I'm thinking of getting rid of my old gaming PC and just bootcamping / virtualizing on my Retina Macbook Pro.

I've tried using a VM (VMWare Fusion) and the performance there was pretty awful, has anyone tried both Virtualization (either VMWare or Parallels) and BootCamp?

How much better is BootCamp performance on the Retina Macbook Pro compared to VMWare or Parallels? Will it be able to handle most PC games?


1 Answer 1


BootCamp is usually between 3 and 4 times faster than either VMWare or Parallels. Bootcamp is the actual OS running on real hardware, where the other choices are running inside the constraints of the host OS and must share resources (memory, cpu, etc...) with the host OS. BootCamp has full control of all of the system's resources.

It should be able to handle PC Games, although I'm not sure what screen resolution will be reported or what graphics card will be used. If the screen resolution is reported as the actual number of screen pixels, some of the in game text may be difficult to read.

  • Agreed. Parallels Desktop for Mac, VMware Fusion, & Oracle VirtualBox are excellent products, amazing in so fully creating a virtual hardware environment. I do my regular software development work inside VMs (Parallels 11) every day. But one big weakness is gaming. As this Answer says, there is a performance penalty. Not noticeable on modern 2-3 Ghz Macs, but for gaming you will notice it. Biggest problem for gaming: Support for hardware graphics acceleration (direct support for GPU chip). Verify the current version of the product of your choice supports GPU hardware for your desired OS. Aug 19, 2016 at 23:50

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