VMware or Parallels - which one works better on SL?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by jon08, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. jon08 macrumors 68000

    Nov 14, 2008
    I'm currently still using Leopard, and have to admit that Parallels 4.0 runs smoother and slightly faster than VMware 2. (I got XP Pro, but by the time I upgrade to SL I'll have gotten Win7).

    What about on Snow Leopard? I'm upgrading in a couple of weeks and would rather just install one of the two, so what's the verdict?
  2. jkozlow3 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2008
  3. henryseiden macrumors member


    Aug 24, 2009
    Parallels 4.0 & Snow Leopard Notes/Questions

    I just put Parallels on two computers- a Macbook Pro and a Macbook, both now with Snow leopard. I learned a lot in the process, with not too many problems. I am wondering if anyone else had these same installation issues. Hope these notes help you. Please post your results.
    1. Be prepared to wait a LONG while for each step in the install / upgrade step to complete.
    2. I see no reason to go back to Parallels 3.0.
    3. I first tried to install Parallels upgrade after Snow Leopard. This is a really BAD IDEA. Parallels 3.x doesn't run in SL and I had made the mistake of suspending the virtual machine before upgrading. And it was large! I had not compressed the virtual drive from its 35GB! BAD IDEA... Compressed it's now 5GB. My work around was to transfer it to a machine that was still running 3.0, then upgrade, before installing Snow Leopard, then transfer the upgraded, squished virtual drive back to it's home. Learned lesson. Do the Parallels 4.0 upgrade first then Snow Leopard.
    4. Compressor in Parallels 4 works really well. You will need to upgrade to the drive as-is first, then make sure your CD hardware is active, then make sure your virtual drive is an expandable type. It took about a day per machine with most of the work being done overnight. A summary of my method:
      • A. Upgrade/Install Parallels 4 latest version (download the latest and save the .dmg file so you can do more installations if needed).
      • B. Options do not install the way they were in Parallels 3. So set up your options when the upgrade of the virtual drive is complete. I had to manually complete certain driver installs (VGA, PCI) and this is tedious. These did not complete due to no drivers available(?).
      • C. I used the dual processor setting and custom screen settings. The 'default' settings are not good for much beyond compatibility, you'll certainly want want different screen settings and the PCI, VGA drivers had trouble setting up.
      • D. Use Parallels Tools. It repairs most of the issues with drivers and USB device sharing.
      • E. Use Bridged Networking on the Default adapter. I found shared Networking requires too much set up and appears to be slower. Typically, you won't see much conflict.
      • F. I had to trim the memory and VRAM settings (3D Acceleration not needed) to avoid overtaxing and slowing either system.
    5. All my printers installed came over with no problems that I found yet. I shared all my USB connections (default) and that was OK.
    6. MEMORY. Have lots available.
    7. I found the automatic installation only so-so in it's completing my upgrade accurately and the web helps not too valuable, except for the advice about the physical CD/DVD drive being enabled. That's a good one.
    8. Quality of install/upgrade from Parallels=three out of five stars.

    Attached Files:

  4. henryseiden macrumors member


    Aug 24, 2009
    Parallels is smooth running so far, but not in the upgrading, see my post below...

    You're kidding about Windows 7, right? You'll be waiting more than a couple o' weeks for Win7, I reckon.

    From everything I heard it's Parallels a big winner in comparisons. What I want is smooth operation and compatibility with my apps. Parallels again seems to be the winner.

    The big plus for me is (still) the install time. starting over in VMWare is not a good idea unless I really had to... and it seems that I didn't. I did hear that importing virtual drives from one to the other is supposed to work but haven't tried it.

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