M1 Mac mini and M1 MacBook Air power play setup [Setups]

Given the dominance of PCs in the gaming world for various reasons, it’s refreshing to see someone building a Mac computer setup for gaming. Sweden-based Redditor Raka_ny created one with a Mac mini M1, MacBook Air M1, and various peripherals.

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The Mac mini sports 16GB of unified memory while the MBA has 8GB. Both machines offer 256GB of storage, so raka_ny added a 1TB Samsung T5 SSD. They use a Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2, a Razer DeathAdder Essential Gaming Mouse and a basic USB 3.0 hub.

Monitors in landscape and portrait mode

With those, raka_ny Mac gaming setup runs a 28-inch Lenovo L28u-30 IPS monitor with 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution and 60Hz refresh rate. This is the primary gaming display.

The second portrait-oriented display is a BenQ GL-2580T with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and a refresh rate of 60Hz. They use it for browsing, reading, and various chat and collaboration applications.

Both screens are mounted on an Andersson MRA 3.2 mounting system.

Games played

Raka_ny said they like to play many games. Among them are RimWorld, DiRT Rally, 7 days to die and BeamNG.player. For more realism in driving games, they use a Logitech G920 Driving Force racing wheel and a set of shifters.

For the BeamNG game, raka_ny uses crossingthird-party Windows translation software for Mac which, according to the manufacturer, works more smoothly than Windows emulation software.

A commenter wanted to know how raka_ny managed to get BeamNG to play on a Mac.

Here’s how to run it and how well it works, according to raka_ny’s somewhat technical explanation:

To play BeamNG on CrossOver, you need to be running the latest nightly build or beta version of CrossOver 21. Then select beta DX9 or DX10 in Steam. DX9 works perfectly but I can’t get the mods to work. Seems to run 30-45 fps no matter what, this could be due to limited testing on my part. DX10 runs at 60fps at 1440 or higher depending on your system mods, card and RAM. I will note that the best performance for me was the vanilla or low complexity modded vehicle (no automation) and using the vanilla or more open maps. Using heavily modded maps and an automation vehicle cut my FPS in half. Hope this helps. The game runs without error, the controllers work perfectly.

Wired for sound

When asked where the speakers were hiding, raka_ny said they used their Sony STR-790 surround sound home theater receiver and a Harman Kardon HK 5.1 speaker system via Bluetooth for audio and the occasional movies. They use AirPods for meetings or Sennheiser headphones “if it’s not too hot”.

Why Mac and not PC?

Inevitably someone asked why raka_ny would run games on Mac when the games are optimized for PC?

One reviewer said, “It amazes me on a daily basis that people who have enough money to buy a gaming PC and love gaming choose [sic] to get macs and 100 different accessories so they can run 10 year old games at under 45fps.

Below is raka_ny’s response. As they clearly stated in their post, they really love Macs. But there is more to the answer than that.

I love Apple devices, so I replaced my old Apple devices with new M1 chips. I also tend to try to be as eco-friendly as possible, given that I can do my daily business on a

I can play a lot of modern games at 60fps on a [ARM-based SoC] … really nice. For example, I just played Rust for an hour at 1440p 60fps on high graphics. Alas, I don’t often have much time these days to play.

To be fair, I’ve spent the last 15 years building gaming machines and the like. for my wife or for me as a hobby it would last 6 months a year and i would like to upgrade. I pre-ordered the 8700k when it was announced, the newest was a Ryzen 2600x machine. I’d rather build and tinker with linux or a cheeky opencore install than the end result.

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