Parallels Windows 7 performance after 10.6.3 Snow Leopard update

Discussion in 'Windows Guest OS Discussion' started by megavolt17, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. megavolt17

    megavolt17 Product Expert


    Not sure where I should post this but for anyone interested the performance of Parallels running Windows 7 after upgrading to Snow Leopard 10.6.3 is much improved. Most of the speed increase is in the 3D Graphic area. I know there is supposed to be Open GL enhancements with this upgrade, not sure if that is the reason for the speed increase or not.

    I have a MacBook 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Dual with 4 GB RAM. My "Windows Experience Index" booted using BootCamp is 5.9. Booted as a Mac running Parallels with 1.5 GB RAM allotted to Windows 7 under 10.6.2 gave me an index of 2.9 (the biggest hit was with 3D graphics). After 10.6.3 update with no other changes to my system I get a speed index of 5.2. If this is true gaming running in Parallels might be very close to gaming booted under BootCamp!
  2. ianross


    I found it died completely - no video at all from my Windows 7 VM's - just blank windows ... tried setting up a new VM and that worked and seemed quite good on the performance front (experience only, no serious testing) until I restarted the machine and it too has no video. Something changed in 10.6.3 that Windows and Parallels don't like ...
  3. Shaddam IV

    Shaddam IV

    Sounds great (although I don't believe the WEI under virtualisation. Fusion gave me much higher numbers than Parallels, although Parallels definitely is quite a bit faster, in particular as regards 3D performance). What's your experience with real-world 3D apps, i.e. games?
  4. megavolt17

    megavolt17 Product Expert

    I just readded eDrive as a bootable partition, now Parallels no longer works. Apparently 3 partition systems are not (yet) supported. I guess I won't be testing out Halo, Halo 2 and Gears of War under Parallels any time soon.
  5. megavolt17

    megavolt17 Product Expert

    OK, i removed my eDrive to test Parallels 5 under OS X 10.6.3. First GOW has a bug that needs to be patched prior to running it the first time, apparently it expired 2008... Removed it fully, reinstalled and patched as explained in the XBox web page.

    My system:
    Model Identifier: MacBook5,1
    Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
    Processor Speed: 2.4 GHz
    Number Of Processors: 1
    Total Number Of Cores: 2
    L2 Cache: 3 MB
    Memory: 4 GB
    Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz

    I give Parallels 1.5 GB, both processors and am running from a Boot Camp partition.

    Booted using Boot Camp directly into Windows 7 the game is a bit slow to load for my tastes but once loaded plays the video fine, audio fine, and the movement is fluid and smooth. I did not get too far into the game but I have already had it crash on me.

    Running the game through Parallels the load times are even a slower, then there are issues if run in Coherence. The game switches to Window mode and you need to use the Ctrl Alt key combo to get the mouse pointer back for the Mac. If you try to switch to Coherence again the game crashes. At the default window size of about 1/3 of the screen the audio skips when the video plays, and the video skips a few times. Once into the game it's playable but the audio is a bit odd sounding (there is no treble?). The game play is actually smoother than the video and it is acceptable but the frame rate drops when there are a lot of things going on at the same time.

    Switching Parallels to full screen prior to starting the game works better. Seems to load faster and the video is smoother and does not skip ahead after it falls behind. The audio still sounds a bit odd, but better. The play is almost as smooth as when booted directly into Windows 7. Frame rate drops when lots of activity but has not dropped to the point that it made the game unplayable.

    One thing to note is that any Mac activity going on in the background (downloading songs in iTunes for example) makes the game comically erratic in speed. Not playable but funny to see your character stop mid stride only to jump half a room forward when the game wakes again.

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