Is The 2020 Macbook Pro Good For Gaming – It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a year since I reviewed the M1 MacBook Air as a gaming laptop, and now I’m reviewing the MacBook Pro. Inside the MacBook Pro is the M1 Pro chip, one of two new silicon processors that Apple launched in October.
Both processors, according to Apple, promise significant gains in CPU and GPU performance. So I thought what better way to test these claims than to examine how Apple’s MacBook performs from a gaming laptop perspective.
- 1 Is The 2020 Macbook Pro Good For Gaming
- 2 Yeah, Apple’s M1 Macbook Pro Is Powerful, But It’s The Battery Life That Will Blow You Away
- 3 My 14 Inch Macbook Pro Is The Ultimate Gaming Laptop
- 4 Best Macbooks (2023): Which Model Should You Buy?
Is The 2020 Macbook Pro Good For Gaming
The results are mixed. A lot has changed, and performance has improved, but ultimately there aren’t many current games for macOS, and that reduces the MacBook Pro’s appeal as a gaming laptop.
Apple Macbook Pro 13 Inch (2020) Review
Let’s get this out of the way: there’s an icon at the top of the screen. As with the notch that is now common in iPhones, the MacBook Pro 2021 features a cutout where the new 1080p FaceTime camera is placed. The notch isn’t the best to begin with, but I didn’t worry about it in the long run. And yes, it looks like a camera
Unfortunately, the MacBook Pro feature doesn’t include FaceID, the iPhone’s facial recognition feature for device recognition, apps, and payments. Instead, you have to continue using your finger and Touch ID to access these features.
There is a dedicated ID key in the upper right corner of the keyboard, next to the multimedia row and function keys. This row of physical keys replaces the Touch Bar, a small, useless screen that Apple has used in its MacBook Pro models since 2016. The screen will change and adapt based on what you’re actively doing on your Mac, but in the last five years, I don’t think I’ve talked to anyone who likes the Touch Bar or really needs it.
Directly below the keyboard is Apple’s tried-and-true touchpad, which provides plenty of room for hands and scrolling. However, the keyboard is a joy to type on.
Yeah, Apple’s M1 Macbook Pro Is Powerful, But It’s The Battery Life That Will Blow You Away
Back to the screen for a moment. Apple has increased the size of the base display of the MacBook Pro from 13.3 inches to 14.2 inches with a resolution of 3024 x 1964. Apple calls it Liquid Retina (XDR). The new display technology in the MacBook Pro also supports Apple’s 120Hz ProMotion display, which you will see while scrolling through a long document or playing a game, thanks to the fast screen refresh rate.
I use a 13-inch MacBook Pro as my daily computer, but honestly I didn’t expect to see a big difference when I use the bigger screen of the 14-inch MacBook Pro. I was wrong, the size increase is small, but noticeable, especially when using two apps side by side in full screen mode.
The rest of the MacBook Pro looks like the old MacBook Pro, and that’s because Apple brought it back
. In particular, on the right side there is an SD card reader, another USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port, and an HDMI port. On the right side you will find a 3.5mm headphone jack, two additional USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, and a MagSafe 3 connector.
Macbook Air 2020 Review: Apple Gets This Air Just Right
After all these years, Apple has finally given its dedicated user base what it has been crying out for – proper ports. I’m very excited about the return of Magsafe, a small magnetic charger. It looks like a traditional safe adapter, if I remember at all. There’s still a light on top of the connector that gives you a quick way to check the laptop’s charging status, and if you accidentally touch the cable while it’s going through, it will turn your MacBook on instead of turning it off. Simply connect to the Pro. your office
The opposite end of the MagSafe Card has a USB-C connection that plugs into the included 67W or 96W power adapter. The smaller power adapter comes with MacBook Pro versions that use the 8-core M1 Pro, while the 96W adapter comes with the 10-core M1 Pro or M1 Max. The three Thunderbolt 4 ports can be used to charge the MacBook Pro’s battery if you choose.
As a gaming laptop, the number and type of ports on the MacBook Pro is an issue. For example, connecting a decent gaming mouse will require some type of USB-C to USB adapter or hub. This is not a major problem, but it is still an important one.
The MacBook Pro chassis has four feet on the bottom that raise slightly above your desk, to improve airflow. The MacBook Pro has fans, but during normal day-to-day use, you’ll hardly hear it (more on that in a minute).
My 14 Inch Macbook Pro Is The Ultimate Gaming Laptop
The review unit I tested has a 10-core CPU, a 16-core GPU, and a 16-core Neural Engine M1 Pro Apple Silicon processor inside. It also comes with 32GB of integrated memory and 1TB of SSD storage. It is important to remember that when you place your order, you want to get a design that you think you will want or need in a few years, not just today. Note that improvement, for example, is impossible. But that remains the case for many Apple products, especially MacBooks.
Apple has made many claims about the increased performance of the second generation chipsets, M1 Pro and M1 Max. I haven’t spent any time testing the M1 Max, but if my experience with the M1 Pro is any indication of what to expect, it should be a healthy performance boost over the M1 Pro.
Apple’s silicon uses ARM design – the same processor that powers almost all smartphones, including Apple’s iPhone, and is making its way into other computers such as Microsoft’s Surface Pro.
Testing a MacBook Pro as a gaming laptop is different than testing a gaming PC, because there are many apps that won’t work on a Mac. For example, many of the benchmarks we use to provide performance and battery life scores, such as PCMark 10 or 3DMark Fire Strike, do not work on the Mac.
Macbook Pro With M1 Review
However, 3DMark has a benchmark that runs on Apple’s silicon Mac, iPhone, and iPad. I tested the Wild Live Extreme on a late 2020 M1-powered MacBook Pro and then on a 2021 M1 Pro model, and the results were impressive. The M1 MacBook Pro scored an average of 29.3 fps at 4,901 points. The MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro processor is almost double with 9524 points and an average of 57 fps.
I was able to run some benchmarks that I usually use for PC gaming, including Total War: Three Kingdoms and Rise of the Tomb Raider. I ran both benchmarks on High or Ultra settings at 1920 x 1200 resolution.
When I played Total War last year, there were a bunch of missing graphics and bad looking artifacts. However, this year, all these things have passed and the game looks as it should, and runs well – an average of 30fps. This is up 23 fps from last year.
As for Tomb Raider, I saw a significant increase in performance with an average frame rate of 79 fps. The 2020 MacBook Air hovers around 60fps in the same settings.
Apple 13 Inch Macbook Pro (m2, 2022) Review: M1 Owners Aren’t Missing Out
For fun, I installed Epic Games to see if any of my own games would run on the M1 Pro MacBook Pro. I was also surprised to see that Fortnite is still available to download and install on Mac. So, naturally, I installed it and participated in the Tropic games from Season 2 to Season 4 (Epic can’t update Fortnite for Mac, so you’re stuck playing almost two years of the game.) For those who are interested, Fortnite runs live on the M1 A MacBook Pro at 60fps on Epic settings with a resolution of 1920 x 1200. Increase the graphics settings to high, which automatically breaks the resolution to 3024 x 1964, and I will see about 80fps.
I also played Hitman, a game that didn’t run on the M1 Mac this time last year, and saw a constant frame rate between 90 and 100 on the highest settings.
The fans inside the MacBook Pro won’t do much, and when they do, they’re really quiet. I installed TG Pro to check the CPU and GPU temperatures, and although I saw temperatures reaching 105 degrees and the fans running at around 4,000 RPM, I didn’t hear the fans running.
The speakers sound great for gaming, listening to music or video calls. There are six speakers in the new MacBook Pro models and you can hear the difference right away.
Best Macbooks (2023): Which Model Should You Buy?
With the M1 MacBook Air, I was very surprised to see how well games run on my Mac, and this year, I’m happy to see and
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