Help me make the Switch

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by chameleon, Nov 9, 2007.


Which solution is best?

  1. BootCamp only

    3 vote(s)
  2. Parallels only

    2 vote(s)
  3. WMWare Fusion only

    3 vote(s)
  4. Parallels + BootCamp

    1 vote(s)
  5. VMWare Fusion + BootCamp

    5 vote(s)
  1. chameleon macrumors regular


    Mar 4, 2006
    Albany, NY
    I've dabbled with the Mac for a while now -- in fact, I'm writing this on a MacBook Pro -- but this week has convinced me to "Switch". My ***** Windows system is fully patched. I surf with Firefox instead of IE. I've got up-to-date virus and spyware programs. Despite this, I've spent the past 3 days fighting my computer after having it crushed by trojans and spyware I got while surfing some blog I found on Digg. Ridiculous.

    So, I'm getting a Mac Pro and moving on. That's where I need your help.

    Unfortunately, there are a few Windows programs I absolutely need for work. Visual Studio, Microsoft Access, QuickBooks Pro. The question is, what's the best way to do this? Parallels? WMWare Fusion? BootCamp + Parallels or Fusion?

    Ideally, I want to work mostly in OSX. Email, Web, Word, Excel, etc. Given that, Parallels or Fusion seem to make the most sense for the few Windows programs I need. I also like the ability to backup the Windows install easily -- it's just like copying a file, right? The real question is whether I should use just those programs, or install in BootCamp, then use Parallels or Fusion to access that install. Will that give me more flexibility? Is it the better route?

    Thanks in advance for your advice!

    - Bryan
  2. luffx macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2007
    Being a .Net programmer & Gamer, I spend alot of time in Windows instead of OSX. (sad, I know). But I can say that I still love having the mac.

    Naturally, running windows in BootCamp is your fastest choice. But virtualization is fast enough now that it doesn't need to emulate x86, as long as you dedicate 768MB+ to parallels or whatever VM program you use.

    VS, MS-Access, QBP aren't intensive programs. You can run those just fine using Parallels. My only concern is the safety & lack of redundancy that VMs use. I've seen VMs become corrupted and unrepairable, which means you're entire Windows installation/programs/files are completely gone. A backup solution is important.

    It's really a matter of preference. If I were to only use small programs in Windows, I would VM it. But I game in windows too, so I need bootcamp.
  3. Nugget macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2002
    Houston Texas USA
    IMHO, gaming is really the only really compelling application of Boot Camp. I'll only suffer through the discomfort of dual booting if I absolutely need the raw performance of the OS running on the native hardware. For "normal" applications like you've mentioned, virtualization is a much less cumbersome solution.

    Either VMWare or Parallels and make sure you cram the MBP full of RAM. It's a great solution. I wouldn't bother with Boot Camp at all if I were in your shoes, for the reasons you've outlined. It's easier to deal with just the single file to "back up" your Windows install and it's less complicated.
  4. chameleon thread starter macrumors regular


    Mar 4, 2006
    Albany, NY
    Okay, so that's one for BootCamp (+), and one for Virtualization.

    Anyone else?
  5. mankar4 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 23, 2007
    Make sure you buy extra RAM, and use Fusion rather than parallels because it manages system resources better IMO. lots of discussion about this elsewhereo on the forum and around the web. I would launch fusion from a bootcamp partition for stability, also.
  6. mm1250 macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2007
    If your not doing any gaming at all, than Vmware fusion is the answer. I actually had a Bootcamp setup and was using Vmware to access it while in OSX, than I installed a regular VMware XP guest on a firewire800 and compared and I was more happy with working with a Vmware file.

    I deleted the bootcamp partition after that.

    I would get Vmware Fusion over the Parallels. Vmware Fusion is much more robust, stable and faster.

    Most of the apps you mentioned, Quickbooks, MS Office have a Mac version. I'm not sure about VB but it also might have a Mac version, overtime you might not need to virtualize.
  7. Hawkeye411 macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2007
    Canada EH!!!
    I use Parallels because one piece of software I use to analyze data only runs on Windows :mad::(

    It seems to work fine ... HOWEVER ... I got a Trojan in Windows while it was running on my MacBook in Parallels!!:mad: Remember to do all the Windows updates and install virus/spyware software as soon as you install it!! I had such a hard time fixing it I eventually had to delete the Windows files and reinstall :eek:


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