I did it. I have committed the cardinal sin among PC gaming enthusiasts.
I have ditched my relatively powerful gaming PC in exchange for the breezy console life — and also threw in a new MacBook Pro while I was at it.
I know how it sounds, but give me a chance to explain. My reasons won’t work for everyone, but I’m already loving my life away from my gaming PC, even if it won’t last forever.
My journey into PC gaming
I started my PC gaming journey in 2016 with the purchase of an Alienware 15 R3 after 26 years as a strictly console gamer. Although it was a big and heavy (despite being slimmed down from the previous version), I enjoyed being able to finally get superior frame rates and graphics compared to the Xbox One or PS4. However, the allure of desktop gaming and the ability to swap out components instead of being stuck on whatever the laptop was configured for was too much to resist. I needed to build my own computer, and that was where my journey truly began.
My first build was modest, yet decently powerful for 1080p gaming: An AMD Ryzen 5 2600, 16GB
My upgraded PC allowed me to do everything from record and edit my own YouTube videos to delve into older PC games I’d missed out on like Borderlands 2, Jade Empire, Half-Life, CS:GO, and Vanquish. I even happily left my controller behind on Call of Duty sessions to fully embrace mouse and keyboard.
So why in the world would I give up my gaming and productivity powerhouse go to the “dark side” that is Apple and consoles? In a word: Simplicity.
The convenience of console gaming
When I first got into PC gaming, I really enjoyed being able to get higher frame rates at higher resolutions and fidelity than the consoles. However, after purchasing both the
Instead of fiddling around with numerous settings to try to get the perfect frame rate, I can just choose “Performance Mode” on my console. Instead of dealing with unpolished PC ports, graphics card driver problems, and random issues with games that have to account for any number of PC configurations, I can play a game that was specifically made for the console itself.
Because I owned both a gaming PC and an
Don’t get me started on all the game launchers required for PC gaming.
It goes beyond just the typical complaints about PC gaming. My family and I like to play games together. Recently, my daughter and I finished up It Takes Two, a cute yet surprisingly mature take on divorce and the effect it has on children. You can technically play online with another person, but I can’t do that with my daughter as she doesn’t have a gaming PC. Playing on the couch together allowed us to bond together and yell at each other when we’re trying to get past levels that require cooperation.
Don’t get me started on all the game launchers required for PC gaming. Sure, something like GOG Galaxy is a decent stopgap, but even that isn’t a perfect solution because you still have to install the separate launchers. The more I played on the
The power of the MacBook Pro
At this point, you may be asking yourself why didn’t I just buy a gaming laptop. There are certainly plenty of excellent gaming laptops out there, but for my purposes, the current crop of MacBooks with Apple Silicon made a lot more sense. Again, it comes down to simplicity and convenience.
In my previous setup, I split my time between my gaming desktop and the iPad Air. I used my desktop for heavy-duty and labor-intensive tasks like gaming, video editing, and writing (because typing using a mechanical keyboard is more comfortable than the Magic Keyboard for iPad). My iPad Air was used for everything else like browsing the internet and reading. This setup worked, but since my
The MacBook Pro fixes that problem.
My MacBook Pro of choice was the 16-inch version with the M1 Pro. It’s big enough that I won’t necessarily need an external monitor, but still compact enough to carry around. The M1 Pro has been more than enough for serious audio/video editing and has flown through any other productivity task I’ve thrown at it. Apple finally added back all of the right ports (including a handy HDMI port) and thanks to the excellent keyboard, writing never feels like a chore.
Best of all, I can take it anywhere I want and still get the same power, even unplugged. I couldn’t do that on either my
The MacBook Pro also provides the ecosystem benefits of sticking with Apple products.
Having the MacBook Pro also provides the ecosystem benefits of sticking with Apple products. Along with the iPad Air, I also have an iPhone 12 Pro, AirPods, Apple TV, and an Apple Watch Series 7. My family also uses Apple products. This makes it much easier to sync everything together, with the obvious exception of my
Unfortunately, between work, family, and other outside obligations, I just don’t have the time (or money) to maintain a gaming PC. Having a powerful laptop that plays well with the Apple ecosystem, along with the tangible upgrades of the
Not done with PC building
Lest I sound like an Apple commercial, my PC building days aren’t completely done. I still get the itch to build and still gaze longingly at CPUs,
In fact, since
- Here’s why Apple’s M3 MacBook chip could destroy its rivals
- Why Apple’s next MacBook already feels like a disappointment
- AMD might have just enabled MacBook-like gaming laptops, but I’m still skeptical
- Your next MacBook Air could be even faster than expected
- Hoping for an OLED MacBook Pro? We’ve got some bad news