The downside of allowing Steam connections is that users were starting to notice that Apple graphics were not cutting the mustard alongside PCs. Apparently when Mac users were allowed to use the gaming hub they discovered much to their horror that their expensive hardware was not as good as cheap and cheerful PCs.
Now it seems that Apple has got the message and has provided a graphics update for OS X Snow Leopard which will it hopes will fix the problem. A Steam spokesman said that it had spent a large chunk of effort over the last few months working with Apple and their GPU vendors to close the performance gap with Windows.
Steam reckons a combination of changes to its own code and the latest graphics update available from Apple today removes a variety of software bottlenecks, resulting in significant graphics performance enhancements for Mac gamers.
Apple also removed some implementation inefficiencies which allow Steam to improve visual quality, most notably in the area of GPU occlusion queries. The gaming outfit is reporting dramatic performance improvements on iMac, Mac mini, Mac Pro, MacBook and MacBook Pro models. Older systems are generally already operating at the limits of the hardware.
However for years people have been saying that Macs had better graphics and yet when both machines were placed side by side it proved to be untrue. What is also interesting is that Apple could have made basic improvements to the graphics on its machines by tweaking the GPU and didn't.