Can You Game on a MacBook?


Hey guys this is Austin. Usually the words
Mac and gaming don’t go in the same sentence but is it possible? If you want a gaming computer
a Mac shouldn’t be your first choice but what I want to know is can you game at all
on a MacBook? Take a look at the specs of this 2015 13 inch MacBook Pro and it’s got
a decent Core i7 CPU but the integrated Iris 6100 graphics aren’t exactly made for hardcore
gaming. Last year I tried a few games on a Mac Pro with much better specs and it did
reasonably well but how will the MacBook stack up? The first problem is just finding games
that work on OS X. There are a few titles in Origin and in the Mac App Store but your
choices are pretty limited. Luckily Steam is also available and here there’s a pretty
decent selection with quite a few games from my library that will work on Mac. First we
have Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. Here it’s totally playable on low at 720p on the MacBook
and just like on SteamOS The Pre-Sequel is a solid port that’s basically identical
to the Windows version. Move over to Tomb Raider and it’s not quite so nice. It’s
almost playable at 720p but we’re getting pretty significant frame rate drops. Jump
over to Metro: Last Light Redux and things are a bit smoother but we’re still dealing
with the occasional choppiness during the more intense scenes. Things aren’t off to
a great start but how does the MacBook handle less hardcore games? Minecraft is a staple
of basically every gaming platform on the planet and the Mac is no exception. Performance
is just fine even at 1080p as long as you notch the render distance back a bit. League
of Legends is the same story, this is a rock solid version of the game for Mac that runs
no problem on max at 1080p. So a MacBook can handle mainstream games fairly well but next
I wanted to see what we could do running Windows. Using Boot Camp I loaded a preview copy of
Windows 10 which opens a much bigger library of PC games. Trying Tomb Raider again it’s
clear that Windows makes a big difference. We’re seeing much more playable frame rates
even with the graphics bumped up to medium which got me curious, how much of a difference
is there? I ran the built-in benchmark on medium at 720p and the Windows performance
was over double what it was on OS X, averaging 43 frames per second compared to just shy
of 20 running Yosemite. For a laptop with integrated graphics this isn’t half bad
but let’s try a couple newer, more demanding titles. Load up Grand Theft Auto 5 and it’s
totally playable on low at 720p…well as long as you have a mouse anyway. The only
problem was a weird texture issue that made some things semi-transparent but this seems
more like a GTA problem than the MacBook’s fault. Shadow of Mordor is another great looking
game and here we’re able to get decent frame rates on low, nothing to blow you away but
it’s entirely usable. If you want to play more casual games a MacBook is fine but for
demanding titles it might not be a bad idea to install Windows via Boot Camp, it’ll
give you way more options and things should run a fair bit better. The addition of Metal
to OS X El Capitan should improve gaming performance similar to DirectX 12 so it’ll be interesting
to revisit this next year. So is a MacBook a good gaming PC? No, not even close. But
if you want to play the occasional game on a MacBook it’s totally possible.

100 thoughts on “Can You Game on a MacBook?

  1. All I want with my MacBook Pro is to do my work (done) and play sims 3 and 4 but the problem is I don't know how many games I can download, I want to download 10 of my sims games, will this break my laptop, please someone reply on my old laptop I downloaded too many games but that was a Fujitsu so can someone tell me how many I can download??

  2. The fuzzy textures are due to some of the graphics options being turned off. On my laptop I do the same thing (Windows 10), and I get the same results.

  3. Answer: no it's garbage and wasn't made for gaming. There, I just saved two minutes and fifty two seconds of your life.

  4. Yeah, I mean if you don’t mind lower graphics, I know you can run overwatch on a MacBook Air, my friend plays on one, just a lil lower quality

  5. Can I play farming simulator on the 2016 MacBook Pro , I need a answer please I’m about to buy one!!!!! Thanks!!

  6. I have a Mac but I prefer windows WAYYYYY better . I usually use my Mac for editing and other stuff , for gaming I preferably prefer WINDOWS. But, they’re both good tech , why so much hate towards what better and what isn’t . I also have PSN- Legendsneverdy24. Let’s play some fortnite lol .

  7. My fucken hp laptop died I was using it to play Skyrim High Hell and some other games now I’m saving up for a MacBook hopefully I can get it around Christmas time I wanted to know if you can play games on a MacBook

  8. In all honesty if it runs games at 720p 60fps thats all i care about. Ima mainly use it for emulation and music for the most part.

  9. Macs are more made for business, school, and media arts (Graphic designs, photo editing, movie editing, and animation). PCs will always be for gaming, unless Apple decides to release computers that are suitable for gaming

  10. Can someone help me with something???? If I download windows on my Mac Pro, can I play steam window games?

  11. I'm actually gonna start with a macbook because I'm just a kid who is already a gamer
    And who doesn't have a pc I'm just borrowing my rich cousins pc and
    Thanks to my supportive parents I bought a really good gaming setup so be ready
    In 2018 or 2019 I'll be starting and make to check it out but not this month doe
    Because I'm just gonna buy my stuff so that's all thx

  12. If it’s a newer, say 2017, and you use bootcamp to get windows, then it could be a playable experience

  13. I think what sucks is you are paying more than $1000+ For a computer and it can’t game. Like I know it’s good for business and regular use and career use, but it should also game! I mean come on you’re paying a ridiculous amount and the computer can’t even stand games. My opinion is that if you are paying THAT MUCH for a computer than it better allow any hardcore gamer to play games because sure as hell thats a bunch of money you pay and it can’t even stand much games as a PC can. :/

  14. What happened to you Austin? This was the time when you're videos were actually good. Now your videos just come off as you trying too hard to be funny.

  15. What is going to happen if I am going to play like Sims4, American Truck Simulator … on a MacBook Pro 2017. Is it going to be good, with a good quality ?

  16. Well… I will use bootcamp on my macOS so I can play games!
    Or… just get a gaming computer and sell and destroy the iMac
    (No offences)

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