Unreleased Mac gaming performance put to the test as devices pop up in Steam report

13-inch MacBook Pro (2022)
(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / iMore)

Apple appears to be testing two unreleased Macs with Valve's Steam gaming platform, with the machines appearing in a report shared by the company.

A survey of machines used to play games via Steam during November 2022 shows two unreleased devices carrying the model identifiers Mac14,6 and Mac15,4. Neither Mac has been officially unveiled yet, although one might sound familiar to those keeping up with the Apple news cycle over the last couple of weeks.

Having already been put through its paces in terms of raw Geekbench tests, it now appears that Apple is putting the unreleased M2 Max chip through its paces in terms of gaming performance, too.

Familiar Mac

While we don't know precisely what Mac14,6 and Mac15,4 are, the former has already broken cover. It appeared in early Geekbench benchmark results recently, and the expectation is that it is a 14 or 16-inch MacBook Pro.

Apple was expected to refresh both notebooks last month, but that obviously didn't happen. Now, Apple is said to be ready to bring both machines to market in the early knockings of 2023 with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips replacing the M1 Pro and M1 Max options that are currently used. It's the M2 Max that was thought to have been tested in those Geekbench runs.

With two model identifiers listed, first spotted by MacRumors (opens in new tab), it's also possible that Apple could be testing an M2 Max Mac Studio, although we'll have to wait to get some sort of confirmation from Apple to be sure. The Mac Studio also uses the Max version of Apple's chips, with an Ultra version also available for those who need extra horsepower. 

In short, we expect Apple to ship three Macs with the M2 Max chip in the future — a 14-inch MacBook Pro, 16-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac Studio. With two models appearing in the Valve survey, at least two are already being tested with games.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.