Performance Win7: Parallels vs. Parallels Bootcamp partition

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by matthewg, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. matthewg macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2011
    Does anyone know about the performance difference running Windows 7 using the following.

    1. Parallels
    2. Parallels using a Bootcamp partition

    Will the latter be quicker in general?

    This may be a foolish question.
  2. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    They should be the same. With the latter, you have the option of booting into Boot Camp for native speeds, however, you lose the ability to put your VM into suspend/hibernate mode.
  3. matthewg thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2011
    As another question. What would people who have done either recommend from their own experiences.
  4. fletch33 macrumors regular


    Dec 11, 2008
    Under a Rug
    Air 11" 1.8Ghz 256GB

    W7 x64 Enterprise Bootcamp Experience Score 5.9
    Parallels VM Experience Score 5.2

    i do have Parallels set to 2 Cores and 2GB Ram to allow some juice for OSX.

    although i find W7 runs great either way.

    i decided to to a bootcamp (30GB) because sometimes a few things just dont work as well in Parallels like Android ADB or RSD Lite along with a few others and i prefer to boot directly into Windows.
  5. Tortri macrumors 6502a


    Aug 30, 2010
    Well with 1 you can back it up. So if something ever happen to your computer/harddrive you'd have that backup or even have it located on a external drive in case you don't have the space on your MBA's hard drive.

    With 2, you have that partition so you can't back up as simply.. but if you are planning on needing windows full speed for like games or intensive apps you can always boot into windows itself to do that.

    So it just depends on what you are doing in windows itself imo. Do you want the raw speed from booting directly into windows or are you just want to run some apps that are windows only.
  6. matthewg thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2011
    For me I'd want Windows so I can use my office software, which should run perfectly over Parallels.

    I do like to play some games like EVE-Online (read as, talking to friends over EVE :p). For this I thought having bootcamp would be better, but I've read the gaming performance using Parallels is actually very good so perhaps there is no need for bootcamp at all.

    Starting to sound like I don't need bootcamp at all. What I'm really asking is can I avoid bootcamp and not be missing out on performance gains it may offer.
  7. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    I found performance snappier in Bootcamp than parallels. I run both so I can have the choice of either or depending on the circumstance.
  8. fletch33 macrumors regular


    Dec 11, 2008
    Under a Rug
    well an OS running inside an OS will never be as good as it running solo. it does run very well in Parallels though. definitely well enough for about anything but intense games.
  9. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    For gaming, I'd recommend Boot Camp. The Intel HD 3000 already isn't particularly good for gaming, and running it in virtualization just makes it worse since you have to share RAM and CPU resources with OS X.

    One minor offset to running in Parallels is that disk speeds are actually faster than in Boot Camp. Ed Bott had an article on this at ZDNet a few weeks ago. Apparently it has something to do with the Boot Camp drivers for the SSD's controller. Overall, though, Boot Camp will be faster.
  10. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    yea, you're missing out on performance. It doesn't take longer than 5 minutes to set everything up; the longest part is just waiting for Windows to install. After that, you just boot into it from a restart or shutdown.

    It's a lot faster than running it in Parallels. I use Parallels when I want to go edit or look at files; I use Bootcamp when I want to play games.
  11. jt555 macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2012
    Really weird how nearly everyone in this thread mis-read the question being asked. Isn't the original question about how Win7 will perform in Parallels (in a .hdd file on a Mac OSX partition) vs Win7 in Parallels installed on a Boot Camp/Windows partition that's either NTFS or FAT?

    Everyone knows that Win7 run natively in Boot Camp is faster than Parallels (that's its raison d'être), so that clearly couldn't have been the question...or am I mistaken?

    Anyway, I can only comment on my experience in this situation with XP. XP has run faster for me in (1) rather than (2). I read somewhere that this is due to inefficiencies of the Boot Camp partition being on a non Mac OS partition. If that reason is correct, then that suggests the same would be true for Win7.
  12. summitRun macrumors regular

    Aug 28, 2011
    Nope, you arent mistaken. I was going to post something similar until I got to your post.

    Forget about booting naively. The question is does running Win 7 with Parallels pointing to the BC partition run better/worse/same as running Parallels in the standard configuration that does not involve a BC/partition. KPOM indicated they *should* run be the same. I searched for any benchmarks but could not find any.

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