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Apple’s Silicon chips bring Macs into AAA gaming

Apple representative next to a screen showing Mac family of devices. Each Mac device screen shows a game.

Taylor Clemons/ZDNET

Apple is finally setting itself up as a AAA gaming contender with its M1 and M2 Silicon chips along with its Metal suite of developer tools. The Metal 3 and MetalFX Upscaling tools will allow developers to optimize graphics, textures, frame rates, and loading times for the M1 and M2 architectures, providing a smooth, immersive gaming experience for Mac users. MetalFX Upscaling renders smaller packets of information like less-busy frames and then applies anti-aliasing and spatial upscaling algorithms for better performance. 

Apple also introduced the Fast resource loading API for developers, which provides a more direct pathway between your Mac’s storage drive and the M1/M2’s unified memory and GPU architecture. This reduces loading times in graphically intense games.

Apple representative in front of a screen showing the Metal 3 logo

Taylor Clemons/ZDNET

To build up even more hype for Mac-based gamers, Apple announced several AAA titles that will be supported on MacBooks, iPads, and iMacs later this year. The list includes the award-winning Resident Evil Village, 2018 Golden Joystick nominee No Man’s Sky, and the newly released GRID Legends for racing-sim fans. Capcom’s Masaru Ijuin announced that MacBook Air users will be able to play Resident Evil Village at 1080p, while Mac Studio users will be able to play in 4K.

Capcom's Masaru Ijuin next to a screen showing the promotional image for Resident Evil Village.

Taylor Clemons/ZDNET

Unfortunately, there were no mentions of frame rate caps, the ability to overclock your Apple Silicon M1 or M2 chip, additional titles and release dates, or support for variable refresh rate technology like Nvidia G-Sync or AMD FreeSync. So we’ll have to wait and see if Apple has plans for these in the future. 

And while there weren’t any confirmed release dates for any of the announced titles, Ijuin assured gamers that Resident Evil Village would come to Macs “later this year.”

You can check out Apple’s Newsroom for more gaming news and tech updates.

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