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s1oplus

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 24, 2023
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Im wondering what should i get because the two are solid options. I plan on doing light gaming on the mac and i think the macbook air is small but i love the portability and design what should i get?
 

dmccloud

macrumors 68040
Sep 7, 2009
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1,787
Anchorage, AK
If you want the flexibility to take the Mac with you, then go with the MacBook Air. If you don't want or need the flexibility, then you can go with the Mac Mini and save some money in the process, especially if you already have a good keyboard, mouse, and display to use.
 

russell_314

macrumors 603
Feb 10, 2019
6,144
9,194
USA
Im wondering what should i get because the two are solid options. I plan on doing light gaming on the mac and i think the macbook air is small but i love the portability and design what should i get?
I think the only question you have to ask is, do you need portability? They are going to perform similarly since it’s basically the same SOC. With one you’re paying considerably more because you’re getting a display, keyboard, trackpad, and battery. If you don’t need those items, then probably don’t buy them.

Also, the Mac mini is going to be more trouble free since if you damage the keyboard or mouse, you could just buy a new one.
 
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s1oplus

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 24, 2023
105
23
I think the only question you have to ask is, do you need portability? They are going to perform similarly since it’s basically the same SOC. With one you’re paying considerably more because you’re getting a display, keyboard, trackpad, and battery. If you don’t need those items, then probably don’t buy them.

Also, the Mac mini is going to be more trouble free since if you damage the keyboard or mouse, you could just buy a new one.
Great! Im getting a macbook air. I really like having the flexibility to bring my computer anywhere.
 
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Mike Boreham

macrumors 68040
Aug 10, 2006
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UK
I have no experience of gaming on my M2 Macbook Air, but no one has mentioned that the Mini has a cooling fan and the MacBook Air is fanless.

The Air does an amazing job of handling sustained high load tasks but it will throttle more than the Mini. This is unimportant for most uses but might matter in gaming.
 

Minghold

macrumors 6502
Oct 21, 2022
263
128
Games like minecraft java edition. The sims 4. Roblox. All other games will be played on my xbox series s

Pick up a used 2013-15 Macbook Pro, and put either MacOS High Sierra or MacOS Mojave on it (clone the latter into an HFS+ partition). --Why? The great bulk of Mac games in general, including Minecraft Java, Sim 4 Classic, and most of the great classics (Peggle Nights, Angry Birds, etc), are 32bit software. None of these are playable on 2020+ Macs that require Catalina or higher.

(Roblox appears to be iphone only.)
 

s1oplus

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 24, 2023
105
23
Pick up a used 2013-15 Macbook Pro, and put either MacOS High Sierra or MacOS Mojave on it (clone the latter into an HFS+ partition). --Why? The great bulk of Mac games in general, including Minecraft Java, Sim 4 Classic, and most of the great classics (Peggle Nights, Angry Birds, etc), are 32bit software. None of these are playable on 2020+ Macs that require Catalina or higher.

(Roblox appears to be iphone only.)
Nope. Java edition has been optimized for m1 and the sims 4 plays fine on my sisters identical MacBook (m2 base model) edit: my dad plays roblox on his base model m1
 

Juicy Box

macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2014
7,540
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What do you consider “light gaming”?
Games like minecraft java edition. The sims 4. Roblox.
The biggest issue with the M2 MBA and any games is the passive cooling. Some games may play well initially, but thermal throttle after some playtime.

The newest 2022 Apple TV 4K3 with the passively cooled A15 has this issue bad, so bad that the older and technically slower A12 in the 2021 ATV4K2 can actually outperform the ATV4K3 on same games due to the ATV4K2 having a fan to cool it.

For your scenario, Minecraft and The Sims 4 are AS native, so that helps. I would also consider those titles "light gaming", and you should probably be fine with the M2 MBA.

Mr Mac Right on YouTube tested Minecraft (not sure if it is Java or not) and The Sims 4 on the M2 MBA.

Both played well, but he listed specific settings that he used to get the performance he likes.

While he didn't specifically say what type of performance he was looking for, I watch enough of his videos to know that he prefers higher fps over eye candy.

The point is, if you go off of his testing and think the MBA would do well, but use different settings than he uses, your experience might be different.

For example, when playing Minecraft, he played at 1080p, and 1440p for The Sims, if you increase the resolution, the experience could be different.

He didn't test Roblox, but I saw some other YouTube videos testing it on the M2 MBA, and it appears that it plays well. My daughters play Roblox, one on a Mid 2012 11" MBA, and it plays well on there. Of course, the Mid 2012 MBA has a fan though.
 
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s1oplus

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 24, 2023
105
23
The biggest issue with the M2 MBA and any games is the passive cooling. Some games may play well initially, but thermal throttle after some playtime.

The newest 2022 Apple TV 4K3 with the passively cooled A15 has this issue bad, so bad that the older and technically slower A12 in the 2021 ATV4K2 can actually outperform the ATV4K3 on same games due to the ATV4K2 having a fan to cool it.

For your scenario, Minecraft and The Sims 4 are AS native, so that helps. I would also consider those titles "light gaming", and you should probably be fine with the M2 MBA.

Mr Mac Right on YouTube tested Minecraft (not sure if it is Java or not) and The Sims 4 on the M2 MBA.

Both played well, but he listed specific settings that he used to get the performance he likes.

While he didn't specifically say what type of performance he was looking for, I watch enough of his videos to know that he prefers higher fps over eye candy.

The point is, if you go off of his testing and think the MBA would do well, but use different settings than he uses, your experience might be different.

For example, when playing Minecraft, he played at 1080p, and 1440p for The Sims, if you increase the resolution, the experience could be different.

He didn't test Roblox, but I saw some other YouTube videos testing it on the M2 MBA, and it appears that it plays well. My daughters play Roblox, one on a Mid 2012 11" MBA, and it plays well on there. Of course, the Mid 2012 MBA has a fan though.
Yes he tested java bedrock is only for computers using windows 10 or consoles and mobile devices
 

Juicy Box

macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2014
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(Roblox appears to be iphone only.)
I don't know if it played on AS, but there is definitely a Mac version of Roblox.


The great bulk of Mac games in general, including Minecraft Java, Sim 4 Classic, and most of the great classics (Peggle Nights, Angry Birds, etc), are 32bit software. None of these are playable on 2020+ Macs that require Catalina or higher.
(Note that Sims 4 came out in 2014; its original code was 32bit. Apple killing off 32bit with Catalina in 2019 will haunt it, as in enabled Microsoft to chortle and retain pre-64bit support with Windows 11, meaning that OS can still run 25yo PC apps. With "Tiny11", you can even install it on 2008 blackback iMacs with less than 4gb of ram. With some simple tricks, it'll even run 16bit games from the floppy-disk era!)
There is a AS Native version of both Minecraft (not sure about Java) and The Sims 4.
 

s1oplus

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 24, 2023
105
23
(Note that Sims 4 came out in 2014; its original code was 32bit. Apple killing off 32bit with Catalina in 2019 will haunt it, as in enabled Microsoft to chortle and retain pre-64bit support with Windows 11, meaning that OS can still run 25yo PC apps. With "Tiny11", you can even install it on 2008 blackback iMacs with less than 4gb of ram. With some simple tricks, it'll even run 16bit games from the floppy-disk era!)
Yes but EA updated ALL sims games to be 64 bit.
 
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s1oplus

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 24, 2023
105
23
I don't know if it played on AS, but there is definitely a Mac version of Roblox.




There is a AS Native version of both Minecraft (not sure about Java) and The Sims 4.
Java is the only version of minecraft that runs on mac and has recieved an m1 architecture update
 
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s1oplus

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 24, 2023
105
23
He didn't test Roblox, but I saw some other YouTube videos testing it on the M2 MBA, and it appears that it plays well. My daughters play Roblox, one on a Mid 2012 11" MBA, and it plays well on there. Of course, the Mid 2012 MBA has a fan though.
The games i plan to play on roblox are a bit resource intensive such as greenville ptfs and southwest florida which probaly will not run on all macs.
 

Juicy Box

macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2014
7,540
8,876
Yes he tested java bedrock is only for computers using windows 10 or consoles and mobile devices
You watched his review? Was it helpful?

Other than the fact that he hate WoW and often makes negative comments about it, I like his videos.

He is one of the best (maybe only) game tester for all the current Apple devices on YouTube. He tests all the Apple devices, including tvOS.

His M2 MBA gaming test video isn't as comprehensive as some of his other videos, but it still might have been helpful to you in your decision making on what Mac to get.

Java is the only version of minecraft that runs on mac and has recieved an m1 architecture update
Yeah, I no nothing about Minecraft other than I knew there was a AS version. I didn't want to assume that the Java version was available for AS Macs, as I did not know if it was or not.

The games i plan to play on roblox are a bit resource intensive such as greenville ptfs and southwest florida which probaly will not run on all macs.
There is a YT video of someone testing Greenville on a M2 MBA, I saw it yesterday. I have no idea what Greenville was, but since you just mentioned it, the guy testing it said that everything ran well, 60 fps locked, with a few random lag spikes.

Normally anyone that plans on playing games, I would recommend the MM over the MBA due to the MM having a fan, but since you stated you want the portability, and the fact that it appears the titles you play can be played for long periods of time on the passively-cooled M2 MBA, I think you would be fine with it.

I have the M1 MM and the M2 Pro MM, and playing WoW, they definitely need that fan.
 

s1oplus

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 24, 2023
105
23
You watched his review? Was it helpful?

Other than the fact that he hate WoW and often makes negative comments about it, I like his videos.

He is one of the best (maybe only) game tester for all the current Apple devices on YouTube. He tests all the Apple devices, including tvOS.

His M2 MBA gaming test video isn't as comprehensive as some of his other videos, but it still might have been helpful to you in your decision making on what Mac to get.


Yeah, I no nothing about Minecraft other than I knew there was a AS version. I didn't want to assume that the Java version was available for AS Macs, as I did not know if it was or not.


There is a YT video of someone testing Greenville on a M2 MBA, I saw it yesterday. I have no idea what Greenville was, but since you just mentioned it, the guy testing it said that everything ran well, 60 fps locked, with a few random lag spikes.

Normally anyone that plans on playing games, I would recommend the MM over the MBA due to the MM having a fan, but since you stated you want the portability, and the fact that it appears the titles you play can be played for long periods of time on the passively-cooled M2 MBA, I think you would be fine with it.

I have the M1 MM and the M2 Pro MM, and playing WoW, they definitely need that fan.
I saw the roblox video but i did not see the other one. I saw the relaxing end video about i tho
 

russell_314

macrumors 603
Feb 10, 2019
6,144
9,194
USA
The biggest issue with the M2 MBA and any games is the passive cooling.
I find most of this the issue about passive cooling is FUD made up by a certain YouTuber to get views. Not the YouTuber you mentioned.

Yes, there is a certain aspect of thermal throttling that will occur but from my experience playing WoW classic it was a non-issue. Either way it’s a Mac so it’s okay for light gaming like the OP was asking about. For actual gaming I will always say go for a Windows PC. I know that will upset some in the Mac community, but sorry it’s just the reality.
 
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s1oplus

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 24, 2023
105
23
I find most of this the issue about passive cooling is FUD made up by a certain YouTuber to get views. Not the YouTuber you mentioned.

Yes, there is a certain aspect of thermal throttling that will occur but from my experience playing WoW classic it was a non-issue. Either way it’s a Mac so it’s okay for light gaming like the OP was asking about. For actual gaming I will always say go for a Windows PC. I know that will upset some in the Mac community, but sorry it’s just the reality.
I already have an xbox for more heavy gaming im not gonna push the mac or ipad too far
 
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Juicy Box

macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2014
7,540
8,876
Yes, there is a certain aspect of thermal throttling that will occur but from my experience playing WoW classic it was a non-issue.
Classic isn't an issue, but Retail, especially in the last few expansion areas, the MBA would throttle like crazy unless you have the graphical settings set low.

Either way it’s a Mac so it’s okay for light gaming like the OP was asking about.
I agree.

But, "light gaming" can mean very different things to different people, which is why I asked the OP of example of what they consider light gaming.

Some people consider Retail WoW as "light gaming", which I would give a different response than what I gave for Minecraft, Roblox, and The Sims 4.
 

Chuckeee

macrumors 68020
Aug 18, 2023
2,168
6,082
Southern California
But, "light gaming" can mean very different things to different people
So true, when I think of “light gaming” I think of old Infocom text games from the Interactive Fiction Database (https://ifdb.org/) using a Z-code interpreter (e.g., https://github.com/angstsmurf/spatterlight).

And the results hardware requirements are very modest. Basically anything that is reliable enough not to brake-down after several hours of continuous game play.
 
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