MacBook Air is a flagship notebook device from Apple built for professional use. It has excellent speed and provides outstanding battery life. It has a premium aluminum case and is thin, making it the number one choice in terms of portability. The Macbook Air has a powerful M1 chip that balances power efficiency with salient performance.
The Macbook Air can’t be considered the number-one choice for a gaming laptop. The hardware is designed fanless, making it more prone to overheating. Additionally, the Macbook Air doesn’t have a dedicated graphics card, which is essential for gaming.
With no doubt about its performance in usual tasks, we still have a question to answer whether Macbook Air is Good for Gaming or not. To answer this question, let’s dive deep into different types of games and match their compatibility and performance on Macbook Air.
Gaming on Macbook Air
When it comes to gaming, the new Macbook Air is way more advanced than its predecessors. The all-new M1 Chip can run games at 30 frames per second in high resolutions, like 1920 X 1200. It was demonstrated by Apple while representing the gaming performance of the M1 chip by running the Shadow of Tomb Raider at 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second.
It shows that Apple has improved its gaming performance but is still not as powerful as high-end gaming PCs. You can’t call a Macbook a gaming PC but only suitable for occasional gaming. Below is the breakdown of how the Macbook Air performs when you play different games.
We also tested and reviewed the Macbook Air for engineering students. So you can have an idea of the performance from that article also.
If you plan to play newly released AAA games on your Macbook Air, you will face definite issues.
The first and foremost issue that you will experience will be overheating. Considering the Macbook Air’s design, it is skinny because there are no cooling fans.
Apple Arcade and iPhone Games
Apple Arcade is a monthly subscription-based service available on macOS. It offers a massive variety of ad-free games. The Macbook Air will perform magnificently if you play such types of games on it. The reason is apparent:s these games are designed for iOS and iPadOS and can run seamlessly on macOS.
Using Windows games on Macbook Air is never a good option as the difference in the platform makes it necessary to install third-party applications. You may need to install multiple Steam versions while your game is live. Another great application that you can install to run Windows games on Macbook Air is Parallel Desktop. It is so powerful that games like GTA V can run at 50 fps. But overall, it is not recommended to use Windows native games on MacBook Air.
If you play games on platforms that provide cloud gaming services like Google Stadia, Xbox Cloud Gaming, GeForce Now, and other such venues, then Macbook Air is a very decent choice. It will only be processing your input while streaming the games live from the cloud, thus utilizing very few resources.
3 Reasons Why Macbook Air Is Not Good For Gaming
As discussed earlier, there are specific reasons why you can rely on Macbook Air when gaming. Below are the three main reasons why this laptop is unsuitable for gaming.
No Discrete GPU
A discrete graphics card unit is mandatory for high-end gaming. Usually, the discrete GPU is available in the pro models of Macbook; hence, the Pro models are more costly. The Macbook Air has an 8-core GPU that helps maintain the graphic resources, and no dedicated GPU is available.
Air is the most portable laptop because of its fantastic engineering, as it doesn’t have fans for cooling, unlike other traditional laptops. The absence of fans and USB ports is the reason for its thin, sleek design. The same can be upset for gamers. Apple claims that the M1 chip doesn’t overheat, and Macbook Air comes with a heat-spreader made of aluminum instead of a cooling fan. It is also a reason for better battery life.
A gaming keyboard is a crucial part of any gaming setup. While the Macbook Air comes with a magic keyboard, it is not meant for gaming. With the magic keyboard, there is relatively less distance between the key, and the numeric keys are also missing. Also, it features a scissors mechanism in the keyboard, which makes it a poor choice for gaming.
Is MacBook Air Good for Gaming? Conclusion
The Macbook Air is not the best suite for gaming as it is designed for professional use rather than gaming. You can still use Apple’s Arcade Games at total capacity, and they will work perfectly fine. It may also run other games in low-performance mode, but it won’t give you the ultimate gaming experience.