The Best Setups for Gaming on Apple

Vineet Maheshwari
Setups for Gaming on Apple

When it comes to serious gaming, the battle for supremacy for desktop play between Apple and Windows has historically only ever had one winner – the Windows-based PC.

Traditionally, people choose their desktop computer (or even their laptop) based on what they are primarily going to use it for. The creative types are likely to go for the Mac, while those who need typical office programs are more likely to use Windows. Gamers, on the other hand, will go where the performance is better, where their games are freely available, and where they can get all the experience they are looking for when they play.

If you are looking for the best way to play Starburst slot, or surf the web, or create a music or video design product, then you can get all that you need from the ultimately stylish and instantly recognisable Apple systems. However, Windows-based PCs are usually a better choice for gaming, thanks to the extensive library of games available, the ability to update parts of the system to add more memory or a better graphics card, and the fact that you can get many different peripherals that are designed to work seamlessly with your setup.

Apple has struggled with this for many years. Even the top spec Apple Macs are unable to produce the same performance when it comes to gaming, and although there has been some developments in this area – mostly thanks to Apple Silicon and the introduction of the M1 chip – it still lags in terms of performance, availability, and, lets face it, cost.

With the M3 chip providing much more effective performance for Apple, it could be that the paradigm is shifting and gamers might be able to experience the Mac aesthetic without losing out on gameplay.

Before we look at the best way to set up your Apple system for gaming, let’s check out the differences between Windows-based PCs and the Apple equivalent.

  • Macs are not built for performance in gaming. The top spec machines can reach up to 120 FPS, which matches a mid-range Windows-based machine. Top spec Windows PCs can achieve 160+FPS, which makes for a much smoother and enjoyable game experience.
  • Mac users can get games ported to their machines thanks to a specific API built for developers, which means that more of your favourite games can be played on Mac. However, you are likely to find that games are released for PCs first and may only be released to Mac months or even years afterwards, if at all.
  • Price is usually the main sticking point when it comes to buying a gaming PC. For the equivalent price of a mid-range Apple Mac, you can buy a top spec Windows PC – and take advantage of all the performance modifications that are available.
  • Most peripherals, like joysticks, mice, keyboards, and even monitors are not made to be compatible with Apple, which means that you might not be able to get all the features that you want if you do use it with a Mac device.

Optimise Your Mac for Gaming

Aesthetically, the Mac tends to be the choice for suave sophistication – which means you want your set up to match.

Optimisation options include making sure that your fans remain uncovered so that you don’t have to be concerned about the Mac overheating.

You should also use the discrete GPU in settings, and make sure that you have at least 8GB of storage available.


One of the biggest things that you can upgrade on your Mac is the monitor, and there are several that are compatible with the Mac. Look for a high refresh rate and resolution – and consider a curved screen or even two screens.


Gaming keyboards are built differently from normal keyboards, often using funky colours as well as slightly different layouts to make it easier for you to hit the right buttons at the right time.

If you are practicing for  a place on the eSports team of your choice, then you need a decent keyboard that doesn’t have latency issues.


Mac’s might not be compatible with all peripherals, but they are compatible with PlayStation and Xbox gamepads – so if you are a console gamer then this might be the way for you to move into the world of computer games.


Driving fan? If racing games are your speed, then you will want a wheel and some pedals – and luckily there are plenty available that are compatible with the Mac. Logitech are a manufacturer to watch out for here.


Some gamers want space on their desk, while others like to feel cosy – so your desk is a vey personal choice. Whatever you choose, make sure there is enough room for your Mac to breathe so that you don’t risk overheating the system. Standing desks are a great investment if you don’t want to be sitting all the time, too.


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Vineet Maheshwari is a passionate blogger and relationship oriented digital marketing consultant with over 10 years of experience in SEO, PPC management, web analytics, domain investing, affiliate marketing and digital strategy. He has helped high tech brands connect with customers in an engaging manner, thereby ensuring that high quality leads are generated over time.
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