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Why Macbooks Suck At Gaming

Why do all gaming PCs run Windows? Why are no drivers available for Mac? And, why is Fortnite laggy as heck on my Macbook when I paid two thousand frickin' dollars for it? These are all valid questions, and today I'll do my best to answer why Apple Machines usually suck at gaming. To start, you need to understand what Apple's values are. Their machines are geared towards OS, ease of use, durability, and design. Apple's target demographic is not gamers, but people who want a light machine that can perform everyday functions with zeal. Additionally, many of Apple's customers are people on the wealthier side who value how their machine looks. While Apple soars above the competition in their chosen values, they cut many corners in terms of graphical processing strength.

NOTE: the Macbook Pro 16", coming with a dedicated graphics card, is a more viable option for gaming.

Here's an example: my 2018 Macbook Pro. At the time, it was one of the most powerful Apple machines, and yet still uses DDR3 RAM. DDR3 is still serviceable, but many times slower and cheaper than DDR4 (it came out in 2007). For some reason, Apple decided to cut a corner here and save some money on memory, contradicting their idea of "future proofing". The same goes for their graphics card. Since Apple machines are very thin, they cannot fit a chunky graphics card in there. They have to use the integrated Intel Iris Plus. Integrated graphics mean that the graphics card is built into the CPU. Integrated graphics cards are usually mediocre, because most people do not need a separate (dedicated) graphics card. However, games usually suggest dedicated graphics because they are very fast-moving, and in many cases, very high-definition at the same time. The GPU and RAM are two deficiencies in Macbooks that make it hard for them to run games. Additionally, the scissor-switch keyboard is not great for gaming, and the butterfly one is absolutely atrocious.

So, Apple actually has a great pixel count on many of their machines; for example the 2560x1600 on their Macbook Pro or the 4K iMac. However, this creates a "why are you hitting yourself?" moment in terms of gaming. You probably know that using better graphics requires more GPU power. You also now know that Apple's machines have very weak graphics power. This makes playing games on a Macbook even worse, because not only is the wimpy GPU tasked with running the game, it also has to run the game with extraordinary pixel count. This all adds up to your Macbook getting extremely hot and laggy, or bottlenecking your CPU power.

Overall, Apple is a company that makes durable, easy to use, and good-looking machines that are awesome for high-level productivity tasks. However, they are severely lacking in graphical processing power, and upgrading to an acceptable amount of RAM for gaming comes at a dreadful price (usually ~$200 to upgrade from 8gb to 16). If you want your next laptop to have gaming capabilities, I would not go with Apple.

Note: if you already have a MacBook and want to game on it, check out our "How you can game on a macbook" article!

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