Bootcamp, Parallels or Fusion?

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Hi,



I am going to order my first Mac on Saturday and I can't wait!! It's replacing a 4 year old Toshiba laptop running XP which is dying on me.



I intended to install XP on the Mac for two reasons



1) I have Office 2000 and sometimes have to mess around with excel spreadsheets. I understand that the Mac version of excel does not have Visual Basic support and i'd rather not try and get used to a new version because I only use it occasionally



2) I want to start using the Mac to play games but Mac specific games are a lot more expensive. The sorts of games are like Civilisation 4 which is about 25% of the Mac price.



I have been reading up and apparantly people using Windows on bootcamp have issues with Time Machine.



My question is, to minimise this issue, is it worth me investing in parallels or Fusion? Does this work the same way as bootcamp (i.e. the HD is partitioned)? I know it means that system will run slower but would parallels/fusion be able to access the 256MB Videocard ram? (If so then I shouldn't have any issues)



Finally, which is better? Fusion or Parallels?



Thanks for your help!

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    Windows will run better in Bootcamp. There's no virtualization, so it just naturally runs better.

    The problem is, if you are running Windows under Bootcamp, then OSX is not running. It's one or the other and you have to re-start the machine to switch between the two.



    Parallels and Fusion allow you run Windows at the same time as OSX... you can switch between the two as seamlessly as switching between two native OSX apps. The virtualization process does slow down windows a little though. Not enough that I care, but I'm not trying to run games... so I can't say if it would cause useablity issues there.



    As for comparing Parallels and Fusion, I'd say it's just a matter of personal preference... they both do a good job of running Windows. (I prefer the virtualization over Bootcamp so that I can use OSX apps at the same time. I use Parallels simply because thats the one I happened to buy.)
  • Reply 2 of 17
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,200moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wicked666 View Post


    1) I have Office 2000 and sometimes have to mess around with excel spreadsheets. I understand that the Mac version of excel does not have Visual Basic support and i'd rather not try and get used to a new version because I only use it occasionally



    You can run excel in virtualization software and this avoids having to reboot. You can also run it in Crossover so that it works more like a Mac app and shares the Mac filesystem but I'd recommend against relying on Crossover.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wicked666 View Post


    2) I want to start using the Mac to play games but Mac specific games are a lot more expensive. The sorts of games are like Civilisation 4 which is about 25% of the Mac price.



    My question is, to minimise this issue, is it worth me investing in parallels or Fusion? Does this work the same way as bootcamp (i.e. the HD is partitioned)? I know it means that system will run slower but would parallels/fusion be able to access the 256MB Videocard ram? (If so then I shouldn't have any issues)



    I have been reading up and apparantly people using Windows on bootcamp have issues with Time Machine.



    I wouldn't play games in virtualization software. Bootcamp works best. I haven't heard of specific issues of Time Machine and Bootcamp but you don't need to use Time Machine at all. You can backup other ways.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wicked666 View Post


    Finally, which is better? Fusion or Parallels?



    I've found VMWare to be better than Parallels. It has some DirectX 9 support so you can try running some games to see if they work. I think it tries to do the same thing as Crossover when it comes to games i.e translate DirectX calls into OpenGL but DirectX 9 support is poor as it relies on revers engineering the APIs so compatibility isn't 100%.



    For VMWare you don't have to partition your drive but the way I recommend doing it is to partition the drive with Bootcamp and install XP. Then you can boot from this partition using VMWare. If a game runs ok in VMWare, use it and definitely use it for your Windows apps. When a game doesn't work, just reboot to play it.



    This setup has the added benefit that you can access files on the partition easily from the Mac side if you stick to FAT32 formatting.
  • Reply 3 of 17
    Thanks for the responses - I agree it's a case of suck it and see.



    So with either method, I would have to install Windows on it's own partition?



    For backup I would want to use time machine as it's a feature I love about OSX. That was I don't have to waste time syncing my backups everytime I make changes to my harddrive.
  • Reply 4 of 17
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,200moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wicked666 View Post


    So with either method, I would have to install Windows on it's own partition?



    You have the option of running VMWare from a disk image but there will be times when games simply won't run properly and in fact some apps don't run in virtualization software such as Blu-Ray playing software so a Bootcamp partition is recommended.
  • Reply 5 of 17
    aizmovaizmov Posts: 988member
    If it is only one (or very few) app, check CrossOver Mac and Wine and see if the app(s) you need are supported.

    http://www.codeweavers.com/compatibility/

    http://appdb.winehq.org/



    Quote:

    1) I have Office 2000 and sometimes have to mess around with excel spreadsheets. I understand that the Mac version of excel does not have Visual Basic support and i'd rather not try and get used to a new version because I only use it occasionally



    Excel 2000 is supported

    http://www.codeweavers.com/compatibi...name/?app_id=7

    http://www.codeweavers.com/products/cxmac/



    Quote:

    I want to start using the Mac to play games but Mac specific games are a lot more expensive. The sorts of games are like Civilisation 4 which is about 25% of the Mac price.



    Supported by CrossOver Games (CrossOver Pro includes CrossOver Games)

    http://www.codeweavers.com/products/cxgames/



    Grab a trial version and try them out before purchasing.



    Wine also supports it, you can try it out yourself.

    http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManage...ation&iId=2514

    http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManage...ation&iId=8319



    Wine is free. Try installing it and trying it out.

    http://davidbaumgold.com/tutorials/wine-mac/





    Note:

    Neither CrossOver nor Wine require Windows, or a Windows license. They are Windows replacement, that allow running Windows applications, without installing/running Windows, natively on your Mac.
  • Reply 6 of 17
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    ive used all mac virtualization apps extensively and I recommend Sun VirtualBox. It lacks nothing and is free and open
  • Reply 7 of 17
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,200moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by a_greer View Post


    ive used all mac virtualization apps extensively and I recommend Sun VirtualBox. It lacks nothing and is free and open



    No DirectX support at all though. I don't think it supports booting from Bootcamp easily either. In VMWare, you don't even have to set it up, it just appears in the list and you boot from it. No drag and drop support isn't a huge problem as it supports shared folders but it's something I'd miss.



    For it being free though, it looks like it would be a decent VM app and covers most of what's needed in a VM. For me, Bootcamp and DirectX support are essential though.
  • Reply 8 of 17
    I bought VMWare since there is an academic version that runs almost 1/2 price. Games I couldn't tell you about since I stick with console.
  • Reply 9 of 17
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ls1z28chris View Post


    I bought VMWare since there is an academic version that runs almost 1/2 price.



    You bought VMware Fusion? Why?

    Never mind, can you send me US$ 79,99 too please?

    Thanks a bunch already!
  • Reply 10 of 17
    sequitursequitur Posts: 1,901member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rokcet Scientist View Post


    You bought VMware Fusion? Why?

    Never mind, can you send me US$ 79,99 too please?

    Thanks a bunch already!





    Where can you get a legit copy that doesn't cost $79.99?
  • Reply 11 of 17
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sequitur View Post


    Where can you get a legit copy that doesn't cost $79.99?



    You can get it from the Apple Store online for $39.99 if you're a student.



    Here is the link: http://store.apple.com/us-hed/produc...mco=MjAyMjUzNA



    Quote:

    You bought VMware Fusion? Why?

    Never mind, can you send me US$ 79,99 too please?

    Thanks a bunch already!



    I bought it because there is no Mac OS X option for Cisco's Packet Tracer. Just Windows and Linux. I wanted Parallels, but I didn't feel like spending $80 for that when I could get VMWare for half the price.
  • Reply 12 of 17
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sequitur View Post


    Where can you get a legit copy that doesn't cost $79.99?



    ClubMac has it for $20 after rebate:



    http://www.clubmac.com/clubmac/shop/...p?dpno=7721087
  • Reply 13 of 17
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    Whoa. That's a REALLY good price for the usefulness of this piece of software and its complexity.



    By the way, CrossOver 8 just came out. CrossOver is AWESOME, it lets you run Windows applications without Windows fyi for anyone new. Applications that work with it...just run. Most popular apps work at least to some degree.



    http://www.codeweavers.com/products/cxmac/



    I have CrossOver and it's fantastic for Office. So much faster than Fusion or Parallels, for just a quick Office doc edit.
  • Reply 14 of 17
    wplj42wplj42 Posts: 439member
    I would suggest downloading NeoOffice.

    http://www.neooffice.org/neojava/en/index.php
  • Reply 15 of 17
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aquatic View Post


    Applications that work with it...just run.



    So those that don't... just don't!



    Quote:

    Most popular apps work at least to some degree.



    "Most"? Which ones?

    "To some degree"? That ain't very reassuring either!



    That's THREE caveats right there...
  • Reply 16 of 17
    bbwibbwi Posts: 812member
    If it were me I'd just use VirtualBox for my office stuff and then I'd definitely use Bootcamp for the games
  • Reply 17 of 17
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pchukwura View Post


    I've used and bought Vmware Fusion and I really like it! For the most part it runs smoothly and haven't had any problems running Vista 64bit. I have not yet tried it with Windows 7.



    I too also got it for a student discount(I believe JourneyEd at the time).



    I run Win7 (64) in VMware for about a month now and got a nasty surprise yesterday: I caught a Win32.TrojanSpyBanker that had snuck in... (and I kicked it in the nuts, of course).

    But Win7 – the state-of-the-art in OS protection, wasn't it? – never cried "wolf!" when it was supposed to and let the bugger right in! For gossakes!



    So Windows' battle with malware ain't over with Win7 by a long shot from where I sit! It seems just as vulnerable as previous Windows flavors have proved to be. Not at all the much tighter security M$ brags about.

    But what else is new, right?



    LOL!
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