Vm Fusion vs Parallels vs Bootcamp

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Mr M5, Apr 30, 2011.


Which would you choose

  1. VM Fusion

    37 vote(s)
  2. Parallels

    58 vote(s)
  3. bootcamp

    24 vote(s)
  1. Mr M5 macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2011
    I need a little (a lot) of help deciding which of these to go with. Let me first say I hate windows and PC and love my mac. But if I want to use my mac for work I will need windows to run from time to time.

    I need to be able to run IE and some window's based work software and really thats about it. Everything else I can do on the mac side.

    Given those simple things which of these would be the best to let me run windows? A few other things that are important to me, are start up time, battery life and program loading time.

    Small things for sure but which ever route I go I don't want it to slow down or kill any of those small things or anything that I have become used to with my mac and it's OS.

    Let me know if you need more information.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009
    Parallels is fastest, but some say Fusion is more stable. I've had Parallels crash on me once, but that was while disabling Coherence mode. (The VM was still running just fine, and restarting Parallels recovered easily enough... nothing was compromised. Cool.)

    My money's on Parallels these days. It's faster and slicker with its interface.
  3. ghostlyorb macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2010
    Virginia, USA
    I have only used VMware.. and a little of Boot Camp.

    VM is really cool. I must say having a i7 processor would be best (quad core or dual core). My boss's mac (dual-core i7) vuns VM great! My 2.8GHz C2D doesn't take it so well. And sadly, I haven't been able to run it on my 2.3Ghz i7 Quad.. But I'm sure it would scream and be super amazing. Also, I recommend having 8GBs of RAM. on my other MBP.. having just 4GB wasn't enough for it to run well. I had to have barely ANYTHING running on mac.

    Just a few thoughts.
  4. thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009
    A VM on an i7 quad, notebook or desktop, is absolutely blazing! :)

    I absconded boot camp; due to driver issues. Parallels 6's speed improvements sold me on it.

    And 8GB is a must - one 4GB VM and the remaining 4GB devoted to OS X = heaven.
  5. Al Coholic macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2011
    Under the I-470 Freeway
    I've use 'em all.

    Parallels by far is the best all-around for me. It's been stable, never a crash. A bit more intuitive than VMware... a bit more detailed.

    You'll never beat bootcamp for speed though. Good thing the Windows crap I use doesn't require it.
  6. djasterix macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2010
    Paradise City
    I only have used VMWare, very stable, no probs at all...
  7. johnnj macrumors 6502a

    Dec 11, 2008
    Not here
    I started off using Fusion. At the time Parallels didn't seem like it was quite ready yet. At some point, the "Loading personal settings" thing started to take FOREVER after I loaded my XP SP3 VM. Posts on the VMware forum indicated that this was a common problem with no known solution. I also had issues with stability and sometimes when the VM would crash I had to do the thing where you go into the file and clear out the memory cache and some other files so that it'd allow me to start the thing up again.

    I read an article comparing the new (at the time) Fusion and Parallels. Parallels was given a more favorable review so I gave it a shot.

    I've been using it since then and performance was better than Fusion and it was also a lot more stable.

    I also use Bootcamp Win7, but only for gaming.
  8. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    The absolute best way to do this involves the least amount of compromises. Do a Bootcamp installation and when you have completed that you can install Parallels and it can run your Bootcamp install under Mac OS X. Its brilliant because if you really need a pure environment you just Bootcamp it. The other 90% of the time Parallels is more than enough. Its a great solution that I highly recommend.
  9. Uffish Thought macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2011
    I'm new to MacBook Pro and I need to run IE to access intranets for work.
    After much reading, I went with Parallels/Win 7. It was a breeze to set-up, Win 7 works as it should and I've had no problems with stability, crashing or performance, once I upgraded to the required 8GB RAM.
    The only thing I haven't done yet is read about setting up my network printer to run in Win 7, but then I don't really need it as I just save documents and print from OSX.
  10. jon08 macrumors 68000

    Nov 14, 2008
    If you want a 100% native Windows environment, then go with BootCamp, as that's what it provides. It would require you to restart your computer and actually boot into Windows on your disk partition each time, though, which is perhaps a bit inconvenient for some.

    As for virtualization (meaning that you can run Windows in a separate window when in OS X), I would choose Parallels for its speed.
  11. Mr M5 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2011
    I'm not so sure I want to upgrade the Ram, this project is getting expensive just to be able to run two simple things.

    I guess now is a good time to mention to (since I left it out) I have a 15" mac pro I5 2.53 GHZ and 4BG of memory.
  12. Mr M5 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2011
    I like the idea of running windows in the virtual environment, but that's not my main concern. Mainly I want things to be stable continue running fast and keep my battery life as is.

    Now if that means doing bootcamp that's fine, i'm just not sure at this point.
  13. mac8867 macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2010
    Saint Augustine, FL
    It's interesting to me that nobody ever mentions VirtualBox, http://www.virtualbox.org/ I have several colleagues that us this for virtualization (mostly because Oracle Corporation has vm downloads for all their products on this platform).
  14. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I've used VirtualBox and came away lacking. It has less features then vmware and fusion. Its performance is less and to be honest. Oracle's open source stance is concerning to the point where I'd not expect much from them.

    Just look at the forking of open office because of their stance.
  15. apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    Get Parallels, fast and means you won't need to leave OSX so you can still receive your emails at the same time :)
  16. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I voted for VMware, while it does not have the same speed as Parallels. I think it excels in areas that are important for me. For one, its much more stable. Secondly when they release updates they're also rock solid. Parallels has a well deserved reputation for being unstable and pushing out updates before they're ready. Plus the support is like night and day. Vmware is an order of magnitude better then parallels.

    What it all boils down is personal preference.
  17. phpmaven macrumors 68040


    Jun 12, 2009
    San Clemente, CA USA
    4GB is overkill for a VM. When I first started using Fusion, I thought you needed to allocate RAM like it was a physical PC. but it can run fine with much less ram. XP for example (which is the only version of Windows I would use) runs fine with 512MB.
  18. thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009
    Logical. One gets what one pays for, and I wouldn't want to work my butt off optimizing something just to get $0.00 in return.
  19. thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009
    Depends on what the VM is being used for (e.g. a file server, where caching data is important. An e-mail server would waste a lot of the resources, though... )

    My XP VM is set to 1.5GB, only for the sake of UT2004. Otherwise I'd be fine with 0.5GB or 1.0GB for Windows+Office alone.

    And I too would rely only on XP. Vista (which rhymes with ***tsa) and Win7 (and that ain't as lucky as people want it to be) are very hardware-intensive, probably to make running them in a VM more difficult to do. (There aren't many reasons to make big changes and bloat things up... even in the days of Win32S for Win 3.x, MS changed things around just to make life difficult for IBM and its emulation of Win 3.x in OS/2...)
  20. Uffish Thought, May 1, 2011
    Last edited: May 1, 2011

    Uffish Thought macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2011
    $50 for Parallels 6 (bundle on MacUpdate), $100 for Win7 OEM, $100 for 8GB RAM.

    I was running VM on 4GB total in the MPB, allocating 1GB to Win7. That did not allow me to effectively run other OS X programs at the same time.
    With 8GB RAM, 2GB allocated to Win7, I can have everything open in OS X and the VM is fast.

    I've not had a crash or any stability issues.

    Run it at your current 4GB, then upgrade if needed, that's what I did.
  21. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    i am or was in the same dilemma needed to use windows for work , and bootcamp is the cheapest and fastest option as you can leave your Mac like it is , i tried parallels on my iMac down in the signature , and despite parallels says something about 1gb ram minimum ,recommended 2gb i felt it was a bit on the slow side and reminded me more of the days of virtual pc for Mac back in the PPC days , and i assume in vm ware i would tumble over the same restriction ..yes i know "get a new Mac and fill it up with 16gb ram and both will fly"..a lot to ask for if i only need to run 2 programs natively in windows from time to time
    so i'd say no matter how good or bad , parallels or vm ware are , they are only a compromise for people who have not the couple minutes to have a coffee break while rebooting ...both cost money and need a ram upgrade in most cases (the more ram the better) which cost money too ..bootcamp is entirely free and works best and most stable , so the choice is easy
  22. Mr M5 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2011
    Hey guys sorry to bring this back up but im working on making this happen now.

    I have a friend who is going to give me windows pro 32 bit, first will 32 bit work, I just want to make sure it doesn't have to be 64 bit?

    Second, is memory upgrade only needed for parallels and vm or is it also needed for bootcamp?

    I'm thinking of buying from crucial.com, but they offer two versions, one 8 gb package and one 4gb package, from what I read it looks like it's recommended to to the 8gb so you know it's the same chip set, is that true or bs?

    What is all this going to do to my battery life?

    Thanks for all your help.
  23. Vudoo macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2008
    Dallas Metroplex
    I use bootcamp and then point VMWare Fusion to the bootcamp partition and it works great.

    32 bit version of Windows will be fine, but make sure it's not an OEM version because you can't install that version in bootcamp.

    You do not need a memory upgrade for bootcamp, but it would help in both OS.

    I would recommend the 8 GB package. Packaged RAM usually come from the same batch and that tends to reduce the issue of one bad stick. I would also recommend newegg for RAM. They sell Crucial for less.

    As for battery life, using bootcamp is just like have Windows loaded on the machine. It just depends how intensive your applications are. Supposedly it will be a little less since it's not optimized for the Macs, but nothing that big.
  24. dxerboy macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2007
    This :)
  25. Mr M5 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2011
    How do you know if window's is OEM or not OEM?

Share This Page