Parallels for Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Gualwer, Apr 19, 2016.

  1. Gualwer macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2015

    What do you all think of "Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac"?

    I'm gonna be starting school this fall. I'll be studying IT. I'm thinking about purchasing an iMAC 27" 5k display 2tb fusion drive and I'll probably upgrade the ram myself to 16gb or 32gb. I'm sure my degree will require me to work on windows so I thought maybe I could use Parallels for that. I thought about using bootcamp since it's free, but where I work I get a great discount for Parallels for mac and it costs me only $9.99. I would like to hear your opinion If you have used Parallels before. I thought about just getting a cheap windows computer, but I've always used Apple computers and I rather invest my money on something I will use. Thanks.
  2. eltoslightfoot macrumors 6502


    Feb 25, 2011
    Parallels works just as advertised. Just don't expect to game inside it. Other than that caveat it works great!
  3. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    As a bonus, Parallels can run your Boot Camp partition in a VM, so you have only one install of Windows for both Boot Camp (native boot, max performance,) and Parallels (VM, work alongside OS X.)
  4. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I use Parallels on a regular basis and it works fine enough. I also use VMWare Fusion. The usage of each is similar enough that it becomes personal preference. However, since you are going into I.T., you may want to also (though it might cost you more) check out VMWare Fusion as VMWare has a good chunk of the virtual market as related to I.T. In short you would start in the "family" of VMWare.

    Perhaps what you should do is figure which OS and apps you want to use in a virtual setting and then contrast and compare various Virtual offerings.
  5. Crosscreek macrumors 68030


    Nov 19, 2013
    I use Parallels every day also. I have my Windows 10 in BootCamp and use it thru Parallels as it offers the option to straight boot Windows in BootCam or run it in VM and when the updates come thru both machines are up to date. I also have 2 versions of Linux running in it. Great cross platform performance.
  6. gabo864 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2012
    I know it's not my thread, but quick question. Can you install windows on an external SSD drive and use it with bootcamp or Parallels? just wondering. I don't want to use the storage on my Mac.
  7. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    I use VMware Fusion rather than Parallels ... and my SSD iMac has Windows 10 on an external Thunderbolt SSD which can be bootable or accessed from OS X in a Fusion window. I think you can do this with Parallels as well.

    There are several threads here about installing Windows to an external drive (I installed it internally as bootcamp, then used WinClone to move it to the external drive ... then use WinClone to keep a backup after any significant upgrade).
  8. Crosscreek macrumors 68030


    Nov 19, 2013
    Yes but BootCamp requires that you install on internal drive first then you can clone it to an external drive. At that point you can remove the BootCamp partition from your Mac.
  9. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    For $10 Parallels will be great. It doesn't come with Windows OS so that will be a separate purchase.
  10. mildocjr, Apr 20, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016

    mildocjr macrumors 65816

    As an IT grad I can tell you that if you plan on running VMs you will be spending a lot of money. Did I mention a lot of money?

    It would be cheaper and more beneficial for you to buy 2 craptops (craptop - the lowest priced thing you can find that you don't mind formatting over and over again) and the lowest priced desktop computer that you don't mind formatting over and over again.

    You will NOT learn Mac OS. At all.

    Instead you will learn Linux administration probably using Fedora (free Red Hat Enterprise), CentOS, or Ubuntu (in that order because that seems to be the order of preferred Linux servers).

    You will need the two craptops to run Windows Enterprise Evaluations (probably Win 7) and the desktop to run your Windows Evaluation server OS. (Probably Server 2008 R2 if not 2012 R2).

    You will learn Mac OS through the Linux command line, and still have to relearn OS X command line as some commands are different.

    You will learn that Bash and Batch scripting are your best friends, later to realize that batch has been replaced by Powershell and that most of the tools you want to use are powershell scripts already built into Microsoft System Center.

    You will probably get an overview in Python programming only to learn later that most companies you will work for don't use python, instead they opt for Java and C++.

    If you are still wanting to get a Mac hats off to you, you'll want a quad-core CPU (2 cores per vm), with at least 2 GB of dedicated graphics for splitting among your VMS, at least a 500 GB HDD (1 TB would be better), and you can squeeze by on 16 GB of RAM, but in a perfect world 32 GB of RAM would be better. You'll also want to get a non-apple mouse for your VMs as right clicking is a lot easier. The standard keyboard is fine, everything maps over but command is the Windows key.

    If you want to cut costs, you should get the non-retina iMac, your graphics card will thank you for it too.
  11. deany macrumors 68030


    Sep 16, 2012
    North Wales
    I have Parallels with a 2015 rMBP 8GB RAM & the fan does come on and heat up especially when doing a Norton 2.0 scan. in both W7 & W10

    I'm not quite sure how running boot camp with Parallels would benefit the system.

    I open my rMBP click on Parallels and there is XP, W7 & W10 to choose from.

    Would the performace be better with your setup & would the Windows server activate a fresh install?
    What are the overall benefits over a 'normal' parallels setup? - sorry bit confused.

    thanks in advance
  12. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    The main difference is that using BootCamp gives you the option of running Windows natively (at boot directly as the only OS) or running Windows as a virtual machine (in Parallels).

    One advantage of using a Parallels-only environment (so all Windows installations are VMs) is that Parallels can dynamically size the installation's hard disk space as needed (so it starts small and grows as needed to accommodate new programs and data). With BootCamp, you must pre-select the amount of HDD space you dedicate to the Windows installation.
  13. deany macrumors 68030


    Sep 16, 2012
    North Wales
    I see thanks for your time explaining that. I do love my rMBP find using a PC quite unpleasant now, almost a step down.
    I can never see myself not being mainly apple from now on.
  14. mpainesyd macrumors 6502


    Nov 29, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
    One long-term benefit of Parallels is that it (and the VM) will transfer to a new Mac with Migration Assistant. I am on my 4th Mac using the original Parallels VM (including Windows XP for legacy apps)
  15. jlc1978, Apr 23, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016

    jlc1978 macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2009
    I concur that Parallels is a bargain at $10. I have been running it for nearly 8 years and am very happy with its performance, but I do not run games besides Hearts I really don't stress its performance. As for Windows and MS products, see what deals your school has; some participate in a licensing program that makes many programs free for students.

    If you have a legitimate copy of Win 7 or 8, 10 is free, and with a VM you can simply create a second VM and upgrade it so you have your original VM and the new one.

    As aside note, I find I rarely use Windows since, for my needs, Office Mac and Omnigraffle provide enough compatibility that I can get by without Windows. I've even run a VT100 emulator on my Mac for mainframe programs that used it to run SQL queries for example. Other than some random SharePoint features and a clients VPN that required Windows I am Windows free; but your major may require some Windows only programs. Max out your HD since VMs gobble space quickly.

    Personally, I would not waste money on a second Windows only machine. A cheap one may lack the power you need to run some programs well, and most schools have labs if you absolutely must use a PC for something.

    If you need to run Linux for some reason you can create a VM or run it off of a flash drive quite nicely.

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