In the not so distant past, people used to laugh and scoff at the idea of gaming on any kind of Mac product. Whether it be on the mammoth iMacs or the sleek MacBooks, these devices just weren’t deemed viable gaming tools by serious gamers. Macs have just never been known to be good gaming devices. But with the release of the new M1 chips, some people have actually started to change their tune. The M1 chip has been shown to exhibit amazing performance in terms of productivity tasks. But that’s an area that Apple has always done well in. How is the new M1 chip going to stack up when it comes to gaming online? That’s what we’re here to find out.
A Rundown of the Specs – Apple Macbook Air M1 (A2337)
- Display: 13.3-inch LED (2560 x 1600)
- Processor: Apple Silicon M1 8-Core GPU
- Graphics: Apple Silicon M1 8-Core GPU
- MemoryL 16GB Unified Memory
- OS: MacOS 11 Big Sur
- Storage: 1TB SSD
- Webcam: 720p FaceTime HD Camera
- Ports: 2 x Thunderbolt 4 USB-C, 1 x 3.5mm headphone jack
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
- Dimensions: 11.97 x 8.36, 0.63 – inches (WxDxH)
- Weight: 2.8 lbs
- Retail Price: $1,649
How Well Does it Perform?
The gaming industry is vast and diverse. Gamers of all sorts are entranced with RPGs, first-person shooters, battle royales, casino games, and even board games. Before we get into the actual tests, we might have to go over the nature of different online games. This is because each specific gaming variety demands different things when it comes to hardware and software. Some game varieties are a lot easier to run while other games are much more complicated.
RPGs or Role-Playing Games
RPGs or role-playing games are video games that have players assume the roles of certain characters as they go on adventures and try to solve a series of challenges. These kinds of games tend to be very challenging to play when you have mediocre hardware that can’t live up to the requirements of the game itself.
So, how does the MacBook stack up against more demanding and exhausting gaming titles? The amazing thing about the M1 chip is that it’s the first actual processor that Apple has produced in-house. Previously, Apple has been integrating the ever-reliable Intel chips into their hardware. However, Apple has totally changed the game by developing their own chips and it shows. When benchmarking for games like Rise of the Tomb Raider, the game was able to run at an impressive 30 frames per second with full resolution 2560×1600. The game ran even smoother at 60 FPS once the resolution was lowered to 1920×1200. Given the complex elements within the gaming environment of the Rise of the Tomb Raider game, this is a fairly impressive feat.
FPS or First-Person-Shooter Games
First-person shooters are also very challenging to run for a lot of weaker PC setups. However, when running Call of Duty Black Ops 3 on the Macbook Air, it managed to execute the game at a whopping 90-100 fps frame rate. First-person shooters tend to be very popular these days for a lot of gamers who enjoy war simulations. Some popular titles include Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Counter-Strike. A game like Call of Duty is notorious for being too demanding and that’s why it’s even more impressive that a MacBook Air is able to run it so efficiently.
Another interesting thing to note about the new MacBook Air is that it still doesn’t have a fan inside. Typically, this means that a computer would start running hot whenever it was forced to perform at optimal levels. However, the game didn’t seem to exceed 93-degrees even when it was running Tomb Raider. This is a most impressive feat and it just goes to show that the M1 chip is incredibly good at efficiency when it comes to its power output.
When the same laptop was tested on Fortnite, it still managed to reach around 60 to 80 FPS while running with high quality graphics settings at a 2560 x 1600 resolution. However, there were a few stutters here and there and it just proved that while being an impressive beast, the new MacBook air is still not an optimal gaming machine. Still, considering what the previous generations of MacBooks were capable of, this iteration of the ultrabook has made some very significant leaps.
Well, when it comes to common Flash games and simple software, you can definitely expect the Mac to perform well. This was something that even the older generations of MacBooks didn’t really have any problems with. Most modern laptops (especially at this price range) are more than capable of running web-based applications that can be played on browsers. It also helps that the new MacBook Air has a gorgeous 13.3-inch LED TV that’s simply one of the most stunning displays on the market. Granted, it’s only 13 inches, but the color accuracy and vibrancy of the display still makes it one of the best that money can buy.
Casino games now make up some of the most popular web-based applications on the internet now. If you’re interested in playing casino games, make sure to only go for legitimate sites like the ones on Casinofy’s list of the best online casinos on the internet. Typically, web-based casino games don’t require that much computing power. Even older generation laptops with inferior hardware would be capable of running these casino games on their systems. That’s why the Apple M1 is likely to run these casino games without much of a hitch.
Sports simulations tend to be a little more complex, considering that there are so many gaming variables that need to be considered. This is why the M1 Mac might struggle to run these kinds of games at optimal settings. For example, in a game like NBA 2K, there are heavy pieces of code that are designed to power the game physics of the basketball. And that’s just one very minor aspect of the gameplay. There are other things to take note of like player animations, crowd animations, lighting effects, AI, and all of that. However, the M1 Mac is still powerful enough to run a game like NBA 2K with relatively low settings at a reasonable frame rate.