VMware Fusion 1.1 or Parallels 3.0

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Forgive me if there have been multiple threads on this topic. I searched the board and couldn't find a recent thread.



I'm a current PC user looking to purchase a Macbook Pro after Macworld 2008. I would still like to use certain windows applications such as Explorer, Quicken, Quickbooks, Visio, Project, etc...



I'm trying to make a decision between VMware and Parallels. The more reviews I read the more confused I get.



-I've read some complaints about parallels crashing, but I'm not sure if that problem was addressed in the most recent release.



- Some reviews indicate that VMware is faster & uses less Ram, but I saw an article today that stated for basic tasks parallels is faster.



- VMware uses both processors, while Parallels does not.



- Parallels charges for upgrades and some say their support is horrible.



- Some people like Unity while some like conferencing(?)



I saw that Macworld selected VMware for its editor choice award.



http://www.macworld.com/article/1311...wards2007.html



I thought about trying the demo of both products, but I bought an XP OEM license and I'm concerned that I will have issues with it and eventually have to buy a new XP license.



Are both products relatively equal?



What is the recommended software?



Thanks in advance for your help.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,202moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjgmac View Post


    -I've read some complaints about parallels crashing, but I'm not sure if that problem was addressed in the most recent release.



    With VM software it is generally hard to ensure stability because there are so many variables. So many devices and drivers and possible conflicts. For me personally, Parallels hasn't ever crashed but I haven't used the 3.0 releases. They have the more experimental hardware accelerated graphics support but VMWare has that too.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjgmac View Post


    - Some reviews indicate that VMware is faster & uses less Ram, but I saw an article today that stated for basic tasks parallels is faster.



    - VMware uses both processors, while Parallels does not.



    That seems to conflict but I found the same when I tried VMWare. It felt slower but it was also a smoother experience. Parallels for me likes to suck up as many resources that are available. VMWare seems to maintain the stability and performance of the main OS. The result was that VMWare seemed easier for switching back and forth between the systems but it seemed to run a little slower itself (I only tested an early version though).



    I would say that VMWare uses less Ram, Parallels can take up quite a lot but it depends on how you set the VMs up.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjgmac View Post


    - Parallels charges for upgrades and some say their support is horrible.



    Yes they are a Russian company I think. There are a lot of stories about bad customer support. The thing is, you hear stories about people who complain over the smallest thing so it's difficult to judge. The nature of the complaint is important and if it was a common occurrence and how long it took to resolve.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjgmac View Post


    - Some people like Unity while some like conferencing(?)



    Coherence is the Parallel's equivalent. I never got it to work and a lot of people are the same. From the videos, I reckon I'd prefer Unity as it seems to be better integrated.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjgmac View Post


    I thought about trying the demo of both products, but I bought an XP OEM license and I'm concerned that I will have issues with it and eventually have to buy a new XP license.



    It might not allow you to run both products at the same time with the same license even on different computers in your house but I don't think you'd have problems if you use just one copy with both the packages at different times.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjgmac View Post


    Are both products relatively equal?



    I think they are and it's quite commendable that the Parallels team pulled off a product that rivals VMWare's product because they are the industry heavyweight.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjgmac View Post


    What is the recommended software?



    The experience I've had with Parallels might lead me to choose it because it's been pretty solid for me and the VM state resume is extremely fast - I can usually launch Parallels from a saved state and open Word 2003 in under 5 seconds. That's impressive because it takes almost 3 times that to launch the native Mac Word.



    However, the team behind VMWare Fusion have a lot of experience in the field and for future developments, I'd probably put my money on them. Plus if you reckon on having support needs, they might be the better choice.



    I can't comment on the stability of VMWare I'm afraid as I haven't used it and since Parallels fits the bill, I don't need to. But there certainly are issues with Parallels that would make me consider it. The way they set up shared folders is pretty flakey and I've had a number of problems copying documents over. It doesn't run particularly well with Bootcamp and it modifies the boot.ini file (VMWare might do the same though). More recently, I've had a lot of warnings about running out of virtual memory inside the VM too.



    That might lead to me to suggest starting with VMWare but I think the best idea is to get both demos, install XP for both (you'll have to do two installations because they don't have a common image format - if you use Bootcamp, they can share the same install though) and then run them through a series of tests for what you will use the VM for and decide which is more stable and which is faster. Test them out for maybe a day at a time each and from a fresh boot.



    If you still find them fairly even, weigh up price and customer support reviews. The story may be different after MacWorld too if the products take advantage of the new Penryn processor developments because there was a feature that enhances VM switching or something and there's also the SSE4 to take advantage of.
  • Reply 2 of 6
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    A friend had fusion and Win XP on his MBP which he 'demoed' for me. I was very impressed. Looked very stable and performance was fast enough for me. He has a 17" MBP with 2.4 ghz C2D processor. Feels as fast in emulation as XP does on p4 machine I have in my office.



    I leaning towards fusion now that I've seen it in action.
  • Reply 3 of 6
    I'm a long time PC user who just bought a MacBook Pro and I'm running Vista Ultimate. Over the long haul, you want to go with Fusion. VMware has a lot of expertise with virtual machines and once Fusion 1.2 comes out, there will be no question that Fusion is the way to go.
  • Reply 4 of 6
    I have the current versions of both and they're both really good. Some people seem to have strong preferences for one or the other though. If I were you I'd download the demo of each and install my OEM Windows on both and compare them. You don't need to activate Windows for at least a week or two after you install it (perhaps more... I forget), which should give you enough time to see if you like one better than the other. Then you can just blow away the other one and activate Windows on the one you're going to keep.
  • Reply 5 of 6
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by toxotes View Post


    I have the current versions of both and they're both really good. Some people seem to have strong preferences for one or the other though. If I were you I'd download the demo of each and install my OEM Windows on both and compare them. You don't need to activate Windows for at least a week or two after you install it (perhaps more... I forget), which should give you enough time to see if you like one better than the other. Then you can just blow away the other one and activate Windows on the one you're going to keep.



    Why not just use BootCamp, you would boot directly into Windows off of a partition on your HD? If you use VM ware or Parallels you will be booting from a virtual disk, and when the virtual disk gets damaged- Good Night. So be sure to back up your data if you decide to run VMware or Parallels. I admin over 20 macs running Parallels, running 3.0, and have seen problems with at least half of the systems. We have decided, running 2 operating systems, just doesn't make sense.
  • Reply 6 of 6
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by john0 View Post


    Why not just use BootCamp, you would boot directly into Windows off of a partition on your HD? If you use VM ware or Parallels you will be booting from a virtual disk, and when the virtual disk gets damaged- Good Night. So be sure to back up your data if you decide to run VMware or Parallels. I admin over 20 macs running Parallels, running 3.0, and have seen problems with at least half of the systems. We have decided, running 2 operating systems, just doesn't make sense.



    SuperDuper?
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