Parallels 15 extremely poor gaming performance

Discussion in 'Windows Guest OS Discussion' started by Sjaakie, Nov 20, 2019.

  1. Maria@Parallels

    Maria@Parallels Kilo Poster

    Hello, could you please provide us with a bit ore details about "unplayable" issue. Screenshots will be very helpful.
    Also could you please collect the tech report once the issue reproduced and post the report's ID here.
  2. NicolasD4

    NicolasD4 Bit Poster

    Hi all,
    Joining this thread as I am facing the same issue. Right now I am on trial for Parallel and the resolution of this issue would lead to the purchase or not of this software.
    Running the soft on Macbook Pro with the following setup:
    Not a Gaming setup but I can run some games.
    When I try to run games on Parallel, then it is just impossible to play and am honestly between 0 and 1 fps.
    I have done a benchmark check and it appears that the graphic card is not recognized through Paralells.
    I guess this is the same issue for everyone on this thread.

    Any help would be highly appreciated !
  3. JonathanK8

    JonathanK8 Bit Poster

    Guys, the problem is partly the memory allocation you give to Parallels (if you give more, it can do more) and partly because Parallels does not (cannot) address the GPU onboard your Mac. Instead Parallels creates a virtual graphics card emulator. Unfortunately, the GPU parallels uses is quite an old one (it seems to behave like an Nvidia 7XX series).
    FIXES TO TRY: in settings Harware/CPU & Memory, push the number of processors to whatever Parallels recommends (typically half of the processors available), and increase the memory allocated to Parallels to the maximum you can safely release (typically at least half of what's available to your Mac, and preferably more). Then, in settings, Hardware/Graphics, check that Memory is set to 'Auto (recommended)'. Parallels tell me that this means it can allocated (much) more than the usual 2GB max graphics RAM limit, by stealing system memory, if it needs to.
    PROBLEM SOFTWARE: I'd been trying to run Microsoft Flight Simulator (MSFS) released August 2020. It runs perfectly on Boot Camp. And it will start using regular Parallels, and then crash before the menu screens. However, MSFS will kind of run with Parallels Pro, and the settings changes made above. The problem now is that MSFS under Parallels really struggles with any graphics intense tasks. So clouds, literally any clouds, flash and flicker on and off every 2-5x seconds or so. Don't play this game with Parallels if you suffer epilepsy ok. To re-iterate, this game is smooth as silk, on the same Mac, using Boot Camp.
    The game dev, Asobo, explain that this clouds issue is a known problem that only affects low end graphics cards, specifically the Nvidia 7XX GPU series. So it feels like the current version of Parallels emulates one of these older 7XX cards.
    SOLUTIONS:Short term solution is try the fixes above and fly on super low settings. Always clear skies. Without clouds. Long term solution would be for Parallels to update their GPU emulator to a less ancient card... which will only happen if enough of us need it and ask...
  4. RafeS

    RafeS Bit Poster

    I have the same problem. I love the idea of being able to use my bootcamp setup without rebooting. I am trying to play Everquest. A 20 year old game (at least 10 years old tech I'm sure). I'm giving it 16gb of RAM on my new Macbook Pro and getting about 2 fps for 3D content but everything else is fine (maybe a little stutter here and there scrolling web pages). Rebooting to Bootcamp Windows is smooth. I guess that ends my free trial.

    I have all the settings I could find dialed to games or high/max resource use. I also tried reducing resource use options in case it was using too much for some reason.

    VMware ran almost as smooth but there was a little mouse stutter while playing and that was a full VM, not a bootcamp install. Maybe VirtualBox is worth a try.

    Mac Specs:
    • OS v 10.15.7 (19H114)
    • 2.6 GHz 6-Core Intel Core i7
    • 64 GB 2667 MHz DDR4
    • AMD Radeon Pro 5500M 8 GB
    • Intel UHD Graphics 630 1536 MB
  5. StevenJ3

    StevenJ3 Bit Poster

    Update to my post on September 20, 2020. Since that post MacOS has a new version (Big Sur), Windows has been updated, and Parallels/Tools have both been updated. My MacBook Pro is less than 1 year old, and has plenty of CPU/Memory/Graphics to run WOW either natively in MacOS (Graphics set to 7 of 10 by default) or in Bootcamp (7 of 10). Since my install in Parallels would NOT play without severe graphics lag, I decided it might be time to reset. So I completely wiped out the MacOS and installed Big Sur fresh, all software fresh including Parallels/Windows/WOW and checked the results. First, Windows would not authenticate (not even using 'hardware changed') in the Parallels install, while it authenticated immediately in Bootcamp. Second, the graphics performance issue remains (WOW set's itself to 1 of 10 (10 being best)) and is unplayable. Sadly, I purchased the Mac Pro version, but I have now disabled automatic renewal of my license. I am truly disappointed, if this software worked (even at say 5 of 10) I'd be a huge fan as the convenience of not having to hard partition my drive to give half it's space to bootcamp (vs. simply open a window that runs Windows) is really big. It's probably great for business applications, but certainly not for gaming (at least not until the discrete graphics I paid for that Mac/Bootcamp both use is also used by Parallels.
  6. WalterR7

    WalterR7 Bit Poster

    Historically, programs running in a VM only see the Parallels drivers, and could not detect NVIDIA or AMD graphics cards that they would use for acceleration.
    If I recall the release notes, PD16 finally has some degree of pass-through.
  7. StevenJ3

    StevenJ3 Bit Poster

    Perhaps. When I very first installed Parallels after getting the MacBook Pro, and installed Windows, my video setting inside WOW was 7 (just as it is in Bootcamp) but there was a small amount of lag. I dialed it down to 5, and it was great. At some point that changed (a Parallels tech support agent who spent considerable time trying various settings in both Parallels and Windows) verified the graphics were an issue (as was a keyboard mapping issue). Both are open issues with the development team. Not sure if Windows changed and broke the graphics or Parallels did (or both) but it's certainly an issue now. Also interesting that Windows will no longer activate when installed inside Parallels, but automatically activates in Bootcamp (Windows Store license, not a product key license.) Have not turned in a ticket for windows not activating, if graphics don't work don't plan to keep using Parallels after my maintenance period ends if not resolved.
  8. BryanT6


    After reading this I'm so glad that I went with a Windows Machine and ran Hacintosh instead of an Apples Machine with Parallels it's far more flexible and native in both aspects and runs programs alot smoother overall.
  9. zslg01

    zslg01 Bit Poster

    I think there are a couple of issues -
    - graphics performance on a VM is never, ever going to be as good as native - in spite of Parallels' (and VMware's) marketing. Sorry - that's the nature of VMs.
    - performance seems to have really taken a hit when Parallels was forced by Apple to use only the bespoke Apple provided virtualization environment. (Thanks Apple).
    If you want to get REALLY frustrated try running games on Crossover - some work, a lot don't and performance is a crap shoot.
    I have only seen a couple of percent difference in performance between Parallels and VMware Fusion.
    I gave up the fight and now run games on a dedicated Windows 10 system - I am much happier.
    A additional point of information - most games run better under Linux using PlayOnLinux or WINE than in a virtualized Windows on Linux.

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