Thinking about getting a new game for your Mac? Perhaps you have your eyes set on DiRT Rally, one of the best racing games for Mac currently available.

But is it good enough to spend $50+ on it? Will you like it? With the sheer amount of reviews, lets plays and podcasts available, you can easily make an educated guess regarding the game’s quality.

But will your machine be able to run it? And if it does, will it run well enough to be enjoyable?

That, unfortunately, is a much tougher question to answer. As not a single one of the hundreds of reviews and videos have taken the time to answer that question, we will.

Welcome to our first Performance review, the place where we’ll help you figure out whether your machine can or cannot run a game or not.

And today, we’ll dive deep into Dirt Rally’s Mac version.

First things first, is the game any good?

Many experienced reviewers already tackled this question, so let’s hear what they have to say.

Released for Mac just a few weeks ago, DiRT Rally is a safe bet.

PC Gamer gave it an 80/100 claiming “it’s not a sim, but it’s the best rally game in years”. IGN pretty much agrees, giving it an outstanding 8.9/10 and concluding their review with:

Dirt Rally is a brilliant sim that looks, feels, and sounds absolutely outstanding, but it won’t tolerate the timid.

And in case you’re wondering about the rest of the reviews out there, I can tell you they’re all favorable. The game has an impressive 86/100 Metascore (which is an aggregation of tens of reviews from major outlets).

Metascore

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Steam Reviews

And what about normal gamers like you and me? As of today, DiRT Rally has 11,280 Steam user reviews all giving it very positive reviews (90%)!

Dirt Rally Mac gameplay

So there you have it. DiRT Rally is the real deal and if you like racing games, you will probably love it.

My take?

DiRT Rally for Mac is an extremely solid game and one of the top racing games out there, be it on Windows or consoles.

The test

To give you a real flavor of how demanding this game is, we went ahead and tested it on as many different models as possible.

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016):

2.0 GHz Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, Intel Iris Graphics 540 (1.5GB)

iMac (5K, 27-inch, Late 2014)

3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, AMD Radeon R9 M290X (2GB)

Mac Mini (Late 2014):

2.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 4 GB RAM, Intel Iris 5100 (1.5GB)

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012)

5.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 4 GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics 4000 (1.5GB)

As you can see, the purpose is to go wide and cover Macs that are as different from each other as possible. In this case, we three different setups:

  • High-end (the 2014 iMac).
  • New, but basic (the 2016 MacBook Pro).
  • Older and basic (the Mac Mini and 2012 MacBook Pro).

Hopefully, yours will closely match one of these.

Be aware that the Mid-2012 MacBook Pro is not supported and the 2016 MacBook Pro is partially supported.

Dirt Rally Mac tests

These are the settings we used:

  • 1280x800 (or equivalent 1344x756) resolution
  • Medium Preset
  • V-Sync and MSA off

Why 1280x800 and not more? Because 1280x800 is a better than basic High Definition (720p), but still low enough to give older Macs a chance…

Dirt Rally Mac benchmark settings

The Results

This has to be said, this is one fine port.

Dirt Rally results

Do you have a high-end Mac?

As expected, the iMac with its powerful graphics card (by macOS standards) did great and can easily run it at the highest settings. And by the way, at this level, the game looks gorgeous.

But what about the other Macs? They all have integrated graphics. Is that enough to run DiRT Rally?

Do you have a recent yet basic Mac?

As a reminder, we’re going for at least 30 frames per second (FPS). For reference, the Nintendo Switch runs many games at 900p resolution and 30 FPS. So anything that runs at that level can be considered good.

My 2016 MacBook Pro is pretty recent and you expect a new computer to be fast. But remember, games are so graphics intensive, they not only need recent hardware to run properly, they need a powerful graphics card.

Both the 2016 MacBook Pro and Mac Mini have integrated graphics cards, which aren’t ideal for gaming. Still, DiRT Rally squeezes all the power it can to run at acceptable frame rates (over 30 FPS).

Do you have an older and basic Mac?

Unfortunately, the 2012 MacBook Pro didn’t have what it takes. That model is very far from the system requirements and its old integrated graphics explains the poor result. The fact the game ran at all is impressive. You can’t blame Feral here, they can’t do miracles…

But we couldn’t give up so easily, we had to see how far that 2012 MacBook Pro could be pushed. We went ahead and lowered all the settings to lowest and kept our resolution to 1280x800 and perform another test.

Dirt Rally Mac test 2012 MacBook Pro

Running on average at 37 frames per second, you can enjoy DiRT Rally on an this 2012 MacBook Pro. You’ll have to compromise and give up on all the bells and whistles, but it’s definitely doable.

Remember, anything over 30 frames per second is acceptable, meaning the 37 frames per second this MacBook Pro managed to squeeze out is good enough.

For the record, the experience won’t be ideal and the game may crash, but if your stuck with an older Mac and still want to have fun, you can.

Still unsure?

If you’re still on the fence, I recommend you run the free Unigine Heaven Benchmark using the Basic Preset and compare your result with ours. That should give you a decent idea of what to expect from this game.

Or you can use this form to estimate the frames per second your Mac should get from the game using the same settings and resolution as we did (the form uses the average ratio of all of our results compared with our Heaven FPS results):

Keep in mind that this is an estimate and far from exact. If you are too borderline here, don’t risk it.

Bottom line: If you get anything lower than 12 FPS (like the 2016 MacBook Pro we tested), I wouldn’t recommend it

Always check those system requirements

Sometimes a Mac below the minimum system requirements will be able to run the game, but that would go against the developers’ recommendations and you’d be on your own in case there’s a problem.

These are DiRT Rally’s Mac system requirements:

  • 1.8GHz Intel Core i3 processor
  • macOS 10.13
  • 8GB RAM
  • 1GB Nvidia 650 / 2GB AMD Radeon M290 / Intel HD 4000 graphics card or better

The game is supported on these Macs:

  • All 13” MacBook Pros released since mid-2012
  • All 15” MacBook Pros released since mid-2012 with a 1GB graphics card or better
  • All Mac Minis released since late 2012
  • All 21.5” iMacs released since late 2013
  • All 27” iMacs released since late 2012 with a 1GB graphics card or better
  • All Mac Pros released since Mid 2010 with an AMD 7950 (Mac Edition)

Finally, all MacBooks released since 2016 will be capable of running the game, but may not deliver the best out of it in terms of performance, graphics, and stability.

Final thoughts

This is one good looking game that is very well optimized.

This can run on virtually everything that supports Metal

Even Macs with integrated graphics have a chance

System requirements are generous

Demand level:

✅ Low 

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