Nvidia’s latest GeForce Now update gives the cloud gaming service native support for Apple’s M1 processor, a feature that should significantly improve the gaming experience on Macs.
GeForce Now version 2.0.40 supposedly provides lower power consumption, faster app startup times, and an “overall elevated GeForce Now experience” to MacBooks, iMacs, and Mac Minis running on Apple’s ARM-based M1 processors. The newest version of the gaming app also includes a new overlay displaying server-side rendering frame rates and a “genre” row at the bottom of the games menu.
Gaming on a Mac can sometimes feel like driving a supercar in a 30 miles per hour zone, especially if you’re using the MacBook Pro 14 and Pro 16. The company’s latest M1-powered devices boast impressive graphics performance, considering they use an integrated solution. However, unless you’re a creative professional, that performance is likely going unused—macOS is and has never been a great place for gamers.
If Mac users want to play PC games, cloud services like GeForce Now are the best method, without using third-party virtualization software. We recommend you give these cloud services a try, particularly GeForce Now, considering it has a free tier that lets you play one-hour sessions, albeit using limited hardware. GeForce Now also has a robust, if incomplete, game library, giving Mac users a chance to play titles they otherwise couldn’t run.
Nvidia brought GeForce now to M1 Mac last year, but ran the x86-64 app through Apple’s Rosetta translation layer, a process that results in less-than-ideal performance. With native support, you can harness the full performance behind your new Apple machine. Interestingly, Nvidia didn’t mention improvements to streaming quality or reducing input lag, so Mac owners can only hope those are part of the “elevated experience.”
Level up your earbud game
Apple has added premium features previously exclusive to its more luxurious AirPods Pro, such as spatial audio and water resistance.
As mentioned, GeForce Now has a free tier. If that doesn’t cut it, upgrading to the $10-a-month Priority tier gets 1080p resolution at 60 fps for six-hour play sessions; a new RTX 3080 tier gets you 1440p, 120Hz gameplay and eight-hour sessions.