Why are some CPUs better at video editing while others are better for gaming?


With the new WWDC coming out, Apple boasts about its performance using applications like video editing, encoding, etc. However, I keep hearing that despite the “power” it has, macs are not good for gaming (I know the Apple silicon processors aren’t just a CPU but my point still stands).

Why is this the case? Even with CPUs, I see that some are marketed as doing different things, like the AMD Ryzen X3D line for gaming, versus others that are better for productivity tasks. Shouldn’t a good CPU be able to do both things? What makes them different?

In: 100

This is all kinda BS. Apple likes to talk shit and CPU and GPU is full of shit scam marketing for everyone all around!

The simplest matter is that the best option for both is to get the most powerful CPU possible and pair that with lots of RAM. Games actually aren’t that CPU intensive, and aren’t optimized to take advantage of all your CPU can do, the big thing for most modern complex games, usually 3D environments, is rendering graphics, which is done by the GPU, not CPU. Even many pretty old CPUs are totally fine for many modern games, but you need to pair that with RAM and a good GPU otherwise you’ll have bottlenecks at various points. Hell, the better Intel 3000 and 4000 series released in like 2011/12 still can work for many games (though not with settings pushed to the max of course). This isn’t because modern cpus are bad or anything, its that even those 10 year old ones are still really freaking powerful

Video editing is just a power hungry beast and will take every resource it can, so you give it as much as you can. The thing with videos is just more is better. More more more. More of everything. ITs always been this way. Just as much as you can jam into your system for power and resources

Anyone selling you a “gaming CPU” or “gaming motherboard” is hoping you’re stupid enough to not know this is not a thing. Their marketing has apparenttly been successful, because people think this is a thing. This is not a thing.

Games tend not to be easy to parallelise so prefer a small number of very fast cores and a large cache while video editing is easy to parallelise so favours a high core count.

Whenever this is mentioned, there’s an assumption:

* Most games are optimized for only one processing thread
* Most productivity apps are optimized for as many processing threads are available

When you have an application that runs on only one thread, the highest possible processing speed will have the highest performance ceiling. 3.0 gHz will always be better than 2.5 gHz, regardless of threads because it’ll only ever use one.

When you have an application that runs on every thread, the highest total cumulative processing power will offer the highest performance ceiling. So, a 3.0 gHz Dual Core would offer (for the sake of explanation) 6 gHz of bandwidth (2×3), whereas a 2.5 gHz Quad Core would offer 10 gHz of bandwidth (4×2.5).


However, this isn’t always the case, but is generally the case. Although, more games are being developed with multi-core processing in mind these days, although it still generally isn’t likely a big consideration unless it’s heavy on simulation/calculation, like Cities Skylines 2.

To add on to what the other comments are saying about parallel processes vs single thread, imagine it like having a bunch of lesser skilled/experienced engineers vs a single highly experienced engineer.

If you have a bunch of pretty easy tasks, the former might be able to bang them out quickly while the latter guy gets swamped because even as good as he is, he’s just one person. On the other hand, if you have a single difficult task, having a bunch of guys isn’t necessarily any faster than one and the single experienced guy will be able to complete it faster than a bunch of guys who don’t really know what they’re doing.

“Ideally” you would have a bunch of highly experienced engineers, but that would be very expensive to do and is overkill for most applications so it’s not really ideal in practice outside of like high performance applications where you might actually need that

Macs *as a whole* are not as good for gaming because fewer games are ported to run on macOS. Games are built on engines which are built on accelerated graphics APIs other than Metal.

Apple has built media accelerators that work on encoding and decoding video streams. Other systems might put those onto the GPUs.