Switch from Boot Camp to Parallels with a more powerful GPU?
 
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flynnstigator
(@flynnstigator)
New Member
Joined: 3 months ago
 

I have a mid-2015 Macbook Pro 15" 2.5 GHz with M370X to which I added an eGPU setup a few months ago. I started with a Radeon RX 580 4 GB so that I could use it in MacOS and Boot Camp, which worked fairly well except for show-stopping bugs in two of the games I was playing at the time (Valkyria Chronicles 4 and Ride 3), which were cured when I swapped it out for an NVidia GTX 1660 Ti.

This is a good setup, but I find myself wondering if life would be easier if I went back to an AMD card and used Parallels for most games instead of Boot Camp, which would alleviate the minor hassle of rebooting into Boot Camp and the larger headache of not having iMessage, my calendar and reminders, etc. while gaming. I have missed a few important reminders while I was playing Windows games, and it would be nice to stay within MacOS most of the time. My goal is not to use Parallels for 100% of games because not all of them play nice with emulation, but to only have to use Boot Camp rarely and with a smaller partition.

To mitigate the performance penalty of Parallels, and especially because I often run games on the internal display, I'm thinking about picking up the successor to the RX 5700 XT when it comes out later this year. This will be extreme overkill for the settings that I run, but should eliminate any bottlenecks, even after the emulation penalty. I finished VC4 and Ride 3, and have read that most games run fine on AMD cards, even if the drivers aren't up to the same quality as NVidia overall. Code 12 is also not a concern, as I got yellow-banged with both the NVidia card and the AMD one, and my solution for both cards was to install Win v1709 from an old iso, backup pci.sys, update to 1903, and overwrite pci.sys with the v1709 one.

I'm curious to know if anyone has gone from Boot Camp to emulation with a more powerful card and whether it lived up to their expectations, or just introduced a bunch of new headaches.

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
Famed Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: @flynnstigator

To mitigate the performance penalty of Parallels, and especially because I often run games on the internal display, I'm thinking about picking up the successor to the RX 5700 XT when it comes out later this year.

Main issue is that macOS has lacked powerful virtualization capabilities preventing Parallels/VMware to take advantage of graphics to their maximum potential. I'd stick with bootcamp if you want a good gaming experience. You can of course try out virtualization and see how it goes for you.

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Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance

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2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX Vega 64 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.14.6 & Win10 [build link]  


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joevt
(@joevt)
Noble Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Does virtualization in Linux on Macs have the missing features that macOS doesn't have?

What about running macOS in a VM in Windows? There's probably issues with that (it would be like a Hackintosh).

 

Mac mini (2018), Mac Pro (Early 2008), MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), GA-Z170X-Gaming 7, Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB GDDR5, Sonnet Echo Express III-D, Trebleet Thunderbolt 3 to NVMe M.2 case


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Bikkitz
(@bikkitz)
Active Member
Joined: 1 week ago
 

I experimenting with some gaming in Parallels with my Core i5 Mac Mini and a Radeon RX5600XT only last week. I definitely do not recommend it - Bootcamp (if you can get it working) is a much better experience.

 

For example, I mainly only want to play older or indie titles (not a massive gamer these days). I tried out Half Life 2, Starcraft 2 & Firewatch. While they ran performance was massively compromised. Half Life 2 achieved more than acceptable framerates (it's a 14 year old game) but it would occasionally stutter or lag, usually a pause for a second or more randomly every 30 seconds or so. The other games ran, but barely maintained 60FPS with medium settings (and also had the stuttering issue). For comparison, both run 1080p ultra settings under bootcamp with 100FPS+. I had 16gb of RAM allocated to the VM.

Hope this helps.

 

This post was modified 6 days ago

2018 Mac Mini | Core i5 | 512GB SSD | 32GB RAM | Razer Core X | Gigabyte RX 5600XT | 2 x LG 4K Monitors | MacOS Catalina / Bootcamp Windows 10 Pro


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flynnstigator
(@flynnstigator)
New Member
Joined: 3 months ago
 
Posted by: @bikkitz

I experimenting with some gaming in Parallels with my Core i5 Mac Mini and a Radeon RX5600XT only last week. I definitely do not recommend it - Bootcamp (if you can get it working) is a much better experience.

 

For example, I mainly only want to play older or indie titles (not a massive gamer these days). I tried out Half Life 2, Starcraft 2 & Firewatch. While they ran performance was massively compromised. Half Life 2 achieved more than acceptable framerates (it's a 14 year old game) but it would occasionally stutter or lag, usually a pause for a second or more randomly every 30 seconds or so. The other games ran, but barely maintained 60FPS with medium settings (and also had the stuttering issue). For comparison, both run 1080p ultra settings under bootcamp with 100FPS+. I had 16gb of RAM allocated to the VM.

Hope this helps.

 

Good to know, thanks for the feedback! I experienced similar problems with the RX 580 and it sounds like a more powerful GPU won't fix them. I think I'll stick with my current setup for now.

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

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