Performance of Windows under VM and Bootcamp

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by hajime, May 12, 2013.

  1. hajime macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    Hi, could anybody knowledgeable answer this?

    How is the performance in running 3D applications (e.g. SolidWorks, Autodesk Inventor, 3DMax, MotionBuilder) under the following three cases:

    1. Direct Windows 7 via Bootcamp
    2. Direct access of Windows 7 partition via Fusion.
    3. Windows 7 installed on a virtual machine

    As far as I concern, it is always best to run 3D stuff under Case 1 followed by Case 2. However, the IT manger suggested me to go for Case 3 as his department does not have the resources to support. I think for large assemblies, there will be noticeable difference.
  2. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    in my opinion 2 and 3 are the same.

    every major (yearly) upgrade of OS X a new version of Fusion / Parallels is required.

    Function keys work differently and trip you up when working under a virtual machine.

    For OS X you'll have different function keys than under Windows and then throw in the shortcuts for the virtual machine and you're asking for trouble.

    I ried to use a virtual machine, it would make my life a lot easier but in the end I had to throw in the towel and run it standalone (Bootcamp is nothing but a bunch of Apple hardware specific drivers for Windows)

    I've found the most reliable solotuion to dedicate one disk to windows and then split the other disk into two for OS X and exFAT where exFAT is used for Windows backup. OS X can use Winclone for partition imaging the whole Windows partition.
  3. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    I told the IT manager that for 3D and computationally intensive simulations, I would prefer to run it under Windows directly. He said that there is no different in performance! I guess for normal tasks, there is no noticeable difference. However, for others, there must be.
  4. Volkan1984 macrumors member

    Feb 7, 2013
    There is a big difference between the two, in the sense that Bootcamp runs much better. It is as simple as this: with Bootcamp you have the full power of the Mac in Windows, with a VM the Mac has to divide the resources (CPU, RAM, graphics card) between two OS (Mac and Windows) running at the same time.

    Seems only logical that Bootcamp is the more suited alternative for intensive applications, right?
  5. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    Yes. Yet, the manager of the IT department said that there is NO different! I think he just want to make his job easier as he mentioned that if he helps me to do such and such, other people will ask him the same thing.
  6. jdelgado macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2009
    I had the same concern a couple of years ago. I needed to run a numerical analysis program in Windows. I tried Bootcamp and a VM and made some tests. The program was 32bit and was geared only to number-crunching; there were no graphics involved.

    Testing showed no significant difference in execution times (several hours per run). I tested a few settings with the VM and the best for my situation was to maximize RAM (4GB allocated to the VM) and one core (the program did not use more than one). In average, execution times were roughly 2-3% slower in the VM. This was negligible for me.

    I guess that if there are other things involved, e.g., graphics, results would be different.

    I suggest that, if you can, try Bootcamp and VM so that you get an objective answer to decide.
  7. MJL, May 14, 2013
    Last edited: May 15, 2013

    MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    Unexpected lag in e.g. Forex trading can be painfull. I suppose it is similar with online gaming.
  8. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    So, am I right to assume that unless there is no choice, it is better to run whatever OS natively rather than as a virtual machine?
  9. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    it depends if your application is time critical. If not then a virtual machine is quite acceptable. I know traders who trade long timeframes (look once a day at the market) who are happily using a virtual machine.

    Word processing and spreadsheets are not affected in their functioning if they have a 1 or 2 second delay when switching from one application to another so virtual machine is fine. For me it was the function keys conflicts and every now and then lag of switching that got the better of me.

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