YouTuber, Created Labs tested M1 Mac mini compatibility for 4K gaming and he was impressed with the results. He played Fortnite, Tomb Raider and Dying Light on a 4K Dell monitor on 16:9 resolution to test the fps (frames per seconds) supported by the new Apple Silicon Mac mini to check whether the games were playable or not. However, the viewers were reminded that the played games were not optimized for M1 and were running on Rosetta 2 which resulted in a drop in fps.
Rosetta 2 is Apple’s new translator on the Apple Silicon Macs, exclusively for the interim, developers transition their apps from Intel Core to M1 processor. Currently, all of Apple’s native and few third-party apps are optimized for the M1 chip.
Since the launch of M1 Mac models, reviews and tests have proven that first-generation Apple Silicon is not only powerful but also extremely power efficient. Therefore, Create Labs believes that once these high-graphics games are optimized for the M1 chip, they will deliver an impressive gaming experience. Here are the 4K gaming experience via Rosetta 2 on M1 Mac mini.
4K Gaming on M1 Mac mini: Fortnite, Tomb Raider, and Dying light
Set on full 4K resolution, the M1 Mac mini supported 35 to 40 fps for Fortnite. However, there was a little distortion or glitching when breaking down objects which was probably because the game was running on Rosetta. Having said that, there were no issues in other actions like running around, shooting, and building. YouTuber’s conclusion was that Fortnite is very playable on Apple Silicon Mac. Bringing down the resolution to 2K, the computer-supported 60 to 70 fps without any issues at all.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider, one of the most intense games, did not perform as well as Fortnite in full 4K resolution. Approximately 13 to 15 fps were supported which made the game unplayable. However, when the resolution was set to 1440p (2K), the machine gave 27 to 30 fps which made the game playable. Having said that, Create Labs was impressed even with 15fps in 4K for such a high-intensity game.
Dying Light on 4K gave 20 fps which was not playable but on 2K the YouTuber recorded 38 to 40 fps which is playable without any drop in frames. Acknowledging that the games are running on Rosetta, YouTuber says that “once these games are optimized for M1 we might see these 100% playable with 40 to 50 fps on 4K.”
He also did a thermal test to check the heat distribution. After an hour of gaming, the M1 Mac mini was “barely” warm around 30 degrees Celcius, so the user will not get much thermal throttling because it has a bigger fan.
For light casual gaming like Fortnite, Dying Light, Sims, the M1 Mac mini is perfectly fine. It will be a great little machine for optimized games like CS Go and Fortnite because they will be playable at decent fps at 4K and even at 1080p players will get very good frame rate.
The 4K performance was great on Fortnite, but not so much on the others. I believe this is due to the Rosetta 2 software taking around 20-30% of the performance.
The M1 Mac mini is available with up to 16GB unified memory and up to 2TB SSD storage. Starting at $700 the Apple Silicon Mac mini can be bought from Apple Stores or online.