Bootcamp vs. VMWare Fusion 6 vs. Parallels 9: Excel w/large data sets (250,000+ rows)

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by smileman, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. smileman macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2011
    I tried using 2011 Excel on my 2013 retina 15" MacBook Pro (2.0GHz, 16GB RAM) and it quickly bogged down and became unusable with a spreadsheet containing 250,000+ rows.

    I expect in the future I will work with even larger quantities of data and may push up against the Excel limit of a 1 million+ rows. But that is for another day and hopefully 2014 Office for Mac will be out next month.

    In the meantime, I need to decide on whether to install Windows 8.1 and Office 2013 on my Mac via either Bootcamp, VMWare Fusion 6, or Parallels 9. I need maximum Excel performance.

    I demoed Parallels 9 and while I didn't get a chance to test drive Excel I wasn't very impressed with how Parallels handled Windows. I*have heard better*about VMWare, and it does appear better from my initial impressions, but again haven't had a chance to try Excel as I don't want to install Office and use my key until I've made a decision (unless I can use the same Office key in VMWare, Parallels and Bootcamp? My understanding is that I am restricted to two installs?)

    I've read that Bootcamp could perform the best of the three given that Windows runs native. However, I've also read that Apple hasn't done a thorough job updating the drivers and that things like the trackpad may not work, or work as well, as using a virtual machine. And then there are the other advantages of using a virtual machine, such as being able to to switch back to my Mac apps.

    Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  2. LordDeath macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2013
    Reading this article would be a good start:

    My personal experience:
    Performance wise both Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion are on the same level. Parallels has a little better Windows integration but VMware has a much better support for Linux clients.
    Afair both solutions have a default of 1 CPU core for new VMs and you should adjust it to the number of logical cores in your Mac.

    About bootcamp: Have a look at the CPU benchmarks on ArsTechnica. Both visualization solutions deliver nearly a one-to-one CPU performance compared to a natively running OS. Using bootcamp for performance reasons makes only sense, when you additionally depend on GPU and I/O performance. Your usage case doesn't sound like that, therefore I wouldn't pick bootcamp in your place.
  3. Jaypi macrumors regular


    Nov 10, 2012
    Los Angeles
    VMware vs Parallels is just a personal opinion which interface you like better ... Most of the time Parallels is a little bit faster, but therefore VMware is a little bit more stable, but nothing you would realize (That's my opinion after using both solutions).

    Bootcamp performs really good, but isn't alternative to both because it's a different kind of solution.
  4. Lankyman macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2011
    Tried both VmWare and Parallels. I now own and run Parallels. For me Parallels was streets ahead of the opposition for boot up speed, Windows with Mac integration and all round usability.
  5. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011
  6. JoeRito macrumors 6502a


    Apr 12, 2012
    New England, USA
    I have Mac office 2011 on my MBP but it's a dog performance-wise. Instead I use Parallels and win7 to virtualize so as to run the real deal Windows version Office 2010. It's much better and I constantly use it for Excel and Access work. MS needs to improve the Mac version, for me it's not worth owning.
  7. jzchu macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2014
    Hi, I notice a few of you have used or are using VMWare Fusion. I am evaluating it right now.

    I recently installed VMWare Fusion 6 on my iMac and in there Windows 8.1 and Excel 2010.

    An annoying short-key doesn't work for me - which is CTRL+SHIFT+DOWN, which multiple selects cells.

    Has anyone else who use Excel within VMWare experience this problem? If so there is any work arounds?


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