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Should You Get an Apple M2 Pro or M2 Max for Gaming

Byadmin

Aug 31, 2023

Apple’s revolutionary M1 chip was released in late-2020, with the subsequent launch of the M1 Pro and M1 Max next year. The M1 Pro and M1 Max chips brought much-needed graphics improvement to cater to more graphic-intensive tasks for professionals. The M2 chip was released in 2022, with the M2 Pro and M2 Max released in the first quarter of 2023.

So, the M2 Pro and M2 Max are the cutting edge technology Apple has to offer. At the launch event, Apple boasted of the superior graphics performance of the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips and even demonstrated the gameplay of Resident Evil Village. Does it mean you can use it to play any of the latest games on the M2 Pro and M2 Max? Come find out.

Before we get to the processing and graphics performance of these chips, take a moment to evaluate the quality of your internet connection. A fast and consistent internet connection is mandatory especially when you have to get the games from digital stores like Steam or Apple’s game store. Then, some games come with in-app purchases, for which you need a good internet connection. Consider upgrading to CenturyLink internet because it offers blazing fast speeds and comes with unlimited data and high reliability.

M2 Max vs M2 Pro

The M2 Max and M2 Pro are built on the same 5-nanometer processor as the M2 but with extra everything. While the difference is not night and day, the M2 Pro and M2 Max come with extra processing cores, GPU cores, and higher memory bandwidth than the vanilla M2. Both new chips come with a larger L2 cache allowing them to be more capable to handle large sets of data and instructions. In short, both chips provide a higher frame rate while gaming with better graphics.

Synthetic Graphics Test

Interestingly, Apple’s MacBook lineup comes with a ton of variation even in the same device. For example, if you get the base model M1 MacBook, the number of GPU cores slightly differs between higher and lower storage options. Putting all this aside, when you run tests on these devices, they yield a satisfactory result, depending on how you look at it.

To make the M2 Pro and Max feel like an upgrade over the vanilla M2, Apple has added massive graphics performance tweaks. PCMag ran 3DMark’s Wild Life Extreme test on all these devices and the result speaks for itself. While the M2 chip-powered MacBook Pro 13 put out a score of 6,800, while the M2 Max stood at 25,012 scores. Admittedly, the M2 Max is miles ahead of the M2 in terms of graphics performance.

Gaming Tests

PCMag ran a few gaming benchmark tests on the M2, M2 Pro, and M2 Max to figure out how these perform while running AAA titles. For this purpose, they first ran Rise of the Tomb Rider on all these devices and the results were satisfactory. The base M2 could barely hit 60fps at high resolution, but if the resolution was scaled down, the framerate was consistent at 60fps.

The M2 Pro could easily hit 100fps at high resolution and the gameplay was smooth as well. The M2 Max came as a surprise, posted excellent scores on all tests, and could easily hit 120fps at high details. Another interesting observation was the dropping framerate when they scaled down the resolution. So, if you get the M2 Max, keep the resolution at the highest settings. You cannot go wrong with any of the M2 devices if you can sacrifice the higher frame rate.

Games Availability

Perhaps the biggest pain point of Apple’s ecosystem is the lack of game support. You’d be hard-pressed to find many AAA titles to run on your MacBook. Although Apple has made an effort to increase the number of playable titles, it cannot compete with Steam and the like. There is a silver lining to this, as Steam and other game stores are now available on MacOS, and you can get many titles from there.

Keep in mind that the number of MacOS-compatible games is quite limited. To put things in perspective, you get around five times more titles for Windows than you do for MacOS. If you’re planning to get a MacOS device, make sure MacOS supports your favorite titles.

Conclusion

As evident from the comparisons drawn above, it’s clear that the M2 Max and M2 Pro aren’t meant exclusively for gaming. They’re aimed at content creators and other professionals that need the extra graphics power for power-intensive tasks.

In conclusion, if you’re in the market for a gaming laptop, this shouldn’t be your first preference. You can get a way better selection of games, comparable specs, and dedicated features for less. However, if you already exist in Apple’s ecosystem, and are looking for a powerful device on which you can sometimes play games, these devices are worth checking out.

Sources

https://www.pcmag.com/news/apple-m2-pro-and-m2-max-graphics-tested-does-mac-gaming-get-a-big-boost

By admin