The M1 MacBook Pro is widely considered by many to be the best laptop in the world.Using Apple's Silicon technology, the company upgraded its M1 chip with two new versions: the M1 Pro and the M1 Max.
As Apple describes it, the M1 Max is a hybrid model that uses two M1 Pro chips via a bridge, delivering four times the power of the standard Apple M1.
With that much power, surely the M1 Max is the new standard in the laptop gaming world?Let's see.
What makes the M1 Max so powerful?
Apple's newer SoC (system on a chip) is incredibly powerful.Here's a brief rundown of what it contains:
32 graphics cores.
4,096 ALUs, delivering up to 10.4 Teraflops of performance.
512-bit memory bus width.
400 GB/s memory bandwidth.
1296 MHz core speed.
Longtime Apple fans already know that the company doesn't take gaming seriously.Instead, the company is more focused on content creation and creativity. The graphics card on the M1 Max does not have its own dedicated video memory.
However, it uses integrated DDR5 memory instead.While Apple Arcade continues to add new games, the company is still far behind other platforms like Steam.If you look at upcoming macOS releases, you'll be hard-pressed to find the big names.
OnM1 Max MacBook Proplay games on
OnM1 Max MacBook ProIt might seem like a good idea to play games on it, but the integrated graphics, while quite decent, is simply not supported by the operating system compared to other alternatives like Windows.
While the M1 Max is capable of running games like Fortnite on medium settings, Apple doesn't really market it as a focus.Also, you won't hear many game developers or gamers talking about AAA games on macOS.
There are some notable names on macOS like Disco Elysium or Hades, which is one of the best games to play on the Mac.However, you won't find blockbuster titles like The Witcher or Red Line on macOS.
Considering the retail price of the M1 Max, there are better options.In fact, some of the best gaming ultrabooks cost significantly less and give you a larger library of games.
M1 Max has limited native support
One of the reasons video games don't perform well on macOS is simply due to the lack of native support.In most cases, you can only use hardware virtualization software such as Parallels.
The problem is that in many cases, you won't get a smooth gaming experience.Some games may not load, and even if they do, they may not function properly.That's a far cry from the simplicity of Windows, which offers gamers customization options and allows developers to release target video drivers before big titles are released.
Games that offer native macOS support apparently run fairly well on the M1 Max MacBook Pro.However, don't expect this machine to push the laptop's gaming possibilities.
The natively supported Tomb Raider runs fine on medium settings.The loading screen is nominal, and the graphics are well maintained.It is also widely used in the macOS market as it does not require any emulator or virtualization to run.
But for a machine that costs over $6000 when fully armed, you'd expect games to run flawlessly.Obviously, this is not the case.There are some texture breaks, including judder in the landscape.The frame rate also drops suddenly when there is a lot of action on the screen.
M1 Max MacBook Pro supports DualSense and Xbox controllers
What's really amazing is that you can connect your DualSense or Xbox controller to your M1 Max MacBook Pro (or any other MacBook running Big Sur 11.3).
Both controllers work seamlessly via USB or Bluetooth. DualSense controllers work with MFI-enabled games in the App Store, including those you download from the Apple Store.
The Xbox controller also works great for any game that supports external controllers.Of course, there are also ways to play old Windows and DOS games on macOS, but that's obviously not ideal for hardcore gamers, especially considering the price you pay.
MacBook Pro is not good for gaming
The simple answer is that despite the power the M1 Max MacBook Pro offers, it's not meant for gaming.Unless Apple decides to change the status quo, don't expect gaming to become a hot topic for MacBooks anytime soon.
The company is firmly focused on creative professionals, and even Adobe apps now have native support for the M1 chip.Considering the price, there are better options than the M1 Max MacBook Pro for your gaming needs.
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