Is using Parallels on your Mac to DL Windows worth it?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Jae Hokes, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. Jae Hokes macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2011
    I was thinking about downloading Windows on my Mac using Parallels but i was just curious to know how much space the windows OS takes up on your hard drive, if its hard to do, and does it slow down your computer? Also can you download Parrallels and Windows 7 for free anywhere that is legitimate? Any help will be greatly appreciated
  2. mrgraff macrumors 6502a


    Apr 18, 2010
    Installing Windows with Parallels should take about 35-40 minutes - about as long as on a PC, maybe a little faster on a Mac. Expect to use about 4 or 5 Gigs of hard drive space. If you've installed Windows before you won't find it any harder to do, in fact Parallels makes it easier as most of the settings for your virtual machine will be automatically based on your Mac's specs.

    It will slow down your computer a little bit because both the mac and the virtual Windows will be competing for the same RAM, but not so much that your mac becomes unusable.

    You can download a 14-day trial of Parallels:

    With a Windows Live ID, you can download a 90-day trial of Windows 7:
  3. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

    Jan 20, 2010
    The bigger reason for the slowdown is your CPU, as half the cores in your CPU (by default) will be assigned to Windows. Provided you have 4 GB or more RAM, it shouldn't be much of an issue that way.
  4. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    The core assignment is usually dynamic. You only set the maximum amount of cores that the VM is allowed to use at any load level. If you set 2 of 4 than even when OSX idles the VM takes only 2 cores under full load. Or if you have multiple VMs running you can limit each to 1 core or something.

    Via msdnaa you can get a couple Windows licenses for free. If you are a computer science, MIS student or anything similar chances are good your university offers msdnaa accounts for you. You need to be a student of course.
    Parallels is never free unless you hack it. I would also recommend VMWare Fusion as it is more stable and trouble free in my experience. For gaming and 3D acc. use native Windows via bootcamp.
    VirtualBox is a free VM but it is usually more hassle. I would try it though if is enough for you there is no reason to pay for VMware or Parallels.
  5. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    VirtualBox blows away Parallels at running Linux OSes - so if this is of interest keep that in mind. I have not tried VMware Fusion yet. Since Parallels, VMware Fusion, and VirtualBox all are virtual machines, they require a VDD (virtual disk drive) file to store the guest OS's data. This defaults to expanding storage with a limit - which saves space on your host OS drive, since the VDD uses only as much space as it needs.

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