To use or not to use Parallels

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Hi,



First post so I apologise if this is in the wrong place.



I'm about to buy a new iMac. I am fed up with Windows but still need to install it to use Autocad and 3Ds Max. I originally thought about installing Parallels and use that for my Windows programs but while speaking to an Apple advisor he told me I'd be better installing Windows through Bootcamp.



I explained to him that I would be buying a 27" iMac with the 3.6GHz core i5 and upgrading the RAM to 8Gb (from Crucial). He insisted that the setup with Parallels might slow 3Ds Max down.



The thing that bugs me about Bootcamp is that OSX doesn't load up straight away after power up. I usually push the power button on my computer then leave it for a few minutes to load up. From what I've seen with Bootcamp it won't load past the OS selection page until I select either Windows or OSX.



I am in my final year at university studying Architectural Technology so really need a fast computer to complete my honours project. I produce a lot of 3D renderings and 3D walkthrough videos of buildings.



Will using Parallels with the above spec slow the system down a lot or will it not be as noticeable?



Thanks



Martin

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    smaxsmax Posts: 361member
    Personally I take the "best of both worlds" approach. Install Windows under Boot Camp, try it out. If you find it too annoying, install Parallels to work off of your Boot Camp partition.



    That way you can try the free solution for a while to see if you can live with it, then if you decide you don't like it you can install Parallels to virtualize the Windows installation while retaining the ability to boot into Windows natively for full 3D performance. You also have the added bonus of having Windows on its own partition so that you don't lose everything if your OSX install takes a dive.
  • Reply 2 of 5
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,437moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rammstein2609 View Post


    I'm about to buy a new iMac. I am fed up with Windows but still need to install it to use Autocad and 3Ds Max.



    AutoCAD is available for the Mac now, though I read it's missing a few features vs the Windows version. 3DS Max is still Windows-only but you mainly just need the rendering engine and you could for example use VRay with Maya or Cinema 4D on the Mac side and never have to boot Windows again.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rammstein2609 View Post


    I explained to him that I would be buying a 27" iMac with the 3.6GHz core i5 and upgrading the RAM to 8Gb (from Crucial). He insisted that the setup with Parallels might slow 3Ds Max down.



    You have to allocate a portion of your RAM to it so you wouldn't get full access to the 8GB you'd have. Autodesk do support running 3DS via Parallels but it's best to go native for 3D work. There's no harm trying it though and see what results you get. I'd recommend booting the Bootcamp partition from Parallels so that you at least have a native OS you can access if Parallels doesn't work well at any point. Just make sure to shut it down before booting natively, don't suspend it.



    If you have to run 3DS for the scene setup, You can get a VRay standalone app for the Mac side and then export your 3DS scene into a Parallels shared folder. Then render it on the Mac side as VRay should take a 3DS scene as input. You can then do any compositing work on the Mac side in an app like After Effects.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rammstein2609 View Post


    The thing that bugs me about Bootcamp is that OSX doesn't load up straight away after power up. I usually push the power button on my computer then leave it for a few minutes to load up. From what I've seen with Bootcamp it won't load past the OS selection page until I select either Windows or OSX.



    On the Mac side, you set the startup partition in system preferences > startup disk. If you mostly work on the Mac side, set it to the Mac system and then hold down the alt-key to boot into Windows. A useful app is QuickBoot which allows you to reboot into the Windows side without holding alt. To get back to the Mac, you just do a normal reboot from Bootcamp.
  • Reply 3 of 5
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rammstein2609 View Post




    The thing that bugs me about Bootcamp is that OSX doesn't load up straight away after power up. I usually push the power button on my computer then leave it for a few minutes to load up. From what I've seen with Bootcamp it won't load past the OS selection page until I select either Windows or OSX.



    Marvin's answer to this didn't read real clear to me... so in case you didn't get it:

    You set which OS you want the machine to automatically boot to ... OSX or Windows (and you can change it whenever you wish.)

    So you can hit the power button and walk away... when you return, it'll be ready to work in whatever OS you have set as the default.



    If you want it to start in the non-default OS, you just hold the option key while you power-on and it takes about 10 seconds to get to the screen where you make a choice.
  • Reply 4 of 5
    Thanks for the help guys.



    I wasn't aware that you could set a default OS which seems a good feature. I'll give this a go when I get my new mac and hopefully it works for me.



    Martin
  • Reply 5 of 5
    And boot camp installs a control panel in Windows that allows you to select which OS will boot after a restart, similar to the Startup disk control panel in MaxOSX. In either OS you can select which OS will be used on reboot. You can completely ignore the boot loader window on startup.
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