSU<br>Super Talent 3x 2gb = 6gb<br>2x 300 WD VelociRapto in RAID 0r<br>LG 22X DVD Burner<br>Cooler Master Half 932<br>Windows 7 Ulimate 64bit
    k3y3n1n
    • RE: Do Mac gamers using Steam have better systems than PC fraggers?

      @k3y3n1n Not yet. Mac may be based on Unix, but there are a lot of APIs Steam may be using that are Mac-only.
      CobraA1
  • Why Bother Getting A PC??

    I built a monster gaming machine two years ago, Quad Core AMD 64 2.8GHz, 8GB RAM, 2TB hard drive, 896MB GTX 260 PCIe card.....

    Since then everything decent has come out on the consoles, and only if I wanted to play Crysis or WoW would I need a gaming rig with any power...

    I turned the gaming rig into a media center and serve up all my DVDs through AirVideo.....good use for a machine that was gathering dust.
    itanalyst2010
    • RE: Do Mac gamers using Steam have better systems than PC fraggers?

      @itanalyst2010 There are still a lot of PC games, although they do seem to be trending towards enhancing and refreshing existing games rather than creating new AAA games.

      However: Indie games are exploding on the PC. It's worth it to check out what some of the startups are doing. It's actually becoming far easier for small groups to develop high quality games. The number of tools to simplify the process of creating games is growing.
      CobraA1
  • What did $1299 buy me?

    An Intel i7 975 quad core at 3.3ghz, 6 gig of DDR3 ram, a pair of 500 gig drives in raid1, NVDIA GTX with 1 gig video, a 24" LCD and all the normal bells and whistles that come with a system. (gig lan, 8 usb2, 1 eSATA, 1 firewire, keyboard, mouse and Win7 pro) I don't know if apple even makes a system with the 975 chip, certainly not for less than $2000, much less $1300.
    Scubajrr
  • RE: Do Mac gamers using Steam have better systems than PC fraggers?

    Maybe they should do a survey... Who is fatter, the average PC gamer or the average Mac gamer?
    smartin007
  • And yet they get much lower fps than on those using Windows

    The fact is that if you want to play games and your GPU and card drivers both suck, it really doesn't matter what else you have on your machine.
    eMJayy
    • Lower FPS has nothing to do wth GPU/card drives: OpenGL slows down

      @eMJayy: They compare similar machines with the same level GPUs.

      <b>DirectX, which uses internal Windows hooks, is faster than open source OpenGL.</b>
      DDERSSS
      • RE: Do Mac gamers using Steam have better systems than PC fraggers?

        @denisrs Not necessarily.

        OpenGL drivers are often directly tied to the video card, just like DirectX is. "using internal Windows hooks" shouldn't make any difference, as Windows won't get in the way of most drivers.

        However: It may be the case that most games are simply optimized for DirectX. Like it or not, it has become the de facto interface for games.

        It's also the case that OpenGL isn't seeing as many updates as DirectX. It may be lacking in some features, and relies heavily on extensions to provide some functionality - and if not all of the extensions are supported by the drivers, some software may fall back onto software simulation of the features, which may result in a performance hit.

        It's probably also the case that since most games are using DirectX, nVidia and ATI may be spending a lot more time optimizing their drivers for DirectX performance rather than OpenGL performance.
        CobraA1
      • @CobraA1

        With the upcoming push for Mac gaming and the 1-2 punch of OpenGL 3.x and OpenCL, I'm willing to bet that cross-platform developers are going to shy away from DirectX and DirectCompute and focus on making their games work as well as they can on as many platforms as possible (including Linux).
        nix_hed