Recently, Dota 2 left beta for its final free to play release on Windows. During its Beta it wasn't available for Linux or Mac but recently Valve made a test build available for both platforms. Recently I downloaded both clients on Linux and Mac to give them a shot. If you have Steam for Mac or Linux you can simple download the Dota 2 test from your games list.

Mac Test Build

This build works well enough that I recommend it for Mac users if they prefer gaming from their Laptop or iMac. That said, I don't recommend it for serious Dota 2 playing but if you want to have a bit of fun with bots or friends, it works well.

A few issues I noticed:

When the character selection screen came up it was very small in the upper left hand corner of the screen. I could select a character, but it was hard to read anything and understand each characters strengths and weaknesses. Not a huge deal if you know who you want to play.

I also minimized the game a few times and had no idea how I did that. It was easy enough to resume the game, but it was distracting the few times it happened.

The performance on my Macbook wasn't great and I experienced a bit of lag on occasion. It wasn't a huge deal, but my Macbook has an SSD and 16G of RAM, it doesn't need to slow down.

Linux Test Build

The Linux build was the most stable of the two and it worked very well for me. No glitches that I noticed and the build seemed good enough for serious play. That said, each Linux machine is a bit different but on my rig, it ran very well.

If you are Mac or Linux bound or simply want to see Valve's latest game to be ported to these platforms you should download them now!

Travis   Admin wrote on 07/17/2013 at 01:59pm

"It wasn't a huge deal, but my Macbook has an SSD and 16G of RAM, it doesn't need to slow down."

What's the video card in the Macbook? That could explain the slow down.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 07/17/2013 at 05:50pm

NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 1024 MB
2.6 GHz Intel Core i7

Dota 2 should be fine :D

Travis   Admin wrote on 07/17/2013 at 06:20pm

Aye, I think it should.

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 07/17/2013 at 09:35pm

It's probably just the ghost of Steve Jobs, trying to tell you to keep those dirty games off of his dream!

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 07/18/2013 at 01:42am

HAHAHA yeah I bet.

I have found that many games on Mac are not as speedy as they seem they should be. I have a Linux box with lesser specs in some respects that totally smokes it for games. Its a strange thing because I have the latest Retina Macbook with the highest specs. Kind of should be enough horsepower for most games I think.

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 07/18/2013 at 02:31am

Are you running 10.8? Ever since I made the upgrade to Mountain Lion, I've noticed significant decrease in performance on my iMac. Mine is an older system (3ghz Intel Core 2 Duo), but I can imagine that it might be part of the problem.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 07/18/2013 at 02:37am

Yeah, I am running Mountain Lion. For everything else it seems fine, just games are a bit more laggy than they should.

Travis   Admin wrote on 07/18/2013 at 01:03pm

From what I read, 10.9 should fix some of those speed drop problems, so maybe gaming will get better as well.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 07/18/2013 at 03:20pm

That's good news. From my very non scientific research it seems Steam games on Linux are on par with Windows and a bit better than the Mac. But, again, just a "feel" no benchmarks or anything.

Hat tip to Valve, the porting effort is very good.

beansmyname   Supporter wrote on 07/22/2013 at 12:00am

I think a key reason for the performance difference could be that Valve is tightening up their engine in preparation for the Steambox. Since it's purported to be Linux-based, it would make sense that there are optimizations in Linux that don't exist in Mac OS.

I have noticed that since the beta launch of Steam for Linux, a great number of the Valve titles have been through multiple revisions, with each one performing slightly better than the last. When TF2 was first available for Linux, I experienced serious performance hits on my woefully underpowered Intel HD 3000. Two updates later, however, and the framerate got to an acceptable-but-not-yet-playable-with-humans point.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 07/22/2013 at 04:59am

Good to hear they are improving performance. If vendors are to release different versions of the Steam Box with different hardware then they will need to optimize as well as they can. Then again, modest hardware now days is pretty beefy all told.

beansmyname   Supporter wrote on 07/22/2013 at 06:02pm

True, yet there is still a bottom end to the hardware. My laptop was right at the base spec for the Steam Linux beta. The desktop I'm on now has some pretty low specs: Core 2 Duo 2 GHz, NVIDIA GT220, 4 GB DDR 800 RAM running off of a slow SATA drive. Still, most of the Valve titles run really well and keep getting better. That's why I'm itching for Portal 2 to get to Linux. Or HL3. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Sorry. That happens any time I think about HL3. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 07/22/2013 at 06:06pm

When they get Portal 2 ported to Linux that will be awesome. Have you played it yet?

beansmyname   Supporter wrote on 07/22/2013 at 06:19pm

Oh yeah. Finished the single-player on the PS3 and the laptop was just barely fast enough to play it in Windows, but I rarely booted to Windows so I'm itching to play it again and/or co-op this time around.

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