Is MacBook Good for Gaming?

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MacBooks have become one of the world’s favorite laptops because of their intuitive design, terrific software, and innovative features. Gaming is not one of MacBook’s strengths, however, so it begs the question: Are MacBooks suitable for gaming?

Macs are not suitable for gaming. The majority of Macs lack the hardware power needed to run today’s games, as well as the fact that the Mac OS game selection is small compared to Windows. Also, high-end Macs with enough power for gaming tend to be expensive since they come with hardware geared toward workstations.

Do MacBooks Work Well for Gaming?

The MacBook is not a good option when it comes to gaming, with game compatibility and the GPU being its two main limitations in this regard. A MacBook lacks the powerful graphics cards necessary for playing most high-end popular games but works well enough if you want to start streaming online.

The majority of games are hardware-intensive, specifically graphics cards. GPUs process every component of the game you see on your screen so that it appears on the screen efficiently and effectively. 

Graphically complex games such as Metro Exodus require powerful GPUs for processing, which MacBook lacks. A further point is that this computer is not compatible with all games. As most popular games require Windows, you’ll not be able to play Windows-compatible games on your Mac.

What Makes a Laptop Ideal for Gaming?

The laptop hardware is the primary thing that will let you know whether it is ideal for gaming or not. For high-quality gaming, you will need a top-end graphics card that will allow you to set higher graphics settings and therefore perform better in games. 

When playing, it is incredible to view high-definition graphics, even though better graphics do not necessarily make for a better gaming experience. Following your video card selection, you should focus on the second major component of your gaming laptop – the processor and RAM. 

The CPU is your PC’s brain. It controls all of your computer’s tasks, including gaming. When you play video games, your graphics card does most of the work, but your CPU will perform quite a bit of the processing.

On the other hand, the RAM dictates what can be processed at one time. Therefore, if you have more RAM, your CPU can quickly access more data. As gamers always have a problem with storage, having good RAM will help with this. 

Games are notorious for taking up a lot of space on your computer’s hard drive; however, they run more slowly on larger drives.

With SSDs, you can install your operating system and play games much faster because they have faster read and write times. Therefore, most gamers prefer using SSD over HDD on their laptops for high storage and faster speed.

Reasons Why MacBook Is Not Suitable for Gaming

The Mac is well known for being ‘the professional’s computer’ since Apple is a brand geared towards professionals. 

However, the Mac isn’t known for its gaming capabilities. Here are the reasons why MacBook Airs aren’t suitable for gamers.

1. Incompetent Hardware & Software for Gaming

It is impossible to deny that Apple products are awesome. However, not everyone has the means to purchase them, after all, they’re pretty expensive. Some individuals prefer PCs over Macs due to other factors besides cost. A PC can indeed do a lot of things for free, however, Macs can’t do the same. Serious gamers do not just prefer PCs because of the lower cost. 

Almost all Macs have great displays and in terms of memory and storage, they are also not bad. As it turns out, MacBooks and their desktop versions come with plenty of memory and storage.

However, the graphics card must be powerful enough to be capable of running games that are not available on MacBook. Macs typically have pretty decent processors but only the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air have Quad-Core processors. 

The graphics are the only thing that is questionable about Macs when it comes to gaming. Since Macs have integrated Intel graphics cards, they cannot handle the power required for gaming. Integrated graphics cards aren’t ideal for gaming. What are the reasons Macs aren’t good for gaming? Well, they just don’t have the right hardware for high-end gaming, and gamers who are serious about gaming will not be able to run all the games on this machine. 

It won’t matter how good the APU is because they still won’t work. The iMac still does not have the power to run many games, even with its own dedicated graphics card, so they are an odd choice for gaming since they are more expensive than PCs. 

PCs are a better option for gaming due to their greater affordability and excellent performance. This article is not meant to disparage Mac as a product, it is just that the Mac is not intended for gaming.

2. Fanless Design

Most of the latest MacBooks, especially the M1 models, now feature fan-less designs. This innovation has allowed users to enjoy the serenity and a noiseless environment.

The fan-less Apple design is compelling, can stay cool even under harsh conditions, and the game will run smoothly while you have a good time, though you should be careful when using it. Despite Apple’s claims, when you go a little overboard while gaming, you feel that bad burn. In this case, you’d be better off resetting the game to its very basic settings or simply taking a break.

3. Non-Gaming Keyboards

Even though the non-gaming keyboards may seem inconsequential, it matters. In contrast to the gaming-adjusted mechanical keyboards, Macs do not have gaming-oriented keyboards.

There is also a shorter key travel since the keys look more Chiclet-like. However, the latest Macs feature scissor mechanism keyboards instead of that dross butterfly mechanism. Basically, they aren’t for gamers.

4. Do not Include Discrete GPU

Dedicated graphics cards are a kind of a must for AAA-level gaming. Macs do not come equipped with a discrete graphics setup. Even though the M1 Air comes with an 8-core GPU and almost 80% better graphics performance, it lacks gaming capacity.

5. Compatibility Issue

A significant reason most of the Macs in the M1 line are not suitable for gaming is that few games are Mac-optimized. In terms of games, most of them are available for the x86 (32-bit) and x64 (64-bit) platforms. 

Although many of those applications have now been ported to the Apple silicon, most of them are still not completely optimized. On the other hand, most games are not compatible with the new Mac devices and for this reason, too, you can’t play every game on your Mac.

6. Upgradability Is Difficult

Apart from compatibility issues, upgradability is another issue with Mac devices. Gamers upgrade their hardware regularly as games become more advanced. Therefore, gamers will always require more robust and upgradable hardware to run games.

It is expensive to use your Mac for the sole purpose of running a game. Therefore, it is not really viable to upgrade them to make them compatible with the latest games.


There are few Macs with enough processing power to run modern games, and those that do are too expensive to use just for gaming. In addition, there are fewer games released for Mac compared to Windows, and that’s another downside.

The bottom line is that Macs aren’t a good choice for gaming as they weren’t built for that purpose. There is no doubt that Macs are great for their intended purpose, but playing games is not one of those things.

Alex Berg
Alex Berg

Founder, writer, editor-in-chief at LaptopTalks. Starting LaptopTalks is like a dream come true, combining two of his passions – writing and technology. Even in his free time, you can often find him by his gaming laptop playing the latest video games.

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