I've been wanting to get Windows on my retina MacBook Pro for a while now but there are so many softwares that I simply gave up. I recently found out that VMware Fusion, Parallels, and Boot Camp are the best ways to get Windows running well.

I want to use windows mainly for Steam related games, and some other applications not available on OS X.

The question is: which one is the best and most reliable? I really want something that is easy to use, install, and uninstall (if needed).

I'm running Mountain Lion, if it makes a difference.

  • Bootcamp is definitely where you wanna go if you're going to be playing games. My I use VMware when I need simple windows applications, but for something like games, I think it would be a mistake to run it in a VM. – EGHDK Aug 24 '12 at 0:19
  • Why exactly ? Do you have specific details on the matter ? – Render Aug 24 '12 at 9:24
  • If you use a VM just to play games, then it's like running two Operating Systems at once to play a game. Which uses up system resources that could easily go towards the games graphics. If you dual boot, you will run a native OS with the game in that one OS. You will undoubtedly get better performance. – EGHDK Aug 24 '12 at 13:42

I recommend Parallels 7. I have run any number of games (Both Steam-based and not) this way. Call of Duty: Black Ops and Modern Warfare 3, Blacklight: Retribution, World of Tanks, Diablo III, World of Warcraft and others all run with no problems. It's not going to be as fast as running native code, but it's about as good as you can get. Run the VM in fullscreen (and make sure you're using the discrete graphics card if you're using gfxCardStatus!) for best results. Boot Camp obviously will give you the best performance, but I hate dual booting and refuse to do it. I have no experience with VMware Fusion.

  • When I install Windows via Parallels, I can modify the amount of memory to sacrifice from the Mac OS usage. If I quit parallels when im done, is that memory still gone ? Does it permanently allocate memory for use by Parallels even if it is disable ? Or Uninstalled ? – Render Aug 10 '12 at 11:45
  • No, once you shut down the VM, the Mac gets that RAM back. It only uses that RAM while the VM is running. – Sean Goller Aug 10 '12 at 16:28
  • Thanks. Also, if I want to run a game that needs e.g. 4GB Ram minimum. Will it be sufficient to supply Parallels with 4 or 8GB memory ? – Render Aug 12 '12 at 1:14
  • More RAM is always better, but you don't want to allocate more than maybe 75% of your total available RAM. For example, if I've got 8GB in my Mac, I won't allocate more than 6GB for a given host. That having been said, I'd be hard pressed to find anything that would require me to allocate more than 4GB. – Sean Goller Aug 13 '12 at 18:24
  • Using parallels currently, allocated 4GB out of 16GB RAM. Thanks :) – Render Aug 13 '12 at 21:39

Bootcamp is my choice, Windows 7 64 in Bootcamp outperforms my Alienware by a mile!

  • 1
    I would appreciate more information and details to this choice. thanks. – Render Aug 23 '12 at 23:25

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