When the Apple "One More Thing" event revealed the latest silicon-powered Mac products, we were a tad skeptical at the big promises being made. Having since reviewed the MacBook Pro (M1, 2020), MacBook Air (M1, 2020), and Mac mini (M1, 2020) we're suitably impressed, though it's clear that Apple has yet to make any big steps into the world of gaming.
Thankfully, the team over at CodeWeavers have revealed that if you take matters into your own hands you don't need to compromise, and the results were better than anyone was expecting.
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Impressive results from CrossOver
CodeWeavers is known for making CrossOver, which is essentially a Mac port of Linux's Wine, a compatibility layer for Windows apps. What's great is that you also don't need a full copy of Windows or the expensive license that goes with it. It employs intricate emulators of all of Windows' key functions to run apps completely independently of Microsoft's operating system, meaning that if you absolutely must run a Windows app on a Mac product, this is one of the better options available.
In a blog post on November 18 2020, CodeWeavers managed to run a host of programs like Among Us, The Witcher 3, and even Team Fortress 2 on the new M1-powered MacBook Air after loading CrossOver 20.0.2 onto it. Considering this is the cheapest silicon-powered Apple machine on the market, this is no small feat for a device that doesn't have a dedicated graphics card.
CodeWeavers also noted that they installed the beta version of Big Sur 11.1, and that the games didn't run as smoothly as they had hoped, but the results are far from unplayable.
If you're a fan of Mac products and don't want to buy a dedicated gaming machine, the M1-powered range has been blowing our previous expectations out of the water.
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Jess is a former TechRadar Computing writer, where she covered all aspects of Mac and PC hardware, including PC gaming and peripherals. She has been interviewed as an industry expert for the BBC, and while her educational background was in prosthetics and model-making, her true love is in tech and she has built numerous desktop computers over the last 10 years for gaming and content creation. Jess is now a journalist at The Verge.