Virtual Box v Parallels v VMware for College

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Kerf, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. Kerf macrumors newbie


    Jun 14, 2010
    Yorba Linda, California
    Alright I know this topic has probably been posted before, in fact I know it has as the last post I saw was from 2009, but with that being said a lot has changed since then so which application would you recommend. Keep in mind I'm entering college so right now Virtual Box looks quite appealing as it is cheapest (free). Last week I ordered a new MBP with 16gbs of ram so the allocation of memory to the VM shouldn't be of any concern. Thanks.
  2. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Yes, Virtual Box is free, but as I recall, it does have some limitations in performance and in features

    I personally use VMware Fusion, but both Fusion and Parallels are the standard
    Both have their fans
    Both have trial versions

    That said, download all 3 and try them yourself
    You will do much better by using them under your own conditions than taking someone else's word for it

    I don't think you can go wrong with Parallels or Fusion
  3. bhonder macrumors member


    Feb 24, 2010
    I'm fine with Virtualbox but the matter is what you are going to do with a virtualizer. If it's for gaming forget Virtualbox and go on bare computer.

    I have virtual images for: ubuntu, fedora, windows 7, windows xp and freebsd. They are all doing well.
  4. RocketRed macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2012
    I use VMWare Fusion 4! In the past I've always used bootcamp... which I would recommend if you wanted to game.

    I chose VMWare Fusion 4 over Bootcamp because I'm too lazy to dual boot and I only need Windows for playing Visual Novels.
  5. roybfr macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2007
    What do you want to use it for? Games, running non game apps, testing Linux, setting up POC environments?

    I own Parallels 7 and Fusion 4, have used Virtualbox a bit in the past, mostly on Linux and Solaris hosts. I personally like Fusion but I am VMware admin so I am of course bias. But for simple virt they all do the job, I would agree with the others, download the demos and try them out, see what suits your needs best.

    There are new versions of Fusion and Parallels on the horizon. You can download a tech preview of Fusion 2012 on VMware's site. If you are being $ conscious and can wait, you might want to go the free route until these are released vs buying ether now and having to buy the upgrade for either later.
  6. willieva macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2010
    You have a retina mbp(plus 2 others) and you're wondering about spending $80 on software? Money is obviously not a problem for you, just get what makes the most sense. Many smart people have different opinions about vmware or parallels or virtualbox. Try them all if you want and choose the one you like the most.
  7. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    It is like choosing between Pepsi, Coke, and RC Cola. There really isn't any wrong choice. I tried all three and I like Parallels the best because it seemed more like a Mac application. But if Parallels died tomorrow, I would have no problem using VMware.
  8. Sylon macrumors 68020


    Feb 26, 2012
    Michigan/Ohio, USA
    I have Parallels running Windows8 and its pretty nice. The inter-mixing of Windows and OS-X folders and files do annoy me a little bit. I like to keep things separate. I've been debating just going the bootcamp route but we'll see. Bootcamp would work great with Dropbox if you are always connected to the internet and needed to swap files between OS-X and Windows. For gaming on Windows, definitely Bootcamp, that way you can have all of your computer's performance resources available.

    Its definitely a good thing you went with the 16GB of memory. I just upgraded from 4GB to 8GB and I've already noticed an improvement in performance.
  9. netslacker macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2008
    I moved from VirtualBox to Fusion just because I like to have the unity interface, better performance and it has better sharing between host/guest OSes. I know a few Mac users that love Parallels as well. So, as suggested, I'd just try them all out.

    If you go with Parallels you can get it currently for 49.00 along with 9 other apps: This is how I got fusion last month but I think the set is better this time around on MacUpdate.

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