CrossOver vs Parallels vs Fusion

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by rasmusDoh, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    #1
    Hey

    Going to buy me my first mac when Apple, hopefully soon, upgrades the MBP line.

    I'll have to use a few Windows programs - mainly work ones and maybe Office 2007, since i heard that the Windows version is better than the Mac one!?

    Which solution would you guys recommend?:

    CrossOver, Parallels or Fusion?

    Heard that virtualization with Fusion should work pretty nice, but is it better than Parallels and/or CrossOver - in your opinion(s)?
     
  2. macrumors G3

    roadbloc

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #2
  3. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #3
    There is always iWork instead of Office.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    #4
    Yeah i think iWork looks nice too, but i will be needing to use the Windows version of Excel 2007 - maybe Word too, but that ain't as important.

    Thanks for your post roadbloc, but i don't mind paying for great software (even though VirtualBox and WINE are probably nice too).

    Can anyone - preferably with some experience with them - tell me if they like Fusion, Parellels or CrossOver better?
     
  5. macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #5
    +1 for parallels. best of both worlds.
     
  6. macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #6
    I don't mind paying for great software, but if I can get equally great software for free, where's the contest?

    I've used both Fusion and Parallels at various points in my life and honestly I can't tell the difference. They both run Windows in a window on your Mac. Gimmicks aside, it's the same stuff.

    It's impossible to compare CrossOver/WINE to VirtualBox/Fusion/Parallels. Completely different animals. CrossOver works with some Windows applications, which it runs smoothly and easily. By no means does it work with all of them.
     
  7. macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Location:
    SoCal
    #7
    I own all three of the apps you listed.

    1) Parallels is normally good, BUT there are known bugs; one of which has been in since v1.0 and renders Parallels completely unusable and they don't know how to fix it meaning you're hosed.. I had owned Parallels since the day it came out and it ran great for awhile but then stopped due to this bug and now I can't use it at all.

    2) Fusion on my other laptop works great just as good as Parallels and I found it may be a hair slower, but not as many issues. After a year or two, works great.

    3) CrossOver works, usually. But it isn't as easy to use or change / setup. At least in Parallels and Fusion you have the standard Windows to muck with; where as CrossOver the entire Windows environment is virtualized so you have to go through their system.

    Parallels and Fusion is a bit slower then CrossOver, but you are running Windows and need to own windows in the first two. So the first two are a bigger investment.

    BootCamp allows you to boot native Windows, and it is exactly as windows, no different. BUT again, you need to own windows and it requires you to reboot the machine to get into. For Business work, this kinda stinks.

    CrossOver Pro may be the best bet for you, if you're computer savy. Otherwise the free VirtualBox may be your best bet, Parallels and Fusion are very good, but VirtualBox is good and it's free.
     
  8. macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Up the irons
    #8
    VirtualBox runs well enough. Not as fancy as Vmware, though, but it gets the job done.
     
  9. macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #9
    what bug are you referring to there? i use parallels all the time, and it has been running OSX server for the last 9 days (and about 30days before that) - no freezes at all. it does sometimes have the freeze when opening up, are you referring to that?

    (imac i7)
     
  10. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    #10
    I've never had a problem with Parallels. Very fast, and should work well with Windows programs that don't use Direct X.

    I use Mac version of MS Office and rarely have a problem. I get some formatting changes in PowerPoint sometimes, depending on what font I'm using. I've not had a problem opening Excel documents created on PC's.

    I'd stick with Parallels and buy a version of Windows 7 to install.
     
  11. macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Location:
    SoCal
    #11
    There is a known bug, from their support site, that causes Parallels to suddenly lose track of the hard drive and can't find it. At that point they have a few suggestions on how to fix it, but no real solution if those suggestions don't work. It doesn't seem to be wide spread, and I think it is only for Bootcamp partitions, but they have acknowledged that it has been there from the beginning and they don't know why it happens. It has happened to me, and since I only use my bootcamp partition with it, I'm totally hosed. :( It worked great for years, then suddenly bam, dead with no way to use it again. :(
     
  12. macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #12
    ahh bootcamp partitions, that might be why - i dont use my bootcamp partition with parallels. too annoying to setup haha!

    thats pretty stupid though, sounds like a hard thing to fix but. i really do love parallels but and ive never had any problems with it.
     
  13. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #13
    Has anyone successfully run windows 7 Pro 32/64bit under boot camp partition, and then using it as a VM on Parallels. I heard that some people are having no issues and others have an issue with the activation of windows because of the hardware difference that Running the VM creates.
     
  14. macrumors 65816

    Lurchdubious

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    The Gem State
    #14
    I used to have Parallels and HATED it. Have since moved to Fusion and am much happier. Although, running windows 7 is not as seamless as I'd like. It takes For-ev-er to start up, and even with 4 GB RAM the lag on both sides is noticeable. XP was just fine tho.
     
  15. macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #15
    That's what I hate about Parallels. One wrong click and it's installing its drivers onto your Boot Camp partition without so much as a by-your-leave or cancel button. Once that's done, they always come up when I'm trying to run Boot Camp normally. I only virtualize Linux, so I don't want to set up my Windows partition for the purpose.
     
  16. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #16
    Whoever told you that was wrong. Office Mac 2008 is a small step backwards from Office Mac 2004 (mainly the ridiculous toolbar you can't turn off and the dropped VB support in Excel, which some number-crunchers need), but either of them is substantially better than Office 2007 Windows. Unless you love the new Ribbon interface, in which case yes, the Mac version is inferior.

    Then again, if you love Ribbon you probably shouldn't get a Mac in the first place, since the interface will be far too logical and functional for your taste.

    I tried doing this with Fusion, which VMWare claimed was possible in the documentation, but the virtual hardware changes were enough that I was asked to re-authenticate Windows ever time I rebooted in one after using the other. Given the need to call Microsoft and punch in your 30-digit code after a certain number of activations, this is totally unusable (speaking of which, that has got to be the single worst feature in any software, ever).

    Personally, Fusion seems to go easier on my system(s) in terms of resources, but the previous version had a bug on my Mini in 10.6 that rendered it unusable, and I'm not willing to pay to upgrade since the previous version of Parallels basically works. Parallels, at least in current versions, is supposed to be slightly faster according to a number of reviews.

    Crossover is great when it actually works, but it always seems sort of fragile to me.
     
  17. macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #17
    thats my personal experience too. parallels works brilliantly on my i7. the only problem is that i need more RAM!!!!!! but yea i leave my osx server turned on and i remote into it. 100% uptime and whatnot.

    i use the trial for basic .exe files (mainly serial gens haha) - but yea it works great too :D
     
  18. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    #18
    Th Parallels virtual machine will definitely become corrupted at some time and you will need to recover the VM. You can bank on this happening. Therefore, in my opinion, the most important issue is how easily the VM recovers from a crash.

    I've been using Parallels within the Mac OS partition for about a year now and it has crashed twice...the last crash with Version 5 latest build....necessitating I rebuild the VM from scratch. In both cases, the Snapshots were of no help at all. Even my Time Machine backups were of no use for either crash. I have today heard from one supplier of Windows software that a number of their clients have had similar experience with Parallels and have gone back to Boot Camp. I am now similarly inclined. I believe I had fewer problems when I ran Parallels with my data in a Boot Camp partition.

    Fortunately I was able to preserve access to my Windows data after my latest crash, which has now been moved to my Mac folders which are always readable. I cannot stand Parallels creating an opaque .pvm file, the contents of which are neither readable by Finder nor individually backed up by Time Machine. Bottom line: I don't care how many bells and whistles Parallels or VM Fusionware add to their increasingly bloated, and perhaps increasingly unstable, software. If I have to rebuild the VM from scratch upon the occasional seemingly unavoidable crashes or infrequent hard reboots, then the VM package is of no use for serious work.

    I'm presently on the road in Europe..about 6,000 miles from my original Windows XP CD and thus dead in the water till I get home. Never again.
     
  19. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #19
    Just out of curiosity here, you are tarring Fusion with the same brush as Parallels, but from the sound of it you're not actually using Fusion. Is your statement that it's also going to be unstable based on experience, or are you just assuming it's the same as Parallels?

    I haven't personally had a VM corrupted by either system (though Parallels did fail on a crossgrade from a Fusion disk image), and I'm not saying Fusion might not have issues, but I would like to know if you're having problems with both pieces of software or just Parallels.
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    surflordca

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #20
    I bought and used both Parallels and VMware Fusion. Fusion is the way to go...
     
  21. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #21
    Crossover is WINE. WINE is free, crossover overs some suport and makesthose who think they get what they pay for feel good. But it is the same software.

    I like VMware's Fusion because. Because VMware runs on other non-mac hosts. That way I can take mys VMware images with me and run them on any computer. I have an XP image I run under WMware Server on a Linux system at the office. I can take it home and run it under Fusion on my iMac.


    What to use? In order of preference

    1) If there is a native Mac OS X version of the software (like MS Office) use that
    2) If it will run under crossover/Wine use that
    3) Use Fusion
    4) Bootcamp

    Bootcamp is a last resort but it seems to be needed by people who like games

    Do be warned that Fusion means you are running TWO oses at the same time. Your computers will need enough RAM to run both at once and Just add the system requirements for each OS and see what yu need.
     
  22. macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #22
    CodeWeavers (makers of CrossOver) fund the WINE project in no small part. By buying CrossOver, you are supporting WINE.

    And yes, I have about a dozen games installed on Windows right now. That's the only thing I use Boot Camp for.
     
  23. macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #23
    donno what all the hate is for parallels. i adore it!

    its pretty hard to hit the wrong buttons and make it configure wrong :rolleyes:

    i guess im like that about VMware but, i dont like it one bit. thats my preference and personal experience though. parallels works really well for me.
     
  24. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    #24
    Haha nice. Sounds good since i actually freaking hate the Ribbon interface! Will try Mac Office - and sounds like i'll probably like it too! ;)


    Also you all talk about that it can get slow if not enough RAM are assigned.. How many do you usually assign to your "Windows virtualization"? I'll have 4 GB total, so what'd you recommend, when i won't be gaming, for XP and Win 7 respectively? :)
     
  25. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    #25
    Has anyone used StreetSmart Pro from Schwab on a Mac through any of these PC emulators? I'd like to know if SS Pro works / doesn't work with any of them.

    From the sounds of it above, you need to buy Windows OS if you're using Bootcamp, but you DON'T if you're using a VM Ware product, or Crossover...is that correct??
     

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