Bootcamp/Parallels/Vmware Fusion/VirtualBox to run Windows?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by kingc0bra, Aug 20, 2015.

?

Which Virtualization Software do you use?

  1. Bootcamp

    8 vote(s)
    13.3%
  2. Parallels

    28 vote(s)
    46.7%
  3. VMware Fusion

    17 vote(s)
    28.3%
  4. VirtualBox

    7 vote(s)
    11.7%
  5. Other

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. kingc0bra macrumors regular

    kingc0bra

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2012
    #1
    Vote in the poll.

    Also, if you prefer one over the other, please post why!
     
  2. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #2
    Boot Camp is not virtualization software. It is one of the solutions for using Windows on your Mac.
    The Boot Camp assistant creates a separate, bootable partition where you can install Windows, and helps you install Windows on that partition.
     
  3. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #3
    I am using Parallels 10 to run Windows 10 on my MacBook. I find the performance and integration features a bit better than VMWare Fusion. A downside is that I need to upgrade Parallels every other OS X release since they support only the two most recent versions. Now that Parallels 11 is out, I expect that Parallels 10 will work on El Capitan, but not whatever Apple releases next year.
     
  4. kingc0bra thread starter macrumors regular

    kingc0bra

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2012
    #4
    Yes, technically you are correct, however I was just wondering what people use to run windows on their macs :)
     
  5. kingc0bra thread starter macrumors regular

    kingc0bra

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2012
    #5
    That's a bummer, and I've heard the upgrade themselves to the latest versions of Parallel are basically as much as buying the software new from scratch, I dont get why existing customers wouldnt get a discount. Hate when companies dont treat their existing customers right
     
  6. kazibole, Aug 20, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015

    kazibole macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2015
    #6
    They get ~37.5% off...
     
  7. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #7
    Sort of. You can upgrade for $49.95 instead of $79.95 for a full license, so it's actually 37.5%. However, almost invariably come this winter Parallels will offer a full license, an extra year of Parallels Access, and some other software in a promotional bundle for $49.95. People who wait for these and buy them every 2 years get the best deal in general.
     
  8. kingc0bra thread starter macrumors regular

    kingc0bra

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2012
    #8
    Thanks for the info about the discounted price guys!

    Seems like Parallels is the favorite so far, what is a good price for a full version of it currently?

    Also, are there any setbacks with virtualizing instead of running windows off bootcamp?
     
  9. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #9
    Parallels is very easy to set up and works really nicely to let you run specific Windows programs almost like a regular program without opening the full Windows desktop if you don't want to. I haven't used VMWare on the Mac in a while to know how they compare like that.

    The big downside to virtualization over bootcamp is in graphics performance, and the general overhead of running two operating systems at once. Still, it's the best solution IMO if you just need Windows for a few things, and don't need high-end graphics performance.
     
  10. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #10
    Try to find a copy of Parallels 10 from a legitimate reseller like Amazon or OWC. Parallels 11 just came out, and those who bought 10 within a qualifying time period get a free upgrade to 11.
     
  11. boltjames macrumors 68040

    boltjames

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    #11
    Boot Camp.

    Because I'm a Windows guy and only use OSX twice a year for FaceTime.

    BJ
     
  12. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #12
    I run Fusion because it is mostly compatible and works like Workstation on my PCs.

    I can also connect to ESXi or vSphere servers with it.

    If all you need to do is run Windows (as opposed to trying to game on it) try Virtualbox. It works, runs on Windows, OS X and Linux and is free.
     
  13. lfabio.martinez macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2015
    #13
    Virtualbox is very easy to use and definitely has the more comprehensive network and communication ports management functions. And of course is free.
     
  14. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #14
    Well... not really when compared to Fusion Pro, at least as far as desktop use goes.

    But yes, the feature set in virtual box is amazing for the price. The only real hassles i've had with it have been really bad network PXE boot performance, but that's very much an edge case few people will hit.

    I do run Virtualbox from time to time also, on secondary machines.
     
  15. nealh macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2010
    #15
    wow, I have not seen that offer before but I usually upgrade parallels early in the release cycle, looks like waiting is best.
     
  16. jimboutilier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Location:
    Denver
    #16
    I've used all three VM packages, rotating through and back and forth over time. My general experience has been:
    • Parallels is generally the fastest, most efficient, most tightly/smoothly integrated with OS X. But it usually requires an upgrade whenever you have a major OS X release (annually). When I was using Windows frequently for intensive tasks this was always my first choice.
    • VMWare Fusion occasionally leapfrogs Parallels and has the advantage of using the same VM's across a number of platforms. But it usually requires an upgrade whenever you have a major OS X release (annually). I occasionally switched to this from Parallels when there was a leapfrog but always went back to Parallels in the next release.
    • Virtual Box has the advantage of being free and works quite well although not quite as fast and efficient as Parallels or VMWare and not quite as sophisticated or as polished. I played with Virtual box periodically but it was quite a while before I thought it was mature enough to switch to. Once it matured (a year or two back) to what I thought was reasonable reliability, performance and sophistication I switched to it. I do keep track of Parallels and VMWare, occasionally trying a new version to see if there is some killer feature I can't live without, but so far I haven't switched back. I think its perfect for light or occasional use (and it may be capable of much more but thats my current level of use).
     
  17. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #17
  18. happyslayer, Aug 30, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2015

    happyslayer macrumors 6502a

    happyslayer

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Location:
    Glendale, AZ
    #18
    I'm running Parallels 11 to run Windows 10 Pro. I also have a Chrome OS install and an Ubuntu Linux install and all of them seem to work fine. The only issue I have had so far is running Win10 in a window and trying to run VMware vSphere client in Windows 10 to control an ESX 5.5 server. the mouse input got pretty screwy with the trackpad and I was unable to consistently click on anything. Remote desktop works fine, however. Otherwise, it has been good. The rMB gets a little warm (not hot) and it gets worse battery life but that's to be expected, I think. I even got Cortana working thru Coherence mode with voice control. "Hey, Cortana..."

    An update: installed VirtualBox this past weekend to open an old XP Pro 32bit VB-VM I had on my Windows 10 box. It took a bit of trial and error (had to download an old version of VB (4.31test) and the appropriate extensions pack to get it to run since my XP VB-VM was so old.) Anyway... it works like a champ and doesn't seem to impact battery life too bad. Only issue: I can't seem to make it work with the USB-C port. So to move files from USB, I had to setup a "shared" network drive that accesses a folder in OSX and copy the USB drive data to that folder. Not a big deal.
     
  19. NoBoMac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2014
    #19
    Virtualbox for me. When I updated to Yosemite, my old version of Fusion quit working, and I was tired of the need to give $50 to VMWare every couple of years. So, decided to give VB a go, since I only go into Windows when I run into a website that only works in Windows/IE environments, no viable OS X solution/app, etc. (read: pretty rare the Windows guest gets run).

    Good enough performance for my needs. The new version of VB seems to run the Windows guest faster than previous versions. Upgraded to Windows 10 recently and have not seen any issues as yet.
     
  20. creamz macrumors member

    creamz

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2015
    #20
    Would it be possible to install Virtual Box and Windows and after all it is done, move the whole image over to a USB stick and just let it runs from there? If it can be done, what would be the recommended size for me to put it on?
     
  21. duervo, Sep 1, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2015

    duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    #21
    Yes, but it would most likely run like crap. Not because of the port speed, but because of the flash memory speed, especially for writes.

    There are some flash drives out there that have some half decent write speeds, but they tend to cost a lot more than the average flash drive of similar capacity. You'll have to do your own due diligence to research which ones are best for that ... Ignore the speed of the USB port in the specs. You will want to check actual reviews of them and compare the real-world read/write speeds. IOPS are another story... Those will be abysmal compared to the internal storage in the rMB, but still might be acceptable to you (they wouldn't to me.)

    To get you started, I have had some good experiences, performance-wise, with the Sandisk Ultra Extreme II flash drives, but those are somewhat old now, and since then my general use for flash drives have been to use them for installing operating systems or booting live environments like PartedMagic for troubleshooting or utility use.

    Those uses typically see the drives being written to when the image is initially copied to the flash drive. After that, it's reads from there on out. So I don't have a need for "the fastest" flash drive out there anymore, with respect to writes. The 3-pack of whatever Costco sells, for example, is good enough for me now ... 3 x 16GB for $25 last time I bought some, which is not bad.

    In fact, TBH, you're better off getting a 128GB SSD and an external enclosure for VM use these days. Back when I used those Sandisk flash drives for it, SSDs were still prohibitively expensive, which is no longer the case (thankfully.)

    Back on topic:

    I don't have a rMB yet. Waiting for the Skylake "m" CPUs and to see if they add another port, but will probably get one when Skylake is inside, extra port or not. With that said, I will probably just use VirtualBox for running Windows. I have Fusion 7 Pro, but VMware raised the cost to upgrade with v8, which makes me want to puke. So, I'm sort of in a .!.. phase towards VMware at the moment. That may pass, given enough time, but for now, VirtualBox it is for me.
     
  22. jimboutilier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Location:
    Denver
    #22
    It can be done, but you would want a relatively high performance (e.g. expensive) USB stick to do that. It would need to be a least 32gb (typical minimum partition size, and a W10 or W7 windows install typically takes about 25gb with no additional software or data) - probably 64gb if you are using if for more than base software and data.
     
  23. kingc0bra thread starter macrumors regular

    kingc0bra

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2012
    #23
    Thanks for the input everyone! Seems like Parallels is leading by a small margin
     
  24. inmnbob macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2014
    Location:
    Chicago and Twin Cities
    #24
    I am running windows on an external sub ssd
     
  25. boltjames macrumors 68040

    boltjames

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    #25
    Let me better understand your expected usage. Do you use OSX every day or just a few times a week or less than that?

    The upside to performance on Boot Camp outweighs the convenience of the faster OS flipping that Parallels offers. For me, I only use OSX once a week and the tradeoff to performance wasn't worth it.

    BJ
     

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