VirtualBox instead of Parallels or Fusion???

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Scottsdale, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    I once used Parallels v3 for a few months over a year ago. I have since used Boot Camp to run Vista on my Macs. Anyways, I was trying to read about both Parallels 4 and Fusion 2 to decide which route to go... as I never really want to use Boot Camp as the one program I use in Windows is a VB custom application that is simple... So, I don't really want to use Boot Camp anymore. I would rather go back to virtualization since it's only about eight hours over two days of every month that I use Windows.

    So, I read a few other posts about Parallels or Fusion, and a few people have mentioned Virtual Box. What are the advantages of Virtual Box other than it being free? I don't want to skimp when I can get either for less than $40 versus Virtual Box for free... So, it's not really a money issue. I just want my MacBook to remain stable. I only use one computer for everything now, so I am completely dependent on the computer and I cannot accept "down time."

    Knowing this information, is there any reason NOT to use Virtual Box? I seem to read good things about it, and I only will use it maybe eight hours per month. Are the two main virtual products more stable than Virtual Box?

    In most Posts I read, people seemed to recommend Fusion due to speed. Is Virtual Box slower? Is Parallels 4 slower?

    Thanks for any/all input and advice you can give me.

    Happy New Year!
  2. MKnight macrumors regular


    Oct 15, 2007
    I have used Virtual Box 2.10, VMware Fusion 2.01, and Parallels 4 and for me the best choice is Parallels 4 with Fusion at a very very close second.

    I don't think Virtual Box is a contender yet because it does not have mult-core support so it's a bit slow and also it lacks a similar feature like "Coherance" or "Unity" mode like the other products support.

    Both Vmware and Parallels are native Mac apps and integrate really well with your desktop, so either of those would make you happy.

    Here is a good comparison chart for Fusion vs Parallels:

    Hope that helps.
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    One advantage of Virtual Box and Fusion too, is that it runs on other OSes, notjjust Mac OS. This means that the virtual image file is portable. With Fusion I can build an image of a Solaris system on my Mac and then run it under Linux or Windows. If you happen to have Macs, Linux, Solaris and Windows computers then Virtual Box is nice because you can run it on all of those machines.

    I think Fusion runs the best on the Mac but if you only need to run one program you might be able to use "Crosover" and skip the whole VM thing
  4. jrrdnx macrumors member


    Nov 13, 2008
    I tried out Virtual Box for a few weeks and there always seemed to be some sort of problem that popped up. The biggest one was trying to get it to use my Boot Camp partition, but you really wouldn't have to worry about that. If you're only wanting to run a single program, however, it's probably going to be worth it to give it a try.

    However, I've been using VMware Fusion 2 ever since and it hasn't given me a single problem ;)

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