New to macs... bootcamp vs. parallels/vm

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by robo456, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. robo456 macrumors 6502

    robo456

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    #1
    Hey all... just wondering if someone could shed some light on bootcamp.

    From what I understand, it would allow me to boot a native copy of Windows or other OS separate from OSX. Realistically tho, what benefit does that have over a program like Parallels or VM Ware?

    I have a trial of Parallels, and speed seems pretty good for some of my old MS Office apps. I haven't tried playing any games or anything, but having the ability to use the mac and pc side programs at once is pretty nice. (coherence I think they call it or something like that)

    Thanks for any info!

    --rob
     
  2. jbg232 macrumors 65816

    jbg232

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    #2
    There is a windows on the mac section where they have a beginner's guide answering that question. You can see it here.
     
  3. mackindergarten macrumors 6502

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    Feb 21, 2008
    #3
    Hi!

    If you need full power for your Windows applications (i. e. gaming, AutoCAD, etc.) go for Boot Camp. It will boot up your Mac into Windows.

    If you only need compatibility with some Windows apps, say Office and can live with its performance you are good to go with Parallels or VM Ware.

    Hope this was helpful.

    /Rupert
     
  4. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

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    #4
    Bootcamp runs windows at native speed ( disadvantage you have to reboot )

    Fusion or parallels lets you run both os x & windows at the same time ( as stated ) disadvantage it is program so will slow stuff down

    Best of both words run your vm of your bootcamp partiton

    Best thing for games bootcamp as like i said it runs windows at native speed

    All this would best be answered in the windows on a Mac section of the forum
     
  5. robo456 thread starter macrumors 6502

    robo456

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    #5
    Just noticed that section after I posted... thanks guys for all your responses!

    --rob
     
  6. IC3D macrumors regular

    IC3D

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    #6
    I run bootcamp and parallels, bootcamp to boot into xp 64bit and parallels for vista. Both very useful programs.
     
  7. tsice19 macrumors 6502a

    tsice19

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    #7
    Boot Camp. It's free on a new leopard Mac (not sure if it comes built in with leopard or if it's just built in). You could use virtual box too, which does the same thing as the others, and it's free. However, when using a VM you do risk performance hits since you are literally running 2 operating systems at once on one machine.
     
  8. Flowero4ka macrumors regular

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    Jan 24, 2008
    #8
    I use parallels and not very often Bootcamp.. I like that parallels could work it the same time - it's lazy sometime to reboot OS to run Mac or Windows :)
     
  9. mrchainsaw5757 macrumors regular

    mrchainsaw5757

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    #9
    i have a boot camp partition and i just got VM, would this make it run faster or what would this do?
     
  10. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

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    #11
    Dont think this would make it run faster but the advantages are that say you
    made your bootcamp partition 30GB this would get no larger until your forced
    to physically make the partition larger as its full up with programs and stuff

    If you just install windows through a Vm the program acts like a file thus the
    more you install the bigger it gets and is i think is only limited by the capacity
    of your HD

    If you run your Vm of your bootcamp partition you also have the advantage of closing
    down the Vm and be able to use bootcamp and the advantage of native speed
     
  11. Mr. Zarniwoop macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

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    #13
    Well, not exactly. It prominently lists the main advantage/benefit/feature of Parallels Desktop for Mac or VMware Fusion: The ability to run most Windows 32-bit applications (with either Parallels Desktop or VMware Fusion) and 64-bit applications (VMware Fusion only) in a virtual machine under OS X, seamlessly ("Coherence" on Parallels Desktop, "Unity" on VMware Fusion), typically with a minor speed penalty due to virtualization compared to Boot Camp, including some 3D games.

    What else are you looking for?
     
  12. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

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    #14
    Yep sorry your right,needed to go through it a bit more in depth as missed a few links within your
    link
     
  13. BrownPlopz macrumors regular

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    #15
    It all really depends on what you want to do. If you just want to do day to day tasks, use both OSs side-by-side, not game / do complex tasks, then VMWare and Parallels win. However, if you want to perform complex tasks that require large amounts of memory, and full use of the Core 2 Duo (or Xeon, etc, etc) processor, AT NATIVE SPEEDS (key point here, although with certain things, on Parallels and VMWare, it runs @ native speeds), then, the obvious choice for you is Boot Camp. The main difference between BC and Parallels and VMWare, is that along the VM (virtual machine) path, you run both OSs seamlessly, coherantly, whatever word you want to use for "side-by-side", but, you ARE somewhat limited to the tasks that you can perform, because, as said multiple times before, you won't be able to do complex tasks, such as gaming, running massive numbers of programs at once, etc, AT NATIVE SPEEDS, meaning you WILL be able to do them, just kinda laggy. On the Boot Camp side, the thing is, you are writing a separate PC PARTITION to your Mac, which means dual-booting is required, BUT, it will take full advantage of your processor, and run all programs, apps, etc, AT NATIVE SPEEDS, in other words, almost flawlessly. The only REAL flaw there is that its Microsoft (tee-hee) software that you're booting into, and using. Also, for the VM route, your CPU halves the specs (pretty much), in other words, it divides the HD space, and RAM between the two OSs. Good for storage, but for most people, not great for RAM.
     
  14. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

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    #16
    Fusion

    High access to memory and multiple CPU cores, with per VM access to 1-2 CPU cores and 8GB of RAM, and automatically shares memory that is common across VMs. But, limited to one suspended snapshot per VM
     
  15. Zillion macrumors regular

    Zillion

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    #17
    So it is possible to install Windows with Bootcamp and let VMfusion use that partition, meaning 1 installation of Windows?

    Is that also possible with Parallels?

    [edit] aah it is possible I see here http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=448093 [/edit]
     
  16. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

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    #18
    Yes with both,with fusion you have to authorise windows twice and pararall's
    once

    EDIT just saw the link you posted its explained there
     
  17. emperoruriel macrumors member

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    Feb 27, 2008
    #19
    Question

    :confused: I am wondering though, if you run the virtualization software (a.k.a. VM Fusion or Parallels) through the bootcamp partition, does it run natively as it does not run windows like a progrom but through the partition? Just what is the speed increase? :confused:
     
  18. Mr. Zarniwoop macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

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    #20
    There is no speed increase with running virtualized Windows off a Boot Camp partition. It's just the convenience of only one shared Windows install.

    If anything, both VMware and Parallels "feel" faster when you do a normal (non-Boot Camp-shared) install to a virtual disk, but I've not done any benchmarks.
     
  19. ozzy6900 macrumors newbie

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    Mar 6, 2008
    #21
    Okay, I am not a MAC owner ...YET! I am very impressed with my son's iMac and I am looking at MacBook and possibly a Mini.

    I am a PC man since the days of the 8088 processor. I am able to take care of just about any problem from DOS to Windows XP but I cannot handle Vista (real junk). I've solved all the problems of converting to Mac except 3.

    I run Quicken 2007 & QuickBooks 2004 for Windows. The Mac versions are horrible so there is no converting. I also have to run QuickBooks Online which uses ActiveX for security. The only peripheral requirements are being able to back up (except Quickbooks Online) and all must be able to print to my network printer.

    My quandary is which of the choices above are best to use? I do not want (nor do I feel there is a need to) re-boot every time I need to use these programs.

    Any advice would be good. I am trying to piece together everything I will need to make a smooth transition.

    Thank You.
     
  20. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

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    #22
    For the programs you state id just go the the Vm route,download/install fusion when prompted install windows
     
  21. Mr. Zarniwoop macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

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    #23
    I'd absolutely give CrossOver Mac a try. It should run those three things fine, and you'd run QuickBooks Online in Internet Explorer 6, which has an install wizard in CrossOver. They'd run at native speeds, and you don't need a copy of Windows.

    In general, CrossOver is the best way to run Windows applications in OS X if an application works under CrossOver. Problem is quite a few applications just don't work correctly in CrossOver, and then a virtualization solution like VMware Fusion or Parallels Desktop for Mac are your only choices to run Windows applications seamlessly, but with way more overhead than CrossOver.
     
  22. ozzy6900 macrumors newbie

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    Mar 6, 2008
    #24
    Thanks to both you and Neil321. I know that Mac manages overhead much better than Windows but the less overhead used is less to manage. I think CrossOver is the winner.
     
  23. Scudder2u macrumors newbie

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    Mar 2, 2008
    #25
    My virtualization experience

    Great thread, especially when used in conjuction with the links to comparison wiki, and macworld review.

    Since this topic has been posted alot in many different threads I thought I would add my impressions here. Rather than just endorse one solution or the other (not so helpful IMHO) the first paragraph is how I use the solution the subsequent paragraphs my opinion.

    First off, Im not a power user. Im a home mac user that has had a window machine around for proprietary software for working from home, fitness software, and a windows videoconferencing solution (i.e. Crossover wont meet my needs). It was nice to get rid of windoze box and use just my mac for all my needs after many years of having two computers on my desk! I use windoze XP on a 2.4GHz macbook with 4G RAM and bridged networking (for a static IP in windoze) although I have used it on the original 2GHz Core duo iMac and original intel 2GHz macbook; both with 2G RAM. I dabble with linux (ubuntu, PClinuxOS and Suse). The faster the machine and the more RAM the better your experience will be. Note that assigning more RAM to the virtual machine isnt always better - there is a point of diminishing returns - see other posts on this topic.

    My thoughts and opinions on the solutions: I have used parallels since the first beta. It was rough at first and has had some growing pains but now appears quite stable and snappy for most users. It has broader support for my USB devices (quickcam pro 4000, quickcam pro 5000, and quickcam fusion work in parallels and dont in VMware fusion). I have used Fusion off and on since the last beta (trial mostly but recently purchased - see below for my qualification) so as a disclaimer I am a bit more familiar with parallels.

    Using a single core as opposed to Fusions ability to use both cores is irrelevant for most uses IMHO. Parallels works good and is plenty speedy for me since I frequently will be doing things on both Mac and virtualized windoze side simultaneously with little degradation in performance.

    Again, 64bit support is also a moot point for me (and most general users) given that third party driver support is still lacking and good, safe computing practices nullify most security benefits it provides without the driver hassles.

    Fusion provides a more "mac-like" user experience but parallels isnt un-"mac-like" just different. Both allow use of a bootcamp partition or a virtual machine. I think Parallels is bit more "finicky" than Fusion but, from a non-programmer standpoint, I assume this may be due to their broader USB support -see below and try to do it all whereas Fusion appears to have focused on most common needs and performs them very, very well.

    VMware does have virtual appliances which make using some linux distro's easier since they are preconfigured but if you wont be running enterprise software or linux or are proficient at linux installation they are essentially a moot point.

    Fusion is a bit lighter on RAM requirements but RAM is really cheap.

    Based on message boards support for parallels is not so good. VMware appears to be more supportive on their forums. I have not had problems with either so this is based purely on my observations of the message boards. Be aware of current issues with rebates from VMware should you decide to purchase now. As I noted elsewhere I am attempting to advantage of the competitive upgrade *in case* I need support but it has been a trying experience. I haven't needed support for either solution.

    As noted many times elsewhere EITHER solution will meet most user needs. The feature sets for both are very similar but for MOST GENERAL users I would *currently* recommend parallels based on my limited experience of broader USB support and that I dont need dual core support in my virtualized OS, and have no need for 64 bit support.

    Ill stick with Parallels for Windoze but since I have purchased Fusion Ill use if for linux.

    Each has trial that you can take for a spin prior to your purchase. Just be aware that if you install windoze switching back and forth [edit] between the two trials [end edit] will require multiple activations and eventually a call to microsoft after three.

    Yet another users opinion. YMMV. I hope that helps someone with their decision but its really a personal one.
     

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