I have a late 2012 MacBook Pro 13" non-retina display and I use Boot Camp to dual-boot windows and Mac. I recently came across an application called Parallels Desktop for Mac that promised faster and better performance to what I was experiencing when natively loading Windows using Boot Camp.

I have used this software for a couple days and I love it, however I notice a big problem when it comes to gaming on it. What I am seeing is that when I play a Steam game (I.e. Skyrim or Fallout: New Vegas), when it tries to detect the default video settings it sets it to ultra high quality. This would be fine but the problem is, the game does not load at all unless I manually set it to low quality, yet, when I play the game natively, I can get away with using medium quality. My question is, what can I do to actually get the game to play at ultra high quality?


Parallels will rarely be as fast as natively booting Windows via Bootcamp, especially when you're gaming. You're much better off ditching parallels and going back to bootcamp for gaming. By running the VM, you're limiting the amount of resources that are available to OS X and your VM environment; thereby, making each run slower. On some machines where a faster processor and large amounts of RAM are available, may speed it up, but it will never be as smooth as running it natively.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Ok but then why the difference when auto-detecting video quality? When I use Parallels, it puts the games at ultra high quality, while natively running it auto-detects low quality. – cory ginsberg Nov 29 '13 at 2:28
  • I do not know why Parallels would purposely set the video quality to ultra high quality. I can only speculate that it may be to compensate for the fact that it is running in a virtual environment; whereas, when it is run natively, it doesn't need as much power. – Anil Natha Nov 29 '13 at 18:45

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .