rMBP with Parallels/Windows

amien

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 2, 2012
44
0
I'm in the market for a rMBP 15". I have now a Air 2012, but the resolution is too low for the work that i need it for.

Because i use my laptop also for business, i need windows. I use Parallels to run windows for me.

My question is. Is Windows looking good on a Retina display? Or do you notice that Windows is not really picking up the retina display. Does anyone lower there retina resolution for get a proper Windows view?

Thanks in advanced.
 

ColdCase

macrumors 68030
Feb 10, 2008
2,963
142
NH
Running Windows in a Parallels virtual machine looks great on my rMBP 15, although there are a couple quirky applications that could look better, Nokia Suite for one.

I'm having a bit more difficulty setting up windows to look right on an an external 2560x1440 monitor.
 

amien

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 2, 2012
44
0
Running Windows in a Parallels virtual machine looks great on my rMBP 15, although there are a couple quirky applications that could look better, Nokia Suite for one.

I'm having a bit more difficulty setting up windows to look right on an an external 2560x1440 monitor.
Thanks for your reply. What do you mean with "look right"? Is the font blurry?
 

dkillgo

macrumors member
Jun 8, 2011
37
0
Parallels works alright with the retina display, but it's definitely not perfect.

If you want to run the VM in retina resolution, you have to install parallels tools (parallels will ask you to install this whenever your turn on the machine the first time normally).

With parallels tools, it displays at the retina resolution but it is not optimized very well. A lot of windows scale poorly and look strange. Also if I used any browser EXCEPT internet explorer, it did not scale well and everything was way too small for comfortable viewing.

So the support is sort of there, but it still has some work to be done.

I am in a similar situation to you in terms of using my computer for work with windows. I am on a parallels trial right now (14 days free), but I think I am going to give bootcamp a try. Does anyone know if bootcamp supports the retina display, or will I encounter scaling issues similar to Parallels?
 

amien

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 2, 2012
44
0
@dkillgo,

is your screen looking better when you lower the resolution? I just need a higher resolution. I dont actually need the retine resolution. HD resolution (1920x1080) will be fine.
 

dkillgo

macrumors member
Jun 8, 2011
37
0
@dkillgo,

is your screen looking better when you lower the resolution? I just need a higher resolution. I dont actually need the retine resolution. HD resolution (1920x1080) will be fine.
That resolution will probably be fine. Everything will be pretty small, but it won't have the scaling issues. I only encountered the scaling issues after I installed parallels tools.
 

amien

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 2, 2012
44
0
But parallels tools in also installed on my macbook air. Isn't PT just a part of parallels? so it will be installed regardless if you have a retine or not.
 

dkillgo

macrumors member
Jun 8, 2011
37
0
But parallels tools in also installed on my macbook air. Isn't PT just a part of parallels? so it will be installed regardless if you have a retine or not.
I had to install mine after the fact. Although it's possible that I unchecked a box or something along the way when I made the machine that prevented it from not being installed when the machine was created. I am new to the program.

However, I do know that you can remove parallels tools from the add/remove programs in control panel. That should take care of any scaling issues you encounter if you use the retina resolution.
 

ColdCase

macrumors 68030
Feb 10, 2008
2,963
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I dunno, I run in parallels desktop mode (Coherence using crystal mode I think) resolution set for "best for retina" and just use explorer, Nokia Word, maybe a bit of project. In this mode Windows apps windows are located on the MAC OS desktop (you don't normally see the windows desktop unless you select it). This seems to look much better and work better than trying to view windows app windows on the Windows 8 desktop.

Print is smaller but very clear and precise. Could be be too small to read without glasses. Machine has tendency to get quite warm with graphic on the large screen. Dunno how to tell if parallels tools are enabled... I've only been using parallels a month. I think its set up the way I like it, the only thing I don't like (besides the windows 8 desktop if I ever have to get into it) is the heat. CPU load is low, but RAM is well used. Must be using a lot of GPU. Going to have to see if I can find a way to reduce that.
 
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KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,497
3,035
But parallels tools in also installed on my macbook air. Isn't PT just a part of parallels? so it will be installed regardless if you have a retine or not.
Yes, it is installed automatically when you first boot up Windows under Parallels. The quirks that people talk about are inherent in Windows. Windows 7 supports scaling (and by default Parallels sets it to 199% to replicate the "Retina" effect), but you can change that. However, note that in anything other than 100% scaling, some Windows application won't display menu bars, buttons, etc. correctly. Quicken 2013, for instance, displays the main windows fine, but the title bar text appears small because it doesn't scale (so it appears the same as it would on a 2560x1600 screen). On the whole, however, it works OK.
 

fskywalker

macrumors 65816
Nov 6, 2009
1,223
3
Have Parallels 8 on my rMBP. have no issues, my Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit works and looks great
 

sam2428

macrumors 6502
Mar 8, 2011
393
136
Houston, TX
Seems like a lot of people on the forum are suggesting 16GB of ram is necessary or recommended to run a VM. Seems kind of excessive to me.

Would the 8GB be fine?
 

GermanyChris

macrumors 601
Jul 3, 2011
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Thats good to know! I will only be running parallels for Microsoft Office.

Otherwise 90% of my time will be spent in OSX.
You don't need more then 8GB.

You also don't need to run a VM just to run Windows office look into crossover I have office 2010 installed on my MP through crossover.
 

sam2428

macrumors 6502
Mar 8, 2011
393
136
Houston, TX
You don't need more then 8GB.

You also don't need to run a VM just to run Windows office look into crossover I have office 2010 installed on my MP through crossover.

First I am hearing about Crossover. Thanks for the advice.

How is the performance? Do you know if there are any issues with running more complex functions in Excel or installing any plug ins?
 

GermanyChris

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Jul 3, 2011
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First I am hearing about Crossover. Thanks for the advice.

How is the performance? Do you know if there are any issues with running more complex functions in Excel or installing any plug ins?
I don't know, I don't do anything complex in excel. For normal stuff it runs tha same speed as it does on Windows machines.
 

applepie555

macrumors regular
Aug 7, 2012
114
0
First I am hearing about Crossover. Thanks for the advice.

How is the performance? Do you know if there are any issues with running more complex functions in Excel or installing any plug ins?
There is a free trial you can use to test it out
 

paulkerdot

macrumors member
Aug 2, 2010
59
1
I run a vm of windows 7 via parallels 8 on my rmbp. I set the vm up on the scaled (parallels setting) setting not best for retina and it works very well on both the rmbp screen and external monitors. I use this as my sole work machine. I use both osx programs and windows programs at the same time all day.

I would say 8gb will be fine but I have 16gb and would recommend that.
 

GermanyChris

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Jul 3, 2011
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He's running MS office, If he gives his VM 2GB he'll be fine in MS office. He really doesn't need to run Windows at all just run crossover.
 
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lancdoc

macrumors newbie
Jan 2, 2013
20
2
I'm in the market for a rMBP 15". I have now a Air 2012, but the resolution is too low for the work that i need it for.

Because i use my laptop also for business, i need windows. I use Parallels to run windows for me.

My question is. Is Windows looking good on a Retina display? Or do you notice that Windows is not really picking up the retina display. Does anyone lower there retina resolution for get a proper Windows view?

Thanks in advanced.
I have used parallels on my rMBP since December for business use, i.e. Microsoft Office without any issues or problems. I have parallels set for scaled in video settings and Windows set at 1440X900. Not sure if this is enough for you, but seems to work fine with all business applications as well as using Citrix on the PC side. I also use Dragon Transcription on the Windows side and have had no performance issues. I find it very easy to move between the Mac and PC side, it's like having two computers running side by side. I do have 16GB memory in my rMBP and allocated 4G to the parallels side. You could probably do with a lot less from what I have read, but the voice recognition program likes a lot of memory. Good Luck!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
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Potentially cross-over may be an alternative to a vm or bootcamp, but I've seen to many threads here and elsewhere of issues with cross-over. Admittedly most are trying to run an app that has questionable compatibility. Still, for ease of use, and flexibility running windows in a VM is better.

I find that when I'm in windows, I open up other apps, even though my sole purpose was to do one thing, and that may occur with the OP.

I like Vmware Fusion, and it runs fine on my rMBP. I can't say how good/bad parallels is with the rMBP but Vmware runs great.