where does Windows 11 run best?

A youtuber compared the performance of Windows 11 on a MacBook Air M2 and an XPS Plus. Fact: Windows 11 runs better on MacBook. But, it is not easy to compare the two machines.

Apple MacBook Air M2 and Dell XPS Plus // Source: Max Tech

Officially, Macs with an Apple Silicon chip cannot run Windows. Since Apple moved from an x86 architecture to ARM, Apple no longer provides official support for Microsoft’s OS. However, it is actually possible to run Windows on Macs with an Apple chip. How ? Quite simply using virtualization software and a specific virtual machine based on a version of Windows adapted to the architecture of ARM chips.

MacBook Air –  Dell –  Frandroid –  Windows 11 on M2 MacBook Air is BETTER than a PC laptop!  2-1 screenshot
Windows 11 with a notch // Source: Max Tech

So you can download Windows 11 ARM and run it on a virtualization program. This is exactly what the youtuber Max Tech, video relayed by MacG.

In this example, he had fun virtualizing Windows 11 on the latest Parallels Desktop 18 on a MacBook Air M2 to compare it to the very latest Dell XPS Plus. This Dell PC is equipped with the latest 12th generation Intel Core i5-1240P chip. This is made up of 4 P cores and 8 E cores for 16 threads. In our test configuration, it’s paired with 16GB of 5200MHz LPDDR5 RAM.

As for the MacBook Air M2, it is equipped with an Apple M2 SoC, 16 GB of unified RAM. This M2 chip also has a hybrid configuration, with four high-performance cores and four energy-efficient cores.

Better raw performance for the MacBook Air M2

In fact, the MacBook Air M2 is sold for less than the Dell XPS Plus, $1,499 versus $1,849. This is where it gets interesting because the MacBook Air M2 gets better raw performance with virtualized Windows 11. This is what can be observed in synthetic benchmarks.

Remember, however, that Windows 11 ARM offers far fewer features and possibilities than traditional Windows 11. You can emulate x86 programs on Windows 11 ARM, but the virtualization layer is less efficient than Rosetta on macOS.

In short, using a MacBook Air M2 with Windows 11 must therefore be an intermediate solution. This is the case, for example, if you need to run a program that is not available on macOS or as part of software development.

Windows 11 ARM is not ideal on an Apple Silicon MacBook

Cassim, from the Frandroid editorial team, had the opportunity to use the MacBook Air M2 and Windows 11 also installed with Parallels Desktop 18, he notes that the user experience is not completely satisfactory. Beyond a synthetic benchmark, using Windows in this context is slower, with observed slowdowns in opening simple menus. Convenient for launching some pro software exclusive to Windows from time to time, but not for long-term use.


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