Steam survey finds 47% of Mac gamers run Apple's MacBook Pro

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Valve's monthly survey of the hardware specifications of Steam users has found that nearly half of Mac gamers run a MacBook Pro, while the iMac accounts for nearly a quarter.

Released this week, the Steam survey for July 2010 shows MacBook Pro owners accounting for 46.78 percent of Mac hardware ownership. The iMac comes in second with 23.18 percent, while 20.25 percent of gamers played on Apple's low-end, entry-level MacBook.

Apple's high-end desktop, the Mac Pro, came in fourth, with 5.41 percent of Macs that logged into Steam for the month. Finally, the Mac mini represented 3.44 percent of Mac users.

Just over 5 percent of all Steam users connected to the gaming service via a Mac. The number suggests some of the initial excitement surrounding Steam for Mac died down, as more than 8 percent of gamers used Mac OS X in May 2010.

The lion's share of Mac users have upgraded to Snow Leopard, as a total of 4.3 percent on the serve were running Mac OS X 10.6.3 64-bit. Another 0.77 percent remain on Leopard, running Mac OS X 10.5.8 64-bit.

Mac users overwhelmingly have more system RAM than other gamers, with 53.61 percent of all users carrying 4GB in their system. Another 31.15 percent had just 2GB, which is the most common capacity of all Steam users.

Most run the Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics card, while the most common primary display resolution is 1280 by 800 pixels. More than 90 percent of Mac owners have a system with two physical CPUs.

Steam is a digital game distribution platform which has more than 25 million users and offers access to 1,100 games on the PC. Developer Valve has said it will treat the Mac as a "first-tier" platform, meaning new major titles developed for the PC will release day-and-date with the Mac.

High-profile releases from Valve for Mac OS X so far have included Game of the Year award winners Portal and Half-Life 2. Valve has also made native OS X support for the Source engine available to licensees for use in their games. The company has also made its Steamworks suite of publishing and development tools available on the Mac platform, including product key authentication, copy protection, auto-updating, social networking, matchmaking, anti-cheat technology, and more.