Is a macbook air good for gaming?

Hi I'm looking for a macbook that can play minecraft and steam downloaded games (not sure if they are in the same category) Could I use a macbook air for this? If not please recommend which macbook I should go with (not I don't want 15in or bigger since i travel and bigger laptops are a pain to carry in a backpack. I'm grateful for recommendations.

7 Answers from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    It'll work, but it won't be as smooth or beautiful as it would be on, say, a 13-inch MacBook Pro.
    The MacBook Air is designed for sleekness and portability rather than outright performance, while the Pro was designed for breakneck performance that will give your games a new level of good.
    A 13-inch MacBook Pro with either processor option would do you just fine.

    • Answered by Elizabeth K from Weston
    • 23-May-2011
  • Any of the HD 2000 or HD3000 series integrated will do gaming just fine. No need to blow your money on a higher end computer unless your doing serious gaming. But for the average gamer it would be fine.

    • Answered by Rob S from Vancouver
    • 11-Apr-2012
  • I own a Macbook Air 13" with 8GB of RAM.
    For you I would say that the Macbook Air is definitely capable of running Minecraft (for instance), as long as you upgrade to 8GB of RAM.

    • Answered by Kris M from Kanata
    • 01-Dec-2012
  • It will work good but it won't give you the fast, fluid performance that you get with the MacBook Pro. If you are and intense gamer, then the MacBook Air is not for you.

    • Answered by Aklilu A from Tewksbury
    • 12-Mar-2013
  • The MacBook Air is not good for gaming because it has integrated graphics. The only MacBooks that have dedicated graphics cards are the 15" and 17" MacBook Pros. The 13" MacBook Pro DOES NOT have a dedicated graphics card, so be sure to get one of the larger models.

    • Answered by Benjamin A from Portland
    • 23-Mar-2012
  • Or, if you're an enthusiast and don't mind installing and dual-booting into windows in EFI mode (rather than through boot camp and BIOS mode) and connecting a thunderbolt enclosure with a real PCIe graphics card in it, the answer is ABSOLUTELY. And you'll be outperforming high-end alienware gaming laptops.

    Note this is not a supported configuration and you'll need to be able take care of yourself out there in the wiilderness :)

    • Answered by Miki S from Mckinnon
    • 02-Nov-2013
  • You'd most likely be hard pressed to find games that actually run on a MacBook Air. The Intel HD 3000/4000 graphics is not supported at all by most of the games featured on the Mac App Store, requiring either Nvidia or ATI/AMD chipsets instead (meaning that you'll want to look at a MacBook Pro with these discrete GPUs in order to play them).

    I am hoping that this will change soon, but I don't think that developers are currently interested in making games for this machine—they either tend to make games for the iPad, or for the more powerful Macs with OpenCL-capable GPUs. The MacBook Air is only going to be good for playing Flash-based games on the Web unless developers change their attitude towards this machine and start making titles for it.

    • Answered by Tony K from Theodore
    • 03-Jul-2012