Parallels 7 vs. Vmware 4 vs. Bootcamp

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sneak3, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. sneak3 macrumors 6502

    Oct 14, 2011
    Hi there!

    I wanted to play some games in my macbook pro (mid 2010). Nothing to heavy but still, I'm worried about battery life and performance.

    1- Should I get parallels 7 or Vmware fusion 4?

    2- Is the difference between bootcamp and one of the above too huge, making bootcamp the choice?

    Thank you!
  2. MacDawg macrumors P6


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    The rule of thumb is typically... games = bootcamp, most everything else = virtualization
  3. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Battery life while gaming, whether on bootcamp or virtualizing windows is going to suck, so using that argument is pointless.

    Gaming = need for all of the computer's resources = bootcamp, no questions asked.
  4. Dekard macrumors 6502


    Sep 7, 2011
    Dallas, Texas
    bootcamp with VMWare Fusion is awesome. VMWare Fusion sees the bootcamp partition as a slice so you can use it while in MacOs or if you need to play games you can reboot into bootcamp, it's really handy.
  5. shardey macrumors 6502a


    Jan 28, 2010
    You can merge your bootcamp to be used with parallels 7 as well, which I can virtualize win 7 with it AND play CODMW2, then 3 swipe with my trackpad back over to mac os X without a hitch. Of course, all 8gb of my ram is gone.
  6. sneak3 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 14, 2011
    #6 theres absolutely no benefits from using these softwares, compared to bootcamp?

    Ive always had the impression that running a virtual machine while in OS X would make the battery last longer...
  7. jlc1978 macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2009
    You don't have to reboot to run a program in a VM, have access to mac formatted disks, can cut and paste between OSX and Win7 - there are advantages if you need them.
  8. SavMBP15 macrumors 6502

    Mar 26, 2010
    If anything I would think running a VM would decrease battery life (by a small fraction) because of increased requirements on the computer.
  9. squeakr macrumors 68000


    Apr 22, 2010
    You wanted to play games, then you really shouldn't be worried about battery life, you should be plugged in when doing so. You might see a slight improvement in battery life, as the OSX is better at managing the battery for Mac hardware than Windows is. Again, you said you only wanted to play games, so battery life shouldn't be a concern. Bootcamp is your best option for gaming and virtual for everything else as a rule of thumb (unless you have a heavy processor need that might be hindered by virtualization). If using this philosophy, then virtualization wouldn't be needed at all (unless you have some other need as well), All you would need is just bootcamp. There is also virtual box for virtualization as well.
  10. shardey macrumors 6502a


    Jan 28, 2010
    Yeah it will compared to not running one, but bootcamp no matter what runs the dedicated video card on my 17" which decreases battery, and not to mention windows runs inefficient compared to OS X in terms of casual use.
  11. kaydot macrumors regular

    Sep 15, 2011
    If I run bootcamp, I'm going to assume that I also have to load up virus protection software on top of Windows 7? These software costs add up just to play a game of StarCraft 2...
  12. ocbaud macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Midwest City, Oklahoma
    microsoft security essentials is free and works very well for antivirus :)
  13. grahamnp macrumors 6502a

    Jun 4, 2008
    I believe what everyone was trying to tell you is that with a VM, you get the convenience of running in OSX without rebooting but you still retain the ability to use bootcamp as a separate option. I'd agree and suggest this as well. Use VM. I have the VMware 4 trial and it's quite impressive. I used Parallels 6 and VMware 3 long term, and Parallels 6 sucks. Can't comment on Parallels 7.

    No, VMs always use more resources, you're effectively running one OS inside another.
  14. shardey macrumors 6502a


    Jan 28, 2010
    My computer can simultaneously run COD MW2 on the win 7 vm and then I can 3 finger swipe to another game like Trine, without hesitation. Parallels 7 runs very well, I was surprised myself.
  15. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Outside of games (bootcamp) The choice is really personal preference and it seems for the most part both vmware and parallels are evenly matched at this point
  16. Titanium81 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2011
    I hear Parallels allows for "true full-screen" of Windows programs in "Coherence mode" under OS X Lion where VMWare still shows the top menu bar.

    Although when viewing the Windows desktop VMWare & Parallels both are able to show the Windows desktop in "true full-screen" with no menu bar on top.

    Are there any other big differences?
  17. shardey macrumors 6502a


    Jan 28, 2010
    Parallels allows for up to 1024 VRAM on my 6750, fusion 4 only allows 256.
  18. Titanium81 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2011
    Any other comments / experiences that you can share about either Fusion 4 or Parallels 7?
  19. Metalmorphed macrumors member

    Mar 14, 2010
    Parallels seems to be integrated better, so it looks like the windows applications are running in mac, and not in a separate virtual os. While Fusion does a better job at seperating the OS's.
    (I don't have much experience myself, but did some research a while back because I was also trying to decide what to get xD I went with Bootcamp since I needed the full power for 3D applications.)

    What I do like about Fusion though, is that it does a great job at making lots of small virtual worlds. I use MicroXP and then install a single (old) game on it (like Red Alert 2), and then I have a bunch of virtual XP's each dedicated for a single game (or a series of games). You can also give these virtual machines to your friend of migrate them over to an other mac (or keep them when you reinstall or something).

    The only real experience I had with Parallels is that it ran my 3D apps really slow :p

    So what I'm saying:
    Get bootcamp if you want to play (new) games, use heavy apps (3dsMax, UDK, ...) or want your apps to run properly.
    Get Parallels if you want to have a few windows-only apps, that you really love and use a lot, and want them very nicely integrated into mac. (Make sure these aren't heavy apps.)
    Get VMWare if you want to play older games occasionally.

    For you:
    Depending on the games I would go for either Bootcamp or Wine.
    Wine is a wrapper around you apps, so you don't even have to run seperate virtualization software, it's great! Though might not run your games very well, I use it for older games also (recently been trying it out and works awesome :D).
    (Wine is also free, look at for pure awesomeness.)
    Bootcamp will give best performance, though in my experience eats up battery life 3 times as fast as mac. Also rebooting is a pain.
    Wine depends on the game, I only used it for older games and those don't really have a big impact on battery life.

    Hope this helps a little :p
  20. spagthorpe macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2011
    Surprised nobody mentions VirtualBox. I mean, it's free, and it's been good enough for me to do a lot of development work on. I can have Windows and different Linux installs all going, zero problems. I know it's not as fancy as VMWare with drag and drop between desktops, but otherwise, I think it's pretty good stuff.
  21. Titanium81 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2011
    Can you do "Full-Screen View" in VirtualBox of Windows 7 under OS X Lion?
  22. damir00 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 30, 2011
    Not sure I understand. Are you saying that if you set up BootCamp in the normal way, the latest VMWare Fusion will let you run at BootCamp speed/capability without needing to reboot....?

    To the person who mentioned VirtualBox - I use that to set up multiple Linux installs - it's not as slick as the pay-for apps, but it gets the job done.
  23. spagthorpe macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2011
    I don't have Windows 7 set up as a VM, but I can switch to a full screen mode on the XP and Linux VMs I do have. I can't imagine Win7 will be any different. When you switch to full screen, it is just like a native install. This is under Lion.
  24. squeakr macrumors 68000


    Apr 22, 2010
    Agreed. I just offered it as an option as everyone is always hung up on the extra cost of virtualization. I prefer the paid options myself.
  25. Dhelsdon macrumors 65816


    Feb 5, 2010
    Canadian Eh!
    My vote for VMware 4, I use it daily at work (IT Manager 100+ employees) and it's flawless. I have no issues what so ever!

    I used their conversion tool for creating a VM out of my physical box so I could free up another machine for general use, and the best part is I get to use my MBP at work.

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