Bootcamp v. Parallels

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by numbersyx, Jan 15, 2007.

  1. numbersyx macrumors 65816

    numbersyx

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    #1
    Forgive me if this question has been posted before....

    About to return to the Mac and get a MBP. I want to run Windows on the machine for some XP only apps. What is the better solution - Bootcamp or Parallels?

    Anyone try both and prefer one over the other?

    Many thanks in advance for the assistance...
     
  2. NotFound macrumors 6502a

    NotFound

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    #2
    How about Boot Camp + Parallels


    Parallels will now boot your boot camp partition and allow you to work with programs from both OS side by side.
     
  3. psychofreak Retired

    psychofreak

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #3
    Parallels is great if you dont need native speed or games. Boot camp is free, parallels is not. If you need games or graphics, go for bootcamp, if not I recomend parallels...
     
  4. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #4
    Alright, here are the differences:

    Boot Camp is a free utility that allows your Mac to natively run Windows, by 'dual booting'. This means that when you turn on your computer, you choose either OS X or Windows. When running this way, your Mac *IS* a Windows computer. When you use this, the Boot Camp software may be free, but you still need to buy a copy of Windows.

    Parallels is 'virtualization' software. It is an OS X application. It is an application that pretends that it is a full PC. This means that your copy of Windows is running in a window on the Mac OS. With this, not only do you need to pay for Parallels, you also need to pay for a copy of Windows.

    The advantage of Boot Camp is that because it is a fully native copy of Windows, you can run any Windows program just fine. Games, other 3d software all run at perfectly native speed.

    The advantage of Parallels is that you are running Windows at the same time as OS X. This means that you can, for example, run your Windows-only application alongside all your OS X applications. The latest beta of Parallels also allows you to use your Boot Camp partition as your Parallels image. This means that you can use one single installation of Windows in both Parallels and Boot Camp. (Only one Windows license, you only have to install your apps once, you only have to give up a couple gigs of hard drive space once, etc.) But, because it doesn't have full access to the hardware, things like 3d acceleration don't work, and even though it passes USB devices on to the copy of Windows, not all USB devices work correctly, even if they do when in Boot Camp.

    However, Parallels has said that their next beta will include 3d graphics support. I don't expect this to be 100% full speed, but it should at least allow 3d games and software to RUN when it wouldn't without 3d support.

    So, if all you want to do is run some office software, and don't mind paying the $70 for Parallels (on top of a copy of Windows,) then go for Parallels. If you want to play 3d games, or use 3d modeling software, go with Boot Camp.

    A third option, however, is Codeweavers' CrossOver Mac. It is a piece of Windows emulation software, not virtualization. This means that it runs Windows software without requiring a copy of Windows. But, since it's not a 100% "real" copy of Windows, not all applications work. For example, Microsoft Publisher does *NOT* work in CrossOver Mac. As such, make sure you go to their website and check their Compatibility Center. The bright point of this is that some 3d games run!
     
  5. psychofreak Retired

    psychofreak

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #5
    Codeweavers is NOT emulation. It uses WINE which stands for Wine Is Not an Emulator...
     
  6. numbersyx thread starter macrumors 65816

    numbersyx

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    #6
    Still, does anyone have a preference: Bootcamp or Parallels?
     
  7. psychofreak Retired

    psychofreak

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #7
    I prefer parallels. As I said if you use games/graphics you'll likely prefer boot camp. Its pretty much that simple...
     
  8. NJRonbo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    #8
    I just bought a Mac Pro. It is being custom built and I am
    putting in 4gigs of ram.

    I am dedicating 2 gigs to Macintosh OS X and 2 gigs to
    Windows under Parallels.

    Under those conditions, can I expect Windows to run smoothly?
     
  9. Veritas&Equitas macrumors 68000

    Veritas&Equitas

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    #9
    Even if you ran it with 1 gb it'd be just fine, truthfully (512 mb even). Windows isn't nearly as much of a RAM hog as OS X is. That's the truth, no matter what anyone here says.

    Note: Vista is a different story, but in comparing XP to OS X, you need much less RAM to function in XP than OS X. Apple shipping their systems with 512 mb stock for Tiger is a total joke.
     
  10. NJRonbo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    #10
    Yeah, I should have mentioned I was planning to run VISTA.

    Just preordered the BUSINESS version as I know that and
    the ULTIMATE are the only two versions licensed for virtual PC.
     
  11. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
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    Cascadia
    #11
    I know that's what they call it. But it really is something that should be called emulation. It is emulation of the Windows 'Win32' API. Technically, it provides access to emulated versions of various core Windows .dlls, so it is not emulating Windows as a whole, but is providing alternate-OS access to core Windows components.

    As for Boot Camp vs. Parallels? Again, what are you going to use it for? If you are going to use it for mostly 'office' type software, go for Parallels. If you are going to use it for 3d software (games, mostly,) then use Boot Camp. If you are going to use it for office-type software that CodeWeavers says is supported, go with CrossOver Mac.
     
  12. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #12
    It's not CPU emulation, but it emulates Windows libraries.
     
  13. ethermine macrumors newbie

    ethermine

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2007
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #13
    Does this mean I would then have the option of either rebooting the system into windows alone, or using OSX to run Parallels, accessing windows through my bootcamp partition? Essentially, giving me two different ways to run windows?
     
  14. psychofreak Retired

    psychofreak

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #14
    Good specs are needed for vista in parallels, runs fine in boot camp...

    By 'runs fine' I mean that it runs just as badly as on any PC...

    Exactly.

    But if you go the parallels only option, then it only takes up as much HD space as it needs to...
     
  15. ethermine macrumors newbie

    ethermine

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2007
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #15
    Ah... I kinda like that idea more now. I was about to go with Parallels by itself. But, I like the idea of being able to restart my computer into windows if and when I would need to run 3D applications natively.

    I'm not too too concerned about taking up HD space. The MBP I ordered does have a 160gig HD. I think I'll allocate 60 gigs to my windows partition and keep the remainder for OSX. I'll also be connected to a LaCie 500 Gig external via new Airport Extreme base station at 802.11n when it comes out. So, I can always dump stuff to that when space gets low.

    Should be interesting... I look forward to seeing how it works out like that.
     
  16. frogfroggy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    #16
    Question: Does Parallel support the iSight camera and microphone with Msn Messenger? On an iMac?

    If yes Im going for Parallels too, this is my main concern~

    edit: Oh and Im prone to viruses and spyware right with parallels? And will these affect the whole computer? Thanks whoever answers these, I will send a postcard (from Germany) to their home :D
     
  17. waremaster macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    #17
    I can't answer the iSight question but I can tell you that yes Parallels will be open to viruses just as you would be on a real PC however those viruses will not affect OSX and one other good thing about Parallels is to backup the XP session is as simple as copying the image file to another drive.
     
  18. Zengetsu macrumors newbie

    Zengetsu

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #18




    I understand you have to partition your hardrive, but what's this dedicating 2 gigs to OS, and 2gigs to parallels?

    Do you have to partition Ram as well?

    I'm buying my MBP this week and the only thing I'm concerned with is being able to use bittorrent(bitlord) and playing divx files and such. I know there are
    mac bittorrent programs, but they're garbage.
    What should I lean toward for this? parallels or bootcamp?

    Also, yo
     
  19. NJRonbo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    #19
    It's my understanding that when you set up Parallels you
    can dedicate as much memory to Windows as you want.
     
  20. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #20
    Basically, every program, on any platform, requests an amount of memory it is going to use. Generally, this is automatic. The program asks for how much it needs right away, then asks for more later, if it needs more.

    Since Parallels has to report a fixed amount to the copy of Windows running inside it, it can't do that. It has to ask for the full amount up front. So you tell Parallels how much memory you want it to give to Windows. The original poster was saying that of his 4 GB, he tells Parallels to use 2 GB, thereby leaving 2 GB for OS X. But, Parallels only takes the memory when it is running. So if you don't need to use a Windows program, the Mac OS gets all of the memory.

    The difference in hard drive sizes is that Boot Camp does an actual partitioning of the drive, whereas Parallels (unless you just have it use the Boot Camp partition,) creates a 'resizing virtual drive', which works by telling Windows that the drive is some arbitrarily large size, but only actually using up as much space on your Mac OS drive as is in active use within Windows. (So, for example, if you look at a "MB used" listing in Windows, that's the actual size of the file on the Mac OS side.)

    As for Mac bittorrent clients being rubbish, if you're just about to get your first Mac, why don't you try a couple before complaining? Transmission is excellent, and even the official BitTorrent client isn't horrible on OS X.

    Likewise, there is an official DivX release for OS X, as well as a plugin that lets QuickTime play DivX files, which means anything that can play QuickTime files would be able to play DivX files. (Such as the 'Front Row' media center interface.)

    If you absolutely, positively want to be able to use Windows programs, then it boils down to:
    3D games: Boot Camp
    No 3D games: Parallels

    I would say try to use Mac OS programs first. You may find them at least 'good enough' if not better than their Windows equivalents.
     

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