VMware Fusion/Parallels

jayce75

n00b
Joined
Mar 3, 2010
Messages
7
My wife and I are considering replacing our family PC with a Mac and I've been pricing everything out trying to figure out what we need. I wanted to get some impressions from folks here that have used VMware Fusion and/or Parallels. I'd like to run a version of Windows in a virtual machine just in case we run into a program that we just have to have that's only on Windows.
The Macs that we are considering are the 27-inch Imac and a 13-inch Macbook Pro if that matters. I wasn't planning on upgrading the ram as they already come with 4GB. I appreciate any info!
 

bloo

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 15, 2006
Messages
265
27" imac

i prefer vmware (other people on here will prefer parallels)
 

jayce75

n00b
Joined
Mar 3, 2010
Messages
7
I haven't heard of VirtualBox. I did look it up and it seems pretty decent. How reliable would you say it is?

We use VMware ESX and Workstation quite a bit at work so I'd imagine using it on a Mac wouldn't be that much different - still I wouldn't want to rule anything out if there's something that maybe works better on a Mac.
 

Gabe3

2[H]4U
Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
3,712
I think you can just use bootcamp, you can't run it while in mac though. But windows would probably run better and you would get the full experience.
 

jayce75

n00b
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Mar 3, 2010
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Boot camp would require a reboot right? I'd rather not do that - or have my wife do that.
 

Firemane

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 14, 2003
Messages
291
Well, if you have Windows installed on a Boot Camp partition and have Fusion or Parallels installed, you can run the BC instance of Windows either within Mac OS via the VM product or by rebooting to the Windows partition. But unless you have something like a game that just won't run inside a VM, a Boot Camp partition is probably unnecessary.

I run Fusion, and am very happy with it (have had it since its original release). It's easy to use and has a lot of nice cross-OS integration features - many of which Parallels also offers. Either one of them are going to need a crap-ton of memory if you want to run more than one VM at a time; 4GB will really only be adequate for one or two VMs tops before performance really begins to suffer. Both will yield pretty good performance of the guest OS though, as long as you can provision enough memory and CPU for the needs of your VM(s) without oversubscribing either resource.
 

jayce75

n00b
Joined
Mar 3, 2010
Messages
7
Thanks for the info! I only plan on running one VM which will most likely be Windows 7 Home Premium with basic stuff like Adobe Reader, Office 2007, Firefox, and maybe a couple of other small programs. My wife is in school and that VM will be for her just in case she has a class that requires something that only runs on Windows, only works with IE, etc.

I won't be playing any games on the Mac or the VM - I am keeping my gaming PC which also doubles as my VM server for when I'm studying for certification tests so I'm covered there.
 

falconman

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
489
+1 fusion. Although I rarely use it, I much prefer bootcamp so windows can take advantage of all of my hardware.
 

StryderxX

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 22, 2006
Messages
1,576
I have VMWare Fusion 3, Parallels 5 and Bootcamp installed on my iMac. Like everyone mentioned booting into a Bootcamp partition will give you full hardware support but you mentioned that you'd rather have a virtual session. IMO Parallels 5 runs Windows 7 much better than VMWare Fusion 3. The video drivers used with Parallels accelerates 2D and 3D a lot better. You'll really notice the difference if you enable Aero on your Windows 7 install. What I normally do when I work from home is boot into OSX then launch Parallels in full screen mode on a separate desktop (using Spaces). I run MS Outlook and a VPN to my office with Windows 7 while browsing the web or watching videos in OSX. Works great for me.
 

USMC2Hard4U

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 4, 2003
Messages
6,154
I like Parallels 5 for my Windows 7 64 bit VM. It runs the Aero much much better than VMWare Fusion 3 however I do own both.

I usually run all my Linux VMs on VMWare
 

AgentQ

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 16, 2000
Messages
1,592
I ended up going with Parallels because it is currently FAR at Frys online:

http://www.frys.com/product/6086308

Be warned that one of the $20 rebates is a competitive upgrade rebate, so you'll need to scan the CD or manual front cover of a competitive product.
 

jayce75

n00b
Joined
Mar 3, 2010
Messages
7
Thanks for the input folks! I bought a used Macbook 2,1 Core 2 Duo with 1GB of RAM off Ebay last week and received it on Monday. It's in excellent condition and very clean for being a few years old. I'm going to upgrade the ram and hard drive of course

Anyways right now I'm using VirtualBox to run a Windows XP VM and it's working pretty well so far. I'll probably just stick with that on this laptop and may try either Parallels or VMware Fusion once we get our 27-inch Imac.
 
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