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New Steam Content System Improves Download Speeds

Valve has updated its Steam digital distribution platform with new server and client code as a means of improving download speeds for its users, with faster service rolling out over the coming year.
Valve has updated its Steam digital distribution platform with new server and client code as a means of improving download speeds for its users. The new system is a two-pronged attack. The company is looking to deliver better download rates by sending content via HTTP, and by increasing its maximum aggregate bandwidth to account for spikes in traffic. It will also be possible to download files in parts, rather than requiring a whole chunk be downloaded every time a small change is made. With this in mind, updates to games on the Steam client should be much smaller in size. As a result of the new system, Valve will also be introducing a series of new features in the coming months, including download scheduling, bandwidth throttling, and prioritizing which games get downloaded first. For the first time, you'll also be able to download an update for a game while you're still running that particular title. The update will be applied once you have quit out of the game. The new content system is in place for downloading videos from the store right now, and will be completely replacing the current system over time. The company notes that Dota 2 will be delivered using this set-up. Recently, Valve made both its Source SDK and team-based shooter Team Fortress 2 free.

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