The different ways of running Windows

Discussion in 'Apple' started by JohnRice, May 24, 2009.

  1. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    We're having some global changes at work, which involves the opportunity to completely change how all our Macs operate. The main thing I want to find out from the folks here who run Windows on their Intel Macs is, what are the relative benefits to the various methods.

    We have been running Parallels (sorely outdated v2.5) on our shipping computer, which is the only one that has to run Windows. It is still running OS 10.4.11, but I will be migrating it to 10.5 on a separate HD so it can operate as it does now until I know the new setup is running reliably. What I want to know is, what limitations does the Boot Camp built into 10.5 have compared to the most recent Parallels? The only things we need to run in Windows are the FedEx software and the config apps for our phone and video surveillance systems.

    Any feedback I can get from those who have used Boot Camp and Parallels is appreciated.
     
  2. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I use Parallels and BootCamp, both running from the same partition. If I want to play a game, I use BootCamp. If I want to use VPN, do finances, etc., I use Parallels. In either case, it's a single Windows install. The limitation with bootcamp is that it is a physical harddrive partition.

    If I had no use for games nor foresaw any CPU-intensive use, I'd use Parallels / Fusion only. It gives more flexibility on the hard drive space used, and can increase and decrease as needed.

    I've heard good things about Sun's virtualization program, which is free.
     
  3. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Dave,

    How is that Parallels 4 working out for you these days? Still don't
    want to take the chance of upgrading after all the initial problems.

    I would think by now they got the kinks worked out.

    Been using Fusion and actually like it just as much as Parallels, if
    not slightly more.
     
  4. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Bootcamp on the macbook for office travel and everquest in hotels.

    ZERO windows on the mac pro. No bootcamp, no emulation. Priceless.
     
  5. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Ron,
    Parallels 4 has been OK. There were been some glitches, which I fixed with Parallels' support help. It's been running without issue for some months. I suppose if I think about it, I'm annoyed they never fulfilled the pre-release promise of multi-monitor support and robust multi-core support. But for my uses (VPN & MS Money), those features aren't important.

    And since getting my Xbox 360, I no longer use BootCamp for gaming.

    If a decent finance program would come out for OS X, I'd only use Parallels for VPN / Remote Desktop to work.


    How was the cross-grade to Fusion? My worry, partly keeping me in Parallels, was the anxiety of borking the Windows install and having to fight with re-activation after changing systems like that. If it's easy, I'll seriously consider for my next Parallels / Fusion upgrade.
     
  6. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    I don't know what kind of problems you will get into with reactivation
    but I can tell you that Fusion is a far simpler install than Parallels and
    it also allows you to make more adjustments to it (such as memory
    allocation) on the fly.

    The only negative thing I have found with Fusion is that I am having
    a hard time keeping the Windows START bar above the OSX dock when
    running both systems together. I am sure there is a way to do it, but
    I don't use it enough to have the time to figure it out.
     
  7. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    That's good to hear. I normally use full-screen mode, so the Start button / Dock conflict wouldn't be a problem. I'll give Fusion more thought for the next upgrade.
     
  8. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    I'm thinking maybe I'll give Fusion a try. Installing/Upgrading Parallels is a monumental pain.
     
  9. Darren Lewis

    Darren Lewis Supporting Actor

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    I've been playing with VirtualBox on my iMac recently and had success running WinXP and Ubuntu without any problems. Haven't tried too much stuff with it though.

    How does the free VirtualBox software compare with the commercial software like Parallels and Fusion?

    Edit: Just realised this is my 666th post - something spooky about talking about running Windows on a Mac for that post number [​IMG]
     

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