M1 Powered
AppleMagazine|November 05, 2021
Macs back in the game with new processors

It’s true that gamers favor Windows PCs over Macs when building their new gaming rigs, as they’re easy to customize and have widespread support from modern studios, but it doesn’t mean Apple can’t enter the gaming world. As the company builds incredible new machines powered by the M1 Pro and M1 Max, Apple could finally be a serious gaming contender…

GAMING ON THE MAC

For many years, Apple has relied on third-party graphics processors on its MacBooks and iMac models, like the AMD Radeon Pro 5700 XT which is found in the latest 27-inch iMac. But as the company looks to move away from third parties and differentiate itself in the PC market, Apple has begun the transition away from third-party chips to its own custom tech, the M1 chip. Right now, you’ll find the Apple M1 chip in the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, iMac 2021, and the latest Mac Mini, as well as the newest generation of Apple’s iPad Pro, and just last month, the company announced the next-generation of the M1 for high-end machines, named the M1 Pro and M1 Max. These custom-designed SoCs combine CPU and GPU duties and share memory, allowing for impressive performance and battery life on devices. Some gamers have criticized Apple in recent years for lagging behind competitors when it comes to gaming, but some now think that the new M1 chips could save gaming on the Mac. Sure, many game developers have overlooked macOS as a gaming platform, but if they’re serious about winning over a new segment of the market, now could be an ideal time.

Although it’s true that there are few AAA games released for macOS, a PC Magazine report has compiled a list of new games and how they perform on the M1 Pro and M1 Max. They pointed out a “big gap” between the M1 Pro and M1 Max when running graphics-intensive games such as Shadow of the Tomb Raider, with the 14-inch MacBook Pro equipped with the M1 Pro dipping below the 60fps floor that many gamers demand, though the M1 sat at 84-frames-per-second, ideal for modern games and their requirements. Writing for PC Magazine, Tom Brant said that more often than not, the new chips offer the same or comparable power and performance as a Windows PC. “That’s a significant triumph for Mac silicon,” he added in his write-up, “since it’s essentially the same answer to whether or not an Nvidia or AMD GPU in a Windows gaming laptop is good for gaming.” One complaint he did have, however, was that there were simply not enough games available to play on the Mac natively. “The hardware appears to be ready, but a critical mass of games that can take advantage of it simply doesn’t exist,” he said, adding that some titles are in development.

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