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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.

Should I go with Parallels or Bootcamp


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markw10

 
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I am a 100% pc user. Well my son is in college now and exclusively using Mac so he just switched. Well now I caught the bug and want to switch also. I am looking into a laptop but one concern I have is cost so I'm thinking of selling my windows laptop to help with the cost of the macbook. I'm undecided between the Macbook and Macbook Pro. From what I have read the GMA 950 processor will run Windows Vista with glass but barely so I'm concerned I'll need the processing power of the Macbook Pro.
As well, I'm undecided between which to go with. I hear a lot about Bootcamp. The only downside I see is having to reboot the computer to go between os's where it seems with Parallels you can run both at the same time in separate windows but is parallels just as compatible with bootcamp? I've heard bootcamp should run Vista but will Parallels run it?
One concern, at least that I've heard for Bootcamp, is that of course you have two partitions but that you never want to access one from the other when it comes to data. What I mean is someone told me if the windows partition has a lot of data files such as mp3's, jpg's, office documents, etc. never use them from the Mac side or vice versa or you could damage them. I have a lot of data and with two partitions hard drive space will be at a premium so I would hate to have to double my data to have it separately on each partition.
I know I will use Windows a lot and have so many programs for it. With time I will use more and more mac but still it may be more than 50% windows so it's important that Windows run just as well on a mac as a pure windows machine for compatiblity, speed, etc.. Is it like this? If not I may just have to keep the windows machine and get a cheaper mac.
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markw10

 
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I appreciate the response and it sounds Bootcamp is likely the route I'd go.
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Chundermuffin

 
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Sounds crazy, but you could also have both. I had Boot Camp but I ended up getting Parallels and absolutely love it. There are still a few issues with it, such as USB devices, burning CDs, and true 3D acceleration, tho they'll be fixed by the end of the year. But otherwise, definitely not slow. And sharing files between Windows and OS X is very easy.

Boot Camp, on the other hand, works great but dual-booting all the time annoyed me, and I don't play games on it (apart from Age of Empires 2, but that runs thru Parallels). Plus it's still in beta.
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kevin_msu

 
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i like parallels.

when you buy, it sounds like you should go to newegg.com and get yourself a bigger HD and max out your RAM the way you're going to be storing and using stuff.

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markw10

 
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I posted earlier about bootcamp but now I'm leaning more towards Parallels but I could end up using both. If I use parallels is there any problems with file systems? Do you simply store your data files all in one partition with the mac files and will windows as well as the mac programs be able to access them?
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markw10

 
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I definitely will be maxing it out, 2 gigs for sure and probably a 120 gig hard drive. I know 160's are out but a big price jump but with time I may upgrade to that or more. Newegg has always been great for that. Any brands, etc that work well in mackbook pro's?
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rogerinlondon

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chundermuffin
Sounds crazy, but you could also have both. I had Boot Camp but I ended up getting Parallels and absolutely love it. There are still a few issues with it, such as USB devices, burning CDs, and true 3D acceleration, tho they'll be fixed by the end of the year. But otherwise, definitely not slow. And sharing files between Windows and OS X is very easy.

Boot Camp, on the other hand, works great but dual-booting all the time annoyed me, and I don't play games on it (apart from Age of Empires 2, but that runs thru Parallels). Plus it's still in beta.
What are the issues with USB devices? Does some not work or is there some general problem?
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markw10

 
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That was one of my main concerns. From what I read most software works with parallels and bootcamp very well. I'm not really sure which is more compatible with software or maybe both are 100%.
My concern is drivers whether USB, bluetooth, wi-fi, printers, usb flash drives, memory card readers, etc. I'm wondering if I get all these items when I plug them into the computer I know the mac will work with them but with parallels or bootcamp will they work fine with the windows side?
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mynameis

 
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You aren't really going to run into any odd compatibility issues with Boot Camp. It will work just like any notebook running XP.
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markw10

 
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Sounds great. I figured that may be the case. I wasn't sure which is more compatible with hardware (usb drivers, etc), parallels or bootcamp but with Intel so much of the hardware is the same as a windows machine now.
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Chundermuffin

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerinlondon
What are the issues with USB devices? Does some not work or is there some general problem?
Quite a few don't work. I've tried a couple of memory sticks and they weren't recognised by XP through Parallels. Came up fine in OS X tho, so I just copied what I needed through that. That said, it's not a huge issue for me, and it will be addressed as the program develops. As people have said, if that's your main concern, Boot Camp will run XP as tho it was on any old non-Mac laptop, and that goes for hardware compatibility too.

My main (and perhaps only) annoyance with Parallels is that if I pop a disc in while it's running, XP will pick it up but I can't access it through OS X unless I close Parallels.
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UncSki1218
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I'd go with Parallel's. It is getting better and better with compatability and drivers. By the end of the year I'd expect everything to work fine. It is much easier to share files and not having to reboot is a huge advantage. It is really great being able to run both at once. (And Windows is practically full speed!)
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markw10

 
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How is Windows software handled with Parallels? I know with Boot Camp you do a 2nd partition for Windows. Is it the same way with Parallels?
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