Wednesday May 31, 2006 - Steam client update released


In anticipation of the official release of Half-Life 2: Episode One tomorrow, Steam has just been updated to include some new features.

Friends (Steam's instant message client) officially released
We've been conducting a beta of Friends for the past few weeks, and it's now ready for prime time. Give it a try and add some friends to your list.

Steam game file fragmentation automatically detected and fixed
Our on-going goal with Steam is to improve the service we offer customers. One example of this is work we've done on performance optimization of level loads. By using information gathered from Steam clients, we found that the problem was actually the result of fragmented game cache files. Steam will now automatically detect and correct fragmentation, giving performance improvements on cache accesses of up to 600%. Rather than having to guess or estimate performance bottle-necks, Steam gave us the ability to precisely solve the real-world problem.

Out-of-date video drivers detected
Since Episode One takes advantage of many new Source engine features, we wanted to make sure that everyone had up-to-date video drivers. We've updated Steam's driver check, so if yours is old you'll get a message prompting you to update when you launch the game.



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