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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.

VMware Fusion or Parallels Desktop for Mac


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velvetsan

 
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Which one is better VMware Fusion or
Parallels Desktop?
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Deckyon

 
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If you insist on using virtual machines instead of Bootcamp, I would go with VMWare. I don't recommend virtual machines, however, and only if Bootcamp doesn't work. The productivity you lose on both the host and virtual machine is significant on anything but a beefed up Mac Pro. IMO

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velvetsan

 
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I didn't know about bootcamp, what is it?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velvetsan View Post
I didn't know about bootcamp, what is it?
First, how about telling us what it is that you want to do? Do you want to run Windows on your Mac? If so, what Windows programs would you be using?

And lastly, give us some info about your system: year, model, and which version of OS X you're using.
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triptolemus

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deckyon View Post
The productivity you lose on both the host and virtual machine is significant on anything but a beefed up Mac Pro. IMO
That's a bit harsh and more than a little inaccurate. Have you ever really ran a vm other than just to "try it out"?

One has to take into consideration the tasks which are to be performed. Although i obviously wouldn't want to game in a vm environment, or run anything under vm which could run native under OS X, my mini with 8gb runs Windows 7 under VM Fusion almost seamlessly. My goal is to run quicken, a few server processes, and video surveillance stuff...all of which is far better suited to a vm environment over bootcamp.

VM software is certainly a viable answer for many circumstances. They wouldn't be selling VM Fusion at $70 a copy if it wasn't!
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I run them on an extensive and daily basis, on $60k servers built for them. before we got the budget for those, we ran them on high-end workstation class machines (equiv to Mac Pro). The performance hit is very noticeable on anything less. Sorry, true.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deckyon View Post
If you insist on using virtual machines instead of Bootcamp, I would go with VMWare. I don't recommend virtual machines, however, and only if Bootcamp doesn't work. The productivity you lose on both the host and virtual machine is significant on anything but a beefed up Mac Pro. IMO
I'd have to disagree with you there. Performance is fairly equitable. The only time you'll see any issues is if you're running something that requires intensive GPU acceleration.

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triptolemus

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deckyon View Post
I run them on an extensive and daily basis, on $60k servers built for them. before we got the budget for those, we ran them on high-end workstation class machines (equiv to Mac Pro). The performance hit is very noticeable on anything less. Sorry, true.
Sorry, but no. You don't need a $60k server to run Quicken. You're missing the point.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by triptolemus View Post
Sorry, but no. You don't need a $60k server to run Quicken. You're missing the point.
I too find that claim a bit zealous. Yes, there is a layer of abstraction when running a virtual machine, but we're not doing emulation or anything particularly taxing that would drag performance down to less than "productive" levels under normal circumstances. Given adequate RAM allocation and proper configuration, a virtual machine will perform roughly akin to a comparably equipped physical machine under VMWare Fusion (I haven't tested Parallels since version 3, but reviews I've read seem to rank it very well relative to Fusion).

You won't want to game on it, but productivity apps, MS Office, and even heavy hitters like the Adobe suite are not going to leave you longing for better performance. Again, this is given appropriate configuration.

My company too runs virtualized servers on high-end hardware. In most cases, they are Citrix servers that host apps and oftentimes multi-user (30+) "full desktop" environments. We didn't always do that, but in light of industry trends and the scalability offered by products like VMWare's, it's entirely feasible and again, performance is roughly equitable to comparable physical hardware.

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vansmith

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deckyon View Post
I run them on an extensive and daily basis, on $60k servers built for them. before we got the budget for those, we ran them on high-end workstation class machines (equiv to Mac Pro). The performance hit is very noticeable on anything less. Sorry, true.
No it's not. I run a 2.1 C2D with 4GB of RAM and can easily run a Windows or Linux VM with little lag.

What kind of VMs are you running and perhaps more importantly, how many? Surely your requirements are much greater than those of most virtual machine users.

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SammySlim

 
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For the OP: If you are going to use a VM, for a single-user installation, please consider using Sun's VirtualBox. It's free and works fine for just about any purpose. Fusion and Parallels are great too, and have slightly better graphics performance and some tweaking features but I stopped using them awhile back and just went with VirtualBox. Simple, free, efficient, works.

For the rest of this thread, we also run virtual machines in a networked, global secure server environment to do in-house software development. Mostly using VMWare on a windows platform. When running VM's in a distributed environment for development purposes off a windows platform you're going to see a few performance hits but the tradeoff for scalability and the ability to use what VM's provide is an easy call to make.

However, that's a completely different situation from a single-user, single installation of a virtual machine to run Windows on somebody's Mac. The complete consensus here among forum members (based on likely hundreds of such installations), many of whom are IT professionals, is that in such an environment, VM performance for productivity applications, internet surfing, email and simple video and photo tasks is almost indistinguishable from Boot Camp installation provided you allocate enough RAM to the VM. Only for applications that involve substantial video work or heavy gaming do people feel that BC is demonstrably superior.

I have run Win XP, Win 7 and Linux on 1 GB of RAM on a MacBook Air with only 2 GB total and they all run fine for the tasks described above.

Ultimately, it's up to the user but to say that VMs are not worth doing based on an enterprise experience simply doesn't translate to the single user context that's the basis of this forum. Are there limitations to VMs? Sure. Do they matter for most single-user installations? No.

End of rant.

Cheers and I hope the OP gets what he/she needed...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deckyon View Post
If you insist on using virtual machines instead of Bootcamp, I would go with VMWare. I don't recommend virtual machines, however, and only if Bootcamp doesn't work. The productivity you lose on both the host and virtual machine is significant on anything but a beefed up Mac Pro. IMO
This is one of the craziest things I have ever heard. I actually work with VM's every single day. On my Mac as well as the Cisco UCS platforms. I am also a VMware Certified Professional (VCP). Ignore this...
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msharp

 
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So then how does Virtual Box (free) stack up against Fusion or Parallels ($$)?

Is it as easy to set up and use?
Is it's performance equivalent?
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vansmith

 
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I'm not sure if it's "performance equivalent" as I've never used Fusion/Parallels but it will more than likely meet your needs. What do you need a VM for?

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