Parallels vs Boot Camp vs Fusion?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by raymondu999, Apr 25, 2008.

?

Which to choose?

  1. Parallels

    9 vote(s)
    21.4%
  2. Fusion

    22 vote(s)
    52.4%
  3. Boot Camp

    11 vote(s)
    26.2%
  1. raymondu999 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #1
    Hi there. I just wanted to compare these three programs to run windblows on my machines. These will only used sparingly with some programs only, and hence, hdd allocation won't really matter. Which is actually faster? If I run Fusion or Parallels, wouldn't the system slow down because of the RAM being split, and should Boot Camp be faster? Any opinions? Please also post your reasons after voting in the poll. Thanks. All I want to know is about speed and reliability (considering it's Windblows, I guess reliability is a bit of a moot point anyways.)
     
  2. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
    #2

    Bootcamp will always be your best option for such things as playing games as windows runs at native speed

    You are correct about system slowdown when using either fusion or parallel's as you have to allocate it both RAM & CPU

    The best option would be to run fusion of a bootcamp partition that way you still have the option of native speed,the reason i voted fusion is for stability & support
    plus you didn't give the option of running a vm off your partiton

    If you dont want or need bootcamp i still vote fusion for the above reason
     
  3. kvdv macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    #3
    I installed Bootcamp and i also use Fusion to start the boot camp partition inside OS X. It works great but there's one big disadvantage of this: it's not possible to take snapshots of this VM because it's a Boot Camp partition.

    So i'm thinking of importing the boot camp partition (using the vmware importer tool) and creating a second Windows VM to play with and when i need to, i can always go back to the last snapshot. I will keep the Boot Camp partition when i need optimal native speed or maybe when i need 100% full native compatibility (maybe some stuff doesn't work inside a VM under OS X?).

    Is this a good concept or am i overlooking something?

    -Kris
     
  4. mreg376 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #4
    If you're not a gamer, and you aren't going to use Windows programs that push the limits of your available hardware, you can avoid boot camp and throw everything Windows that you have at a Fusion virtual machine. I know that logic commands that boot camp will run at "native speed" and therefore faster than a virtual machine on identical hardware, but I can tell you this -- I took Windows XP SP2 from a 3GB 3.0Ghz Pentium 4 box and installed it, along with Office, WordPerfect and Photoshop 7, in Fusion on my 4GB 2.4Ghz iMac with only 512MB RAM allocated to XP, and it runs significantly faster than on the Pentium 4. I am happy avoiding boot camp because once I got used to OS X I don't want to be without it.
     
  5. raymondu999 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #5
    Actually, I would have to disagree with what you said. Pentium 4s are only focused on increased clock speed when they were released, so basically, higher clock but doing less per clock. The true comparison would have to be a DIY rig with similar specs, and not a P4 rig, which is QUITE slow.
     
  6. kvdv macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    #6
    That's awesome! If this is true, i'm going to consider abandoning Boot Camp and do everything virtual in Fusion. I *am* a gamer but not on PC anymore, i game only on Playstation 3 nowadays and i'm really glad i don't have to worry about future required specs and video-card drivers anymore :)

    Thanks for the tip!

    So, if i would use VMware importer to virtualize my Boot Camp partition, how would i get rid of the Boot camp partition afterwards?

    -Kris
     
  7. mreg376 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #7
    Actually, I reread my post and I can't find anything your post disagrees with. In fact your post shows why what I said makes sense -- why Windows would run faster under Fusion on an Imac rather than on a Pentium 4 box. My point though, which apparently you also missed, is that for most software if you're moving XP from a Wintel box to Fusion there's an excellent chance you won't be disappointed, and that in many cases people can do without boot camp.
     
  8. raymondu999 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #8
    What I meant was that you can't really compare the speed against P4 chips... they were DEAD slow, power-hungry, and also hot... Instead... we have to compare against similarly-specced Core2Duo rigs...
     
  9. mreg376 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #9
    Again, I'm not sure if we're talking about the same things. There's no reason to compare. Most people aren't newly moving to the Mac from a state-of-the-art Wintel machine. It's usually from an older rig. The point is that for many people running XP in Fusion (or maybe Parallels -- I don't use it) under OS X will already be faster than they need and maybe even faster than they experienced before. So they don't need boot camp, the use of which in some respects makes Fusion less flexible.
     
  10. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #10
    I like everything at full speed so I'm running Windows on Bootcamp.
     
  11. mreg376 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #11
    So you're using nothing less than an 8-core Mac Pro decked out with with 16GB? :)
     
  12. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #12
    Of course it all depends on the task, as all of you have noticed. When testing my software I pop it into Fusion or run a stub, or if the app is low-powered and RUNS okay there I'll use Fusion (which I prefer over Parallels). For the full "XP experience" (i.e. "constant heartbreak") I'll use Boot Camp. At work I am pretty much forced to use BootCamp for dual boot labs as I have never really figured out how to consistently and safely run Fusion in an Open Directory environment, and Parallels doesn't work at all. Now that NetRestore does the Windows partitions as well, I will be able to easily clone and restore from the comfort of my office.

    So I did not vote as two of the three are correct in my opinion.
     
  13. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #13
    That's the very reason why I am using Bootcamp. I don't have such machine so I'm not going to run Windows less than what my current hardware can do, that would be silly.

    If I had a more powerful machine and DX9 ran properly in Parallels then I'd consider it.
     
  14. asmallchild macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    #14
    I only need Windows XP for one program (not a game at that) so I use Fusion.

    Not sure what Parallels offers that's better and the general consensus I keep hearing is go with Fusion so I opted for that. Saves me the hassle of needing a reboot to get into Windows.
     
  15. mariotheotaku macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    #15
    what about for programs like abode ps and such, how well do they run in VM and parallels? I am thinking of going for BC
     
  16. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #16
    I voted Boot Camp only because it's free.

    Although I don't know... that $65 bundle that includes Parallels seems pretty tempting.

    You might also want to take a look at CrossOver. It lets you run Windows applications without actually getting Windows. The programs are sandboxed so you should be safe from malware...

    although I ran the trial version and it didn't work at all. I tried running a trial version of Steam on it... the installation failed. I tried running a windows 98 copy of WarCraft II... the installation was successful but it wouldn't actually run the program. Lots of other people talk about how great it is though so... maybe I'm just an idiot. Their website is here: http://www.codeweavers.com/products/cxmac/

    So yeah, I'm sticking with Boot Camp. I don't need Windows apps very often (maybe once every other month...) so I don't mind taking 2 minutes to restart my computer.
     
  17. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #17
    Add VirtualBox to that list. It's free, does what it does well. It might not be as feature-filled as Parallels or Fusion, but then again it's free.
     
  18. Satori macrumors 6502a

    Satori

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #18
    Well I voted for Parallels because it works for me. I tried VMware fusion when it was still in beta and found it a bit slow compared with Parallels but I haven't tried the full release.

    Both Fusion and Parallels have their following so if you go down the virtualisation route you probably won't make a bad choice whatever you decide.
     
  19. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Location:
    United States
    #20
    I've used VirtualBox to run Ubuntu (wouldn't trust my Windows activations to it).

    While VirtualBox does provide admirable performance, and is quite stable. I have a few issues with it:

    1) It seems to break every time Apple updates OS X, and they take a long time to get new updates out (more so with the OS X version of VirtualBox).

    2) It doesn't appear to always free up it's memory allocation when closed. Often, I'd attempt relaunch a VirtualBox Virtual Machine after closing it, and find that it would give me an error stating that there was not enough memory available to start the virtual machine. No matter how long the virtual machine had been closed, the memory would not free up. The only way to free the memory and therefore relaunch the virtual machine would be to restart the whole computer.

    So, it didn't do so well for me. Plus, I wasn't real pleased with the last time that I had to wait a couple of months for an update to re-enable the program to work with the new OS X update.

    I'd recommend VirtualBox if you don't "need" a virtual machine (as in just playing around). And, if you don't want to invest money in your playing around.

    Worked fine for me since I was only messing around with Ubuntu and tinkering. But, if I had really needed that virtual machine, then I would have been quite disappointed.
     
  20. iTronz macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #21
    Looking at the specs of your systems in your sig, your systems should all be fine running Windows in virtual machines. I recommend VMware Fusion as it is very stable I also found VMware better for running Linux.
     
  21. keltorsori macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    #22
    I've used them all and own both Parallels and Fusion. With Fusion 2.0 it has become the winner. Parallels won me over with it's advanced hardware support, but Fusion has finally caught up and surpassed it in the meaningful ways.
     
  22. voxnj macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Location:
    Dark Side of the Moon
    #23
    The Best of Both Worlds

    I run Fusion (Windows XP SP3) and OSX side by side on dual screens. I run realtime stock trading, complex Excel models (with macros), and poker software in Fusion. Everything else runs in OSX. It is very stable, very fast and allows me to pick the best application for the task (regardless of operating system)

    I run a 4 GB dual Quad Mac Pro which replaced my dual processor HP workstation. The Mac Pro runs everything faster -- even when running the occasional movie on the OSX side.

    Hard to imagine the need for Boot Camp, but the need may arise someday.
     

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