Apple’s M3 MacBook Air Can Churn Out Decent Frames In AAA Games, But Do Not Expect Anything Extraordinary From It

Veloz Lamma

Apple’s M3 MacBook Air Can Churn Out Decent Frames In AAA Games, But Do Not Expect Anything Extraordinary From It

The M3 MacBook Air offers little internal changes compared to its direct predecessor, but now, Apple’s latest chip is not only mass produced on TSMC’s cutting-edge 3nm architecture but also supports technologies such as hardware-accelerated ray tracing. However, how do all of these improvements translate into gaming performance? The short story is that while the newest MacBook Air can become somewhat of a portable gaming machine, it is best to keep expectations realistic, according to the latest framerate numbers shared.

AAA gaming is only possible on the M3 MacBook Air while turning down the resolution and visuals preset

The base M3 MacBook Air ships with 8GB of unified RAM, so depending on how game developers utilize this technology, they theoretically have 8GB of VRAM at their disposal, alongside the 8-core and 10-core GPU configurations. However, a higher framebuffer does not necessarily result in better gaming performance, and Dave2D revealed this by showing a few games that he tested on his YouTube channel. We also suspect that the lack of fans for the M3 would severely affect the performance of the MacBook Air. For the less intensive titles, it is entirely possible to make this portable Mac your daily gaming driver, but what about the ones with detailed visuals?

Unfortunately, several compromises need to be made to make the experience even slightly playable, such as reducing the resolution and image quality settings. Remember, the 15-inch M3 MacBook Air tested by the YouTuber has a native resolution of 2880 x 1864, so running games at 1080p, with settings set to the low quality preset, is not a favorable choice, but unless you want to dip below the 30FPS mark, these tradeoffs are necessary. Baldur’s Gate 3 tested on this machine obtained 37FPS, while older games such as Shadow of the Tomb Raider ran much better, averaging 87FPS.

We are confident that more extensive gaming tests will reveal the actual capabilities of the M3 MacBook Air, as on this occasion, it was not concluded if Apple’s MetalFX upscaling technology was enabled when running those games or if the option is actually included in the video settings. However, it should be noted that Dave2D likely did not run these games in virtualization mode as these titles are available on Apple’s macOS store. Regardless, for $1,099, this is the experience that you will get, and if you want to enjoy higher framerates, perhaps invest in an M3 Pro or M3 Max version of the MacBook Pro.

News Source: Dave2D

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