Question to the floor: how's everyone doing with Rage at the moment? There seem to be mixed reports as to the efficacy of the recent patch - for some it did the trick, for others (especially on ATI cards - our own John Walker claims the game is still more or less unplayable on his 5850) it didn't help the glitching and texture pop-in, and others still have claimed it made things even worse. Carmack claimed on Twitter yesterday that id are still monitoring forum reports, and suggested those experiencing difficulties browse said forum for help. They're worth a check, even though it's massively tiresome to have to do so for a game you paid good money for, as there are a raft of fixes and tweaks doing the rounds - most of which at least involve only the relatively simple act of downloading a replacement config file.
I also spotted this Steam thread, which offers a second wave of config files designed to entirely bypass the game's contentious auto-settings and force the game to run at max. Many people are reporting success and a better-looking game as a result.
For me those caused crashes, but fortunately, the game's running well enough on its own merits/patch, so I'm lucky - but there's no escaping that Rage needs another patch or three yet. I'm also a little disheartened by the state of some of the textures even when everything is running hunky-dory - outdoor environments and character models look amazing, but getting up close to anything in Subway City is a bit of an eyesore. Modders, we need your help.
What was an incredibly pleasant surprise, however, was firing up the game on my newish Macbook Air (calm down, I pretty much exclusively run Windows on it) and finding that it both ran well and looked pretty good. I was even able to turn the texture cache to Large to fix the pop-in - I've put a couple of hours of play in on that machine and all went tickety-boo. I'd guess it's running about 30 frames per second rather than the sweet-spot of 60, which does make the driving bits especially feel less cor-blimey, but it's far smoother and shinier than I'd ever have expected from this Intel HD3000 integrated graphics chip. I'd already been impressed that it could just about keep up with Deus Ex HR on low settings, but this is a sign of what it can do when a game is made with it in mind. If only ATI users could feel things had gone so smoothly, eh?