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I googled my brains out and searched on here but found nothing.

I am wondering which version of windows should run fastest on parallels in snow leopard. I am using Visual Studio in Coherence mode for MVC development.

Any experience you can share will be great.

(Parallels Desktop 5)

Cool side note: I was able to run Left 4 Dead 2 in parallels desktop 5 on windows 7 and play online with full 3d acceleration, which is bad ass seeing as this is only the 13" macbook pro.

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migrated from Nov 30 '09 at 16:36

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When I tried this about a year ago, VMWare Fusion worked A LOT better. – unknown Nov 30 '09 at 15:51
since desktop 5 came out, all the benchmarks I have seen from this year show parallels as being close to 25% faster – ioSamurai Nov 30 '09 at 15:52
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I used to run XP (minimal ie no visual effects, only really needed process) for VS2008 and it came pretty close to sitting behind a real pc: I could also dualboot into that same XP install (it was installed on the drive, not in disk image) and although faster, most of the time I'd just run parallels as the slight difference souldn't bother me. Using one desktop for full-screen xp and the other one for Leopard is awesome.

Now I'm running Windows 7 64bit on that machine; though parallels does not support it, I can tell you this: 7 is/feels much faster then XP on any machine I tried, so I would guess that 7 will also feel faster when virtualized.

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i am running windows 7 in parallels now and it is quite responsive, i was just wondering if maybe someone had better experience with XP for example, though if XP was a little faster it might be worth using win7 still just for IIS 7 (way easier to set up MVC) – ioSamurai Nov 30 '09 at 16:08
My experience with VS2008/XP/Win7 matches stijn's, but with VMWare Fusion not Parallels – dsteele Nov 30 '09 at 16:28
I'll second that. I'm using a little 2009 MBP 13" with Parallels 6 and Win7 64bit. With all the uneccessary stuff (Aero, fancy GUI effects, pointless services etc.) turned off, its very nice indeed. And as stable as a building for keeping horses in ;-) – 5arx Jan 13 '11 at 16:47
PS. but for those times when Windows has to be as fast as possible I boot straight into the Bootcamp installation - with MBP + 4GB ReadyBoost you can certainly feel the difference; so much so that sometimes I go several days without booting into OS X – 5arx Jan 13 '11 at 16:49
I actually abandoned OSX completely to have more disk space left for Win7 ;] Did fiddle with the bootcamp drivers a bit though, just running the main bootcamp installer installs waaaay too much crap. – stijn Jan 13 '11 at 16:53

I hate to answer my own question but in the spirit of adding value to this site...

I went ahead and installed XP anyways just to see if it would be faster even though I was at first considering just sticking with 7 and assuming it was faster (and not wasting time installing another VM).

However today I've confirmed that an XP VM is way freaking faster than a 7 VM, at least in Parallels Desktop 5 on my MacBook Pro, OS X 10.6.2, 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB 1067mhz DDR3.

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I have the exact same spec macbook as you and I am running win 7 without performance problems. I have disabled aero though which makes it much more response.

This can be done by going into the Control Panel and searching for "appearance". It should be the first option and is called "Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows". When you click on this it shows a tabbed popup. You should see a group of 3 radio buttons. Choose the third option "Adjust for best Performance". This will disable all the cool eye candy and will leave you with a lean machine!

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