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Windows gaming via Parallels or VMware Fusion?


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#1 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 09:50 AM

How have people found the performance of Parallels and/or VMware Fusion for light gaming? I noticed both versions advertise 3D acceleration and specifically mention gaming as one of the applications.
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#2 Frost

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 04:28 PM

Last time I played with Parallels (admittedly years ago), it was passable but pretty underwhelming compared to just rebooting in Boot Camp. Probably worse now that Parallels changed their business strategy to throttle the hell out of the program's capabilities unless you "subscribe," which is why I jumped ship to VMware.

I have not played with modern versions of those programs though. I'll do an unscientific side-by-side between Boot Camp and Fusion on my MacBook Pro when I get a chance and let you know how it goes.
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Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#3 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 07:34 PM

I'm planning on trying league of legends on my Mac sometime this week using High Sierra vs VMware Fusion 10 (newest version). League of Legends mac port is pretty bad, so it'll be interesting to see if Fusion can score a win.
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#4 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 11:02 PM

I used both but it was years ago so I couldn't speak for current performance either. The thing that won't have changed though is the inescapable overhead involved in running such a demanding application in a virtual machine. The port would have to be pretty bad for a VM solution to be superior to it in my opinion. I would especially be wary of playing any competitive multiplayer game in a virtual machine because you don't want any performance hit at all there, the reason I suspect you are wanting to try something other than a port you aren't pleased with.

What I found them to be great for in terms of gaming was to be able to run older games beautifully when they work which was often. I don't mean ancient either but I wouldn't even consider anything new really and certainly not new AAA although I imagine LOL is not so demanding as those games? Maybe it is.

Anyway, it never hurts to try I guess and you can do a free trial of either product probably. Personally, I am with Frost on the Parallels issue of milking users for more cash. I ditched them when they made a false claim about a version not being capable of operating at all unless upgraded for a new macOS which was not true. It worked fine for me and other people. That means, either they didn't test it at all or they lied. The software is decent but the suits in that company are bad news.

I found VMware to be a superior product and with a fair and decent management at least several years ago. I wouldn't even touch Parallels. I'd go straight for VMware. It nothing else, you may find it a great way to run older Windows games without messing around with Wine. I had VMs for Windows XP SP3, Windows 7 SP1 (?) and the occasional linux I think and everything just worked well.

Lastly, after years of trailing Parallels in Windows gaming performance, at the time I switched which was maybe 3 years ago, they had come up from behind and were outperforming Parallels. Of course, I have no idea how things are now but I can tell you that if it were me, again I would go straight to VMware. I never cared about all the integration stuff Parallels loves to market. I always wanted my VMs to live in their own little isolated worlds and not to have anything related to Windows showing up anywhere on my Mac unless it was contained inside that VM when I started it up. I guess some people like that but not me.
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#5 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 11:09 PM

By the way, a check of WineHQ's AppDB reveals LOL in its most current version has a Gold rating. A quick perusal of the info made me wonder if it would be more hassle than its worth but then again, I sometimes found I could set up games with less fanfare than various folks posted about and yet still achieve good results. So Wineskin might be of help there and provide better performance than a virtual machine setup. I would be inclined to test the VMware solution first though as it is easier if you have a Windows license to use anyway.
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#6 mindnoise

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 01:21 PM

Same as Frost here: leaving the sinking Parallels boat, eventually switching to Fusion. You can still upgrade every 2 versions (= years), now but they are severly pushing you to "subscribe".

But actually since I got my cheap W7x64 Gaming PC I never used that once, anymore. Just because I can do things now on PC and Mac simultaniously which is very convenient quite often. :)
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#7 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 05:33 PM

Screw subscriptions. I decided to subscribe to Linux and I am loving it too. If it's for free, it's for me! I'll post more about this in Off Topic sometime soon.
“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” — Bertrand Russell

#8 Frost

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 03:14 PM

View Postmindnoise, on 25 October 2017 - 01:21 PM, said:

Same as Frost here: leaving the sinking Parallels boat, eventually switching to Fusion. You can still upgrade every 2 versions (= years), now but they are severly pushing you to "subscribe".

But actually since I got my cheap W7x64 Gaming PC I never used that once, anymore. Just because I can do things now on PC and Mac simultaniously which is very convenient quite often. :)

Don't know if they still do it, but back when I switched, VMWare would give you something like 60% off Fusion if you input your Parallels serial number. I did that, got Fusion 8, and never looked back! Just upgraded to Fusion 10 and still totally happy with it.

I too mainly use them side-by-side, but sometimes having Windows available on the Mac is also really helpful, especially if I'm away from my PC desktop and need Windows to do something.
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Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#9 mindnoise

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 06:05 PM

View PostFrost, on 26 October 2017 - 03:14 PM, said:

Don't know if they still do it, but back when I switched, VMWare would give you something like 60% off Fusion if you input your Parallels serial number. I did that, got Fusion 8, and never looked back! Just upgraded to Fusion 10 and still totally happy with it.

I too mainly use them side-by-side, but sometimes having Windows available on the Mac is also really helpful, especially if I'm away from my PC desktop and need Windows to do something.

That would be cool, if they still did the competitive upgrade. I will def check that out.

Sure, aslo having both on one machine is really helpful. I only have some dictionaries on Win that I need that work very well with Crossover/Wine and I still have some old stuff on a VM running XP.
hey, don´t worry - it´s only red pixels on your hands...

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#10 Frost

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 07:17 PM

View Postmindnoise, on 26 October 2017 - 06:05 PM, said:

That would be cool, if they still did the competitive upgrade. I will def check that out.

Sure, aslo having both on one machine is really helpful. I only have some dictionaries on Win that I need that work very well with Crossover/Wine and I still have some old stuff on a VM running XP.

It appears they are still running it, although it's 40% now: Parallels to Fusion Discount
Kestrel (Falcon NW Tiki) – 4.0 GHz i7 4790K / 16GB RAM / 512GB Samsung 950 Pro M.2, 2x480GB Intel 730 (RAID0), 10TB STX BarraCuda Pro / GeForce GTX TITAN X 12GB
Iridium (MacBook Pro Mid-2012) – 2.7 GHz i7 3820QM / 16GB RAM / 2TB Samsung 850 Pro / GeForce GT 650M 1GB

Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#11 mindnoise

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Posted 25 November 2017 - 09:10 AM

View PostFrost, on 26 October 2017 - 07:17 PM, said:

It appears they are still running it, although it's 40% now: Parallels to Fusion Discount

Just wanted to tell that I jumped boat and bought Fusioon 10.
There is still the Crossgrade offer for Paralles which gave me 60% obviously, maybe for Black Friday, so for $32 (+ $3 tax) ist was a total no-brainer.

Also since it's Black Friday, they give you 30% off anyway, so Fusion 10 goes for $55.

Aweseome, Thanks, Frost!! :D
hey, don´t worry - it´s only red pixels on your hands...

8 - iPhone SE, 16GB
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-> The (nearly) ultimate intel HD 3000 gaming performance sheet <-

#12 Matt Diamond

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Posted 25 November 2017 - 06:14 PM

Good show. I just upgraded my old Fusion 7 license to Fusion 10 for $40.

Update: whoops, turns out my 2008 Mac Pro is no longer supported by Fusion 10. So either I get a refund or keep the license for next year when I plan to upgrade.

(It's had a good run but this Mac is starting to get painful, now that Apple and other companies have dropped support. Despite the fact that many things run well on it.)
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#13 mindnoise

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Posted 25 November 2017 - 09:06 PM

... somehow all old hardware turns into a Windows 7 Timecapsule... :rotfl:
hey, don´t worry - it´s only red pixels on your hands...

8 - iPhone SE, 16GB
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6- MacMini 7,1: i5@2.6GHZ, 8GB, Intel Iris (5100)
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3- iPad 2, 16GB
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-> The (nearly) ultimate intel HD 3000 gaming performance sheet <-

#14 mattw

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 03:41 PM

View PostMatt Diamond, on 25 November 2017 - 06:14 PM, said:

Good show. I just upgraded my old Fusion 7 license to Fusion 10 for $40.

Update: whoops, turns out my 2008 Mac Pro is no longer supported by Fusion 10. So either I get a refund or keep the license for next year when I plan to upgrade.

(It's had a good run but this Mac is starting to get painful, now that Apple and other companies have dropped support. Despite the fact that many things run well on it.)

I'd be surprised if you couldn't pickup a used 2009 model cheaply, and recoup most of the cost of that by selling the 2008 on.

Then you would only need to pickup some cheap server pulled RAM (assuming it didn't have enough). It is easy to flash the firmware to a 5.1 for MacOS versions all the way up to High Sierra (and probably beyond) and you can easily move over your hard disks/SSD, GPU and and PCI-E cards.
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#15 Matt Diamond

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 05:42 PM

All good suggestions, though (minor point) I think the market knows that the 2009 is flashable and the 2008 isn't, and prices them accordingly.

It's something I've considered in the past to but I'm waiting to see what Apple comes up with next year. If the video isn't very expandable or costs 4 grand or doesn't game well I'll either look for a 2009 or maybe just get an iMac.
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#16 mattw

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 06:59 AM

I think it depends on the seller and their knowledge with used machines in general.

I am interested in what the next Mac Pro ends up being like too but it needs to be a decent improvement for me to spend the kind of money they ask (the 2013 model wasnít and the iMac GPUs were only in the same ball park). Iíve also been close to the 5K iMac route but with an RX580 now in my old machine Iím happy enough for a while longer.
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#17 Cougar

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 03:51 PM

View Postmattw, on 27 November 2017 - 06:59 AM, said:

I think it depends on the seller and their knowledge with used machines in general.

I am interested in what the next Mac Pro ends up being like too but it needs to be a decent improvement for me to spend the kind of money they ask (the 2013 model wasn't and the iMac GPUs were only in the same ball park). I've also been close to the 5K iMac route but with an RX580 now in my old machine I'm happy enough for a while longer.

View PostMatt Diamond, on 26 November 2017 - 05:42 PM, said:

All good suggestions, though (minor point) I think the market knows that the 2009 is flashable and the 2008 isn't, and prices them accordingly.

It's something I've considered in the past to but I'm waiting to see what Apple comes up with next year. If the video isn't very expandable or costs 4 grand or doesn't game well I'll either look for a 2009 or maybe just get an iMac.

I would not be surprised at all if it's at least 4K. The iMac Pro is 5K. Sure, the Mac Pro won't have a 5K screen, but it will have more expensive CPU/GPUs.