Gaming on a $200 MacBook

– Hey guys, this is Austin. I am no stranger to trying to game on a Mac. However, this time, well, we’re taking it up a notch. This is a $200 MacBook straight from 2009. To be clear, this is a terrible idea.

But also, I don’t really care. This MacBook is straight from eBay, and it has had a bit of a hard life. The inside is actually fairly clean, so there’s no major scratches on the screen, the keyboard and trackpad are all clear. However, on the exterior of the shell, there’s a pretty sizable crack here, and it looks like someone just attacked the bottom of it at some point. Generally speaking, the words “Mac” and “gaming” don’t go together. When you put “2009 white MacBook” together with the word “gaming,” you usually have a recipe for some straight garbage town.

Inside, the specs are, well, not great. It has a 2.3 gigahertz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, four gigabytes of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics. A step up from integrated graphics, but not by much. However, it’s not all bad. The rest of the hardware does feel reasonably modern. It’s running currently a copy of MacOS Sierra, although you can update it to High Sierra, and you got stuff like dual-band Wi-Fi, a good keyboard, a decent trackpad.

It doesn’t really feel that slow. – [Video] It is the first iPhone to drop the home button. – So, with an only 1280 by 800 display, don’t expect to be blowing through 4K YouTube on this guy.

Watching normal 720p video is no problem. Because it is running a modern operating system, not only do you still get stuff like patches, there’s even support for things like Siri. With a resolution of 1280 by 800, the screen is definitely low-resolution by today’s standards. However, the panel itself really isn’t bad. Yes, it does not get quite as bright as I would like, but the color and especially some of the viewing angles are a lot better than other TN panels that I’ve found on laptops around $200 today.

You’re also getting a good selection of ports, including not only MagSafe, but Ethernet, Mini DisplayPort, and a pair of USB 2.0 ports, and you get an optical drive, because 2009. I have to admit, when I first had the idea for this video, I expected this to be pretty much garbage town. But it really isn’t. However, the real test is going to be, can I play any games at all on it?

Evolution gaming software Canada review is a game that runs on basically every piece of tech on Earth, and it runs just fine here on the MacBook. Yes, you do have to turn the graphics settings down. Especially, you have to turn the chunk distance to be lot closer, but it does work. Now, Steam does work on MacOS, so of course, I have to give CS:GO a try, and I’m not expecting good things. 16 FPS (laughing). Alright, let’s– Oh, oh no!

Okay. I’m gonna give this a solid F for failure. CS:GO is not MacBook compatible, at least not a 2009.

However, the main reason I actually wanted to this video was a new thing from Nvidia called GeForce Now. GeForce Now itself isn’t new, but what is is the Mac beta. Essentially what we can do here is we can go through pretty much any game on Steam and Battle.net. Now, they don’t support everything, but a lot of the major games, such as Dota 2, Fortnite, Battlefront 2, you can all play for free, at least right now during beta on the Mac.

The only catch is that you actually have to own these games. The way it works is once you actually log into GeForce Now, you log into something like Steam or Battle.net, and you can play the games on your own accounts. Now, back in CS:GO running in GeForce Now, it is a huge difference. Because the computer in the cloud is doing all the heavy lifting, all the MacBook has to do is essentially just decode the video and pass through my mouse and keyboard input over the internet.

I know that there’s absolutely a little bit of latency that is added, but because we’re over Ethernet and because we have fiber here in the office, it’s really hard to see any kind of major difference. Next, we have Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds. This is a game that you would never be able to run on the MacBook in a million years, but here again, it runs pretty well here with GeForce Now. It’s crazy just how far cloud gaming has come.

It feels like not that long ago that, while you could do stuff like this with PlayStation Now and GeForce, it really relied on having a crazy-good internet connection. Without it, it was super-choppy and there was a lot of latency, even with a good internet connection. But here, I mean, yes, if I look closely, I can see there’s a little bit of a difference as far as not being able to fully get that instant response, but it is not bad. Is there nothing in here? Oh, no, no no no no!

Get– No, no, yes, yes! I did it! I (laughing) killed someone with my fists! Yet again, Overwatch works totally fine. Dude, I’m really impressed with this. I’ve been wanting to try GeForce Now for Mac for a while, but there’s really nothing to complain about, if you have a good internet connection, and I can’t stress that enough.

If you don’t, this is not going to be as smooth as an experience. But if you do, it runs basically just like you’re running it on your actual MacBook. The only real catch here is that this is free only in beta. At some point, Nvidia is going to come to their senses and start charging for this.

But man, as long as it’s free, it’s essentially like you’re getting a free high-powered gaming PC that just happens to run on a little tiny MacBook. So, should you buy a 2009 MacBook to turn into a gaming PC? Of course not. But if you want to get into GeForce Now while it’s still for free on the Mac, this is not a bad way of going at all.

This is a great example of how newer technology can mean that you don’t have to leave older hardware behind. Speaking of the hardware, this MacBook is a lot better than I thought. I’m actually considering maybe doing a few upgrades and doing a part two to this video, so if you guys want to see that, let me know in the comments below. Anyway guys, thank you so much for watching, and I will catch you on the next one.