Gaming in Parallels 6 is awesome: Run Windows PC Games on your Mac
Want to run Windows-only PC games on your Mac? How about doing this without Boot Camp? With Parallels 6, you can actually play Windows PC-only games with good performance directly in Mac OS X, making Parallels Desktop 6 an essential upgrade for avid Mac gamers or anyone looking to play Windows games on the Mac.
Don’t believe it? All I can say is, prepare to be impressed. I was skeptical too, but here’s a pretty incredible video from ArsTechnica of Left 4 Dead running with maximum settings at 1920×1200 in Parallels 6 at 86fps!
Check out some of the other amazing videos, here’s the popular Mass Effect 2 running in Mac OS X under Parallels at 1920×1200:
Convinced yet? You can buy Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac at Amazon and get free shipping.
Here’s what ArsTechnica has to say about gaming in Parallels 6 (emphasis mine):
I’ve been a virtualized-gaming skeptic, but the results with this new version are what every delusional Mac gamer was hoping was achievable in the days of VirtualPC on the PowerPC. The graphics can be jacked all the way up, and there’s no laggy latency—that’s pretty incredible, considering that you’d expect lag if it was going through OS X’s Quartz compositor, on top of the Windows 7 window compositor. But there isn’t any lag.
The main downside is there is no DirectX 10 support, you’re stuck with DirectX 9c, which is less likely to be supported in newer Windows games.
The whole Ars review has multiple videos of various games running within Parallels 6, including Crysis, Mass Effect 2, World in Conflict, UT3, and more. Unfortunately a Civ 5 demo didn’t perform that well and there were multiple bugs, but perhaps an update to Parallels will resolve that. If you’re not sold on the two above videos, check out the rest of the ArsTechnica review which has videos of more games and also some other apps running in Parallels 6. I wish they had reviewed Starcraft 2 since performance in Mac OS X isn’t as good as it should be, but I’m sure someone will run SC2 in the VM soon.
Ars rules it “If you work in 3D or want to play Windows game, this is an essential upgrade” and judging by their videos I would have to agree, this is just simply amazing.
Obviously the newer and beefier your Mac the better the Windows gaming performance will be within Parallels, Ars ran the tests on an older Xeon Mac Pro with an ATI 4870 video card, and they say “If you’re using an i3 iMac with 5670 or above, you’d probably [get] better performance on that machine than I did on my 4870-sporting Xeon Mac Pro.”. In other words, the new consumer level iMac with the better video card is officially a gaming machine.