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Thread: Parallels Desktop for Mac

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    Clicker Fusion 2.5 DeveloperFusion 2.5 DeveloperAndroid Export ModuleiOS Export ModuleXNA Export Module
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    Parallels Desktop for Mac

    So guys, has anybody here used MMF2 on Parallels? If so, how do your games run when testing on the PC runtime, and what are your specs? I'm looking into using Parallels because I love my Mac and I love MMF2, but I don't care for hunching around my little laptop every time I want to use MMF (and I really don't want to have to keep rebooting to switch between OS' if I did a dual boot). I think somebody on here said they use it but I wasn't sure what specs they have. I use the late 2009 iMac 21", 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB 1067 MHz RAM.

    Parallels is exciting because along with the usual option to run a virtual machine in a window, this program lets you run the Windows stuff alongside Mac stuff over the same desktop rather than confining the virtual machine to its own window, like so:



    I'd LOVE to be able to use MMF2 this way, the problem is my Win7 license is for my laptop only, so I will have to purchase another one, which will set me back quite a bit, and if the games run slowly due to the virtualisation it'd be a major waste of money.

    Any thoughts?

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    I 90% of the time use mmf2 on parallels. However it does struggle with running the games I make at full speed.

    Saying this I have a 2007 spec iMac which perhaps isn't the best example. I haven't really messed around with trying to speed parallels up too much.

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    I managed to get my Windows 7 product key, so hopefully I can attempt to install it on the Parallels trial to check it works before I purchase an extra license (or Windows 8)...

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    I was recommended Parallels by Andy (Ovine) here and it turned out to be pretty amazing. I haven't used it with MMF for any length of time so I can't comment on its stability when handling resource-heavy games, but it turned my MacBook into something I'd occasionally use for a one-step conversion process into a computer I actually use. I also had license issues so I bought WinXP on eBay for £25. XP is also much less memory hungry than Vista and (probably) Win7/8; Something you'll definitely want to consider if you have limited RAM (4Gb should be fine, though.) I'll upload a pic of my Mac's specs later but I think they're pretty average. But basically yeah, I recommend using Parallels. I never used Bootcamp before so download the trial and see if it makes a difference to how you already use your Mac.

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    Yeah mine has 4GB ram.. i think i gave parrallels 2GB to use.

    I just kinda like the fact it's so easy to drag your created "zip" from the "pc window" to your mac desktop...

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    Managed to install my Windows 7 on there without it giving me any nags about the same code on multiple machines, which is nice. Haven't installed MMF2 to it yet but I've run some MMF2-produced EXE files and most of them run pretty well. Downloading the Windows 8 preview too so I can give it a whirl too. Like you suggested, nim, I may give Windows XP a go on it in the hope that it'll run more smoothly in coherence mode. May stick another 4GB of RAM in my Mac too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DistantJ View Post
    Managed to install my Windows 7 on there without it giving me any nags about the same code on multiple machines, which is nice.
    You might want to double-check that it's OK. I thought everything was fine too, as it didn't explicitly say that there was a problem. Only when I checked the System Info screen did I notice that it says "You have 4 days to activate Windows". I had already entered the serial no but I suppose it was (rightly!) rejected as I was using it on another machine.

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    I actually am finding Windows 8 (preview) to run the best, probably becuase it's 64bit and therefore can use more of my RAM. It all runs great but the two OS' side by side do tend to slow each other down, so I'm going to stick another 4GB into my Mac to make it up to 8GB, and split them 4GB each, that oughtta do the trick.

    I've found that it all works perfect except for Direct3D. You need to disable Direct3D otherwise the games get all messed up and become unplayable.

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    Yes, I would recommend Parallels highly.

    Couple of things I have found - Parallels runs really well for Direct3D and with MMF this will be almost as good as if you bootcamp'ed your Windows install. However you need a good 3D card in your mac to be able to get the best out of this. The Intel HD graphics will not be a great performer. Any modern-ish GeForce or Radeon card should be fine. The second thing, and this is just a general VM requirement and not specific to Parallels, is you need LOADS of RAM in your machine. I started with 2GB on my MacBook and the VM ran fine with 1GB given to it, but switching between the host OSX and Windows (I was on XP at this point) can be sluggish and don't think about running any big OSX apps at the same time!

    With 4GB I saw an instant speed boost and I was running Windows 7 with 2GB RAM (inc. 512MB Graphics RAM) allocated for quite some time. I noticed this can be a bit sluggish switching between OSX and Windows when I have lots of OSX apps open at the same time but nothing that bothered me.

    Recently I discovered that my white MacBook Mid 2010 can accept 8GB RAM although Apple says no, Crucial Memory customers said yes. It only cost £30 for 2x4GB RAM sticks and pleased to say it's worked perfectly. If I thought things speeded up going from 2GB to 4GB, it was nothing compared to moving up to 8GB. Everything is much faster now, to the point that I will put off upgrading to a new MacBook Pro for another year or two. If you can do it, go for 8GB or more!

    As for Parallels itself, what impresses me is the Direct3D support. I can run all my HWA MMF games at 60 frames per second and it all runs smoothly. As I mentioned before this will require a proper 3D card, I have a GeForce (can't recall the exact model number) in my MacBook 2010. However I have had to stay on Version 7 of Parallels for now as there is a bug that affects my MMF games in Parallels 8 for my specific GeForce card (the effect is when a certain amount of objects are added to the frame, they get shifted over half way across the screen). I've raised this with Parallels support and they confirm it does not happen in the newer GeForce cards in MacBook Pro's so I'm waiting for them to resolve it. No problem in version 7 for me so I'm staying put on this version for now. I did see a graphic speed increase in version 8 when I was testing it, it supports DirectX10 and my Windows Performance index went up quite a bit.

    Appart from that issue, I have had no problems running XP, Windows 7 or 8. I did try VMWare Fusion recently, it created a copy of my VM without a problem and looked very professional, but like most VM's its graphics performance was very poor. Fine for application development but not very good for games, despite their claims it did not work well for me - nothing ran at 60FPS and most games looked choppy.

    In terms of 32 or 64 bit, it won't make any difference if your VM's are running 3GB or less. They say 64 bit is better as your host is running 64 bit but I honestly don't notice any difference in my 32bit and 64bit VM's. If you have the choice get the 64 bit version of Windows installed but it's not a show stopper.

    Oh and make sure you share your Windows and OSX documents, pictures, sound and video libraries (in the Parallel settings I think ON by default) but not your Windows and OSX desktop. This will make your VM's disk usage less and you can access the same files on both OSX and Windows. Very convinient! I don't share my desktop as it can get a bit of a mess of Windows and OSX icons, but that's my preference.


    Final words to anyone, if you are thinking about Parallels I would recommend it. My MacBook is now my main development PC and I get the best of both worlds. However try out the Parallels demo first (you can install a preview version of Windows 8 for free too at the time of this post) to check that it performs well enough on your Mac. Good luck, and it will be interesting to hear about your experiences! BTW, if anyone else finds MMF HWA issues in Parallels 8, please report it to them - they might fix it a bit quicker then!
    Andy H @ ovine.net
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    Ovine's games: http://www.ovine.net

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    Quote Originally Posted by DistantJ View Post
    I actually am finding Windows 8 (preview) to run the best, probably becuase it's 64bit and therefore can use more of my RAM. It all runs great but the two OS' side by side do tend to slow each other down, so I'm going to stick another 4GB into my Mac to make it up to 8GB, and split them 4GB each, that oughtta do the trick.
    Yes, as I've just posted 8GB will make it sweet. However you'll get better perfomance if you reduce the RAM you give your Windows VM if you don't need 4GB. I'd say between 1GB and 2GB would be fine and give your graphics memory between 512MB and 1GB.

    I've found that it all works perfect except for Direct3D. You need to disable Direct3D otherwise the games get all messed up and become unplayable.
    I wonder if you have hit the MMF HWA issue I have in Parallels version 8 (not a problem in V7). What graphics card have you got? My issue is when there's not many graphical objects in the frame it runs fine, but at a certain point many of the graphics will be shifted half way across the screen to the right. MMF still thinks they are in the correct place (the collisions still occur there) but the Parallel graphics driver appears to offset them. Run in software or DirectX + VRAM mode in MMF and no problems, or downgrade to Parallels 7 and no problems (for me).

    I have raised this with Parallels support and they have a ticket open but it has not been fixed yet. If you're seeing this issue, please click on the "raise support ticket" option in Parallels as it may get resolved faster if more than one person complains.
    Andy H @ ovine.net
    Awful Jokes - a new cartoon every day: http://awful.ovine.net/
    Ovine's games: http://www.ovine.net

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