Parallels or VM Fusion or else ? running Windows program on tMBP 15"

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by MilKat10, Mar 1, 2017.

  1. MilKat10 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2017
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #1
    Hey guys,

    It's all in the title. I use a PC for a Stock program that can sometimes tax my Asus Zenbook 8 Gb RAM / Intel Core i5-4200U 1.6 GHz CPU with real-time data.
    I bought the base tMBP 15" thinking I would run this program in virtualisation mode (and enjoy the 15 inch screen instead of 13 currently) so here I am now.

    What would you recommend for this usage ?
    - Parallels Desktop 12
    - VM Fusion 8
    - Winebottler
    - Anything else ?

    I am mostly concerned about stability of the solution and impact on tMBP (would not want to ruin the machine over that choice)

    Thanks for your replies
    MilK
     
  2. robvas macrumors 68020

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    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    How would you ruin the machine running Parallels or VMware?
     
  3. QzzB macrumors regular

    QzzB

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    #4
    Personally I would recommend VMware Fusion. When it comes to virtualisation they are the leaders. The cloaning (linked or full) can be beneficial if you need that.

    Ultimately, download the trials and see what one you get on with - I work with virtualisation as a day job, so I use some of the more advanced features, rather than just windows VM
     
  4. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

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    #5
    Or you just install Windows on the machine via Boot Camp.
     
  5. QzzB macrumors regular

    QzzB

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    #6
    Good point! LOL

    Only issue with bootcamp, especially with the base model, is the space. You need to partition the drive, so loose the unused space of the bootcamp partition. With a VM, the space is allocated on demand.

    Plus no snapshotting or multitasking. Depends on the use case, bootcamp works fantastically when I tried it, fastest version of windows I have ever used.
     
  6. ZapNZs macrumors 68000

    ZapNZs

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    Jan 23, 2017
    #7
    Both Parallels and Fusion are good IMO. I use Fusion 8.5 and VirtualBox. I went to Fusion because I dislike the Parallels licensing agreement, and like how Fusion has committed to only bi-yearly paid updates (Fusion 8 added El Cap support and was paid - this year we got macOS Sierra support with Fusion 8.5 for free - next OS will be paid, one after free, and so on.)
     
  7. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

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    #8
    Considering the speed difference between the two machines, you won't necessarily need a super fast virtualisation environment. I've tried both, and from my experience, VMWare is a fair bit better than Parallels. Parallels seem to work more on "niceties" like all sorts of viewing modes and whatnot, whereas VMWare seem to focus more on getting the fundamentals really right. Parallels seems to be better for GPU video accelleration from my past experiences, with VMWare beating it on other aspects.

    All that said, if your app works well with Wine (I don't recommend Bottler, as it's a bit outdated in its version of Wine - Just get the official Wine Staging release - assuming you're comfortable enough with the technical side of things for the way it works. Though it isn't that tough to work with). Instead of virtualising Windows, it translates the libraries and frameworks into Mac understandable versions. Now this means there can easily be incompatibilities, more commonly than not with DirectX calls since it can be hard to map those to OpenGL, but when it works, it works relatively well. + it's free and doesn't require you to allocate a set amount of resources to a VM.
     
  8. rpmurray macrumors member

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    #9
  9. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

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    #10
    It's Wine under the hood anyhow :). Wine in its base form is free, and whilst Codeweavers have done modifications, in most cases, if Wine works, so does CrossOver, if Wine doesn't neither does CrossOver.
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #11
    Both Fusion and Parallels offer trials, so download both and see for yourself. I'm partial to Vmware, but Parallels is fine You might also consider Oracle's VirtualBox, unlike Fusion or Parallels, its free.

    Winbottler, I never really had much success with that, so I'd say its not worth the hassle.
     
  11. presenta macrumors newbie

    presenta

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    #12
    No one mentions the free VirtualBox, but it works quite well with Windows 10 (also Windows8.1, Ubuntu 16.10, OS X 10.6 with some limitations). Tested on El Capitan. When using virtualization programs you should also install a fan controller app (i.e. TG Pro), otherwise your machine may overheat. The same is true when using Firefox on your Mac for example.

    VMWare Fusion is among the first, but recently they changed the development team (outsoursing to foreign countries), so we need to be cautious.

    Just remember that all virtualization programs install a bunch of services (including kext modules) and uninstallation is not just throwing the main app to the trash.
     
  12. MilKat10 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #13
    Thank you all for your replies, I read through all of them:
    1) I am not technical enough to install an Oracle VirtualBox (I do use one at work but I am a marketer at an ITcompany hence get help when needed, not at home)
    2) I would probably prefer a stable solution over Wine / CrossOver (although very much considering the latter)
    3) The cost of Parallels + Windows is quite high (in my view - based on my usage)
    4) I could install Windows via Bootcamp (would cost less than the above solution) but would lose in switch between Mac Apps and the stock program (the only reason to get a Windows solution)

    What I truly need is a way of using this stock program at a low cost of implementation / low SSD partition sacrifice:
    - Bootcamp could do the trick but afraid of blowing my tMBP 15" after some of the threads I read about that + Waste of 40 + GB on Windows
    - Crossover could do the trick but could be a hassle when bugging
    - Parallels + Windows seems like a stable (most expensive) solution but with a waste of 20+GB of SSD on Windows (that I truly dislike - whatever the version).

    I guess I will have to give Crossover a try this week-end for starters.

    Thanks again for all of your replies,
    MilK
     
  13. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #14
    Winebottler can be a bear to get going. Wineskin Winery is far, far easier and more successful. Whenever I find that I need to run a Windows app on macOS, here's my approach in order:
    1. Determine if there is a native macOS version
    2. Install the Windows app within a Wineskin to create a standalone executable
    3. Install the Windows app in a Virtualbox Windows VM
     
  14. kiwipeso1 Suspended

    kiwipeso1

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    #15
    VMWare fusion is pretty much foolproof for running windows. I'd recommend it over Parallels.
     
  15. stjames70 macrumors member

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    Jul 5, 2009
    #16
    Stick with Fusion. Have had it since version 1.0 and now I am on the latest version. It is decent enough unless your program requires fast graphics -- if it does, you WILL have to run it under bootcamp. Otherwise, it has been flawless for the last 8 years. I now run Windows Server 2012 R2 in my office on a 2008 MacPro 3,1 without a hitch. Super fast and super stable even as a virtual machine (I run it along with Apple Server 5.2 -- workstations, Mac or PC have no difficulty accessing the servers at any time)
     
  16. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

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    #17
    Ask if you have any difficulties, and we'll look at it and see if we can help.
    Though if you're going the CrossOver path, I still recommend just getting Wine. It's free, open source, and per my opinion not that much more complicated. And once its set up with your program, you don't have to worry about it at all anyway.
     
  17. chrfr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #18
    There's a lot in this post that's incorrect.
    First, Virtualbox is significantly slower than the other two options.
    I run virtual machines of Windows, Linux, and OS X on my MacBook Pro for hours a day and have never had it overheat and have never had to install a fan utility. For that matter I've never had to install a fan utility since my first MacBook Pro purchased in 2006.
    VMWare's core virtualization development remains in the US; the UI was moved offshore, apparently.
     
  18. Tech198 macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #19
    I should say Wineskin, NOT wine, as u need xCode to compile ..

    If your going for Winbottler, then try Winskin as well..:http://wineskin.urgesoftware.com/tiki-index.php


    Good for running the odd app, and don't need the overhead of a VM's (resouces) and an OS to install

    There are others like Crossover . : https://www.codeweavers.com/

    Or for anything else Fusion
     
  19. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #20
    Ahem, look right above your post ;)

     
  20. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

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    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #21
    That's not true. First of all, you don't need Xcode installed to configure and compile Wine. I forget if Sierra comes with a compiler preinstalled, but if not, at the very least, you can have the compiler without also having Xcode. Second, you can download a precompiled version of Wine from the Wine HQ website. At least you could a few months back. The environment would still need to be set up through the Terminal, but it would already be compiled.
     
  21. MilKat10 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2017
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #22
    Alright, here's an update on my side: I first installed crossover mac (trial) only to discover that the program was not available in their list of supported softwares (contrarily to advertised on their website).

    I am now running Parallels Desktop + Windows on a VM (20GB taken on SSD) and finding it convenient enough (easy switch + coherence mode is fine).

    Thank you all for your inputs and ideas,
    MilK
     
  22. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

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    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #23
    The solution I used may not work for your use case. My wife needed to run a Windows only program that needed few resources. It was cheaper to buy a laptop on Woot than to get either Parallels or VM Fusion plus a Windows license. She was also tight on disk space on her iMac and we didn't want to load a bunch of stuff she didn't need.
     
  23. presenta macrumors newbie

    presenta

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    Nov 29, 2016
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    Bulgaria (EU)
    #24
    Virtualbox may be slower, but I use it often and it works fine. I also use VMWare which I said is among the first.

    About the overheat, 3,179,998 downloads of smcFanControl on Macupdate can't be wrong. You may not know that you have overheating problem until you end in Apple service for repair (usually HDD failure). At least all drives become slower (including SSDs) with higher temps.

    Did you measure temperatures of your HDD? Is it under 50 C all the time?
     
  24. jlsobraske macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2017
    Location:
    Victor, NY
    #25
    I have succesfully used CrossOver to run Quicken for about 3 years. Recently, we received from Quicken about the coming changes with the transition from Intuit, I was concerned. Why? When Quicken issues a new release of their software, the good people at Codeweavers frequently must modify CrossOver to accommodate the changes. That didn’t use to be a huge deal since (a) such releases were infrequent, and (b) us users were able to wait for the impacts of the release to be analyzed and the modifications to be made, tested and released.

    Now, however, Quicken is working hard to demonstrate a higher level of commitment to their customer base by releasing fixes and improvements much more frequently (called “continuous delivery”) and they presumably have deadline commitments to Intuit to stop depending on Intuit ID. Quicken issued five (5) new releases in just the last month! The other thing they’ve been doing is re-designing their update capabilities such that users will no longer be able to decide whether or when to update Quicken.

    What this means for CrossOver is that the great people at Codeweavers is extremely challenged to keep up with the pace of these changes. For each release, it takes time, effort and resources to evaluate and resolve all the changes so Quicken can work again. New releases now frequently prevent us from using Quicken at all; I’ve had to “roll back” from new versions to previous versions several times. I rely heavily on Quicken for Windows; I use it to manage not only my personal finances, but also a small investment partnership and two family trusts, so when I saw that the releases after R10 involved an irreversible transition from Intuit ID to Quicken ID, I realized that in order to keep using Quicken (at least in the near term), I had to find an alternative to CrossOver. However, I really did not want to load up my Mac with a virtual machine such as Parallels or VMware Fusion - AND Windows… They are incredibly bloated and use a LOT of disk space and RAM (and are not inexpensive).

    Well, I found a solution that works well, at least for now, is not expensive, and is worth sharing. It’s similar to the alternative in concept (virtual machine plus Windows), but not in size or execution. A new virtual machine from Veertu (https://veertu.com/veertu-desktop/) is very lightweight (13.7MB!) and free. It uses Mac's hypervisor framework that Apple built into OS X. It is very secure, but has a number of limitations, However, those limitations are negligible for those of us who only want to run Quicken for Windows while simultaneously running Mac OS. Here are some articles: https://www.pcmag.com/review/345818/veertu , http://technodrone.blogspot.com/2016/01/native-mac-osx-virtualization-with.html . It’s no longer in the App store, but available from Veertu directly. Step one solved.

    Step two: how to get a lean version of Windows, without Cortana and the dozens (if not hundreds) of unneeded, unnecessary junk to take up space on my 256G drive and 8G of RAM? Well, I learned that Windows makes such a version of Windows 10 for single-function mission critical applications in the enterprise market (e.g ATMs, manufacturing, etc.). It’s called Windows 10 Long-Term Service Branch (LTSB). According to this article (https://www.howtogeek.com/273824/windows-10-without-the-cruft-windows-10-ltsb-explained/): (1) It doesn’t come with Windows Store, Cortana, Microsoft Edge browser, Calendar, Camera, Clock, Mail, Money, Music, News, OneNote, Sports, and Weather. (2) It will be supported for 10 years. (3) "Because the LTSB version is designed for stability, it’s updated very differently from other builds of Windows 10. Microsoft will never publish a feature update like the Anniversary Update or November Update for Windows 10 LTSB. These ... will get security and bugfix updates through Windows Update, but that’s it." Perfect. According to the same article, Windows makes 90-day evaluation versions to anyone and, "It’ll function normally for 90 days, after which it’ll begin nagging you to activate Windows. But Windows 10 is perfectly functional even without activation, so you should be able to use it as long as you like without entering a product key. You’ll just have to put up with nag screens.” A small price to pay for a clean, lightweight version of Windows.

    And, best of all? It works!! So far, I’ve had fewer issues running Quicken than with CrossOver. I’ve been able to update to R14 (via the R14 Mondo patch), set up my Quicken ID, update my accounts online, reconcile accounts, etc. But there are limitations and it’s not very intuitive. Things to be aware of include: (1) supposedly one can share folders between OS X and the Windows as if they were both on the same network, but I haven’t figured out how to do that. Instead, I set up a OneDrive account and access that from both my Mac OS and Windows (i.e. to transfer Quicken files, Quicken release update files, etc.), (2) Veertu doesn't let you resize the window on the fly by dragging on the window border, so you'll have to use the control panel in the guest OS to set its screen resolution, (3) While Windows and Quicken connect to the internet, I have been unable to do the same with my printer. So, my workaround is to print to a file, save the file to OneDrive, and open/print it from there outside the virtual machine.

    I hope this helps others who rely greatly on Quicken, and I hope the great people at Codeweavers eventually are able to catch up to Quicken's fast and furious release schedule.
     

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