Bootcamp, Parallels Desktop 5 or VMWare Fusion 3

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by rkitect, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. rkitect macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2009
    Hi all, my apologies if this thread is a little 'old hat', as in you've answered it a thousand times previous. However, I am a new Mac user and I have a specific software requirement which leads me to ask which of the three aforementioned would be best for me?!

    I am an architect and I will be mostly using my new imac to work on Autocad 2010 along with a couple of other windows based applications. I understand the concept of the three methods of using windows but I do not know which would provide the best performance whilst working on Autocad, without it becoming a laborious task to load it up everyday.

    I will be rocking dual monitors so I quite like the idea of Parallels or VMWare so that I can have Windows open on one monitor and Leopard on the other. But will this have a negative effect on the performance of Autocad? Also, which of these two is the better?

    Your help would be very much appreciated, thanks!;)
  2. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

    Aug 12, 2009
    like you said....this topic has been discussed many number of times...but I guess there is no final answer on this...:)

    It all depends on your needs...I use mainly excel on Windows...I had Win 7 in Parallels...did not like it one bit cause my MBP started to wheeze...

    Installed Win 7 in bootcamp...really nice..good performance an all...BUT..very inconvenient to me cause I cannot access my Mac no Time Machine etc etc...

    So...I deleted the bootcamp partition...and running Win XP on far so good..

    If you are into does require a lot of default, when you work in Parallels...only a single core is dedicated to the the 3D stuff might not render all that well...if you are looking for a seamless experience in AutoCad, I say bootcamp..
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Bootcamp gives you the best performance and direct access to the hardware, so if you'll be running demanding applications this generally the best option.

    Parallels is a choice for those folks who tend to want to play games, its the best performing among the virtualization applications. Stability is probably the weakness of parallels. They update the application quite frequently but many of those updates cause instability. I had to endure quite a lot of Kernel Panics with parallels. I'm not sure why but, having parallels take out the entire system is uncalled for.

    Vmware, is the most rock solid virtualization app imo, they provide updates but at a slower pace then parallels. However those updates tend to be solid, and vmware is less inclined to throw new features in, but rather fix and improve existing features unlike parallels.

    VirtualBox is the last of the virtualization programs, its free, and many people like free :) it's performance and integration is subpar to what parallels or vmware offers.

    Overall, I prefered vmware for the superior support, and stable product. I believe both parallels and vmware offer a 30 day trial version. I recommend trying both of them. Both can also access/run your windows bootcamp install if you choose to go that path. That is, install windows in bootcamp, use that when you want but then run it in vmware as well.
  4. rkitect thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2009
    Thanks guys, most people I have spoken to have suggested that I use Bootcamp when running Autocad or it will run slow. I think I will try Parallels and VMWare for running Outlook etc though!

    Your advice has been much appreciated!!
  5. alxgr macrumors newbie

    Dec 1, 2009
    Just try. Autocad runs smooth in Parallels. You need try it by yourself to make a decision. Outlook will work good on any emulation software :)
  6. seismik macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2009
    First of all hi everybody and thanks for posting your experiences.

    Like rkitect I should be mainly using Autocad (I' m a structural engineer) doing only 2ds and low impact graphics.
    I haven' t decided yet wether buying Fusion or Parallels: currently I am testing Parallels 5 on a bootcamp partition.

    My opinion: when I need the CPU full power (complex dwg file, big finite element model seismic analysis) I would boot up Windows on bootcamp (it runs brilliantly). On the daily basis I would prefer to virtualize it, otherwise why buying a Mac?!

    So far I have been encountering a major problem with Autocad 2008: I have installed and activated it first on bootcamp. Then running it on Parallels it screwed up the license and prompted me for a second activation. I am still in the 30 days trial, but I don' t know how to fix it.
    Has anybody else had the same problem?

    Thanks in advance.


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