Parallels with VM or Boot Camp?

richard13

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 1, 2008
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Sautee Nacoochee, GA
Hi all.

I am currently using Parallels 8 and have always used it with VMs in OS X. Currently I'm only using one VM for Windows 8.1 and really only use this VM for running Quicken and VPN for work.

However, I understand I can run Parallels using Boot Camp partition as the Windows environment instead of a VM file. One reason i'm interested in this is so that I have more flexibility with games that run better natively in Windows (specifically, World of Warcraft, SimCity, etc.).

Because I can't find any option to do so, I'm guessing I can't convert my VM to a Boot Camp partition? So I'll have to re-install Windows in Boot Camp right?

Am I really going to benefit from changing my current arrangement? Is running games in Windows via Boot Camp really that much better than natively in OSX?

Are there any downsides to using Boot Camp instead of a VM in this scenario?
 

maflynn

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Staff member
May 3, 2009
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I'm guessing I can't convert my VM to a Boot Camp partition? So I'll have to re-install Windows in Boot Camp right?
Correct you can use Parallels to access your bootcamp partition, but you cannot create a bootcamp partition from a Parallels VM


Am I really going to benefit from changing my current arrangement? Is running games in Windows via Boot Camp really that much better than natively in OSX?
Game playing is going to be better within running Windows natively then from Parallels. Its just the nature of the beast, you'll get the best performance booting straight into windows.

Are there any downsides to using Boot Camp instead of a VM in this scenario?
The only downside is that you have boot into it, i.e., leave OSX. By default OSX does not have the ability to write to NTFS so sharing data requires a little bit of more work.
 

takeshi74

macrumors 601
Feb 9, 2011
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Am I really going to benefit from changing my current arrangement? Is running games in Windows via Boot Camp really that much better than natively in OSX?
Yes because you're not running them natively in OSX. You're relying on Parallels and emulation always comes with overhead. No overhead with Boot Camp.
 

laserfan

macrumors member
Jul 13, 2012
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0
By default OSX does not have the ability to write to NTFS so sharing data requires a little bit of more work.
I noticed when studying BC that BCAssistant makes a MS-DOS (FAT) USB stick and BOOTCAMP partition to install Windows, then the Windows setup apparently re-formats BOOTCAMP from FAT to NTFS.

So do I assume that any sharing of files on a Boot Camp Mac means either another partition that is FAT or FAT32 so both OSes can access it, or perhaps a networked drive?
 

maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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So do I assume that any sharing of files on a Boot Camp Mac means either another partition that is FAT or FAT32 so both OSes can access it, or perhaps a networked drive?
The easiest way I found to share files between bootcamp and osx was to use dropbox. Before that I used a USB thumb drive.
 

Traverse

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Mar 11, 2013
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Maflynn is correct. It depends on what you plan to do. For me, simple document creation and access use are far more convenient under Parallels. Boot camp is really only needed for high end graphics performance.
 

laserfan

macrumors member
Jul 13, 2012
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0
It depends on what you plan to do.
My friend has an old Dell Dimension XP and didn't want to upgrade IT to W8.1 or even waste W7 on this old platform, so he bought a late 2013 iMac. But now he misses Quicken and intends to Boot Camp his iMac with W7HP.

Although I have only Snow Leopard in VirtualBox, I try to help him and in hindsight I suspect his best bet might have been codeweavers for Quicken only. But he's made his decision now and bought W7 already...

I think if/when I get my iMac I will Parallels. There are probably a lot more programs than Quicken that I will want to run on Windows 7...
 

Traverse

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Mar 11, 2013
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My friend has an old Dell Dimension XP and didn't want to upgrade IT to W8.1 or even waste W7 on this old platform, so he bought a late 2013 iMac. But now he misses Quicken and intends to Boot Camp his iMac with W7HP.

Although I have only Snow Leopard in VirtualBox, I try to help him and in hindsight I suspect his best bet might have been codeweavers for Quicken only. But he's made his decision now and bought W7 already...

I think if/when I get my iMac I will Parallels. There are probably a lot more programs than Quicken that I will want to run on Windows 7...
I suppose it's a matters of convenience. Since my occasional windows tasks are not graphically demanding, I find it a hassle to reboot into Windows since everything is on my OSX system.
 

glenthompson

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2011
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Florida
I think backups are easier with Parallels instead of bootcamp. Since my vm only gets changed when I add/delete software, I only back it up occasionally. I keep all my Windows data on my Mac file system so it gets backed up continually.
 

radicool

macrumors newbie
Apr 14, 2014
5
1
If you're feeling brave, you can use something like CloneZilla to mirror a VM to your Boot Camp partition.

* Create a Boot Camp partition
* From Parallels, start your Windows VM, but use the CloneZilla ISO as your boot disk
* Choose to clone your Windows VM to a USB disk
* Then start your Boot Camp partition from Parallels, but again use the CloneZilla ISO as your boot disk
* Restore the clone on your USB disk to the Boot Camp partition
 

Mike Boreham

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Aug 10, 2006
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Yes because you're not running them natively in OSX. You're relying on Parallels and emulation always comes with overhead. No overhead with Boot Camp.
Parallel does not emulate, it uses a Virtualisation....big difference. Emulation is what the old Connectix "Virtual PC" did and was glacially slow.

Parallels is a lot faster than most people realise. IMO only serious gamers need Bootcamp which is a lot more hassle to manage and back up etc.