Are Mac Products Good for Video Gaming?

Apple’s iMacs, MacBooks, and other Mac products have legions of fans worldwide. But are they good for gaming? By now, it’s become something of an age-old question, asked of various generations of Mac computers for two decades or more. What may come as a surprise to many, then, is that the answer is actually quite straightforward.
The reality is that Macs simply aren’t designed for gaming, nor have they ever been. That doesn’t mean that they’re bad at gaming. They’re just not overly well-suited, particularly when up against high-performance Windows-powered computers that are.

Apple Macs for Gaming

For as long as they’ve been around, Apple’s now-ubiquitous Macs have been closely tailored toward artists, designers, and other professional users. While they’re not underpowered, they aren’t focused on gaming.
As any Mac owner will likely tell you, they’re perfectly capable of running even resource-intensive games. The same was true of early iMac G3s from the late 1990s and the G4s of the early 2000s. It remains the case today regarding the current-generation MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro, and even the often-overlooked Mac mini.
Yet, Apple has never built a dedicated gaming computer. And while Apple marketed iPads and iPhones toward gamers in recent years, they’ve made little effort to persuade video game fans to buy into its Mac lineup.

2021 MacBook Pro

While not marketed toward more gaming-focused individuals, newer Mac models have proved increasingly capable of running even some of the latest and most demanding video games.
However, they’ll never compete directly with products from Razer, MSI, Alienware, and Asus-owned brand Republic of Gamers. Even still, MacBook models such as the latest Pro variant continue to impress with their powerful graphic performance.
According to Cult of Mac, the 2021 MacBook Pro can run Rise of the Tomb Raider just as well as a top-tier Windows laptop. Of course, this powerful performance prioritizes rendering video and other professional tasks. Still, there’s no disputing that it also translates nicely into a well-above-average gaming experience.
The same is true of the power on offer from Apple’s Mac Pro and its latest iMacs. That said, this gaming prowess is a bonus rather than a reason for buying a Mac as an outright gaming computer.
This point is especially valid when you consider Apple’s prices. Right now, MacBook Pro prices start at $2,000. This is significantly more than even flagship models from dedicated gaming laptop manufacturers such as MSI and Alienware.

Lack of Games on Mac Products

Aside from anything else, another issue with viewing Macs as gaming devices is the lack of readily available games. With Macs simply not designed for gaming, video game developers don’t tend to release titles with them in mind. As such, Mac owners are much, much more likely to run into compatibility issues than their Windows laptop and PC-owning counterparts.
Moreover, further issues have arisen since Apple’s switch to its own processors. While its old Intel-supplied chips could run most games to one degree or another, its proprietary chips use an entirely different architecture. As a result, there are even fewer compatible titles from which to choose.
So, while games like Disco Elysium, Minecraft, and World of Warcraft will run perfectly on the latest Macs, others are completely unplayable.
Prospective Mac buyers with a passion for gaming must also consider that many titles require additional software to run. Known as virtualization software, programs such as Rosetta allow users to install and run applications designed for other operating systems.
While Minecraft and World of Warcraft will run without the need for Rosetta or an alternative like CrossOver or Parallels, other popular titles all require extra steps to be taken before players can enjoy them on the latest Apple Mac computers. These include A Dance Of Fire And Ice, Asphalt 9: Legends, Borderlands 3, Cities: Skylines, and Magic: The Gathering Arena.

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