Comparison: VirtualBox vs. VMware?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Aster Selene, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. Aster Selene macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2010
    Okay, I bet a million people have asked this question already. Correction: I have seen a million people ask this.

    But none of the answers seem to address the needs I want...

    I currently use VMware Fusion on a MacBook (Late 2009) and there is one thing I can complain about. It's slooooooooow. So slow in fact that in order for me to not throw the computer across the room, I have to actually turn off AirPort to speed it up.

    I hate doing this, and I'm wondering if VirtualBox is any faster, and if it's worth it risking being unable to go back to VMware if I switch.

    So, the specific things I need:

    -Speed, just speed in general.
    -Ability to use vmx images
    -Speed when using music editor/video editor/sound editor programs, in the Virtual PC (This is the most aggravating one)
    -Game least a little...maybe?
    -Drag/drop file transfer
    -Integration between Mac and PC sections
    -Ability to back up (like VMware's snapshot function).

    Now, I've already bought VMware two years ago, so the money's not a problem. I'm perfectly willing to consider my spent $80 a waste if it turns out VirtualBox is better.

    So...any thoughts?
  2. iPostpone macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2007
    I'm not a user of either product, so can't answer your specific questions. However, I know that VMWare just released an update to Fusion v3.1 which is reported to be considerably faster than 3.0. Have you tried the new version yet?

    How much RAM are you allocating to your VM in fusion, and what OS are you running in the VM?
  3. steveoc macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2007
    Adirondacks NY
    The first thing that comes to my mind is RAM. How much do you have on your machine? How much do you allocate for the virtual machine and what OS/)

    Virtual Machines suck RAM right up in my experience. I can't imagine trying to run Windows on a VM on a MacBook with 2 GB of RAM. I'd consider 4 GB adequate.
  4. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    I use Parallels 5 and used VirtualBox before I bought it.

    Whereas VirtualBox is less resource heavy and much simpler to use, it lacks good integration with OS X and other features. Give it a try, it's free. Can't hurt. If you like it, keep it.

    However, I fully recommend Parallels 5.

    I manage it with no problems. My late 2008 MacBook has 2GB. Runs XP in Parallels 5 with 512MB wonderfully.
  5. nefan65 macrumors 65816


    Apr 15, 2009
    I use VMWare 2.07 on a 2.4 C2D w/ 4GB of RAM. It runs XP and Win7 without any issues. I tried Virtualbox about 6 months ago, and it was a little flaky. But I think it was because I had upgrade to SL, and the version I had didn't support it yet. I haven't tried since...

    The VMWare runs fine. A little sluggish when running Visio, or graphics stuff. But for basic things it's fine. In fact, the only reason I have it is because of Visio. Other than that, I'm not in it much at all...
  6. steveoc macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2007
    Adirondacks NY
    You're right--XP should be fine, but that is now 2 Windows versions back. That being said, I find working on a Mac alone with 2 GB RAM to be hell.

    Again knowing what he is trying to run is important. VMware with 64 bit Windows 7 with 1.5 GB allocated on my 16 GB works great.
  7. Aster Selene thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2010
    I allocated 512 MB to RAM.

    And no, I don't think I have 3.1 yet.
  8. fhall1 macrumors 68040


    Dec 18, 2007
    (Central) NY State of mind
    512MB RAM isn't very much for even WindowsXP to run effectively....especially in a virtual environment. Bump it to at least 1 GB.

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