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machenryr

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 25, 2016
742
99
Maybe I’m bored and looking for something else to do but I’m finally thinking of installing boot camp. I don’t really know enough about it. I’ve never been a windows user but for business I get it, it’s kind of important.

I seem to recall seeing that there are now better alternatives? What?
 

Annv

macrumors regular
Sep 16, 2019
104
139
Other alternatives are installing Windows virtual machine in Parallels Desktop (I use it myself) or VMware Fusion. These programs are paid, but you can use Windows alongside macOS. In BootCamp you need to boot back and forth between operating systems. I have BootCamp installed but rarely use it.
 

machenryr

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 25, 2016
742
99
Other alternatives are installing Windows virtual machine in Parallels Desktop (I use it myself) or VMware Fusion. These programs are paid, but you can use Windows alongside macOS. In BootCamp you need to boot back and forth between operating systems. I have BootCamp installed but rarely use it.
Thank you. As I said I don't know anything. You said Parallels and VMWare are paid, do you mean a subscription? Or that bootCamp is free?
 

joelovesapple

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2006
773
56
UK
Bootcamp is free as it's built into the MacOS already, you just need to set it up, and then have a validated copy of Windows 10 to install.

A free alternative to VMWare and Parallels is VirtualBox by Oracle. It works in a similar way to those two softwares, where you set up a virtual machine instance of Windows (which again needs to be installed and activated by you).
 
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Annv

macrumors regular
Sep 16, 2019
104
139
Thank you. As I said I don't know anything. You said Parallels and VMWare are paid, do you mean a subscription? Or that bootCamp is free?

Parallels and VMWare are paid. BootCamp is free.

Parallels has two purchase option.
1. One time purchase for normal edition which is ok for most use cases (I use it myself for work). However, after some macOS upgrades this Parallels version becomes incompatible, and you need to upgrade it at a fee. This was the case with Catalina. On the other hand, I upgraded from High Sierra to Mojave without upgrading Parallels.
2. Subscription to Pro edition, with some advantages, e.g. you can assign more than 8 GB of RAM to a virtual machine and you always have the most recent version.

I do not know about VMWare Fusion pricing.

As pointed out above, in any case you would need to have a Windows license.
 

BrianBaughn

macrumors G3
Feb 13, 2011
9,700
2,451
Baltimore, Maryland
I have a couple of different versions of Windows in VirtualBox and they run fine for what I need them for…which is very little. I also have a couple of Linux OS versions as well as macOS Snow Leopard for when I (rarely) need to convert an old Appleworks document.

Not mentioned before is Wine, which is capable of running simple Windows apps and no Windows license is required.
 

MisterSavage

macrumors 601
Nov 10, 2018
4,724
5,584
I haven't had a good experience with Bootcamp and my 2017 iMac. When I'm in Windows the game I wanted to run actually run great. The problem is 95% of the time I can't boot into Windows. I get in a reboot loop where Windows won't fully come up. I can find posts with people with the same issue but no resolution. Since it's free I don't regret trying it.
 

TheSkywalker77

macrumors 68030
Sep 9, 2017
2,890
2,760
I've had the best experience using Bootcamp. I've tried all the other ones and they just weren't as easy to use as Bootcamp is. I'd recommend it for a beginner.

Here's a video explaining how to install Windows through Bootcamp.
 

jeyf

macrumors 68020
Jan 20, 2009
2,173
1,044
both vmWare & Parallels are fairly efficient
VirtualBox is an open source that may work for you

the bootCamp thingy is odd
 

Cayenne1

macrumors regular
Jun 21, 2016
128
117
Knoxville, TN
I see you have a 2019 Mac Pro with a ton of RAM. It could run several Virtual Machines (VMs) via Parallels in its sleep. You cannot do that with bootcamp.

I have some PC programs I own and still need to use; Visio, Microsoft Access, Photoshop CS6, etc. I first tried to use Bootcamp which requires you partition your system disk and boot into either Windows or MacOS but not both.

I found Bootcamp to be a PITA and tried a trial Parallels. I now can run concurrently Mojave and through Parallels VMs; Windows XP (for CS6 and Visio), Windows 10 (for MS Access) and MacOS High Sierra (for Finder Cover Flow view). In other words, I can run 4 OS's at the same time in different windows. I can also interact seamlessly between each.

Of course, running all those OS's at the same time doesn't make sense. But, I have, for example, a Visio icon in my Dock. When I click it, Parallels starts WinXP, auto logs in, and starts Visio in a Mojave Desktop Window. The whole process takes seconds. MS Access and CS6 are also in the Dock.

Ok, so my question is do you really need to run a Windows OS? If you just want to experiment, Parallels or VMWare is the least intrusive way. The only justification for Bootcamp over the others could be running a PC game for ultimate performance. Otherwise, the performance of VMs is fine.

Finally, Bootcamp requires a physical partition to your system disk. Removing the partition later if you no longer need or want Bootcamp is a chore. As mentioned by others, you also need Windows licenses either way.
 
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machenryr

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 25, 2016
742
99
I see you have a 2019 Mac Pro with a ton of RAM. It could run several Virtual Machines (VMs) via Parallels in its sleep. You cannot do that with bootcamp.

I have some PC programs I own and still need to use; Visio, Microsoft Access, Photoshop CS6, etc. I first tried to use Bootcamp which requires you partition your system disk and boot into either Windows or MacOS but not both.

I found Bootcamp to be a PITA and tried a trial Parallels. I now can run concurrently Mojave and through Parallels VMs; Windows XP (for CS6 and Visio), Windows 10 (for MS Access) and MacOS High Sierra (for Finder Cover Flow view). In other words, I can run 4 OS's at the same time in different windows. I can also interact seamlessly between each.

Of course, running all those OS's at the same time doesn't make sense. But, I have, for example, a Visio icon in my Dock. When I click it, Parallels starts WinXP, auto logs in, and starts Visio in a Mojave Desktop Window. The whole process takes seconds. MS Access and CS6 are also in the Dock.

Ok, so my question is do you really need to run a Windows OS? If you just want to experiment, Parallels or VMWare is the least intrusive way. The only justification for Bootcamp over the others could be running a PC game for ultimate performance. Otherwise, the performance of VMs is fine.

Finally, Bootcamp requires a physical partition to your system disk. Removing the partition later if you no longer need or want Bootcamp is a chore. As mentioned by others, you also need Windows licenses either way.
Thank you! No, I have no desperate need for windows software. I actually don't use any. As I said I'm probably just bored. But my business is expanding and I'm keeping my options open. I am not a game player. Never have been, so that's not it.

I have a 1TB PCIe SSD not being used. I set it up as a test drive when I was transitioning to 2019 MP/Catalina, but it's all good now. I was thinking, BootCamp think, that this could be my windows drive.

It seems as though Parallels is my best bet? Obviously I have to purchase Windows regardless. It sounds like I don't have to partition a drive to install or use Parallels or VM?
 

slickwilly

macrumors newbie
Jan 9, 2020
6
0
Thank you! No, I have no desperate need for windows software. I actually don't use any. As I said I'm probably just bored. But my business is expanding and I'm keeping my options open. I am not a game player. Never have been, so that's not it.

I have a 1TB PCIe SSD not being used. I set it up as a test drive when I was transitioning to 2019 MP/Catalina, but it's all good now. I was thinking, BootCamp think, that this could be my windows drive.

It seems as though Parallels is my best bet? Obviously I have to purchase Windows regardless. It sounds like I don't have to partition a drive to install or use Parallels or VM?

Parallels is your best option. I've been running it since last year almost daily without issue. The idea of bootcamp seems ridiculous to me, using one or the other; makes no sense. A hundred bucks a year or whatever is easily worth it if you need windows for an app or two. This allows for seamless use across both platforms simultaneously. Just make sure to devote enough memory and processing power and it should work great. I'm running on a spec'd out 2019 15" macbook pro connected to 3 external monitors. I devote 11gb of ram and 3 cores to parallels and it's super stable (make sure to use 1024 MB increments when assigning ram).
 

bob_stan

macrumors regular
Oct 6, 2019
158
93
Central New York
Another vote for Parallels. It has been rock solid for me, running Windows apps I need in my business. It has a "Coherence" mode which will run windows applications in a window on your mac screen so it is pretty seamless.
 

Crash0veride

macrumors regular
Oct 10, 2016
221
143
Cincinnati
I have a 1TB PCIe SSD not being used. I set it up as a test drive when I was transitioning to 2019 MP/Catalina, but it's all good now. I was thinking, BootCamp think, that this could be my windows drive.

If you want to use bootcamp on an external device, it won't let you select the usb device in a normal bootcamp install. You have to use some chicanery using virtualbox or another VM program to make it work. This is basically the steps I followed the last time I tried this: https://hackernoon.com/how-to-run-bootcamp-windows-10-on-a-usb3-86551dc3def8

Now I have a big enough ssd I just keep bootcamp on my internal and use an external ssd for all the big games.
 

theluggage

macrumors 604
Jul 29, 2011
7,692
7,894
It seems as though Parallels is my best bet? Obviously I have to purchase Windows regardless. It sounds like I don't have to partition a drive to install or use Parallels or VM?

I don't think you'll go far wrong with either Parallels or VMWare Fusion. Parallels has a rep for being faster and having Windows/Mac integration but VMWare is solid and has a better rep for support & providing free updates (VM software runs quite close to the metal and is apt to break with new major MacOS versions). I use Parallels and am quite happy (I think I've needed a paid upgrade every 2-3 years - I wouldn't bother with a subscription).

The free VirtualBox is pretty good - for free - and more than good enough for (say) command-line Linux stuff or running that old version of Windows 7 you've got knocking around, but if you're shelling out for a full version of Windows 10 I'd get one of the paid options and not cheap out. If you're bored and want to save money, why not have a play with Linux instead?

No, you don't have to partition your disc for Parallels/VMWare/VirtualBox - it creates a disc image as a regular MacOS file bundle, and moreover the 'disc size' you choose is just an upper limit - the file starts small and grows as you use it (and if you free-up space it can be reclaimed). Much more efficient than partitioning your drive with Bootcamp.

I'd only bother with bootcamp if you want to run higher-end games or graphically intensive Windows apps (for one thing you can install the latest AMD GPU drivers). Also, last time I looked, the 'just works' Bootcamp Assistant part only supports the current version of Windows (I guess you can set up dual-booting with other OS's "by hand").
 
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