TLDR: Stellaris is surprisingly playable, on the go (especially earlygame) on a macbook air <30W
For reasons beyond my control, I had to isolate due to the “thing”, overseas on a work trip. And was too sick to even code …
So I did not have a gaming PC on me. Nor could I fly back home. And only a M1 Macbook Air - with 16 GB ram. So I went to try to see what I could game on it …
A mix bag of success in general, some really old low end games worked really well (expected), many of them had game breaking rendering bugs, assuming it loads.
But let me put that aside
Stellaris is surprisingly playable on the largest map settings (without wierd mod settings to make it larger). With a an extremely playable FPS range of 30 FPS in early game to 15 FPS towards late game.
This is comparable to some really old gaming systems I had, which consumes over 20x the wattage.
Only real big complain is that in late game (nearing the crisis) - the “fastest” speed is pretty much cap at “fast” speed, as it is CPU bound. But this is something even high-end CPU at 10x wattage struggle to achieve significant difference (it is faster, but by how much?)
So, just wanted to rant, IMO - i am super impressed with how reasonably well this plays under 30W and on the go (or whatever less the macbook Air drains).
The following are my notes, on how to play stellaris on the macbook Air on the go:
- early game is typically no issue
- reduce your particle effects, its a slight FPS boost (optional)
- just dun bother watching battles with over 100k fleet : it will lag
- pause first : if you must plan micro fleet movements within a system with a 100k fleet battle
- “fastest” speed is CPU bound, and pretty much cap at “fast” in late game
I suspect the 100k+ fleet battles will perform better on the higher end macbook pro as its a GPU bounded problem. “fastest” speed may also improve slightly, but probably not significantly.
It probably will never beat any decent gaming laptop, or previous gen laptops with any GPU.
But once again <30W : Including the screen !!!
This is the most efficent way to play stellaris on a per watt basis (some desktop screens consume more then the macbook air)
Apple really is missing out on the gaming market without properly supporting the needed tech for it out of the box (eg. OpenGL, etc)
– end of rant –
PS: I am still somewhat an apple hater, due to right to repair issues, etc. But lets put that aside. Im all here for the Gaming per Watt
Other notable games that played well, but they usually didn’t require a strong CPU / GPU anyway