50+ gaming Macs benchmarked: Is your Mac any good for gaming?

“You probably got a Mac for reasons completely unrelated to gaming. Perhaps you needed one for work or school, or perhaps you just couldn’t stand Windows anymore. Or maybe you fell in love with the incredible design Macs are known far,” Ric Molina writes for Mac Gamer HQ. “In any case, if you’re here, it’s because you wonder: Can my Mac run games?”

Molina writes, “With the help of our Mac gaming community, we benchmarked over 50 different Mac models using Unigine’s Valley benchmarking tool.”

“In an effort to keep these resutls as accurate and ‘scientific’ as possible,” Molina wrties, “we asked every contributor to use the same benchmarking tool under as similar testing conditions as possible:”

• Use Unigine’s Valley basic preset.
• Close all other open applications while running the test.
• Maintain machine plugged at all times (low battery affects performance).

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: So, how does your Mac stack up?


  1. Apple has made it very clear for many years that high performance gaming isn’t where they want to be. It restricts Macs from having the latest and best graphics cards, user upgradeable RAM, etc. There is no Mac with a display size and refresh rate that serious gamers demand. All the iMacs are non-starters. What does that leave, MacBook Pros, Mini, or 6 year Mac Pros, all of them double the price of a superior Hackintosh or PC? Hardly compelling. One would end up dumping loads of money into 3rd party monitors, maximum 3rd party RAM, and external GPU breakout boxes and still have a weak overpriced thermally constrained Mac attempting to drive it.

    There are of course many strategy games available on Steam and elsewhere that are engaging and not processor intensive. (Sid Meier’s Civ deserves special mention), but practically none of those are Apple exclusive nor is it “more fun” to play those games on an Apple device. And you still need to carefully choose a Mac that isn’t artificially RAM constrained.

    Apple cares even less about hardcore gamers than it does Pros. Instead Cookie chased after Nintendo portables, and with iOS you can enjoy in-app purchases of all kinds of juvenile time waster games or endure lots of pop up ads. Yay.

  2. The best “gaming” Mac is the iMac Pro with a Vega 64, and even that GPU is about 60% of what the best single GPU on the PC.

    All in all, Apple offers today better GPU options than in past years and now an external GPU, not ideal, is an option too. These are steps in the right direction, but we expect better, top GPUs on the Mac. Besides, GPUs are today more general and powerful computing devices.

    As for the Vally test in this article, I find some machines performing better than they should. My iMac 27 with an Nvidia 780 performs worst (77 fps) than an inferior 775 model. But it may be because at lower settings the results are not always consistent. Take those results as a general reference.

  3. Gaming Macs used to be a thing… nowadays it’s iOS. Macs aren’t for gaming when they don’t have decent updates on a regular schedule nor include modern Nvidia cards.

  4. I was able to build a decent gaming machine with better graphics, more RAM, and more powerful CPU for less than 1/2 the price of my iMac. I probably would have ditched Windows altogether in my home network if I wasn’t able to do that. If it wasn’t for my overall workflow, I would probably be leaving the Mac due to the way the Apple computer lineup is progressing (or regressing) and going to a Windows and Linux network.

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