Some things about steam and mac

Looks like source engine for mac in newly released steam still uses dx9 to opengl translation and it’s not native opengl game.

it doesn’t really matter if it works, but still it’s direct x 😛


valve’s dev: I wrote the native OpenGL module for Source Mac. It presents a DX9 compatible interface to the engine, engine calls me, I call GL, dots appear.



rbarris: On Mac Source, all of the source code has been compiled native. Specific modules have been replaced with ones that can drive OS X API’s, like graphics and sound. All the OpenGL code lives in a little lib called “shaderapidx9” which is shorthand for “the shading subsystem that can run on dx9-class hardware”. That’s sort of the grand central station for graphics API traffic coming out of the engine and down into the OS&driver.


  1. Andreas / mitch germany
    May 13th, 2010 | 10:21 am

    Happy Hackintosh !
    My 8800GTX is listed in the long .cfg with its features + Device ID (191) 🙂
    Some “non 100% Mac problems” because it comes from maybe in some cases, like know much more gpus for game config (default) than Apples is GOOD !
    PS: I made an symblic Link to the Steam Content Folder which is located on an own gaming partition! Saves much GB on the system volume.
    Steam Mac, until now, hasnt any option to tell WHERE the Game should be installed.
    Copy whole /Users/xxx/Documents/Steam Content to the place you want.
    Erase the orig. Steam Content folder.
    ln -s “/Volumes/Games/Steam Content” “/Users/xxx/Documents/Steam Content”
    Edit the volume path and user name to yours 🙂

  2. maselko
    May 13th, 2010 | 10:36 am
  3. OmniAtlas
    May 13th, 2010 | 10:43 am

    I get about 20 FPS on my hackintosh, core 2 duo overclocked to 3 ghz, ATI 4850 (512 vram), 4 gb system ram. I’m on 10.6.3 but using 10.6.2 drivers. Anyone know what the problem is?

    I’m over 100> FPS on windows.

    QE/CI work fine.

  4. HueponiK
    May 13th, 2010 | 10:45 am

    Ну это же сраный отстой. Опять какая-то прослойка… С учётом хреновой производительности opengl в SL, в L4D2 с теми же настройками, что и в Windows, на GTX260 не поиграть 🙁

  5. sm1ley
    May 13th, 2010 | 2:48 pm

    Well, Portal is slow and ugly :(.

  6. Andreas / mitch germany
    May 13th, 2010 | 4:19 pm

    Slow ? I get very much FPS with may 8800GTX.
    In console type cl_showfps 1
    to see fps and also switch of beam sync in Options/Video/Expierenced..

  7. d00d
    May 13th, 2010 | 6:49 pm

    I get ‘Failed to open OpenGL device’ error after the Portal intro movie on my 7900GS. Do you think that it’s just not supported?

  8. May 13th, 2010 | 7:32 pm

    Check out the support forum on steam. There are some settings you can change in the game thatcwill dramatically increase the game play in portal.

  9. jeanlain
    May 14th, 2010 | 12:28 am

    I think you’re jumping to conclusions way to early, Netkas.
    We know that Valve explored various methods, including emulation/on the fly translation.
    Do we know if these files are used in game; or if they are just unused remnants?

  10. May 14th, 2010 | 12:32 am

    […] Although there is evidence that Steam on the Mac will be implementing a DirectX wrapper for non-OpenGL games. This is still an […]

  11. VultU
    May 14th, 2010 | 12:52 am


    How do you did to show the FPS?

    Im running Portal at 1900×1200 with all options in high in a GTS 250 and looks very fast, but I dont know how to show the FPS to confirm.

  12. VultU
    May 14th, 2010 | 1:17 am

    Nevermind OminiAtlas I discover how enable to show FPS.

    You need to enable developer mode Options | Keyboard | Advance and check Enable developer mode, then press ` in game to show console then choose: cl_showfps 1

    Portal run at 60 FPS with my GTS 250, Asus P6T, Core i7 920 with Snow 10.6.3

  13. tchibo
    May 14th, 2010 | 2:44 am

    я тоже заметил… на cs-mania уже как патч готов))

  14. tchibo
    May 14th, 2010 | 2:44 am

    Steam006Mac Features:
    Show all games/tools in steam
    Filter ValveTestApps

  15. Mike
    May 14th, 2010 | 2:45 am

    Might want to read this:

    “I wrote the native OpenGL module for Source Mac. It presents a DX9 compatible interface to the engine, engine calls me, I call GL, dots appear.

    The performance issues being investigated are generally driver level things – below this layering. The layering doesn’t exhibit any noticeable overhead in our profiling.

    The whole app is compiled with gcc as a native Mach-O binary using the OS X toolchain.

    Oh and the .dll’s are not loaded, they are extraneous content. You’re welcome to “sudo fs_usage” to prove it..”

  16. OmniAtlas
    May 14th, 2010 | 3:34 am

    Another way to display FPS and network information is to type

    net_graph 1

    in the console. It would be great if everyone could post their specs & the FPS they are getting. I think my low FPS is definitely a kext/driver issue, and my video card isn’t being utilized fully.

  17. OmniAtlas
    May 14th, 2010 | 5:22 am


    My frame rates are now over 60+ FPS ; the problem I had was with Paragon NTFS 7.0 (lets you read Windows partitions) — it causes SEVERE slowdown. Installed 8.0 version and everything is fixed now.

  18. Nonoche
    May 14th, 2010 | 9:38 am

    Netkas, are you aware ALL the games that are ported from Windows to Mac OS X, as native as you might deem them, are done that way? Wrapping an API call only takes one processor cycle, and Core 2 Duos execute billions of these per second…

    ///yeah I know, I wrote – it doesnt matter if it works…. but still, it sux to have such layer

  19. OmniAtlas
    May 14th, 2010 | 1:51 pm

    Update — frame rate dropped back to 20 FPS on opening Portal on another instance, I have no idea why.

    I uninstalled Paragon, same problem…I’m clueless why I have 60 FPS one instance, and 20 FPS another (both at the main menu of the game).

  20. Matt
    May 14th, 2010 | 8:40 pm


    Could you tell me how you got QE/CI to work with your 4850 on 10.6.3? Thanks

  21. Mr. Mister
    May 15th, 2010 | 7:45 am

    have you tried deleting these files, then running steam to see if they are actually needed or are just there beacuse they are too lazy to remove files from package?

  22. Clay Garland
    May 15th, 2010 | 3:31 pm

    I think Valve needs to have a chat with blizz about codin OGL. On my 2006 Mac Pro which has really been relegated to games/media center duty in the living room, I get around twice the FPC under Mac OS as I do windows. Thing is, Windows is a 100% fresh install of Windows 7 with nothing but games, and the OS X install was my production operating system for two years and has all the applications and everything on it. So we’ve really learned 2 things. When coded properly, OGL can rape DX’s face, and the Mac OS is superior in terms of not being slowed down when you install shit.

  23. cyclonefr
    May 15th, 2010 | 5:48 pm

    @Clay Garland : actually, the Valve guy who did the port is Rob Barris, which used to work as the Lead Engineer in the Blizzard’s Mac team 1.5 years ago, so if somebody really knows how to program games on OSX, it’s really him (Diablo 2, War3, WoW…) 🙂

  24. OmniAtlas
    May 16th, 2010 | 12:16 am

    Matt — use the 10.6.2 drivers — make sure you edit the info.plist file to match your card correctly, run Kext Utility or plist

  25. Yolanda
    May 16th, 2010 | 7:27 am

    How vertical sync can be turned on in Portal OSX? It’s only one issue in game.

    I played full Portal on Mac, performance is great. However game haven’t any complex graphics and my config: GTX 275, Core i5 3.8GHz is rather powerfull for it, but I think users with something like 320M, 8600GT can lower graphics and also play in game.

  26. Loll
    May 16th, 2010 | 4:01 pm

    A bench with hackintosh (gtx285) shows big diff of framerate for portal between win7 and SL. Windows get 60% more ! I try to reproduce the test with HD4890 but portal donwnload is so long……

  27. Sam
    May 17th, 2010 | 8:03 am

    Has anyone else noticed they get a massive increase in FPS with beamsync disabled?

    I went from getting 30fps to 50-60fps.…howtopic=11550…end-or-foe.ars

  28. Mike
    May 18th, 2010 | 11:09 pm


    The game doesn’t seem to run any faster on my system with beamsync turned off. Running at 1920×1200 with 4x AA and 16x AF, everything set to high on a Radeon 4870.

  29. dasd
    October 30th, 2011 | 12:30 pm

    So what? its still workin like a turtle. On 10.6.8/ C2Q2.4GHz + 4GB 800MHz CL4+ 8800GT 512 MacPro ROM on P5Q Deluxe got 40-60FPS while 20players on Map. It isnt normal, same setts, map, server, GAME! under windows 200-300fps.

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