If you’re a gamer, you want the machine with the most power and performance to truly get you to the next level.
But what if you’re Mac user? You may be asking yourself, “Are Macs good for gaming?” and we are here to help you understand the pros, cons, and everything in between.
The consensus is that Macs sweep the floor with PCs unless you are a gamer, then PCs have the edge. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. Let’s take a look at the gaming experience while using a Mac.
If You Only Use Your Computer to Game
Say you want a machine exclusively for gaming.
If that’s the case, then it is best to steer clear from Macbooks or iMacs. Though they are power and well-specced, they are not as compatible with various games as Windows is. Additionally, they are also priced higher than building your PC, which can save you money down the road and is user-upgradable.
Sure, you can run Boot Camp Assistant on your Mac and play most titles; however, the experience may not be as smooth. Macbooks, in particular, since they are so thin and light, may get hot faster than a dedicated gaming PC.
iMacs or iMac pros may be more competent as gaming machines; however, you do have to run Bootcamp Assistant to access the full Windows game library. Moreover, as previously mentioned, they are significantly more expensive than building your gaming PC and are not user-upgradable.
So, all in all, if you are looking for a gaming machine, it is best to look at dedicated gaming PCs or build your own. That way, you can have a say in the exact specifications your computer has, and you are also future proof.
Though its best to avoid a Mac for only-gaming, there may be individuals who have mixed-use cases. Let’s dive in a little deeper.
You Want to Own a Mac But Play Very Specific Games
If you own a Mac right now and play particular games, then a Macbook may be more than competent as a gaming machine if you adjust expectations.
For example, lighter titles such as Rocket League, The Sims, and Minecraft run completely fine (and rather well) on Macbooks. If you want to go from doing your work to playing a quick game, then the Macbook should be fine.
It all depends on what settings you have turned on and what machine you use. If you own a newer Macbook with a good GPU, then you could maybe squeeze in slightly higher settings on these games.
Macs are excellent computers overall, such as productivity and graphical work. However, if you want to occasionally game with a Macbook, it is usable. Just as long as it’s not your daily gaming driver, you should not be disappointed.
Let’s talk more about graphical performance. Gaming is hugely taxing on your computer’s CPU and GPU, which can affect its performance. If you really want a Mac to be your gaming device, let’s chat more about GPUs and which Macs can handle it, while also discussing others that are not worth it.
If You Really Want to Game on a Mac: What to Consider and What to Avoid
We get it. The Apple Ecosystem is incredibly intuitive, and you want all the convenience of having your iPhone connect to your Mac and what not.
Also, you are a gamer. You want to know what the best Mac is for gaming and which ones to avoid. The good news is, some newer Macs have pretty hefty GPUs that can assist in better gaming performance.
The Best GPUs
- 2020 16in Macbook Pro
- 27in iMac
- iMac Pro
All in all, these Macs are the creme de la creme of performance. Creative professionals use these machines as their daily workhorses and produce excellent work. So, if you are going to use a Mac as a gaming machine, these are the ones to choose from.
But what about the flipside? Which Macs should you avoid? No worries, we have got you covered.
The Worst GPUs
- MacBook Air
- 13in Macbook Pro
- Mac Mini
- Non-Retina 21.5in iMac
These Macs are not bad computers in the slightest, but for high-graphical demands, these will not be of the best service to you or your gaming experience.
These machines are best for light to medium workflows, productivity-driven work such as ones in word processing or browsers, or students.
So, let’s say that you decide to go with a higher-end Mac. There are some pros and cons to consider.
The Pros of Higher-End Macs for Gaming
First things first, the specs on higher-end Macs are excellent.
Especially on the 16in Macbook Pro, you can genuinely spec it out to your heart’s content. With a base model of 16GB of RAM, it can handle more demanding tasks you through at it.
The same goes for the iMac Pro; these machines are packed with performance and professionals in mind. So because of this, it can definitely be used for gaming, just as long as you either run Boot Camp for Windows-only titles or play games that are already Mac-compatible.
Also, Macs are insanely simple to backup. If you want to clone a Mac hard drive, you can do so easily. That way, all of your games and content is safely stored.
The Cons of Higher-Ends Macs for Gaming
The price. Macs are beautiful and excellent machines, but boy do they cost a pretty penny.
The 16in Macbook Pro begins at $2,799. The iMac Pro starts at $4,999.
So, even though Macs are excellent, you will be paying a premium or “Apple tax” for these devices. If you are a professional who does real work outside of gaming, then these Macs are sure to get the job done, while you play a quick round of Rocket League.
However, as we previously mentioned, if gaming is all you are planning to do, it is best to go for a dedicated gaming PC or build your own. That way, you can save a buck and maybe even get an entry model Macbook Air for your work needs.
So, Are Macs Good for Gaming?
From uses cases, pros, and cons, we have covered the basics of answering the question, “Are Macs good for gaming?” It is truly up to you and your preferences whether or not Macs are best for gaming. However, for overall value, Macs are best for doing a multitude of tasks instead of just strictly gaming.
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