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New Steam update makes downloading games faster

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Whether you want to see Steam as the untouchable reigning king of download gaming or a tenuous market-leader that needs to stay on top of its game, there's never any harm in making improvements. One such, brought to light by recent server strains resulting from high demand during sale season, is a behind-the-scenes overhaul to the way the service handles downloads and updates. You don't have to do anything to bump up your service, but here's what to expect.


Above: Upcoming DotA 2 will be among the first titles to launch via the new system

Intended both to improve downloads of existing titles worldwide and make it easier for publishers to increase the size of Steam's library, the upgrade includes new code for increasing both the bandwidth capacity of the Steam pipeline and the number of worldwide servers available for download. Transfers now take place over the firewall-friendlier HTTP, and instead of downloading a massive file whenever an update is issues, you'll now be able to download only the revised code – which should make for immediately noticeable improvements in the service you'll see from the client.

Upcoming improvements made possible by the revision will include download scheduling and prioritizing as well as the ability to play a game while an update's being downloaded. Not mentioned is whether the Mac version of the client will receive a much-needed stability patch, but seeing as this is good news all round for everyone, we’ll pretend that's been announced too. Will this update change the way you do business via Steam?

Jul 19, 2011

Source: PC Gamer

Topics

Steam Valve

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11 comments

  • jaredp886 - July 20, 2011 2:05 a.m.

    Too bad this update also caused a lot of log in problems. I haven't been able to log into steam since sunday because I lost my password and my account isn't found when I do the password retrieval. I'm not the only one with this problem either, there's a forum topic 34 pages long about it! Just hope Steam Support responds to my email one of these days....
  • EnragedTortoise1 - July 19, 2011 11:11 p.m.

    Yeah, thanks. Right AFTER I download Portal 2 and Bad Co 2, each close to 10-gig games...
  • slimjim441 - July 19, 2011 10:01 p.m.

    @EwoksTasteLikeChicken You must be running Windows98 if your computer took 8 hours to download Steam. :p I'm running on a OSX 10.5.8 Mac Mini and it took me less than 5 minutes. TF2 on the other hand should've been more like a couple of hours. And don't complain about controls, EVERYTHING is customizable. I love Steam, and TF2 is great. Given, I'm growing rather impatient for H-L 3, but who isn't (Ep. 3 seems a distant memory now...)? This update looks very boss, btw. ^_^
  • Crabhand - July 19, 2011 9:57 p.m.

    Considering how long it took me to download Magicka during the sale, this news pleases me. Curiously enough, Fallout 3 was an easier download... during peak hours.
  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - July 19, 2011 9:31 p.m.

    I installed Steam for the first time a few days ago. It took close to eight hours, and downloading TF2 took an hour an a half. When I finally tried to play it, the controls didn't work and the environment looked as if it was half loaded. Such a waste of time :-(
  • Bobishungry - July 19, 2011 9:23 p.m.

    i dont think i understand exactly what this means. Will games download faster or is it just easier on steam's end?
  • Hydrohs - July 19, 2011 9:06 p.m.

    Steam could always download while in game, it just automatically paused any downloads when you started a game. You could always minimize and resume them. It's great they've finally improved bandwidth, downloading during sales has always been so brutal.
  • Valcrist - July 19, 2011 8:28 p.m.

    Finally playing while downloading!!!! I have waited so long for that @Jedipimp- Don´t worry, we all usual steam users know of the 3 big sales valve offers every year: Summer sale Thanksgiving/black friday sale (it´s a bit small, but theres some good stuff there) Xmas/new year sale Also, around this time the 2nd humble indie bundle was released last year, if we cross our fingers we might possibly get another one
  • Jedipimp0712 - July 19, 2011 8:03 p.m.

    interesting... i wish that they would have had this out before the summer sale. and the "downloads while playing" is pretty awesome, the only problem i see with that is if you are running a game that is heavy on communicating with servers. also, i'm hoping they have a christmas sale, and i hope battlefield 3 is offered on steam. because idgaf about origin.
  • SDHoneymonster - July 19, 2011 7:32 p.m.

    They forgot to put Harder at the start of the description... I'll leave now. The recaptcha is now asking me to type out scientific elements. This is going too far!
  • TheCakeIsaPie - July 19, 2011 7:20 p.m.

    Finally! The thought of smaller TF2 updates makes me happy indeed.

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