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does anyone know if there is currently any virtualisation software that supports creating a Windows 10 virtual machine with support to DirectX 11?

From what I have found online, bootcamp supports this, but this wouldn't be a solution for me (it will need you to exit OS X and restart to use windows).

The most popular tools VMWare Fusion (v8) and Parallels (v11) only support up to DirectX 10

Is there any other alternative around that does support DirectX 11 now?


Update: As of November 2016, Parallels v12 still doesn't support DirectX 11 (only 10.1).

Update: Parallels has released v13 in August 2017, and surprise, surprise! DirectX 11 is not supported yet... as expected

  • As of September 2017, the answer to this question is a flat-out "no." It sucks, but it's true. – Wowfunhappy Sep 21 '17 at 18:15
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    Here is the explanation for the missing DirectX 11 support in Parallels DirectX 11 support in Parallels Desktop for Mac. – Marcel H. Oct 5 '17 at 14:42
  • That's interesting, thanks for sharing. I wonder if DirectX12 which is the more modern one uses a different technology that could be compatible with macOS. Strangely even though Parallels configures the VMs with a set DirectX10 value, when I run dxdiag.exe it shows 'DirectX12' in my windows 10VM... It may possibly be some shenanigans that Parallels did to make Windows 10 work in macOS – david3497463 Oct 5 '17 at 15:35
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Answer: Not likely to happen. 😭

After years of pestering, January 2018 Parallels posted a formal statement and explanation regarding DirectX 11:

http://blog.parallels.com/2017/12/04/directx-and-parallels-desktop-13/

Why isn’t DirectX 11 supported in Parallels Desktop?

One of the mandatory DX11 features is called “compute shaders.” The name “shaders” usually refers to graphical functions that calculate the appropriate color and brightness for an image, but “compute shaders” are quite different. Compute shaders help the programmer to more easily take full advantage of the many processors on today’s graphics cards, primarily by broadening shader capabilities beyond pure graphics to more general calculations, which can be done on a graphics chip.

Parallels implements DirectX emulation by translating it to the equivalent OpenGL function, since OpenGL is implemented in the macOS®. Unfortunately, the version of OpenGL in the macOS does not have compute shaders. There is nothing for Parallels Desktop to map DirectX shaders to in the OpenGL framework in the macOS.

The macOS does support another style of compute shaders in the OpenCL framework. (Don’t let the similarity in the names “OpenGL” and “OpenCL” make you think they’re similar. They aren’t. In fact, they are competing “standards.”) Unfortunately, however, OpenCL on Mac isn’t as robust and doesn’t cooperate well with OpenGL.

Besides compute shaders, there are other features missing in OpenGL on macOS, which means there are additional “feature parity holes” with DirectX. There’s simply not enough functionality to translate DX11 to in the functions available in the macOS.

Apple® started pushing its own Metal API recently, which is universal for Mac computers. Only time will tell if Metal will give the Parallels Desktop programmers what they need to support DirectX 11. Stay tuned, but don’t get your hopes up for any major change in the near future....

  • I love how they say “Apple started pushing Metal”... like if it just happened when it was actually released 3 years ago! Parallels developers are just so slow at everything! Disappointing, but thanks for sharing the update. – david3497463 Mar 31 '18 at 18:31
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There are other (less sophisticated) Windows emulators (CrossOver, Virtual Box, Q, et cetera) but none that support DirectX 11 or higher. Hopefully something will be developed in 2017, but for now I am positive there is none as I've researched this extensively for years and additionally I predict that if there were it would be talked about everywhere.

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If you run Windows via Bootcamp and dont mess with the display settings or screen size, it should run.

To be safe have an external drive and try to install bootcamp on it to see if it can run it. If so then you can continue to use it like that or create a bootcamp partition on your hard drive.

  • This has nothing to do with the question, and it’s already well known that this method works... – david3497463 Mar 31 '18 at 18:33
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Support Team says: It's planned to support directx11 in Parallels v12

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    Please could you edit your answer and add a link to the page where the support team mentions this. – Graham Miln Apr 22 '16 at 13:36

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