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BaronSH

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 6, 2018
10
4
Hey all,

I am a long time Mac used, currently using a MacBook and I have recently got an external monitor. I also use an iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch etc

I own the Xbox series x but I want to play a small number of games on the pc, particularly hell let loose and games like crusader kings etc.

The choice is to a) not bother b) get a gaming laptop or c) build a gaming desktop (small form factor).

the laptop options are either a legion 7 3080 or razerblade 14.

desktop wise it would be a 3070 or 3080 if possible to get hold of one.

I am not into the gamer aesthetic and would most likely keep the Mac.

Cost wise they are about the same within 10%.

thoughts?
 

maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,682
43,706
Why not load windows onto your Mac and run the games from there? Unless the games you want on the PC need more horsepower then your Mac, that may be an option

As for desktop vs. laptop, generally building your own desktop will be cheaper but given the state of GPUs (and even CPUs), that may not be the case. I have a Razer (15") so I'd recommend that if you were to go the laptop route.
 
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th0masp

macrumors 6502a
Mar 16, 2015
839
506
Seems like a bad time to build a desktop - perhaps you can find a pre-built one with the right kind of config? Some of those still do come with cards like the 3080 without being marked up to insanity.

Other than that perhaps the recently announced Steam deck is something worth considering. Not sure when that's supposed to ship though.
 
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ian87w

macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2020
8,704
12,636
Indonesia
Hey all,

I am a long time Mac used, currently using a MacBook and I have recently got an external monitor. I also use an iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch etc

I own the Xbox series x but I want to play a small number of games on the pc, particularly hell let loose and games like crusader kings etc.

The choice is to a) not bother b) get a gaming laptop or c) build a gaming desktop (small form factor).

the laptop options are either a legion 7 3080 or razerblade 14.

desktop wise it would be a 3070 or 3080 if possible to get hold of one.

I am not into the gamer aesthetic and would most likely keep the Mac.

Cost wise they are about the same within 10%.

thoughts?
Building a gaming desktop will get you the most performance for the dollar, as there are less heat issues. I would avoid SFF if you want to game as those GPUs use a lot of power and heats up.

If you're short on desk space, then the next best thing is to buy a gaming laptop. They will have better cooling than any MacBooks at the expense of size.

Gaming on a Mac will depend on what Mac you have. If you have a Macbook with intel integrated graphics, forget about it. Even if you have a MacBook Pro with discrete GPU, you won't have optimal performance since heat dissipation is weak and you'll be hearing the fans at top speed constantly.
 

diamond.g

macrumors G4
Mar 20, 2007
11,204
2,501
OBX
Building a gaming desktop will get you the most performance for the dollar, as there are less heat issues. I would avoid SFF if you want to game as those GPUs use a lot of power and heats up.

If you're short on desk space, then the next best thing is to buy a gaming laptop. They will have better cooling than any MacBooks at the expense of size.

Gaming on a Mac will depend on what Mac you have. If you have a Macbook with intel integrated graphics, forget about it. Even if you have a MacBook Pro with discrete GPU, you won't have optimal performance since heat dissipation is weak and you'll be hearing the fans at top speed constantly.
SFF could be fine for gaming if you use the right components, lol.
 

maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,682
43,706
I would avoid SFF if you want to game as those GPUs use a lot of power and heats up.
I have a SFF build, and its whisper quiet and doesn't get overly hot (air cooled). Granted, I don't have a 3090, but then I'm not about to mortgage my house to get one of those anyways. There are plenty of ITX cases that have excellent cooling, and while my ITX is not NUC sized, it is rather small.
 

ian87w

macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2020
8,704
12,636
Indonesia
I have a SFF build, and its whisper quiet and doesn't get overly hot (air cooled). Granted, I don't have a 3090, but then I'm not about to mortgage my house to get one of those anyways. There are plenty of ITX cases that have excellent cooling, and while my ITX is not NUC sized, it is rather small.
The OP wanted 3070 at the least… :)
 

jav6454

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2007
22,303
6,258
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
Hey all,

I am a long time Mac used, currently using a MacBook and I have recently got an external monitor. I also use an iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch etc

I own the Xbox series x but I want to play a small number of games on the pc, particularly hell let loose and games like crusader kings etc.

The choice is to a) not bother b) get a gaming laptop or c) build a gaming desktop (small form factor).

the laptop options are either a legion 7 3080 or razerblade 14.

desktop wise it would be a 3070 or 3080 if possible to get hold of one.

I am not into the gamer aesthetic and would most likely keep the Mac.

Cost wise they are about the same within 10%.

thoughts?
No laptop can be deemed "gaming".
 

maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,682
43,706
Personally, no laptop can change my mind on the fact that's meant for gaming. Personally, serious gaming is reserved for desktops only. Laptops at most for stuff like Fortnite, kiddie games.
Its your opinion and I'll not try to change your mind but there are plenty of gaming laptops that can handle any game you throw at. My Razer is capable of running Cyberpunk and that's no kiddie game.
 

BaronSH

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 6, 2018
10
4
Some great replies, a Mac wouldn’t suffice as the games I want to play enter aren’t available or won’t run via wine.
It would have to be SFF as I don’t want a huge desktop, specifically the ncase m1 as someone mentioned. Pre-built sff are harder to find.

i think a gaming laptop such as a razor blade or legion 7 would do the job it’s just the noise/size/heat and the fact I already have a “better” laptop (mba).

the desktop is probably the best option but the 101 things you have to take into account even though I am tech literate to a degree, where as legion 7 can get a 3 year on site warranty and be done with it. But again noise/heat is an issue.
 

dmr727

macrumors G4
Dec 29, 2007
10,473
5,318
NYC
Its your opinion and I'll not try to change your mind but there are plenty of gaming laptops that can handle any game you throw at. My Razer is capable of running Cyberpunk and that's no kiddie game.

Completely agree. I tend to think 'hardcore' gamers have an exceptionally narrow view on what gaming is.
 
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Harthag

macrumors 68000
Jun 20, 2009
1,808
2,203
U.S.
Personally, no laptop can change my mind on the fact that's meant for gaming. Personally, serious gaming is reserved for desktops only. Laptops at most for stuff like Fortnite, kiddie games.
What is "serious gaming"? I agree that from a cost-performance standpoint, laptops are a waste of money. I have a desktop but am currently working back and forth between two locations, so the laptop route is very convenient. I just returned a Razer Blade 14 due to terrible support, but it's a competent gaming laptop.

OP- if you buy Razer, do not buy from Razer direct. Buy from Amazon or Microsoft.

Went with a 15.6" Maingear (Tongfang chassis) Vector Pro with FHD 240hz screen, R7 5800H, full powered 140w RTX 3070, FreeSync, MUX switch, all in a 3.8 pound chassis. With some tweaking thermals are great.

I play F1 2021, RDR 2, Witcher 3, Forza Horizon 4, Halo remastered franchise, Super Mega Baseball, C&C Remastered, Doom Eternal all on ultra settings well over 60 fps. What puts me into the "serious gaming" club?
 
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mi7chy

macrumors G4
Oct 24, 2014
10,495
11,155
Here's something to start with. Build a PC before buying laptop unless you require portability.

$260 AMD 5600x, comes with crappy CPU cooler so better to get at least Wraith Prism
~$25 Wraith Prism CPU cooler new from private seller
$230 Asus B550-I mobo
$79 16GB Crucial Ballistix DDR4-3200 or $94 for DDR4-3600
$290 Samsung 2TB 970 EVO Plus NVMe SSD
$104 Cooler Master NR200P case
$182 Corsair SF750 PSU
$290 WD Easystore 14TB -15% Best Buy old hard drive trade-in then shuck it for internal mount
$30 Razer Viper Mini wired mouse
$180 Logitech G915 TKL wireless keyboard

Get whatever GPU you can find so $700 3080 Founders Edition from Best Buy, $580 AMD 6800 or $650 6800xt reference from AMD, etc.

Or, wait for Lenovo Legion Slim 7 5800H/RTX3060/16GB/1TB to go on sale again for $1320. I get ~120fps at 1080p max quality on Doom Eternal, Apex Legends, etc.
 
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diamond.g

macrumors G4
Mar 20, 2007
11,204
2,501
OBX
What is "serious gaming"? I agree that from a cost-performance standpoint, laptops are a waste of money. I have a desktop but am currently working back and forth between two locations, so the laptop route is very convenient. I just returned a Razer Blade 14 due to terrible support, but it's a competent gaming laptop.

OP- if you buy Razer, do not buy from Razer direct. Buy from Amazon or Microsoft.

Went with a 15.6" Maingear (Tongfang chassis) Vector Pro with FHD 240hz screen, R7 5800H, full powered 140w RTX 3070, FreeSync, MUX switch, all in a 3.8 pound chassis. With some tweaking thermals are great.

I play F1 2021, RDR 2, Witcher 3, Forza Horizon 4, Halo remastered franchise, Super Mega Baseball, C&C Remastered, Doom Eternal all on ultra settings well over 60 fps. What puts me into the "serious gaming" club?
Clearly the 3070, though some would say you are still a 1080peasant which may or may not be good enough...
 
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maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,682
43,706
Completely agree. I tend to think 'hardcore' gamers have an exceptionally narrow view on what gaming is.

What is "serious gaming"?

When I see someone post about "serious gaming' and "kiddie games" Its clear they have a perspective that is not mine and people who talk about serious gaming tend to look down on certain games. I don't get it, if someone loves play roblox or minecraft or fortnite, who cares. They're having fun, why look down at them.

People seem to think if they choose something that is different then theirs, its the wrong choice. Laptops can and are a fantastic choice for gaming. I love my Razer, it handles anything and everything I throw at it. The OP wrote that for his needs the laptop doesn't fit, but its not a bad choice
 
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jav6454

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2007
22,303
6,258
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
Its your opinion and I'll not try to change your mind but there are plenty of gaming laptops that can handle any game you throw at. My Razer is capable of running Cyberpunk and that's no kiddie game.

Yup, which is why I started out as "personally". Laptops are not performance optimized vs cost for the games one would like to play. Me, I play Metro, Fallout 4, Crysis 3 (yes even this age), Assassins Creed Origin, Doom Eternal and C:S (plus all DLCs). Playing either one on a laptop would kill me.

What is the requirement for a computer to game? Specs? There are laptops with Ryzen 9 and RTX 3070 nowadays. The tech has evolved quite significantly.

Depends on your desired settings. No laptop setting will yield sustained performance over a period of time due to thermals and power demands.

What is "serious gaming"? I agree that from a cost-performance standpoint, laptops are a waste of money. I have a desktop but am currently working back and forth between two locations, so the laptop route is very convenient. I just returned a Razer Blade 14 due to terrible support, but it's a competent gaming laptop.

OP- if you buy Razer, do not buy from Razer direct. Buy from Amazon or Microsoft.

Went with a 15.6" Maingear (Tongfang chassis) Vector Pro with FHD 240hz screen, R7 5800H, full powered 140w RTX 3070, FreeSync, MUX switch, all in a 3.8 pound chassis. With some tweaking thermals are great.

I play F1 2021, RDR 2, Witcher 3, Forza Horizon 4, Halo remastered franchise, Super Mega Baseball, C&C Remastered, Doom Eternal all on ultra settings well over 60 fps. What puts me into the "serious gaming" club?

I would place you there.

Side note, I have been toying with the idea of buying the remastered C&C.

Maybe he doesn't have experience beyond MacBooks.

Hardly... look for my custom built computer threads; should be in my sig. My Mac is only for pics and iLife apps.
 
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BaronSH

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 6, 2018
10
4
Yup, which is why I started out as "personally". Laptops are not performance optimized vs cost for the games one would like to play. Me, I play Metro, Fallout 4, Crysis 3 (yes even this age), Assassins Creed Origin, Doom Eternal and C:S (plus all DLCs). Playing either one on a laptop would kill me.

I'm sure you know what you're talking about but that's just not true though, you can check benchmarks but some of the latest gaming laptops have sustained triple digit performance in the games you've mentioned for hours. I am not saying they are equal to desktops as they are not but they are capable gaming machines if you are okay with the higher temps/noise and slightly lower perfomance.

I'd also add, that as a gamer. All gaming is somewhat childish, there is no serious games or childish games, it's games all the same.

Enjoy your hobby, it's fun, that's what it is for. It is all it is, fun. Saying it's serious games doesn't make it more adult or more "serious" none of it is serious other than the business of making games, now that's serious business.
 

retta283

Suspended
Jun 8, 2018
3,180
3,480
My Mac is only for pics and iLife apps.
Funny, this is exactly the same case for me. Remove photography and music and I don't need a Mac at all.

As for the OP, do you care at all to have an external monitor to display these games on? You can do it with a laptop, obviously, but it does raise some thermal concerns. It's not as bad on the PC side of things but it does have any impact. I don't know what other games you want to play really, but Crusader Kings 3 should be fairly possible to maintain good performance on even with a cheaper GPU if you go desktop route. I suspect the upcoming Victoria 3 will have the same or close system requirements if you plan on purchasing that.

Another personal note, I can't stand the 'gamer' aesthetic either. Give me a black or silver box and accessories and call it good. Too many dummy lights on tech already.
 
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