Parallels on iMac... performance?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by JABacchetta, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. JABacchetta macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2012
    I plan on purchasing the new iMac when it comes out in a few weeks, but I'm not sure that I'm going to like OS X.

    If I install Parallels and use Windows 8 on the iMac, would there be any sort of drop in performance, as compared to using Windows on a regular PC?

    And would there be any other cons?
  2. Ddyracer macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2009
    Yeah, performance is gonna be worse. Unless of course you have a computer from the early 2000s.

    Boot camp will give you what you want. It makes a partion on you hard drive, and you have to reboot every time you want to change from windows to os x.
  3. JABacchetta thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2012
    Okay, so with boot camp, performance would not be affected... is that correct? And, using this method, would I still see the speed benefits of the Fusion Drive when using Windows?
  4. mapleleafer macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2009
    Another vote for Bootcamp. I gave my last iMac to my wife who didn't want to learn a new OS. So I just partitioned the hard drive to a small partition for OS X and the rest for Windows, then set the iMac to boot directly into Windows. I don't know much about the Fusion Drive, but from the little I've read, it doesn't sound as though you'll be able to enjoy its benefits from Bootcamp.
  5. JABacchetta thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2012
    Thanks for the info. I'm not really against learning a new OS, and I'm fairly tech-savvy (compared to the average user), so learning it wouldn't be an issue. I guess I'm just not confident that I'll like it. I wasn't impressed with Apple's Safari browser... although, admittedly, that may not be a good reason for rushing to judgement on OS X.
  6. Yeroon macrumors member


    Jun 12, 2012
    Perhaps you should try first. For many tasks (surfing, e-mail, common apps) OS X is not different. If you use Chrome of Firefox for surfing; they are identical to the pc version.

    It all depends on what you want to do. I'm using Windows 8 via Parallels and it works good. For common work, the lag is not too bad. Office 2011 works fine. Even older games (like C&C) work fine on a virtualized Windows machine (using an Intel 4000 GPU!).

    If you just want to use Windows via Bootcamp, you don't benefit from much of the features of a Mac (sleepmode, Fusion drive, OS X).
  7. AppleMacFinder macrumors 6502a


    Dec 7, 2009
    It depends on which performance you are talking about.

    Please check my benchmarks there:

    At my latest benchmark, CPU performance was just 2%-5% worse, while GPU performance was 26% worse.
    Then, Parallels Desktop 8 came out, with full DirectX 10 support.
    I believe, the performance difference (both CPU and GPU) is really small now.

    The only trick there is that you would need to upgrade your RAM,
    because virtual machine eats half of your RAM. So, for the best experience,
    it would be great to double your RAM before using Parallels.

    The whole thing is very convenient to use: you could switch between Mac and Windows
    with one simple gesture, in just a second; no need to reboot computer and wait - like with Bootcamp.

    P.S. At the moment, gaming performance in Windows 8 is a bit worse than in Windows 7.
    If you care much about gaming, it is better to stick with Windows 7, until Windows 8 gets more mature.
  8. timcullis macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2012
    You might find Windows under Parallels using the Fusion drive is faster than Windows via Bootcamp using the hard drive.

    I'm using Parallels on my 'migration mule' MacBook Air with 256GB SSD and am delighted with the performance.

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