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Default Anyone try Parallels? (Windows on a Mac)

August 20th, 2010, 14:26
Hey all- I'm thinking about using Parallels when I get my new Mac:

http://www.parallels.com/products/desktop/

I use a Mac for business and want to be able to play various Windows-only RPGs. Bootcamp is a better option performance-wise, but I don't want to have to reboot every time I want to play. I freelance and like to take breaks from work on my Mac to play games and Parallels seems to be a decent answer. I want to be able to switch back and forth. Also, I want to play new and old-school RPGs (Drakensang 2, Risen 2, Baldurs Gate 2, etc.) mostly… I don't want to run a bunch of first person shooters, for example.

I've heard of Crossover Games as well, but even on their website it's explained some games work and some just don't. Plus, the process seems more convoluted to me and I don't know if I'd be able to install updates and patches or mods.

Has anyone used Parallels? Does it work well? I've read reviews, but obviously gaming tends to be only a small portion of reviews. Does it slow overall Mac performance quite a bit?

Please let me know what your experience using Parallels is. Thanks.
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August 20th, 2010, 15:00
I would image the older games should pay reasonably well, but for anything too modern, the performance drop in parallels will likely be an issue (if you can even get the games to run in the first place).

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August 20th, 2010, 23:43
I can't speak for Parallels, but VMWare Fusion works well as far as applications goes. I run things such as Visio that I haven't been able to find a suitable OS X replacement. I haven't played a lot of games with it though; I have a PC that I use for gaming.

I think your biggest limitation for newer games is going to be the video, even if you would run bootcamp. Usually the Mac comes with a mid-range video card which is not upgradeable. The current iMac comes with a Radeon HD 4670 or HD 5670.
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August 23rd, 2010, 22:05
I use parallels, but not for gaming. Out of the box, XP SP 2 was pretty slow on my 2.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Power Book.
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September 18th, 2010, 20:32
I've got a MacBook that I travel with for work.

I set up an amalgam of options for running PC-based games, and the combination allow me to play most of the RPGs I'm interested in. Here's a screenshot of the Games folder on my MacBook.



The approach I took was to use Parallels, CrossOver Games, Boxer/DosBox, and Bootcamp. The different games require or work better under different approaches.

Overall, if I were to do it again I'd have just created one good sized separate partition (instead of the 30 gig one I did create) for Bootcamp, and then create a Parallels VM that points to it. I do have this going, but it's such a small partition I only have a few games installed in that way.

The upside of that approach, is that when you want to just do a bit of light gaming while keeping your Mac OS X active, you can pop up a VM that points to that partition and run your games (with the lower performance and lack of anti-aliasing that comes from being in a VM). But, when you feel like having a more dedicated gaming session, you can reboot that partition and access the same games and save data natively in Windows without any overhead or emulation.

I also suggest trying out Boxer, which is a spiffy Mac-oriented DosBox wrapper. I think it does a great job for any of the older titles you're interested in.

But more to your specific question, I have Parallels 5. It does work for most titles. There are a couple titles I've run into that I've never gotten to work properly through Parallels, such as The Witcher. But I'd say around 85% of titles I've tried to run, I eventually got working pretty well in Parallels. Of course, I do tend to play older games by preference.

Performance has been good enough for my taste, but it is not as fast as they run natively in Bootcamp. Additionally, there's no anti-aliasing in Parallels. Also, I should say that I find performance better in CrossOver Games, so I tend to use that option pretty heavily.
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September 19th, 2010, 05:45
Nice collection there. How are you playing the 2 Wizardry PS1 imports? Are they translated?
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September 19th, 2010, 05:47
That's purdy, BadYeti. I wish I had the patience to set up something like that. As it is, if I want to play something other than Civ IV or Diablo 2 then I have to use boot camp and even then I might not want to bother with the rebooting.
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September 19th, 2010, 07:06
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Nice collection there. How are you playing the 2 Wizardry PS1 imports? Are they translated?
No translation patch or anything. They were originally written with English as one of the language options.

It does load up the first time in Japanese, so I had to look up the menu commands to switch it over to English. Just took a few seconds to switch it, and then almost everything is in English. As I recall, there was one thing that wasn't translated; maybe the spell descriptions. But since I still have the manuals from the old DOS versions, that wasn't any big deal.

I have to say, I think those two PS1 imports are really nice. Much prettier than the DOS ones, and they come with an automap feature. But, otherwise, they're authentic to the originals.
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September 19th, 2010, 07:10
Originally Posted by Korplem View Post
That's purdy, BadYeti. I wish I had the patience to set up something like that. As it is, if I want to play something other than Civ IV or Diablo 2 then I have to use boot camp and even then I might not want to bother with the rebooting.
Thanks.

I made it a project to try to transfer as many of my RPGs over to the MacBook as I could so that I'd have them all in one place. I've added a couple since taking that screenshot (Champions Online, Devil Whiskey, Jade Empire and The Witcher…though that one only works properly on BootCamp).

It's definitely not an ideal gaming platform, but nice to have some fun old games on you if you travel a lot for work.
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March 24th, 2012, 01:00
Originally Posted by BadYeti View Post
I've got a MacBook that I travel with for work.

I set up an amalgam of options for running PC-based games, and the combination allow me to play most of the RPGs I'm interested in. Here's a screenshot of the Games folder on my MacBook.
Hi BadYeti,
You have a really nice collection, by mac standards.
I guess you run Snow Leopard, since Lion would cut out many of them (i.e. D2), which by the way is what is preventing me from updating too.
Btw, did anybody test VirtualBox, which has the easily understandable advantage over Parallels and Fusion of being free?

Cheers,
Andrea
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March 24th, 2012, 06:24
Originally Posted by BadYeti View Post
Overall, if I were to do it again I'd have just created one good sized separate partition (instead of the 30 gig one I did create) for Bootcamp, and then create a Parallels VM that points to it. I do have this going, but it's such a small partition I only have a few games installed in that way.
Exactly what I did Parallels is Ok for a quick task on a window exclusive app but it sucks for gaming (mostly performance wise)… I play most indies(I prefer to get the mac version if existing) and oldies(bootcamp) in the macbook myself.
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