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Running Windows (or anything else) on your Mac Discussion of Classic or running Windows, Linux and other OSes on the Mac.

Other - How did parallels and fusion get to be so popular when they still don't stack up?!


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djrobsd

 
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This is a very controversial topic, but one I have to ask! I've been a casual user of Parallels 3.x for a couple years now. I only used it for light duty stuff like Outlook for my email (since i can't stand Entourage), Napster (since it only works on a PC and not a Mac), and a few other things. I would use some 3rd party tools to convert my napster WMA files to MP3 so I could play them on my Mac and my iphone... Aside from that though, I never tried to do anything "serious".

Fast forward to today, I recently purchased a new 2.8GHZ 24" imac, with 4 gigs of RAM, and decided to completely ditch my PC rather than having 2 machines (which is what I did before). There are really only a few programs (those mentioned above) that I need, but there is one program I never tried before that I finally tried - called Soundforge which is an audio editing program.

So, i purchased Parallels 4.0 and installed it with XP Pro (32 bit). Allocated 1 gig of RAM, and set both CPUS to be used. This is my experience...

On my PC, playback of a song in sound forge (not even doing any editing) only takes like 10% CPU time. However, on my iMac, playing back a song in Soundforge is taking 130% CPU (I'm assuming it's using about 65% of each core when it says that?)... And it's very sluggish, and skips a bit during playback. I had a difficult time editing my music because of the stuttering playback, I would make a change to an area of the song that ended up being a different area, and I had to go back and make the change several times before it was precisely where I wanted it.

So, I installed VMWare fusion... Same options as Parallels, same OS, and it performed about 5-10% better, but still the same type of deal...

Music editing is not a CPU intensive process. Mp3 and WAV file playback is something that computers have perfected over the years (remember when Winamp used to take 100% of your CPU to play back an mp3 and it skipped?!)... So I figured this would be a no brainer.

I can't imagine anyone trying to do anything intense with Parallels or Fusion, which is extremely disappointing. I want to switch completely to a Mac, but in the audio arena, the programs simply aren't as developed. Sony is refusing to develop on a Mac platform, which means Sound Forge and Acid will not be available on a Mac, forcing you to run it in VMWare or Parallels.

This leaves me with no option other then to use Bootcamp, in which case, the only thing I really gain is the aesthetics of having a pretty 24 inch aluminum imac on my desk, but then I'm stuck using the awful Windows interface again. I want to make Fusion or Parallels work, but its current performance isn't cutting it for me.

I would like to hear other people's experience using both of those tools. Rebooting back and forth all the time for me is NOT an option.
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S.SubZero

 
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Virtualization is still in it's infancy, relatively speaking. Also, the focus right now is not so much on desktop stuff as it is on servers. Servers everywhere are being built around being able to host multiple virtual machines for various servery tasks like web hosting and isolated storage. In these functions virtual machines can perform *very* well.

I would not rely on virtualization for any tasks requiring precise timing, as they just aren't equipped to deal with that. From the host to the guest there is a little delay, and while this isn't a big deal when dealing with network traffic, when doing stuff with a sound card or video, it's a nightmare.
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D3v1L80Y

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djrobsd View Post
This is a very controversial topic
Nothing controversial about it at all.
Quote:
Originally Posted by djrobsd View Post
I've been a casual user of Parallels 3.x for a couple years now. I only used it for light duty stuff like Outlook for my email (since i can't stand Entourage), Napster (since it only works on a PC and not a Mac), and a few other things. I would use some 3rd party tools to convert my napster WMA files to MP3 so I could play them on my Mac and my iphone... Aside from that though, I never tried to do anything "serious".
And that is all that a virtualization install is supposed to be used for... an app here or there... very occasional, infrequent use of a light-duty Windows program.
Quote:
Originally Posted by djrobsd View Post
Fast forward to today, I decided to completely ditch my PC rather than having 2 machines (which is what I did before).
...and that (IMHO) was a big mistake... especially if you're using power-hungry apps like:
Quote:
Originally Posted by djrobsd View Post
Soundforge which is an audio editing program.
and if:
Quote:
Rebooting back and forth all the time for me is NOT an option.
You sound like you need a dedicated Windows machine for certain tasks.
If you only "ditched" your Windows machine in the figurative sense, then I would highly recommend firing it back up and going back to how you used to do things.

If you "ditched" your old computer in the literal sense... well, then I don't know what to tell you.

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djrobsd

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D3v1L80Y View Post
Nothing controversial about it at all. And that is all that a virtualization install is supposed to be used for... an app here or there... very occasional, infrequent use of a light-duty Windows program.
...and that (IMHO) was a big mistake... especially if you're using power-hungry apps like: and if:You sound like you need a dedicated Windows machine for certain tasks.
If you only "ditched" your Windows machine in the figurative sense, then I would highly recommend firing it back up and going back to how you used to do things.

If you "ditched" your old computer in the literal sense... well, then I don't know what to tell you.
Fortunately it's still sitting in the closet. I wonder how well progressed Remote Desktop and VNC are? Perhaps I could just VNC or RDP into the box and do it, assuming I can get sound over RDP. If I could get remote wake from a sleep state over LAN to work, I would completely be in business.

My main reason for not keeping my PC is aesthetics. I live in a loft where it's completely open and you can see every single wire, so the iMac was very appealing to me. In addition, I knew if I kept my PC and had my iMac, I would never wean myself off the PC, and the poor iMac would just collect dust.
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Wow napster is still alive?

I don't have any experience with editing video or sound but I do have Soundbooth and Premiere from my Adobe Suite. I'm guessing that's what you would use?
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Virtualization is great for business apps and tools. Anything to do with media (video, photo, 3D, audio) is going to be mediocre at best. Why don't you look at some of the OS X native audio editing apps? Your comes with the consumer-orientated Garageband and Logic is considered one of the best as well...
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I'm running a Macbook 2.4 mhz with 3 gig ram. I've had my Mac for a little over a month. I run Parallels 4.0 for virtual environment to run Windows.

Mac experience - Rookie
PC experience - Expert

Within Parallels I'm running Windows 7 RC, Microsoft Office 2007 and a multitude of windows programs.

I run my system in coherence mode and the two operating systems work seamlessly. Whether I'm connected directly into the corporate network or using the VPN (Cisco). Outlook 2007 runs flawlessly and Windows 7 RC runs better than any PC that I have used in the virtual environment on the Macbook.

I have a backup option of Remote Desktop Connection and Cisco VPN directly within my Macbook. This is when I want to remote into my office desktop quickly. I've set up a spaces area within my Mac environment and it is a simple toggle between Mac and Remote PC.

I prefer using Parallels versus remoting in to a computer. It is a lot simpler keeping my data all together by accessing data from my Mac. I hate the challenges of syncing.

I use Firefox 3.5 for 95% of my web surfing. I have no problem using Windows Explorer in the virtual environment, but only use this when there is a web page that doesn't look or function properly within Firefox. Safari's new upgrade had been nice, but it doesn't handle a few of my favorite sites as cleanly as Firefox. Not Safari's fault, this is due to the website code being built for Firefox and Explorer.

Itunes was made by Apple, I run it on my Mac. Evernote works great. Drag and Drop. Simple. Photos, music, Garage Band, Preview for PDF's I run from the Mac unless it is a PDF I am using within Windows. My preference for a PDF tool on Windows is ScanSofts PDF Converter Pro 4.

Printers - whether in your home or on your corporate network. No problem with the Mac or with Parallels.

I travel a lot. I'm a heavy PC user, I run a lot of applications and programs (Windows) and with 3 gig of RAM it has never bogged down. Yes I monitor it, but the highest I've reached was 72%. I considered shutting some programs down, but I wanted to test it's capabilities. Everything ran smoothly. When Snow Leopard comes out I'm weighing upgrading to 4 gig of RAM, but I doubt if it will be necessary.

Windows Vista / 7 RC likes 3 gig of RAM at 32 bit. On the Macbook it is sweet. On a PC, grrrrr, Vista was frustrating until the update came out last year. Still crashed a lot.

Only tip I have - When closing your lid to sleep your Mac disconnect your VPN within Parallels. Keep all of your programs running if you'd like and shut the lid. Open the lid and the whole system returns to normal so fast you'll be shocked.

Any Windows OS in my opinion always struggle waking up from sleep. I go as far as shutting everything down except for my Mac programs and parallels. Restarting the programs are a snap and you're off to the races a lot faster than your buddy next to you, who may have to restart his PC. Or at least they'll be looking at you with envy.

The Windows 7 RC environment in Parallels has not crashed.

Vista and XP would crash on my PC. I can't say if Vista or XP will crash within Parellels. Or if Windows 7 RC will crash on a PC.

I don't use either my Mac or virtual PC for the example you used, but as a machine for work it has been unheralded.

I posted this to provide a positive feedback to Parallels. When I first installed Windows on my Macbook I used boot camp, partitioned my drive and it wasn't what I wanted in a duel OS machine. My goal was to use both at the same time. I couldn't with this set-up. Nice feature, but not productive in my opinion.

Parallels was recommended to me by two friends and the salesman when I bought my laptop. After experimenting with boot camp, I went back to the store and bought the software. It is surprisingly inexpensive for such a great tool. Parallels has been a fabulous product.

Good luck finding a solution to your computer needs, I've found mine.

Now - how can I run my Macbook and two additional monitors without breaking the bank...
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