Why I sold my awesome gaming PC and bought a MacBook Pro

I did it. I committed the mortal sin among PC gaming enthusiasts.

I 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 already love my life without my gaming PC, even if it won’t last forever.

My Journey to PC Gaming

A gaming PC on a desk with an MSI graphics card in it.

I started my PC gaming journey in 2016 with the purchase of an Alienware 15 R3 after 26 years as a strictly console gamer. While it was a big and heavy device (despite being slimmed down from the previous version), I was pleased to finally get superior frame rates and graphics compared to the Xbox One or PS4. However, the appeal of desktop gaming and the ability to swap out components rather than being stuck with whatever the laptop was configured for was too much to resist. I had to build my own computer, and that’s where my journey really began.

My first build was modest, but pretty powerful for 1080p gaming: an AMD Ryzen 5 2600, 16GB of RAM, and an RTX 2060 all in a NZXT H500 case. After a detour into the world of small form factors, I steadily upgraded my rig to an AMD Ryzen 7 3700X and 32GB of RAM, and was one of the lucky ones to score an RTX 3070 on launch day.

With my upgraded PC, I was able to do everything from record and edit my own YouTube videos to delving into older PC games I’d missed, such as Border areas 2Jade Richhalf-lifeCS:GOand Vanquish† I even happily left my controller behind Duty sessions to fully embrace mouse and keyboard.

So why on earth would I give up my gaming and productivity powerhouse and go to the “dark side” which is Apple and consoles? In one word: simplicity.

The convenience of console gaming

The Xbox Series X in black and S in white against a white background.

When I first got into PC gaming, I really liked getting higher frame rates at higher resolutions and fidelity than the consoles. However, after purchasing both the PS5 and Xbox Series X, I’ve been able to appreciate the newer features that I can’t get on PC. Quality of life features like Instant Resume on the Xbox Series X, for example, make playing longer games more enjoyable because my playing time is very limited. The Xbox Series X even threw in AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution upscaling technology for good measure.

Instead of fiddling with countless settings trying to get the perfect frame rate, I can just choose “Performance Mode” on my console. Instead of dealing with raw PC ports, graphics card driver issues, and random issues with games that have to account for any number of PC configurations, I can play a game made just for the console itself.

Since I owned both a gaming PC and an Xbox Series X, I was able to directly compare the Xbox Game Pass titles as they are on both platforms. I clearly remember playing Guardians of the Universe on the PC only to make it crash and corrupt my save file. On the Xbox I have not encountered such problems. I realize that’s anecdotal. A lot of people enjoyed that game on PC, but this one particularly annoyed me – and it’s an example of the kind of stuff that sometimes happens on PC.

Don’t get me started on all the game launchers needed 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 It takes two, an adorable yet surprisingly mature take on divorce and the effect it has on children. You can technically play online with someone else, but I can’t with my daughter because she doesn’t have a gaming PC. By playing on the couch together, we bonded and yelled at each other as we tried to get past levels that require collaboration.

The PS5’s DualSense controller has been a literal game changer in some cases. Many games I have played such as: Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart take advantage of the triggers to fine-tune the firing or carefully modulate a game mechanic that requires precision. Most games on PC don’t have that level of integration with the DualSense controller, with the exception of PC ports of PlayStation exclusive games like god of war or Horizon Zero Dawn

Don’t get me started on all the game launchers needed for PC gaming. Sure, something like GOG Galaxy is quite a stopgap solution, but even that isn’t a perfect solution as you still have to install the individual launchers. The more I played on the Xbox Series X and PS5, the more I realized how much I missed the plug-and-play simplicity of console gaming.

The power of the MacBook Pro

At this point, you might be wondering why I didn’t 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 and labor-intensive tasks like gaming, video editing, and writing (because typing with a mechanical keyboard is more comfortable than the Magic Keyboard for iPad). My iPad Air was used for everything else, like surfing the web and reading. This setup worked, but since my gaming desktop was in the basement, I always had to go downstairs to do some real work.

The MacBook Pro solves that problem.

The MacBook Pro with the default wallpaper, which hides the notch.

My MacBook Pro of choice was the 16-inch version with the M1 Pro. It’s big enough that I don’t necessarily need an external monitor, yet compact enough to carry around. The M1 Pro has been more than enough for serious audio/video editing and has stood up to every other productivity task I’ve put on it. Apple has finally added all the right ports back (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 and still get the same power even when it’s unplugged. I couldn’t do that on my gaming desktop or even my iPad Air. In a world where remote working is more prevalent than ever, I appreciate the ability to take my work with me wherever I go.

The MacBook Pro also offers the ecosystem benefits of sticking to Apple products.

Having the MacBook Pro also provides the ecosystem benefits of sticking to Apple products. In addition to 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 Windows 11 gaming desktop. Switching to a MacBook Pro allows me to take advantage of the ecosystem’s benefits while having something portable that I can use around the house and on the go.

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 fits well with the Apple ecosystem, along with the tangible upgrades of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, makes my life both easier and more convenient.

Not done building PC

Lest I sound like an Apple commercial, my PC building days aren’t quite done yet. I still get the itch to build and still stare longingly at CPUs, graphics cards, and cases while at Micro Center.

Since graphics card prices finally seem to be coming down, I’ll probably be building another computer for my daughter this year as a birthday or Christmas present. Will I ever go back to PC gaming? Never say never. But for now, the combination of a MacBook Pro and an Xbox makes my setup much more flexible — and for now, I’m not looking back.

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