During its Spring Loaded event, Apple claimed it was new iMac 2021 and iPad Pro 2021 M1 chips are both excellent slot machines. The iMac supposedly has the power to run Apple Arcade and zoom at the same time with ease, while the iPad Pro will supposedly have console-quality graphics and frame rates.
Apple has already proven with that M1 MacBook Air that the M1 chip can run iOS games without any problems. But the new M1 iMac and iPad Pro both have the specs to take the crown for Apple’s best slot machine and could potentially handle more rigorous PC games.
Each device has the same M1 CPU. So which Apple device is better for gaming? For anyone looking to pre-order the iPad 2021 or iMac 2021 to play, the specs and features are broken down to help you decide.
iMac 2021 vs iPad Pro 2021 game specifications
When comparing the most expensive versions of the iMac 2021 and the iPad Pro 2021, both have an 8-core Apple M1 chip with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores, an 8-core GPU, up to 16 GB of RAM and up to 2 TB of storage . and a 16-core neural engine.
Basically, both devices run with the same hardware and can have comparable graphics performance. Of course, the different operating systems and their respective display sizes uniquely use the same resources.
The new 12.9-inch iPad display is 2,732 x 2,048 in size and has 264 pixels per inch (ppi), a maximum brightness of 600 nits, a reflectivity of 1.8%, ProMotion Tech up to 120 Hz and 2,596 local Dimming zones with full array. The 24-inch iMac, on the other hand, has a 4.5K retina display (4,480 x 2,520) with 218 ppi and 500 nits of brightness.
In other words, the iPad Pro 2021 may give you a more visually immersive experience with faster frame rates for competitive gaming. However, the iMac 2021 isn’t a visual void and offers almost twice the playing surface.
iPad Pro players can technically use the USB-C port to connect an external display like that Pro display XDR – As is the iMac if you want a dual gaming display. Both displays have wide color (P3) and true tone technology for equally vivid colors.
If you prefer computer audio to gaming headphones, the iMac has six speakers, force-canceling woofers, and Dolby Atmos support, while the iPad only has four speakers and generally has less room for powerful sound.
Both devices support Wi-Fi 6 for fast streaming of games and Bluetooth 5.0 for reliable connections to game accessories. The difference is that the iMac has more USB 3 and Thunderbolt 4 ports for manual connection with accessories, as well as an Ethernet port integrated directly into the power supply for constant Internet speeds.
Comparing the performance of iMac 2021 and iPad Pro 2021
For now, we can only judge how these two devices compare based on Apple’s own vague benchmarks.
Initially, Apple claimed the 2021 iMac was 85% faster than the previous iMac. Then the bold claim was made that the GPU performance of the new iMac will be twice as fast as any other integrated GPU on the market today.
Next, during its iPad presentation, Apple said that when comparing the iPad Pro 2021 vs. iPad Pro 2020The iPad Pro 2021 would have 50% faster CPU performance and 40% faster graphics.
After the Spring Loaded event, we sat down with Apple and asked about the performance differences between the iPad and iMac. The iMac benefits from active cooling and a larger display, but avoids a direct comparison.
Assuming the performance levels are comparable, it looks impressive for the iPad Pro 2021 Laptop replacement, but potentially disappointing for the iMac as a desktop, especially since it costs a little more than the iPad Pro with comparable specs.
“Real” gaming, parallels and cloud gaming
For traditional gaming, the iMac is probably a better option – unless you subscribe to a Cloud gaming service.
Both the iPad Pro and iMac can run any iOS / iPadOS app or game. If you want to leave the App Store and try out games from Steam, Origin, or GOG, iPad Pro users are out of luck. iMac owners can play M1 compatible Mac games and get pretty decent performance.
Many computer games are only intended for the PC, which can limit your game library. But you can bypass that on an iMac with an annual subscription Parallel desktop: A Windows 10 virtual machine that allows Mac users to run Microsoft’s operating system on an Apple computer. Parallels v16.5 in particular is optimized for M1 chips, uses less energy and offers 30% better performance than an Intel-based MacBook.
If you’re looking for more hardcore gaming, the iMac seems like your best bet. However, you can play these types of games on iPad Pro using a game streaming service. Google Stadia, GeForce Now, Amazon Luna, and Game Pass Ultimate can all be played with a Safari web app on iPads.
Provided you have a sufficiently fast internet connection and a sufficiently fast router, your iPad Pro 2021 can stream the most graphically demanding games via remote servers as well as via any gaming PC. Most Bluetooth controllers can connect to the iPad Pro so you don’t have to rely on touchscreen controls. And you can play these games anywhere on the iPad Pro’s beautiful screen instead of hanging around your desk with the iMac.
As a counterpoint, the iMac can also stream games through its browser or desktop apps, using an Ethernet connection for more consistent stream quality. Plus, you can download games once instead of using up your bandwidth all the time.
Two viable options, no slam dunk
If you weigh the iPad Pro 2021 versus the iMac 2021 for gaming purposes, your first choice will depend on what you are specifically looking for. The iPad Pro 2021 impresses with its display brightness and refresh rate, price and portable games. The iMac 2021 impresses with its display size, audio quality, connections and access to desktop / PC games.
Neither of these offers you the perfect gaming experience. To do this, you’ll need to move away from Apple and look Gaming PCs or Gaming laptops. But competently Slot machines, either Apple’s new desktop or tablet, could likely suit your needs.