Bootcamp vs Parallels/VMWare - how it works?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by old-wiz, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #1
    I have an iMac 24" 2.8ghz, 4gb ram, mid 2008. I have a couple of programs that only work under Windows, plus my wife doesn't want to learn Mac (sigh). I've been reading the threads (via mroogle) and looking at the documentation available from both Parallels and VM Ware and I'd like to know if I my understanding of how it works is correct.

    For Bootcamp, you partition your HD to create a bootcamp partition and OSx puts in drivers that allows you to install/boot windows in that partition and then you simply boot from that partition. This seems to be the closest to a genuine Windows environment. Right?

    For Parallels/VM Ware, you install the application and then it runs in an OSx window and you create a virtual machine which installs windows and then it runs under OSx. Then you don't need windows drivers since Parallels/VM supplies the drivers as part of its own code. The virtual machine (64 gb or so) becomes your "hard disk" (I think) and OSx doesn't see the file system from other applications. Parallels/VM emulates the PC bios more or less?

    So I would need an OEM copy of Windows XP plus the service pack and also VM Ware or Parallels if I choose that route.

    Is my understanding more or less correct?

    Thanks for any insight.
     
  2. LtRammstein macrumors 6502a

    LtRammstein

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #3
    The other thing the VM program don't tell you is that the performance of your computer will drastically drop.

    VMWare Fusion will immediately take 1 core, and about 1/4 if not 1/2 of your RAM to run. You can change this, but if you are doing some heavy computer on OS X, don't run any VM or your tasks will take longer.

    I set my parents up to using Bootcamp (because it would be easier to back data up, and both Fusion and Parallels can read that partition). This way if they need to do heavy Windows computing they have the resources to do it, and if they don't need to do a whole lot, they can run VMWare Fusion.

    But we are getting into reasons why I do not using VM a whole lot...
     
  3. old-wiz thread starter macrumors G3

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    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #4
    My idea would be basically to just run VMWare/Parallels pretty much by itself - nothing else hapening in OSx.

    It just seemed to me that the Vm/Parallels is less likely to mess up the HD. I'm not too concerned about performance - her current computer is a 950 mhz with 512 mb ram.
     
  4. daflake macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    #5
    VMware does not take an entire core, it shares the processor.... :rolleyes: It will, however, use a lot of memory if it is available and my wife uses it on her MBA with 2 Gigs just fine. It doesn't perform perfectly but it does work. I use it on my MB with 4 Gigs and it soaks up about a full Gig to make it available to the guest OS but the guest runs at full speed with no problems.

    It will work fine for what you are trying to do but your wife will still need to learn how to start it all up and by then she will be using Mac at the basic level.
     
  5. lgmac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Location:
    US
    #6
    VMWare - works like a champ

    I have used parallels and VMWare. I really don't have anything against parallels, but I've used VMWare much more and I'm used to it, so now I exclusively use VMWare.

    My wife and I both have MacBooks with VMWare loaded. Both MacBooks have 4G of memory, and I've upgraded my hard drive to a Western Digital 500G unit. I have the 13" model and my wife uses the 17" model. We both use Quickbooks Pro and Nutribase in the Windows XP Virtual Machine. In addition I sometimes use an older version of Autocad. I also use an older HP scanner at work that works fine with Windows XP, but does not have a driver for OSX. The client (virtual machine) shares space with OSX, so it is easy to move files from one to the other. Although I don't use my Windows XP virtual machine more than a couple of times a week, it sure makes life easier than have dual booting or having one computer for each OS.

    Oh.... I almost forgot, wired and wireless internet works well. I also do some testing with Ubuntu desktop and Ubuntu Server in virtual machines as well.
     
  6. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #7
    Even easier:

    (1) Install Windows on your Boot Camp partition.
    (2) Install Parallels or Fusion under OS X.
    (3) Point Parallels or Fusion to your Boot Camp partition and run that as your virtual machine.

    This way you're working within the same installation of Windows regardless of whether you're in Boot Camp or OS X. If you install Windows under Boot Camp then again as a separate virtual machine, you'll essentially be working with two different installations of Windows, very much like having two different Windows partitions.

    Just curious, if you plan on doing this why bother with VMWare/Parallels at all? Why not just go Boot Camp all the way?
     
  7. old-wiz thread starter macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #8
    Mostly I've seen people have problems getting bootcamp to work with the partitions, so that's why I was considering just VMware/Parallels.
     
  8. LtRammstein macrumors 6502a

    LtRammstein

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    #9
    True that it shares the core, but when booting up the VM, it will grab thread priority, effectively making it less productive for the Mac to use.
     
  9. daflake macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 8, 2008
    #10
    Fair enough, I just didn't want misinformation out there. ;)
     
  10. LtRammstein macrumors 6502a

    LtRammstein

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    #11
    Collaboration is a good thing. ;)
     
  11. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #12
    Most of the problems seem to have arisen from faulty installations, meaning folks don't read the instructions and follow them. They wander off the reservation entirely on their own, and end up wiping the primary Mac partition in the process. Pretty hard to screw up if you just RTFM, really. ;)
     
  12. bobbypotluck macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    #13
    i'm partial to parallels because of coherence mode. It integrates seemlessly with osx.

    [​IMG]

    It can run off your bootcamp partition. Saves space and allows you to transfer files between osx and windows much easier. Just allocate the right amount of RAM and you wont see as much lag.
     
  13. Flynnstone macrumors 65816

    Flynnstone

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Location:
    Cold beer land
    #14
    That's my plan.

    I have Parallels. I ran out of disk space and basically killed my XP (whatever).

    I've ordered bigger HD for my MacBook. And I want to do a Boot Camp partition. One program runs better natively than using a vm.

    How big of a partition should I make the boot camp partition? How do I do it?
    I'm going from a 120gig to 320 gig drive. I was planning on doing something like SuperDuper.
    So I'm going from a single OS X partition with a Parallels drive within, to a dual partition drive with XP in a boot camp partition and OSX in the other. Mostly running XP inside of OS X via Parallels.
    What is the best plan of attack?
    I want to be able to share data in my XP partition. Can Time Machine handle this?
    I'm running Parallels 3 something, should I upgrade to 4?
    Am I missing anything?
    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    I am an Electrical Engineer and do my engineering stuff on a 2000 machine and I'm trying to migrate as much to OS X. Presently all email, web etc is OS X only. I only use the Windows when necessary.
     

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