New Steam update makes downloading games faster

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 (opens in new tab)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 (opens in new tab)