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Windows Experience Index on MacBook Pro 2GHz compared  

I just got the opportunity to try out the latest version of VMware and thought I’d do a quick Windows Experience Index on Boot Camp, Parallels and VMware to see what the performance is like before my new MacBook Pro 17″ arrives (hopefully on Friday!)

When I installed Leopard on my machine I took the opportunity to carve out a dedicated 20GB partition again to put a fresh install of Vista on. As well as being able to boot natively this also now means I can run my single Windows partition switching between native, Parallels or VMware at will which admittedly drives Windows Activation crazy.

Host machine

Hardware MacBook Pro 2GHz “MacBookPro1,1”
Memory 2048MB DDR2 667MHz
Processor 2.0GHz Core Duo
Graphics ATI Radeon X1600 256MB
Disk 100GB 5400RPM
Operating system Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.1

Configuration

Memory 848MB (Virtual machines only)
Disk 20GB Boot Camp partition
Operating system Microsoft Vista Ultimate Edition 32-bit

Testing notes

  • No other applications running in OS X or Vista
  • Full-screen mode
  • Vendors guest OS tools & drivers installed

Scores

VMware
1.1 62573
Parallels
3.0 5570 beta
Boot Camp
2.0 drivers
Processor 4.7 4.7 4.7
Memory (RAM) 3.9 3.9 4.9
Graphics 1.9 1.9 4.1
Gaming graphics 1.0 1.0 4.4
Primary hard disk 5.9 5.9 5.9
Overall 1.0 1.0 4.1

Thoughts

Processor: A little surprising given that VMware supports multiple cores but that Parallels doesn’t.
Memory: To be expected given that the VM was only running with less RAM.
Graphics: Disappointing and likely caused by the VM vendors graphics drivers not being WDM which based.
Gaming graphics: Very disappointing and caused by lack of DirectX 9 graphics support.
Hard disk: Like processor this is a pleasant surprise.

After my new 17″ MacBook Pro arrives (hopefully this Friday) I will produce another set of scores which should show how much faster the 2.6GHz is with all the options and let me compare like-for-like on the memory front.

I also want to run some Visual Studio 2008 build time comparisons (probably of SubSonic) because compilations are what really counts ;-) If you have any further suggestions for benchmarks, leave a comment!

[)amien

6 responses  

  1. This is precisely why I use Boot Camp and not Parallels or VMWare :)

    steveDecember 6th, 2007
  2. Why? Are you playing games or doing graphics work?

    Damon StephensonDecember 7th, 2007
  3. Well as I said in my previous post I’m practically living on my MacBook Pro even at home…

    [)amien

    Damien GuardDecember 7th, 2007
  4. I was in response to comment #1 :p Sorry.

    Damon StephensonDecember 8th, 2007
  5. @Damon: I do a lot of 3D graphics coding work for a living, for games, simulations, tools. Virtualised hardware 3D support is still extremely poor and thus boot camp is the only realistic option for me.

    steveDecember 8th, 2007
  6. pingback

    […] and Fusion had similar almost-native performance in the disk and processor department on my 15″ according to Vista’s performance index and I’ve yet to rerun those (stay tuned). Whichever gets Aero/DirectX 9Ex shader support first will […]

    One week with a MacBook Pro 17″ » DamienGDecember 19th, 2007

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