Parallels/VMWare: Understanding it and questions.

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by nutsnbolts, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. nutsnbolts macrumors 6502

    Aug 11, 2008
    I just want to confirm my understanding with VMWare and Parallels, etc.

    As stated in many of my previous posts, I am still on the "learning curve" with my MBP, coming from a PC.

    Considering this fact, I'm looking to also completely convert without having to try and manage two operating systems. Of course, having the capabilities of two OS...I'm sure has pros and cons, I'm trying to figure out whether these PROS are really worth it.

    For starters, I was originally adamant on getting Bootcamp running on my MBP before I purchased it and now that I have my MBP, I'm thinking I really need it?

    From my understanding, Bootcamp boots up Windows OR Snow/Leopard. It's a one or the other.

    From my understanding, VMWare and Parallels, runs anytime within Snow/Leopard.

    I can that there is advantage of being able to switch back and forth on the fly.

    First question...

    Any reason why I would run Bootcamp over VMWare/Parallels? What are the advantages or disadvantages from a practical point of view?

    Second question...

    What kind of allocation/partition do you put for Bootcamp and/or VMWare/Parallels?

    I'm a heavy Photography/Video editing person and 500GB for one OS is small in my mind and putting two OS's...well won't that reduce my HD space considerably.

    Third question...

    People who do use Bootcamp or VMWare/Parallels (I guess this is like question 1), from a practicality perspective, what are you guys using these for specifically?

    Essentially, the more I think about it, there isn't really any other reason for me to run bootcamp unless I want to play games (even though i don't know if it's powerful enough).

    In addition, I understand that there are some application that are available on a PC that is not available on the MAC. I know that old habits die hard but it seems to me that it's more of a pain to install/keep/manage two OS just so you have or continue to use the application available on the PC.

    I rather would just relearn everything that is native/third party to the MAC and move away from the PC if possible.

    Don't get me wrong, I'll still keep my PC laptops but it's on a completely different system.

    Let me know your thoughts. I want to decide whether I really need Parallels/VMware and just look for alternatives that is available on the Mac.
  2. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    Boot Camp gives native-level performance in all cases. For certain kinds of applications, this is desirable (for instance, many things that require 3D acceleration).
    For me, 80 GB is plenty to allocate to Windows. I do not recommend trying to run Photoshop in a VM.
    I use Parallels and Boot Camp for software development and testing. Since I do cross-platform programming I need to be able to test my applications wherever they might be deployed, whether that's in Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, or some version of Linux.
  3. nutsnbolts thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 11, 2008
    Good point...from a development perspective, I can see that.

    I don't plan on running Photoshop through VMware or the like. This is the primary reason I bought a Mac. Installing PC to run on a mac..ok doesn't make sense lol.

    Anyway, anyone else have any input?
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Bootcamp - access to the hardware, fastest performance. Best direct-x support and so game play or other apps that require direct-x/direct hardware work the best

    Parallels - Better opengl and direct-x support over vmware. It has a history of being less stable and lousy support. I've used parallels and gave me Kernel Panics quite frequently. Parallels typically pushes out minor updates quite often but they seem to break more then they fix, so they end up in a cycle of lots of updates.

    Vmware - more stable and mature product, thanks to vmware's history in virtualization. Poor direct-x performance at least compared to parallels. Better support, updates are less frequent but typically are more solid then parallels, i.e, marked improvement from update to update w/o breaking anything.

    Depends on your needs, I have a 40gig partition for fedora (I don't run windows) but I'm finding that too small, so I'll be rebuilding my fedora partition to 100gig. It really depends on what you'll use. For windows 7, I'd recommend minimum of 30gig just for the OS and some minor apps.

    Vmware/Parallels has an advantage over bootcamp in that you can stay in OSX, however if you need performance, then rebooting into windows is your only choice.

    I consider myself the opposite of many mac users, I'm in Linux more the OSX, I reboot into OSX only when I need to run lightroom and another app. Since I just gotten OSX loaded into vmware in fedora11 I find even less reason to use OSX natively.
  5. nutsnbolts thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 11, 2008
    Many Good Points, thanks for providing another point of view.

    This may be a dumb question but I'm going to assume, whether VMWare or Bootcamp, the machine will run as if it was on a native PC machine. In other words, subjected to application/OS update. Viruses, etc.?

    I don't want to get all technical but maintaining a rock solid PC is hard enough.
  6. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    Yes. It's still vulnerable to all the junk out there, so you need to make sure to keep it up to date and run antivirus software.
  7. Sasuke-chan macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2009
    I know that this is a really stupid question to ask... (I just have my macbook yesterday so I don't really understand how things work)

    So I'm interested in having parallels/vmware because that would be able to gimme compatibility for both windows and mac stuff without having to reboot...

    However, I have a question.. can I have windows both as a bootcamp for use in parallels/vmware as well? Does that mean that I have to install windows twice? Or can I install it once and use it both for parallels/vmware and bootcamp? Does parallels/vmware lag the os alot?

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