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M1 Macs Can Now Game at 1600p With GeForce Now and RTX 3080

MacBook Pro with an image of Far Cry 6 on the display
(Image credit: Nvidia)

Nvidia is improving the GeForce Now RTX 3080 experience on Apple's M1 laptops, the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro. Specifically, a new update to GeForce Now will allow for gaming at 1600p.

Both of those laptops have 2560 x 1600 displays, so Nvidia is supporting native resolutions. Previously, GeForce Now listed only 1080p on Macs at this tier. Nvidia told Tom's Hardware that users will still be able to stream up to 120 frames per second previously as you could at 1080p.

The 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros with M1 Pro and M1 Max, have higher resolution displays than the 13-inch Pro and the Air. Nvidia clarified that those machines, too, will be able to stream at up to 1600p and 120 fps.

In the same blog post, Nvidia announced a limited-time promotion for GeForce Now RTX 3080 memberships or six-month Priority subscriptions to get a free copy of Crysis Remastered on the Epic Games Store. Additionally, Nvidia is adding updates to PC and Mac users to link Nvidia and Ubisoft accounts to launch Ubisoft Connect games more quickly.

The Mac is a big part of Nvidia's push with GeForce Now. After all, those with Windows-based gaming PCs already have access to the most popular gaming titles. But while Apple's latest chips have some powerful GPUs, the biggest mainstream video game developers and publishers haven't paid a ton of attention to the Mac in recent years. (Indie devs have done better in this regard.) Nvidia hopes the Apple faithful will use its service to stream those titles.

Additionally, many of the games that did work on Mac didn't survive the macOS transition away from 32-bit apps. And with M1, programs that aren't reworked to run natively need to be emulated through Rosetta 2. Nvidia's argument here is that Mac users won't need to worry about software compatibility when they stream from the internet because the games run on its servers.

GeForce Now, Nvidia says, will give Mac users that experience without also needing a PC. The same goes for phones, tablets and weaker Windows PCs.

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 subscription is available for pre-order for $99.99 for six months and also promises eight-hour gaming sessions. The Priority membership, with a "premium rig" with RTX graphics (up to 1080p at 60 fps), is $49.99 for six months, or $9.99 per month, and has a six-hour limit. The free tier on a "basic rig" has a one-hour limit. Any of these should work on an M1 Mac, but you will only get native resolution on the most expensive option.

New Games on GeForce Now

Beyond the Mac updates, Nvidia has announced six new games coming to GeForce Now.

A-Train: All Aboard! Tourism and White Shadows will be supported on December 7, the day those games launch on Steam. Monopoly Madness, a new launch on Ubisoft Connect, will be supported on December 9.

Anno 1404 History Edition and Prison Architect, which are both currently part of free promotions on Ubisoft Connect and the Epic Games Store, are also supported, as well as Super Magbot on Steam and the delightful Untitled Goose Game on the Epic Games Store.

Updated December 9, 2:22 p.m. ET with clarification that Macs can stream at up to 120 fps on 1600p displays and that the 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros can also stream at 1600p on the Liquid Retina XDR displays.

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter: @FreedmanAE