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MacBook Air M1 vs M2: Which is the Better Option for Mac Gaming?

For Mac users, gaming has often been a challenge due to the limited library available on popular online storefronts. However, Nvidia’s GeForce Now streaming service has emerged as the best choice for Mac gamers, offering access to a wide range of AAA titles. Even users with older Mac devices like the M1 MacBook Air can easily stream these games. But how does the performance compare to playing games locally? And should you invest in the newest MacBook Air models with more powerful chips?

The most distinctive difference between the M1 and M2 MacBook Airs is their native performance. The M2 boasts significant improvements over its predecessor, leading to higher framerates and better gaming experiences. Tests conducted with games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Total War: Warhammer III showed that the M2 performs slightly better than the M1, but the difference is not significant.

When it comes to game streaming through Nvidia GeForce Now, the performance depends on the subscription tier and the strength of your internet connection. Both the M1 and M2 MacBook Airs performed equally well in streaming games, with stable framerates and no drops or stuttering.

In conclusion, native gaming on both the M1 and M2 MacBook Airs is possible, but you may need to adjust the quality settings to achieve better framerates. However, neither chip is suitable for hardcore gaming with demanding titles. When it comes to GeForce Now streaming, both models perform equally well as long as you have a fast internet connection and use the Ultimate subscription tier.

If you're truly serious about native Mac gaming, it might be worth investing in a MacBook Pro with a more powerful M-series chip. But if you're on a budget and simply want to enjoy playing your favorite games, the 15-inch M2 MacBook Air is a better option as it offers stable framerates for native gaming and an improved display for streaming.

– Native gaming: Playing games locally on a device without relying on streaming services.
– GeForce Now: Nvidia's game streaming service that allows users to play high-quality games on their devices through the cloud.

Source: This article is based on an article by Alex Avard published on TechRadar.