Borderlands 3 – Mac Performance Review


– [Vaughn] Pandora’s in trouble. I can feel it in my bones. Or maybe that’s just the harsh desert wind on my bare sun-dappled chest. – [Narrator] Borderlands 3
was recently ported to Mac. This time it wasn’t done by Aspyr Media, who ported the previous games, instead it was done internally
at GearBox Software. They officially announced it on Twitter and the replies were a cesspool. But, as always, non-Mac gamers love to exaggerate this topic of gaming on Mac. For this video, I played Borderlands 3 on two different Mac models. A 2015 5K iMac and a
2019 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Blackmagic eGPU connected. My reviews are quite
different to other people’s. So, I usually don’t go into the story of the games, because
usually the Mac ports come months later. So, you already know about the story of Borderlands, this will just go over the performance of the game. Anyway, the Mac OS port
comes with some outrageous system requirements, that are much higher than the Windows requirements. You are going to need
Mac OS 10.12.6 installed on your machine. Your processor needs
to be an Intel Core i7 at 4.2 gigahertz with 4 cores. You will need 8 gigabytes of RAM. You will need 75 gigabytes
of free disk space. And your graphics card, and this is where it gets crazy, needs to
be an AMD Radeon Pro 580 with 8 gigabytes of VRAM. This is crazy, which means Borderlands 3 is most definitely the most demanding game on our platform now. So, since these requirements are so high, this means the game is only supported on the following Macs. All 27-inch Retina 5K
iMacs released since 2017 with a 8 gigabyte graphics card. All iMac Pros released since 2017. Or if you have a Thunderbolt 3 Mac, you can connect an external
graphics card to it that has 8 gigabytes of VRAM. However, don’t get too disappointed yet. You can run the game on
some other Mac models. The following Macs are capable of running Borderlands 3,
but do not consistently meet the standards required
for official support. So, these are still very
high-end Macs, though. All 27-inch Retina 5K iMacs
released since late 2014 with a 4 gigabyte graphics card. All 21.5-inch Retina 4K
iMacs released since 2017 with a 4 gigabyte graphics card. All 15-inch MacBook
Pros released since 2016 with a 4 gigabyte graphics card. All Mac Pros released since 2013 with a 6 gigabyte graphics card. And again, if you have
a Thunderbolt 3 Mac, you can connect an external graphics card that has 4 gigabytes of video memory. After all that, how did the game play on my two Macs? First of all, we have my
13-inch MacBook Pro from 2019. I’m playing at a resolution
of 1920 by 1080, 1080p. My quality preset was on medium and it had to be on this,
I will get into that later. VSync is on, this is recommended by many developers to keep this on for Mac to keep a more stable frame rate and to avoid screen tearing. So, my average frame rate was 40. Sometimes it would be 60 when
there wasn’t much going on, and sometimes it would
dip down to about 35 in more open environments
or when in gunfights. So, it’s completely
playable but the frame rate can alter quite significantly at times. I think that GearBox Software need to do a lot of tweaking to
get the performance better here, because I really
think that it should be able to play in high. Now, if I did put it on high, it would be playable, but the frame rate would just randomly drop significantly to where it would be unplayable
for about a few seconds. So, medium was where it had to be. So, for this Mac if I
played without the eGPU, it would still be playable,
but at very low settings and at a resolution of 720p. And my average frame
rate would be, like, 35. So, playable, but it just
doesn’t look very nice. And then, next we have
my late 2015 5K iMac, which is playing at a resolution of 1080p. The quality preset had
to be on low this time and I had Vsync on and my
average frame rate was 35. If I put the game on a
medium quality preset, the game would be completely unplayable. It was so bad, so it had to be on low. And that’s what I’m saying,
the game is playable on Macs with a 4 gigabyte graphics card, but it’s still very
dependent on your processor. And despite it being on
the low quality preset, it still looks pretty nice,
in my opinion, anyway. The one thing that I noticed
on both of these machines, though, was when I
initially loaded the game it would take a really long time to load in textures and it
would also be quite laggy. Once that was done, it was perfectly fine. That was just the issue. Also, the game supports
cross-play multiplayer. However, when I joined people, the game would see some frame rate drops. Now, this might be because of my internet, I’m not sure, but I’m just
putting that out there. Look, I’m really, really,
happy that GearBox Software decided to port this game to our platform, but at the same time I’m
kind of wondering, why? Because not many people are going to be able to play this game. Most Mac people out there actually have integrated graphics. I bet the majority of you watching are running a computer
that can’t actually play this game, which sucks. One of the reasons why
they probably ported it to our system was because
Borderlands 1 and 2 and even the Pre-Sequel
were really, really popular on our platform and sold a lot of copies. And I know that from Aspyr Media that it was really
successful for them, too. But that’s pretty much it. This is kind of like a PSA,
public service announcement on what this game is like,
what Macs you can run it on, and whatnot. Would I suggest playing this game on Mac? If you have a Mac that
is able to run it, sure. Still, it can have mixed reviews. I think GearBox Software need to do quite a few tweaks on the performance and allow more Macs to be able
to play this game, please. But, yeah, that’s pretty much it. If you enjoyed this video,
you know what to do. Please leave a like, because these are not easy videos to make and subscribe and turn on notifications to be alerted about upcoming videos. Anyway, thanks for watching.