Boot Camp v. Parallels for gaming?

Discussion in 'Games' started by Spartacus, Apr 6, 2006.

  1. Spartacus macrumors member

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    Nov 28, 2004
    #1
    Okay folks, ANOTHER Windows on Mac solution arrived today. One of the biggest questions for me is which one will run games better. Has anyone been able to compare frame rates or bench marks on both Boot Camp and the Virtualization solution? Which is better for games?
     
  2. Abulia macrumors 68000

    Abulia

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    #2
    No contest, dual-booting. Just basic logic: virutalization, no matter how well done, has the overhead of running two OS's.
     
  3. Spartacus thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    I figured as much. But how much actual loss of performance is there? Virtualization is a much more convenient solution than Dual Booting, and if performance loss is only a matter of a few percentages, than virtualization might be worth using with games (especially for casual gamers). Also, does each OS only get one of the cores on the processor?
     
  4. Chaszmyr macrumors 601

    Chaszmyr

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    #4
    To the best of my knowledge Parallel's solution does not support 3D graphics.
     
  5. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #5
    No contest. The virtualization software doesn't yet support 3D graphics.

    Thus I think we can assume Boot Camp will run better ;)

    Virtualization is useless for games at this point.
     
  6. Gurutech macrumors 6502

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    Jan 22, 2006
    #6
    Dual Boot wins...hands down

    I even tested both.
    When I tried to install the Warcraft III on parallel virtual machine, it sucessfully installed.. but when I tried to run, it crashed.
    (also when you check the device manager, you will see that the graphic device has yellow question mark next to it... which means it's not working properly or not installed)


    When you dual boot, everything works flawlessly.
    AOE3, Star Wars: Empire at War, Battlefield, and Dungeon Siege 2 etc.

    Parallels virtualization program is much better than VPC on PPC machine. However, it's still running on Mac OS X.
     
  7. Abulia macrumors 68000

    Abulia

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    #7
    You asked which was better and I told you.

    The decision as to whether it's worth it to you to take a 10%-20% performance hit for the convenience of running a Windows game via virutalization within OS X can only be determined by you.

    So there's no correct answer besides what you determine suits your needs better.
     
  8. Gurutech macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Of course, if you 'can' actually run that is :D
     
  9. Abulia macrumors 68000

    Abulia

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    #9
    Well, my preface was done with the assumption of a "100% perfect" virtualization software, which as we all know, doesn't exist yet.

    So even in a perfect world, the best virtualization software would still be slower than dual-booting. The question then becomes if virutalization is "fast enough for you." :)
     
  10. jdechko macrumors 68040

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    Jul 1, 2004
    #10
    Just a thought, but what if you could hibernate/suspend one of the two systems to disk. You'd have very fast start up times, and you wouldn't really have to "shut down" one of the systems, but it wouldn't be taking up the system resources... so somewhere between a dual-boot and virtualization.
     
  11. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #11
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=192054

    didnt see this thread, but I just put up the differences.

    As you can see, parallels is serverly crippled state. No graphics acceleration, no sound, no airport support... need I go on, well ok
    memory restrictions, doesnt run at native speeds regardless of virtualization.

    BootCamp 4 games. Forget Parallels in it's current status for anything other than minesweeper...
     
  12. Abulia macrumors 68000

    Abulia

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    #12
    If you shut down one OS then how are you vitually emulating the other OS within that suspended OS? Again, you can't.

    In fact, in the situation you just described exists today: dual-booting! You "suspend" one OS to work exclusively in another.
     
  13. Schmittroth macrumors regular

    Schmittroth

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    #13
    Parrells is still beta, presumably when it's finally released you'll see all the bells and whistles like airport, sound and 3d graphics. They wouldn't leave that out of a final release would they?
     
  14. jdechko macrumors 68040

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    #14
    I never suggested that my idea was virtualization. I mentioned it as somewhere between virtualization and dual-boot; somewhat like a fast-user switching type thing, with a 10-15 second delay in switching. There could be shared RAM so that things like the clipboard would remain in memory. And with the dual-boot, as far as I know, you actually unload everything from memory, and the memory state is not saved (to the hard disk) as I said.
     
  15. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #15

    IIRC hibernating takes a lot of RAM. Maybe I'm wrong.
     
  16. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #16
    Well, OS X uses the 3D graphics to render the desktop, I don't know if it could be used fully in both at once. If it could I'd still expect a huge performance loss in 3D graphics.
     
  17. Haoshiro macrumors 68000

    Haoshiro

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  18. longofest Editor emeritus

    longofest

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    #18
    Pretty much all virtualization solutions do not support 3D graphics. While many of them are able to utilize advanced virtualization features of processors to run at pretty native speed, they still don't map all of the graphics calls directly. Remember that in a virual machine, everything is virtual, so the guest OS doesn't actually see the processor or graphics chip it is running on. The host application has to map all of the instructions onto the hardware. Fortunately, no emulation has to be done.

    I don't even think that advanced SIMD stuff is supported, but I might be wrong (aka, SSE or 3dnow I don't think is supported, although they can do really basic MMX instructions).
     
  19. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

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    #19
    VMware supports it, so the technology is there. I have no idea whether it works on Parallels though.
     
  20. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

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    Canada, eh?
    #20
    It's actually the opposite. Hibernating is basically suspend to disk (or perhaps "deep sleep") -- the contents of RAM, including all CPU registers, program counter, etc., are all dumped to a disk file, then the computer shuts off. Obviously if you have 1 gig of RAM installed, your image file will be 1 gig. When it starts up again, the system loads all the data from the image file back into RAM, sets up all the CPU registers, and resumes exactly where it left off.
     
  21. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

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    #21
    They certainly will. There are apparently occasional uses for Windows other than games...I know it's hard to imagine, but someone told me that once, so it might be true. ;) 3D support may come eventually (they claim to be working on it), but it's not a trivial thing to implement. You can't just tweak an existing Windows driver or anything like that.

    --Eric
     
  22. dayosx macrumors newbie

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    Apr 6, 2006
    #22
    How about Boot Camp vs Parallels vs PS2? I vote for PS2. One of my all time favorite games is Beyond Good & Evil. Now I've tested this game on an Intel P4 set before (3GHz + Radeon X700), and brother lemme tell ya! There was such audio synching problem, it reduces a grown man to a blubbering mess. OTOH I also tested the same game on an Athlon64, and whaddaya know? No audio glitches.

    And on the PS2? Need I go into that?
     
  23. speelurker macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    #23
    Yet?

    http://www.parallels.com/en/news/id,8562

    It looks like in the future you will be able to have a second video card and dedicate it to the virtual machine for full speed 3D gaming.

    If this works out, for the price of a video card, you'll be able to avoid dual booting.
     

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