June 25, 2021

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Intel says Windows is better than Mac for gaming, to no-one’s surprise

Intel has been going on the offensive against Apple in recent times after the Cupertino company switched from Intel processors to its own Arm-based M1 silicon for new Mac computers. Now, Intel has decided to sling more mud by attacking the gaming credentials of Apple’s platform.

According to PCGamer, Intel recently claimed that Intel-powered Windows PCs offer a better gaming experience than all Macbooks. To prove the point, the company claimed that over half of today’s most popular games aren’t available on MacOS.

Most gamers would tell you that Intel isn’t wrong, but this has nothing to do with Intel. Virtually all computer games are designed to run on the x86 flavor of Windows, with few developers targeting x86 versions of MacOS and/or Linux as additional platforms (let alone the Arm flavor of MacOS, Windows, and Linux). This has nothing to do with Intel’s supposed chip superiority and everything to do with Windows being the preferred platform for gaming studios. People buying Macs generally don’t buy them because gaming is a top priority either.

Intel continued the attack nonetheless, laying out a graph that compared a 16-inch Macbook Pro to an “Intel-branded” system (Core i5 11400H/Geforce RTX 3060). Check it out below.

The graph compared a variety of games such as GRID, War Thunder, Hitman 3, and Far Cry New Dawn, with the Intel system winning out each time. There’s a major caveat here though, as the 16-inch Macbook Pro is actually Intel-powered (Intel Core i9 9980HK/Radeon Pro 5600M) rather than being equipped with Apple’s M1 silicon. So Intel is basically saying that its latest processor is better than its previous processor, which is to be expected. It also seems to be more reflective of the GPU manufacturer too.

We would’ve liked to see an Apple M1-powered Macbook compared to a similar Intel offering though. In fact, the developers of the Dolphin emulator released a native version of the emulator for Apple Silicon and compared performance to a 2018 Intel-powered Macbook Pro (Intel Core i7 8559U). The result? Well, the native emulator running on a Macbook Air M1 handily beat the x86 version running on the older Macbook Pro. In fact, the x86 version of Dolphin was still trading blows with the older Macbook when running via the Rosetta translation layer.

We’re still expecting Windows to be the platform of choice for the vast majority of PC gamers, but it’s clear that Apple’s hardware and software can do the job when developers take the time to deliver native ports.