what is the difference between parallels and boot camp?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by tomrock, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. tomrock macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2007
    can anyone tell me what is the difference between parallels and boot camp?
  2. Lovesong macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2006
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    boot camp- you reboot your mac, goes to windows, full-powered PC
    parallels- a type of virtualization, no need to reboot, just open the program, it has some 3D limitations, and is slightly slower than bc
  3. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    boot camp: you reboot your computer into windows to run apps. reboot again to go to OS X. effectively you have two OSes on the same computer using the same hardware at different times

    parallels: runs Windows/other OS in a window from within OS X, but you do take a slight performance hit and anything that is 3D intensive won't run or run well at all (ie games and the like)
  4. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Quick and dirty answer:

    - Parallels is emulation software that allows you to run Windows XP for example inside the Mac OS. For tasks like Microsoft Office, e-mail, browsing the web, and the like, Parallels is plenty fast. However, it does not handle games or graphics intensive software well. Using this setup, you can run Mac OS X and Windows XP at the same time.

    - Bootcamp allows you to set up a Windows partition, and boot directly into Windows. Bootcamp also includes all the drivers that you need for the hardware on your particular computer. You will need to install Windows XP or Vista onto the partition. Use this if you want to play games or have graphics intensive applications. Using this setup, you must boot into either Mac OS X or Windows XP, then reboot to change OS.

    Both require a copy of Windows XP for example. Now with the latest version of Parallels, you can use the Bootcamp partition installation for both. Before, you had to install Windows XP twice, once in Parallels and once in Bootcamp.
  5. tomrock thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2007
    so if i want to play game i need to bootcamp my macbook? and i just need to buy a windows xp os then can do the bootcamp?
  6. jng macrumors 65816


    Apr 6, 2007
    Yes, but it has to be a single disc XP install WITH SP2.
    See more here:
  7. EdBocknikii macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2009
    Which to use

    I only need to run windows so that I can log into my work PC (they dont want to change security setting on the server so that I can use remote desktop)
    My question is if I decide to go with Parallels, when I am not wanting to log in to work, I can run Mac OSX by itself, correct?
    Or will windows boot up every time I boot up the mac?

    If it's always on I will just use bootcamp as I don't want to see a drop in performance, battery life, etc. all because windows is running in the background.

    My apologies if this is a rather elementary question. I havent been on a mac in over 15 years, but I just got a brand new MBP and I'm loving it!

  8. steveza macrumors 68000


    Feb 20, 2008
    I believe you can configure Parallels to start up your Windows machine automatically but this is not the default behavior. Normally you would have to start Parallels and then start your virtual machine. It certainly works like this using VMware Fusion which is a popular alternative to Parallels.

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