Benchmark results of SolidWorks in Bootcamp and Parallels

My previous post was about how I installed SolidWorks on my MacBook Pro with Retina display. My main problem (before I bought my MacBook) was that there are no numbers for comparison between BootCamp and Parallels. Mostly it's "It runs very fast" and "The virtual machine is a little bit slower"...

I love numbers to compare so here is my setup and here are the results.

I used the following benchmark files from SolidMuse:

Situation 1: my new MacBook Pro with Retina display

  • Windows 7 Pro, 64 bit, SP1, running from BootCamp
  • 2.6 Ghz Intel Core i7
  • 8 GB Ram
  • Intel Graphics 4000 (shared) + NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M, 1GB

Situation 2: Same as Situation 1 but

  • Windows 7 Pro, 64 bit, SP1 running from Parallels
  • Parallels running 4 CPU cores
  • Parallels running with 4096 MB memory
  • Parallels video memory 1 GB

Situation 3: my Workstation XW6600

  • Windows XP Pro, 64 bit, SP2
  • 2x Intel Xeon Quadcore 2.5 GHz, E5420
  • 16 GB Ram
  • NVIDIA Quadro FX 4600, 768 MB


Punchholder benchmark
SolidWorks 2012 SP5.0, CRTL+Q for rebuild of model, results from feature statistics info.

Setup Rebuild # Time
1: MacBook with Bootcamp 1 57.89 s
2 60.14 s
2: MacBook with Parallels 1 69.85 s
2 74.91 s
3: HP XW6600 Workstation 1 114.61
2 119.66

Scoobie Doo Surface model benchmark
SolidWorks 2012 SP5.0, CRTL+Q for rebuild of model, results from feature statistics info.

Setup Rebuild # Time
1: MacBook with Bootcamp 1 12.70 s
2 11.86 s
2: MacBook with Parallels 1 13.91 s
2 12.78 s
3: HP XW6600 Workstation 1 22.41 s
2 22.40 s

Photoview 360 Lighter assembly benchmark
SolidWorks 2012 SP5.0, 1024x786 px, fileformet Tif, results from photo view 360 window.

Setup Good Better Best Maximum
1: MacBook with Bootcamp 19.8 s 50.8 s 1 m 55.0 s 4 m 42.9 s
2: MacBook with Parallels 11.9 s 1 m 2.0 s 2 m 20.3 s 6 m 6.3 s
3: HP XW6600 Workstation 13.0 s 1 m 3.7 s 2 m 26.3 s 6 m 0.4 s

Generally I noticed that when you run SolidWorks from your BootCamp disk inside Parallels that you do not have a very responsive display while modelling. For example it takes visual effort to draw the lines on the edges of the punch holder.

For doing real work for customers I would choose for the Bootcamp setup. Visual most attractive and fast. Only problem lies with SolidWorks itself. Though the big icons can be used in the command manager. All other icons (from menu and normal toolbars) are very small due to the incredible screen resolution. Another reason to use those keyboard shortcuts :) .


9 thoughts on “Benchmark results of SolidWorks in Bootcamp and Parallels

  1. Great work! Your comparison was done a little while ago, but I am also moving from my 2010 Boxx workstation laptop to a newer and more powerful Macbook Pro. With Solidworks being my bread and butter I am leaning towards Bootcamp instead of parallels. It would be nice to be able to use OSX though. First I am installing a new SSD though.

    Best regards,


  2. just change the resolution settings to 1900-1600 in windows. the 2500res is too much. also hard on the graphics card.
    its looks good and brings all icons to workable size.

  3. Hey!

    Great work!
    I have a question regarding running Solid Works via Parallels on a Mac.

    I have a early 2011 Macbook Pro 2 GHz Intel Core i7, 8 GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics 3000 512 MB, 512 SSD Disk.
    Do you think Solid Works and Keyshot (rendering program) will run smooth on my device? I just hate to restart each time i have to use SW.

    Would really appreciate an answer, I can´t find a good answer to this question anywhere else.

    Best Regards,


  4. Dear Sir,

    since You have quoted several benchmarks concerning Solid Works running Parallels I wonder if You can give me any assist on installing an appropriate Version on my late 2013 IMac under Parallels 10. I have tried several possibilities - without any success yet.

    Kind regards

    M. Zbinden

  5. Great review! I was hoping to find this information before I purchase a Mac Pro to replace my iMac running Solidworks under VMWare Fusion. I am happy with the Mac Pro (Yes I pulled the trigger) running Solidworks under Bootcamp. I want to retire my iMac and use my Mac Pro for Mac OS X with Windows as a VM again. It should have plenty of horse power but I just want to make sure I will be happy with it since I have had a taste of Windows at full speed.

    • Hey Matt,

      How did you go with that Mac Pro and running solidworks as a VM?? I am hoping to pull the trigger on a similar machine and want to be sure I can do large assembly stuff in the VM. By allocating pretty much all of the ram etc to the VM in paralells, I am hoping it will work well? I'm so sick of native windows.

  6. I put together what i thought would be substantial solidworks workstation. but i am getting such a bad lag on the rotation of a simple part after I release the mouse, it takes several second for the system to recover. Im running parallels right now but i'm thinking i'm going to have to set up the PC in bootcamp :(

    Mac Pro 6 Core (2015)
    64Gb Ram
    1T Solid State Hard Drive
    Parallels 10
    Mac OS 10 Yosemite
    Widows 8.1
    Solidworks 2015 SP4

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