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Frankied22

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 24, 2010
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Everything we’ve heard so far about Apple silicon sounds great in terms of performance but one area that I am still very curious about is the gpu and gaming. A lot of people are saying this will be the final nail in the coffin for any chance to have high end gaming on the Mac but I’m not so sure. Apple already has been making some pretty impressive gpus on their A chips in both the iPhone and iPad. There are games on the iPad that I would say are approaching console level quality (not newest consoles of course) and lets not forget that it is pushing a 120hz high resolution screen.

I have a feeling that we are going to be quite impressed with the graphics on the new Mac chips since they can increase the size and provide more cooling to it for better thermals. I could see a future 4-5 years from now where, as long as devs also make their games compatible with Apple silicon, we could finally have high end gaming on the Mac.
 

maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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A lot of people are saying this will be the final nail in the coffin for any chance to have high end gaming on the Mac
Do you think that many high end publishers will be willing to spend a lot of money porting their games over to a different OS and platform? Especially given Apple's long history of providing tepid support of gaming. They're going to go where the money is, and with only a tiny niche (I believe) of apple's 10 percent market share seem focused on gaming, it doesn't make sense imo. There really isn't much opportunity to make money.
 
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leman

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2008
13,545
9,205
We’ll see. If unity is available on ARM Mac, it means that many games should be easily portable (t least games I care about). If Apple manages to ensure a certain minimal performance level (say, comparable to gtx 1650) in all their new Macs, this would make Mac an attractive target. According to steam hardware survey, only a small percentage of steam users actually have a fast GPU, most are around 1660 level or lower (unless I misread it completely).
 
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RoundaboutRider

macrumors member
May 5, 2020
52
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Apple is definitely all-in on gaming. After all they featured Frogger during the Apple Arcade keynote!

Sarcasm aside, I think it's pretty much the end for mainstream AAA console games coming to the Mac. The only chance is probably cloud or console streaming. I just tried Parallels to console stream my Xbox and it was barely playable on GTA V. No chance for high precision high intensity games as the lag even on gigabit LAN is bad.

I sincerely hope my suspicions are wrong for AAA console games. At least arcade and indie games aren't bad, they're just not to my taste.
 
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bluecoast

macrumors 68000
Nov 7, 2017
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I’d be really interested to see what leading games studios think of this.

I’m guessing that the Mac will be a similar platform to the Switch where like Nintendo, Apple Arcade will keep a flow of interesting new games for the platform.

And then like the Switch, I’ll imagine that we’ll get triple A games 18 months down the line from their launch on the PC from people like Aspyr ie when they know that it’s worth porting a mega hit over to the Mac AND iPad (I think the dual platform will be key).

Wonder if we’ll see games like WoW come to ARM? Although WoW is surely on its last few years now, so maybe it won’t be worth it.
 
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Bustycat

macrumors 6502
Jan 21, 2015
485
1,111
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
I’d be really interested to see what leading games studios think of this.

I’m guessing that the Mac will be a similar platform to the Switch where like Nintendo, Apple Arcade will keep a flow of interesting new games for the platform.

And then like the Switch, I’ll imagine that we’ll get triple A games 18 months down the line from their launch on the PC from people like Aspyr ie when they know that it’s worth porting a mega hit over to the Mac AND iPad (I think the dual platform will be key).

Wonder if we’ll see games like WoW come to ARM? Although WoW is surely on its last few years now, so maybe it won’t be worth it.
WoW is a rare MMORPG that uses the Metal API for macOS. If it does not support Apple Silicon Macs, most of large games would disappear from macOS in the future.
 
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Janichsan

macrumors 68020
Oct 23, 2006
2,257
5,466
Everything we’ve heard so far about Apple silicon sounds great in terms of performance but one area that I am still very curious about is the gpu and gaming. A lot of people are saying this will be the final nail in the coffin for any chance to have high end gaming on the Mac but I’m not so sure. Apple already has been making some pretty impressive gpus on their A chips in both the iPhone and iPad. There are games on the iPad that I would say are approaching console level quality (not newest consoles of course) and lets not forget that it is pushing a 120hz high resolution screen.

I have a feeling that we are going to be quite impressed with the graphics on the new Mac chips since they can increase the size and provide more cooling to it for better thermals. I could see a future 4-5 years from now where, as long as devs also make their games compatible with Apple silicon, we could finally have high end gaming on the Mac.
The switch will hurt what's left of Mac gaming massively. The companies responsible for the majority of ports of AAA games already had to struggle when Apple put the onus of having to patch their products to 64 bit on them – on their own cost, at the expense of new projects, and with just the outlook of some meagre revenue stream for these old games.

And now, just a year later, they are supposed to do this again to port the games to Arm.

Would you do that?

It's no wonder both Feral and Aspyr have released less and less major titles in the last few years and have looked for new markets: Feral had some successes on the Switch, Aspyr publishes games for consoles and ports some older popular titles to these platforms.

It also remains to be seen how feasible porting PC games to the new Arm platform really is. Performance is one thing, but if it's difficult to adapt and optimise the game to the new, completely unrelated platform, the interest in support macOS might dwindle.

On the other hand, it will now be possible to play all kind of iOS shovelware crap directly on Macs. Yay.

We’ll see. If unity is available on ARM Mac, it means that many games should be easily portable …
I wouldn't necessarily count on that: many popular games using Unity are build with older versions, and it's apparently problematic to update them to recent versions. It's often not simply possible to just load the old project, click "Build", and have a new, updated version.

There are quite a few Unity games which already haven't been updated to 64 bit for this reason.
 
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Richdmoore

macrumors 68000
Jul 24, 2007
1,880
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Troutdale, OR
Apple is definitely all-in on gaming. After all they featured Frogger during the Apple Arcade keynote!

Sarcasm aside, I think it's pretty much the end for mainstream AAA console games coming to the Mac. The only chance is probably cloud or console streaming. I just tried Parallels to console stream my Xbox and it was barely playable on GTA V. No chance for high precision high intensity games as the lag even on gigabit LAN is bad.

I sincerely hope my suspicions are wrong for AAA console games. At least arcade and indie games aren't bad, they're just not to my taste.

As an aside, if you are local streaming, try using OneCast (Mac OS version, or ios/ipados/tvOS version to gamestream your Xbox one instead of parallels. It worked much better for me, and was worth the app cost. (It might not be necessary should xcloud ever be real we’d for Apple computers/devices.)
 
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steve1960

macrumors 6502
Sep 23, 2014
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Singapore
Who cares? Would you buy any Mac for gaming? Love Mac's, have an entire ecosystem in my apartment at least 10 devices. Phones, Laptops, iPads. My 10 year old daughter has a Nintendo Switch for playing games though...............

Horses for courses.
[automerge]1593323244[/automerge]
Why is it even necessary to pursue the holy grail of integration. Low to mid range computers are for the average Joe to use the Internet and Office software. High end computers are for graphic designers and way over priced for gaming.

We have Nintendo, X Box and all those other products for gaming.

Stop trying to fit square pegs in round holes.
 
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steve1960

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Sep 23, 2014
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My daughters like me to play Roblox sometimes so I fire up my late 2009 MacBook white and it works just fine. Gets a little hot and the fan wakes up but it's fine. However, of I wanted to play Megatron Killing Machine 2020 or whatever is the latest game I would buy an X Box or similar.
 
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Realityck

macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2015
1,550
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Silicon Valley, CA
Who cares? Would you buy any Mac for gaming? Love Mac's, have an entire ecosystem in my apartment at least 10 devices. Phones, Laptops, iPads. My 10 year old daughter has a Nintendo Switch for playing games though...............

Horses for courses.
[automerge]1593323244[/automerge]
Why is it even necessary to pursue the holy grail of integration. Low to mid range computers are for the average Joe to use the Internet and Office software. High end computers are for graphic designers and way over priced for gaming.

We have Nintendo, X Box and all those other products for gaming.

Stop trying to fit square pegs in round holes.
If they make separate product lines I don't have a issue, such as a low end ARM laptop. But until I actually see something tangible instead of that ARM development mini with just ok performance, it's still all a pipe dream with Rosetta once again being a work around to be able to run things. :)
 
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Janichsan

macrumors 68020
Oct 23, 2006
2,257
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Who cares? Would you buy any Mac for gaming? Love Mac's, have an entire ecosystem in my apartment at least 10 devices. Phones, Laptops, iPads. My 10 year old daughter has a Nintendo Switch for playing games though...............

Horses for courses.
[automerge]1593323244[/automerge]
Why is it even necessary to pursue the holy grail of integration. Low to mid range computers are for the average Joe to use the Internet and Office software. High end computers are for graphic designers and way over priced for gaming.

We have Nintendo, X Box and all those other products for gaming.

Stop trying to fit square pegs in round holes.
As that's a whole different discussion, I'll keep it short: not everyone wants or can't play games on other platforms, and there are valid reasons for that.

Gaming on consoles is not an alternative for every genre and due to controller constrainments not to everyone's liking. And having a separate, dedicated gaming PC might not be possible due to space and budget limitations. Also, not everyone wants to deal with Windows.

So yeah, square pegs, round holes.
 
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LiE_

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2013
1,179
3,130
UK
As that's a whole different discussion, I'll keep it short: not everyone wants or can't play games on other platforms, and there are valid reasons for that.

Gaming on consoles is not an alternative for every genre and due to controller constrainments not to everyone's liking. And having a separate, dedicated gaming PC might not be possible due to space and budget limitations. Also, not everyone wants to deal with Windows.

So yeah, square pegs, round holes.

There are always people that have unique set of requirements for their hardware choices. The thing is, Apple doesn’t tend to cater for the small minority. Gaming on a high resolution retina monitor isn’t easy for a GPU. Most high end gaming PCs still don’t use 4K monitors.

I tried the whole Mac mini with a eGPU connected to a 4K Ultrafine. That was as close to decent Mac gaming experience as you can get with a 5700XT without giving up the things that make a Mac great. Even then it wasn’t perfect. I had to run bootcamp as usually games ran much better on Windows.
 
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steve1960

macrumors 6502
Sep 23, 2014
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So here we are. Don't buy a Mac for gaming. I appreciate budget constraints, lord knows I do. Pick and choose what you can afford but do not expect a Mac to be a games machine.
 
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hungryghosty

macrumors regular
May 14, 2020
126
59
Given a tarted up version of the Ipad Pro's GPU/CPU with more RAM /higher storage capacity and the level of optimisation that comes with developing for a specific chipset I think we could potentially see some pretty amazing stuff on the new ARM Macbooks.

Let's be honest the gaming experience in boot camp on Intel integrated GPU's has always been dire with most struggling to run even 5-10 year old PC games set to low/medium settings at acceptable frame rates. I'll wager something like the IOS version of fortnight will run way better on the new Macbooks than the old x86 version ever did.
 
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RoundaboutRider

macrumors member
May 5, 2020
52
47
As an aside, if you are local streaming, try using OneCast (Mac OS version, or ios/ipados/tvOS version to gamestream your Xbox one instead of parallels. It worked much better for me, and was worth the app cost. (It might not be necessary should xcloud ever be real we’d for Apple computers/devices.)

Thanks for this! I suppose we could use the iPad version on macOS when the time comes 🙂
 
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Janichsan

macrumors 68020
Oct 23, 2006
2,257
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So here we are. Don't buy a Mac for gaming. I appreciate budget constraints, lord knows I do. Pick and choose what you can afford but do not expect a Mac to be a games machine.
People don't buy Mac primarily to play games, but they absolutely expect to be able to use them also for games.

And Apple is aware of that. Which is why they always include games benchmarks whenever they release a new machine. Which is why they regularly invite gaming companies to their keynotes, to show off how "great" their products work on that fabulous new Apple technology. And which is why they kept repeating the mantra how great the new Apple chips will be for gaming.

They certainly aren't catering to the hardcore gamer crowd with $5000 LED adorned PCs, Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti GPUs, and their HTC Vive Pro on the head. But they are addressing the Average Gamer™, who are not the people with eGPUs attempting to run games at 4K, but who are already overjoyed when their games run smoothly at 1080p and decent settings – which happens to be precisely Apple claims (as of yet unconfirmed by independent sources) what that iPad Pro in a Mac mini casing is capable of, even when the game runs under Rosetta.
 
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Falhófnir

macrumors 603
Aug 19, 2017
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Just think how much bigger the Mac gaming market would be if the MacBook Air and 13" Pro was finally able to play titles like Tomb Raider, Total War or even CoD, GTA or AC, not just the 16" Pro and dGPU equipped iMacs. That's surely a more enticing proposition for game studios? Currently that's got to be 50%+ of current Macs excluded from playing, leaving a tiny fraction of a fraction as their target market. If Apple use Arcade to let a single port target Macs and iPads then that's going to be a very interesting proposition.
 
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maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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That's surely a more enticing proposition for game studios?
So you're postulating that the new ARM based MacBook Airs will be powerful enough to to run Tomb Raider? I think that's going to be a stretch. The WWDC demo has Tomb Raider running on their most powerful ARM desktop (and knows what gpu). Even then, it was just at 1080p with all of the detail turned off, i.e., it did not look that great.
 
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steve1960

macrumors 6502
Sep 23, 2014
293
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Singapore
So much like me playing Roblox on my 2009 MacBook White with my daughters. It is not a gaming machine but it can hold it's own on old tech games.

Don't buy a Mac for games, buy it for the right reasons for you and your applications. If you get lucky and it will run some games great. Forget the Apple PR they are just trying to extend their reach into a market they have no business being in.
 
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Falhófnir

macrumors 603
Aug 19, 2017
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So you're postulating that the new ARM based MacBook Airs will be powerful enough to to run Tomb Raider? I think that's going to be a stretch. The WWDC demo has Tomb Raider running on their most powerful ARM desktop (and knows what gpu). Even then, it was just at 1080p with all of the detail turned off, i.e., it did not look that great.
It was running emulated on an A12Z. Any ported game in the App store would run natively on a more powerful Mac chip. I would point you in the direction of the Nintendo Switch if you don't think a Windows-first AAA game would work well on Arm chips.
 
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ascender

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Dec 8, 2005
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I think it’ll be great for Apple Arcade but that’s about it. I don’t think things will change from how it is today which is a shame, but I’ve come to learn that unless you throw silly levels of money at the problem, you end up with a sub-par experience and your fans on constantly - unless you get lucky with one of the native ports which isn’t too graphically intensive.

To be fair, is anybody really buying Macs to game on? For as long as I can remember, there’s been a handful of strategy games which get great Mac ports and can be run at decent quality, but everything else is just a PITA to get going. There’s also some good mac stuff on Steam, but if you want the latest games at great quality, its a console or a pc gaming rig surely?
 
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