New to virtual machines. Need advice on best route.

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by rawdawg, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. rawdawg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #1
    Sorry for this very ignorant question. I've seen numerous threads in the past regarding the different software options for running Windows on a Mac. I've even read them having considered it in the past and wanting to know my options but never went through with it.

    Now I actually do need to do this and with the ever changing software options (ex: Parallels 5 just came out) I wanted to know the current available choices and which is best. In the past I've seen Fusion as being faster and better than Parallels. Why then do so many people choose Parallels?

    And what's this Boot Camp option? I am running Snow Leopard, isn't this included? I'm obviously new to this, my sincerest apologies for posting such a thread but I haven't been able to find good info.

    Also, should I stay with Windows XP or use Windows 7 since it's the latest release?
     
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #2
    Depending on what you are doing will depend on whether you need Boot Camp, which requires rebooting or Parallels or Fusion.

    I prefer Parallels, but the advantage to both Parallels or Fusion is that it doesn't require rebooting, whereas Boot Camp does. If you are just running Quicken or something that is non-graphical, you can use this.

    If you are going to play most video games, those that require DirectX 10 or any serious work, you will probably need Boot Camp, which requires a reboot into Windows, but allows you to take advantage of all the computers power.

    Boot Camp is included in Mac OS X.
     
  3. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    Good advice thegoldenmackid. It really does depend on what you're needing Windows for, Office apps or games. One other option you should consider is VirtualBox because it's free so if you don't like it, no financial loss, just your time trying it out. VirtualBox is enough for me. I mostly use it to test web sites as a designer and developer, but I also have some older software I like that can't run on Mac. I don't know how well (or poor) it does with games, but it's free so you can always give it a go and find out if it meets your needs.
     
  4. rawdawg thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #4
    Thanks for the replies!

    My need is to run certain video rendering programs like VirtualDub. There are filters and features available to certain PC applications that I can't get on Mac.

    I don't game.

    What about if I should get Windows XP or 7?
     
  5. turkay macrumors regular

    turkay

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Location:
    Istanbul
    #5
    From my experience Parallels 5 with Win7 on 10.6 feels a bit faster than Fusion with XP SP2 on 10.5.
     
  6. rawdawg thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #6
    ... and with every answer comes another questions (I HATE that).

    Thanks again for the advice. If I have to reboot using Boot Camp, sounds like I may prefer the Parallels/Fusion approach so I can continue to use other programs. And with the last reply I was just about to decide on Windows 7 and Parallels...

    But now it seems I need to decide between 64bit or x87 Windows7... I am running Snow Leopard but have noticed it doesn't boot into 64-bit unless I change my preferences to do so. But in doing so I noticed I lost control of my hot new $200 eSATA card which I need to run my RAID 0...

    So if I'm not booting Mac OS 64-bit than should I install the x86 windows? I'm new to windows so excuse me if I seem like I don't know what's going on.. In reading online it just appears I install one or the other and don't know if it depends on what my Mac is running. (If in the future my eSATA card updates its drivers I hope to permanently boot my Mac in 64-bit)

    Why does it seem not many people realize Snow Leopard isn't 64-bit unless you hold down 6 and 4? Makes me wonder why we were so excited to get it.
     
  7. rawdawg thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #7

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