Gaming Laptop vs Apple MacBook Pro – Which Is Better in 2024?

By: Editorial Team

The ultimate showdown between gaming laptops and Apple MacBook Pro. Which one will win? This is a difficult decision for a lot of people.

The Apple MacBook Pro even though is expensive offers a lot of processing power and great design.

Gaming laptops, on the other hand, vary. They come in different shapes and sizes depending on the price. But if there is one thing they have in common the more expensive the gaming laptop the better it becomes.

And so, for this reason, we would be comparing high-end gaming laptops to Apple MacBook Pros. The MacBook Pro is a high-end device itself.

Gaming laptop Vs Apple MacBook Pro, which one will win? We will also be looking at the pros and cons. Let’s begin.

Gaming Laptop Vs Apple MacBook Pro – Performance

It depends on what type of gaming laptop you want to buy. Since Apple MacBook Pro is a high-end MacBook we will compare it to high-end gaming laptops.

Both use the top-of-the-line Intel i7 and i9 processors and have lots of RAM and the fastest SSD drives. To be honest, when it comes to performance it’s a tie.

But, the new Apple MacBook Pros are powered by Apple M1 Pro and Max. Powerful processors that offer similar performance to Intel’s and AMD’s top-of-the-line processors.

What is more important is the cooling system. Powerful chips like that need to be properly cooled.

A bad cooling system is going to affect performance negatively by causing thermal throttling.

The Intel Apple MacBooks have a bad case of thermal throttling especially the ones with Intel i9 processors. The Intel i9 processors are powerful chips.

But, the M1 Apple MacBooks run cooler, faster and have better battery life.

The more powerful the chip the more heat it will produce under heavy loads.

And putting that in a slim chassis without proper cooling will give you a bad case of thermal throttling. You need a decent cooling system to keep those temperatures in the safe zone.

Apple MacBook M1 Review

And to be honest, most gaming laptops and even the MacBook Pro are not able to do it. It is only a few gaming laptops that are able to achieve this.

But, looking at the day-to-day performance under normal loads they are pretty much equal.

One way to reduce thermal throttling is by undervolting. Get a laptop with a good cooling system or you won’t be able to avoid thermal throttling.

Gaming Laptop Vs Apple MacBook Pro – Longevity

Apple MacBooks on average last longer than gaming laptops. The OS is more robust, the build quality is also top-notch and their customer service is good.

MacOS when it comes to security features and robustness wins against Windows.

There is hardly any bloatware and the operating system has been optimized to use the hardware efficiently. That’s why you commonly see 3-to-8-year-old MacBooks still perform decently.

Windows, on the hand, comes with a lot of bloatware. And can quickly slow your much down if you don’t regularly get rid of leftover files from uninstallations.

The advantage Windows has over macOS is its friendliness to the software. You can basically run almost anything on Windows. macOS is restricted and so some software is a big NO-NO.

When it comes to build quality Apple MacBooks are made from a unibody aluminium design. This design makes Apple MacBooks compact, slim and with little no flex.

For gaming laptops, since they are made by different manufacturers they will have different build qualities.

Most of them are made from a combination of plastic and aluminium or only aluminium. Others have plastic build only.

Because of the various differences in build quality amongst gaming laptops. You have to do your own research to see which one comes out on top.

One major factor that determines how long your laptop or MacBook will last is customer service. Top-notch customer service means that if anything goes wrong the manufacturer takes responsibility.

That is if you didn’t cause the damage yourself. And Apple is known as the king of customer service. Aside from that Dell, Razer, Samsung and ASUS have excellent customer service.

Combining Apple MacBook’s great build quality, clean OS and top-notch customer service. If you are looking for something that will last a long time then the Apple MacBook Pro is a good choice.

Gaming Laptop Vs Apple MacBook Pro – Battery Life

An Apple MacBook Pro has a better battery life than a gaming laptop. Gaming laptops have power-hungry hardware.

Except for a few, you will get on average 3-4 hours of battery life under consistent use.

Even though Apple MacBook Pros have some power-hungry hardware. The macOS makes sure power is efficiently used therefore giving you longer battery life.

Gaming Laptop Vs Apple MacBook Pro – Portability

Neither wins. If it was 5 years ago then the Apple MacBook Pro would have won. But, now there are so many thin and light gaming laptops on the market.

The Gigabyte Aero, ASUS ROG Zephyrus, Razer Blade, etc. to name a few. And they keep getting thinner with each passing year.

Gaming Laptop Vs Apple MacBook Pro – Display

Apple MacBook Pro

When it comes to content creation and video editing Apple MacBook Pros have an advantage. Everything about the display is beautiful.

The colour accuracy, brightness, saturation and the way the colours pop on the display will blow you away.

There is a reason why Apple MacBook Pros are commonly recommended for video editing, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premier.

A few gaming laptops are able to rival the Apple MacBook Pro’s high-resolution display. Razer Blade, Gigabyte Aero (4K), Dell XPS 15, Lenovo Thinkpad Extreme.

These laptops are great for content creation because of their displays rival Apple MacBook Pro.

Gaming Laptop Vs Apple MacBook Pro For Gaming

Gaming laptops win in what basically they are made for. Gaming laptops are optimised to play games. Apple MacBook Pros are not.

The Apple MacBook Pros have a dedicated graphics card but that doesn’t mean it is great for gaming.

First of all, a lot of games are not available for macOS. So don’t be disappointed when you get an Apple MacBook Pro and you are not able to play games on it.

Secondly, Apple MacBook Pros have poor cooling systems. Combine that with an already slim and compact form factor and you have a hot mess.

The MacBook Pro is going to thermal throttle like crazy. You will experience frequent drops in performance and FPS which will spoil your gaming experience.

Thirdly, the display. Yea, Apple MacBook Pros have a great display but what about the refresh rate? The refresh rate is the number of times a screen refresh itself. A 60Hz display means that it is going to refresh itself 60 times in a second.

This refresh rate will lead to some problems, especially in fast-paced games. Screen tearing and ghosting will occur so much you won’t enjoy the game.

That is if you can install the game in the first place. That’s why a lot of gaming laptops have high refresh rate displays just to prevent these visual distortions.

Keep in mind that an Apple MacBook Pro is not a gaming laptop because of the reasons mentioned above. It can be used for gaming but up to a certain point.

So if you are looking for a laptop to game avoid the MacBook Pro like a plague.


There is one way around this. You can get an eGPU for the Apple MacBook. And install Windows on it. This way you can enjoy playing games on the MacBook. Although, it will be an expensive set-up.

In short, you can game on MacBook. But, you won’t get the best performance as compared to gaming laptops.

Gaming Laptop Vs Apple MacBook Pro – Port or I/O Selection

Apple MacBook Pros have a poor port selection. The four Thunderbolt 3 ports are great. But, what is not great is when you have to purchase and carry a dock with you at all times.

A lot of gaming laptops have a decent selection of ports. There is at least a USB Type-C that supports Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.0/3.1 and HDMI port. This eliminates the need to carry a dock with you at all times.

Summary Of Gaming Laptop Vs Apple MacBook Pro

Gaming Laptop
Apple MacBook Pro
Battery Life
Port Selection
Gaming laptop vs Apple MacBook Pro

It’s clear which one is the winner. But keep in mind that it is dependent on the gaming laptop you choose. The Gigabyte Aero and Razer Blade, for example, will win hands-down.

ASUS Zephyrus G14 Review

Because they both have excellent displays and battery life. Don’t forget the Apple MacBook keyboard. The new butterfly keyboard has a lot of problems.

It is not what it used to be. So if you like a stellar typing experience then the Apple MacBook Pro is not for you.

Final Thoughts

It is a hard choice. Choosing between a high-end gaming laptop or an Apple MacBook Pro. You have to choose the one that suits your need the best. An example is looking for a laptop for college.

Choosing an Apple MacBook Pro for college can be a good choice or a bad one. Because it boils down to the program you are going to pursue.

If it is an engineering program you will quickly find out that most engineering software does not run on an Apple MacBook Pro. One way around this is to dual-boot Windows.

Though you will still experience some difficulties. On the other hand, if it’s programming then either a gaming laptop or a MacBook Pro is a good choice.

Do you get the point? So you have to determine what your needs are and what you are going to use the laptop for.

This will help you make an informed decision.