Mac Gaming Sucks…but that’s CHANGING!

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Mac gamers rejoice! Apple’s Game Porting Toolkit is here to bring mainstream games to the masses. How does it perform, what’s its compatibility like, and what can we expect from developers?

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MUSIC CREDIT
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Intro: Laszlo – Supernova
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Outro: Approaching Nirvana – Sugar High
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Intro animation by MBarek Abdelwassaa
Monitor And Keyboard by vadimmihalkevich / CC BY 4.0  
Mechanical RGB Keyboard by BigBrotherECE / CC BY 4.0
Mouse Gamer free Model By Oscar Creativo / CC BY 4.0

CHAPTERS
—————————————————
0:00 Intro
0:49 Setup and initial impressions
3:03 Wine under the hood, just like Proton
4:00 What else works? Compatibility is complicated…
5:46 Some games work surprisingly well, but…
6:59 Pros and cons of "not emulation"
7:50 Anti-cheat probably won't work if you try it
9:03 Wherein Linus does pot on screen
10:14 It's not as robust as Proton
11:40 Apple has historically ignored gaming
12:32 Mac Native vs Game Porting Toolkit
13:44 Conclusion – Apple NEEDS to support this

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68 Comments

TheUncleshady

It’s never a bad idea to get games on different platforms.

    Matt561

    But at what cost

    Odobenus Rosmarus

    100% agree. PC gaming will always be there, but Mac ports being common will help get games to more people. More competition too.

    Nikolai Stoykov

    Don’t get the cyperpunk performance in the beginning, I’ve seen it running on an M2 max macbook pro at 4K ultra at 30fps.

    ForOdinAndAsgard

    @Nikolai Stoykov They are testing on an M1. Plz stay awake while watching a video. Still 30 FPS is to cry. My Linux gaming rig pulls 100 FPS on Cyberpunk 2077 easily.

Espi

The number of translation layers for this is pretty hilarious.

When playing something DX11 you have DXVK, MoltenVK, Wine and Rosetta between the game and the hardware.

    Jay Play

    if it works it works

    BoneAppleTee

    @Jay Play True, but it would likely work significantly better if there were fewer translation layers between the bare metal and the base code.

    Eugen N

    That’s why the performance drops twice.

    Bruno Gomes

    And Emily

    Rhedox

    This isn’t using DXVK or MoltenVK. It goes through Apples MetalD3D translation layer instead.

Linus Tech Tips

The GPU value in the hud is the HUD is frame time in milliseconds, not % utilization.

A more meaningful evaluation of the performance left on the table is the differences in performance from game to game. Stay tuned for the whole video becuase there are a few big surprises – LS

    dftf

    I wonder if you’d get better performance in AAA games by installing _Windows 11 for ARM_ inside _Parallels Desktop_ , then running the Windows version of the game inside it? 🤔

    Marton Szasz

    @dftf Most games wouldn’t run, because they were compiled for x86. Windows for ARM can’t run x86/amd64 software. There is some emulator in the works, but I bet it can’t outperform Rosetta, because Rosetta can rely on extra Apple-specific CPU instructions to speed up the emulation, while Windows has to target all ARM CPUs, i.e. using the lowest common denominator in instructions.

    Dark Pixel

    might want to pin this comment.

    MCChristor Media Production

    @dftf LTT screwed it up. Games on M1 MAX are 3x as fast.

    Dipship

    Great video. Though now I’m wondering for cyberpunk, how is it that you’re getting only ~10 fps at 720p on an M1 Ultra when on Andrew Tsai’s channel he’s getting ~30 fps on an M1 max at 1440p on med preset? https://youtu.be/HlYn2fVfl1M

slembcke

As a gamedev who used to be an avid Mac user… yeah Apple sometimes says one thing then does another in regards to gaming. Keep in mind it’s a big company. Like there seem to be pockets of folks in the company that have tried to make the platform more viable for gaming as far back as the 90’s with stuff like Game Sprockets. Then there are folks that seem almost embarrassed that Apple devices can be used for something as juvenile as games. Jobs infamously had commented on how games made the Mac look unprofessional.

    matthaus woolard

    I think many of the people who had those views have since left or are not longer in positions that have insouciance over the Mac, apple have been hiring in the space rather aggressively over the last few years.

    that said do not expect them to ship a plastic cased Mac book with RGB

    Jonny Donnachie

    Jobs never saw how big the gaming industry would be

    Kirishima

    Game Sprockets! Wow. That is going WAY back…

    Arne

    On the other hand Jobs proudly presented Halo on the MacWorld on a Dual PowerMac G4. Unfortunately Microsoft saw it and bought Bungie to finally have an exclusive release title for their upcoming Xbox.

    Rudy Sal 14

    ​@Jonny Donnachie woz is the true genius

CNR_07

And none of this would’ve been possible withouth Valve and the Linux community.

    HeyItsHades

    They merely took a shortcut. They are a multi-trillion dollar company, if they wanted to spend the time & money to develop a port 100% for themselves they would have & easily could have.

    Camper_Samu

    …but Apple doesn’t agree

    HeyItsHades

    @Camper_Samu important being “if they wanted to spend the time & money”

    we all know this is something Apple just threw together to make the people asking for games on Mac quiet for a bit.

    They could really careless how well it works, it’s more for optics I think. Like a “see we care about gaming” while not actually doing anything.

    Truth is, Apple is obv. focused on turning Apple computing into a AR/VR direction. You can clearly see this because it’s not just a VR headset, they specifically barely mentioned VR & talked a lot about AR & the ability for the headset to handle 2d screens straight out of the box. They clearly see the headset replacing the Mac (at least the base models) in the future.

    Camper_Samu

    @HeyItsHades and I agree on that, maybe I should add a * to my comment with “*and doesn’t care”

    arranmc182

    Not 100% true as Valve just expanded on work already been done but the main thing is valve have the money to get real action done in a much faster time frame rather than just mostly people coding in spare time, so credit to valve for risking its own money.

99% dumb

you know it’s a good when Linus is smiling

Dylan Taylor

My work gave me a Mac and the lack of windows snapping was probably one of my first complaints. Rectangle is a godsend, and it is free. I’d recommend it if you also have to use a Mac but miss basic window management.

    Anirban Goswami

    I have a Mac too. Am I allowed to download rectangle?

    Dylan Taylor

    @Anirban Goswami ask permission from your company if you’re not sure

    oglop

    MacOS 2023 is like Linux 2003. Finder is the worst file browser out there, I rather use terminal alternatives!

    Ferinzz

    biggest issue I still have with it is the way it handles minimised windows and tabbing through stuff.. The rest is _fine_ but while windows feels designed for people using multiple programs, mac feels like something made for people to use only one program at a time.

    Lieutenant Dangle

    @Ferinzz you should try using multiple desktops

0to100 Journey (DIY Home Improvement)

I think this is Apple’s preparation for their Vision Pro, imagine playing games in that thing!

    Elias Aguayo

    You might be onto something there bro, the apple ecoverse prob going head to head with facebook metaverse

    hiddendrifts

    @Elias Aguayo given apple’s tendency to not do things until they’re ready, i think i have more hope for the apple metaverse. granted, facebook’s quest devices run on android, afaik, so it’ll be android vs ios all over again… unless quest devices are just as locked down as apple’s. i don’t have a quest, i wouldn’t know

    Musical History

    Considering the VR/AR industry is almost exclusively games, they’d have to. Weird that games support wasn’t even mentioned once in the announcement, I guess they’ll announce them WWDC next year.

    NueKiro

    @Musical Historytechnically you can run games by having your macbook’s mirror whatever is happening, but it’s going to be fairly limited. Plus the hardware on the vision can’t realistically run games smoothly/with great levels of detail if the m1 ultra performance is anything to go by

    Xtasy604

    Apple Sillicon specially GPU doesn’t have the horsepower to drive two 4k screens above 90FPS (which is basically a requirement to not get dizzy)

Minestrone9000

I was so stressed out in anticipation of the sponsor segue I couldn’t focus on the content.

13:06 freakin killed me

You conditioned us Linus, please don’t do this again.

I swear you knew what you were doing to us at 14:13

    hiddendrifts

    same tbh. i expect a segue anytime he says “just like” or anything of the sort at this point

    Kushagra Agrawal

    He’s been doing this way more often recently it’s funny 😂😂
    I’m like this is 100% a segue but wait no it comes later

SWinxyTheCat

I want Apple to support Vulkan natively. I really would like Vulkan to be the future of graphics APIs.

    Caddy666

    that wouldn’t change a thing for gaming as a whole.

Chloe Fletcher

Hopefully this brings more games to Mac. I primarily work on a Mac and, while I do have a PC (which hardly ever gets turned on because work takes all my time but is theoretically for gaming) it means people like me who use a Mac for our day to day work don’t need to spend extra money on another computer, if we want to game. More options for consumers is a win.

    Patrick Mohr

    Interesting to me is now the cost risk analysis for developers has shrunk. I’m trying not to get high on the copium but I’d think it’s no longer safe to assume developing for Mac is a write-off.

    Ferinzz

    @Patrick Mohr It will still require all of the dev work to port. The tool is not at all fit to be used inplace of a port. The real issues are
    1) userbase. How many people owning a mac are people that will want to game
    2) their review system. Supporting a product on mac is worse than supporting one on any other platform if the issues that plague the phone store also affect the pc.
    If there is not a large enough userbase to warrant it, and the support from the platform owner is 3rd tier, why bother?

    Musical History

    Yeah in the past you could run Boot camp and have decent support for games on there on a Mac computer, the loss of that on Apple Silicon has been detrimental, so hopefully they can have better support moving forward.

Odin’s Playground

Because Bootcamp (running Windows natively) is dead on Apple Silicon, this is a good change! I think bootcamp was always the “excuse” to the terrible native support for games on Macs, so they really had to do something when it’s no longer there! Personally I have moved away from using my mac for gaming, as I have a windows SFFPC for that now. Just using Mac for work, which it is excellent at… but maybe if this progress enough, I would use it for some gaming on the go.

Tim van der Horst

I remember Mac gaming via Steam being sort of okay back in the day. It wasn’t very big but hey you could boot up a small indie game or two without needing to boot up your dedicated gaming PC. But then the 32 bit to 64 apocalypse happened where Apple just gave up on keeping the Rosetta translation around. Apple really needs to get serious and put in the effort to upkeep on APIs and Steam support if it really wants to get past this stigma of gaming on Macs.

Hobo Siege

Speaking as a Linux gamer, Apple are high if they think developers are just going to come over without any incentive. The Steam Deck is receiving explicit developer support because of the massive pre-existing business framework and audience surrounding it.

Proton is great. Devs barely even have to target it to get a game running perfectly these days. But if Proton were all Valve had to offer nobody would even be thinking about supporting Linux.

    Jc Denton

    The main difference is that you do not need to buy dedicated overpriced hardware from a corporate monopoly to run Linux, unlike Mac OS .

    Adam

    @Jc Denton You think macs are overpriced? LMAO

    JT Jones

    @Adam I know they are overpriced. Especially products on the low end side of the scale. As for Linux, I think Valve has done a good bit of work over the years to bring gaming to other platforms. Remembering SteamOS, and the SteamOS SFF machines they sold as an example. I mean, I’m sure for Valve, they would love to sell more software for Linux, Mac, or whatever ecosystems they can. I just noticed the other day, one of the game I’ve been patiently waiting for is the Layers of Fear coming out on 6/15/2023, is also coming to Mac’s running Apple’s own silicon. Now I do think the new Mac systems-on-a-chip are very impressive. That M2 or whatever it was called looks amazing. CPU, GPU, System memory, AI accelerators, all integrated on one big @$$ chip, it is probably the way and wave of the future.

    SudoYETI

    @Jc Denton It actually makes it easier. Much like consoles, when you have a much more limited amount of potential hardware you have to support it makes programming for the hardware easier. You can target the lowest end of M1 macs and if it runs well on that, you can be assured it will run well on everything up the stack.

    Adam

    @JT Jones Sorry, anyone who believes the old myth that Macs are overpriced in the current gen cleraly have a massive bias against Apple.

    Your opinion no longer hold weight. Goodbye.

ducky

Small correction, Wine is not Linux software, it’s meant to run Windows software on many kinds of different Unixes, including BSD and MacOS.

    ̇ ̇

    potato potatoe

    Anonymous

    🤓

    ducky

    @Anonymous so, correcting wrong information is being a nerd now, because if so, I’m a nerd and I am fucking proud

AJ Brady

The optimization potential here is exciting, and as a Mac user, the No Man’s Sky port has me excited for the future

Filip Jovanovic

This will never affect me. I don’t like Mac OS and will never use it as my main system. But making games easier to access for people who do use Mac OS is definitely a good thing, so I’m excited to see how this keep’s developing!

Emma Bentley

I Picked up an m1 Mac Studio base model 4 days ago, and use it for X Plane 12, as well as every day tasks, people always seem to miss X Plane out as one of the Benchmarks they use, as it can run on Windows and MacOS , and is also Native Metal!

Kissenbattle47

but considering that future iPads and Macs will use M processors, this could be an interesting unique selling point for gaming. I can well imagine that the next step could be mobile gaming or even the Apple TVs could have M processors and then things will look different.

Aero

I want this to work just well enough to entice developers to make the game dedicated for Mac.

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