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Parallels vs VMware

Discussion in 'Apple/Mac' started by Minuteman3, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. I've been using Boot Camp on my MacBook for several months now to use Windows Vista on this fine bit of Apple hardware. I suppose my usage is about 80% Vista vs 20% Mac OS.

    Due to some space limitations, I'm considering a iMac as a replacement desktop. Again, I'll need to spend most of my time in Vista (it is, after all, my work!!). However, I am trying to learn Aperture and several other Mac applications so I think I'd like to have quicker access to the Mac OS.

    If I decide to get an iMac, I'm thinking of using either Parallels or VMWare's Windows software instead of Boot Camp on the iMac

    Paul Thurott, an on-line Windows guru whom I respect (he also dabbles in Macs on occasion) highly recommends VMWare.

    Any thoughts on which of these three (Boot Camp, Parallels, VMWare) have served you the best? (I must say I have no real complaints about Boot Camp ... but I'd like to eliminate the reboots into Mac OS or back to Vista if I don't take much of a performance hit.)

    Thanks in advance ...

  2. Ken, I run VMWare because Parallels wouldn't run on my 8-core Mac Pro. I love it. I believe the beta version of VMWare 2.0 is on the site if you want to give it a test run. I run 1.0 and it does everything that I could ask of it without issue.
  3. dwind

    dwind Guest

    Try virtualbox. Runs great on a macpro.
  4. I'm running Parallels/XPPro on a MacPro. I use a Windows DAM (IDImager) for screening images and Mac/NX2 for post processing. Parallel permits reading and writing to the image files on my Mac drive. Each Windows application runs in a separate resizable window on the Mac. I have not used the other two packages.
  5. If you are running Bootcamp and plan to use your Bootcamp partition as your virtual machine instance, make sure you email VMware support and find out if they have fixed the OS and application activation issues. I stuck with Parallels because there was no good fix or workaround. The issue is running the Windows OS (XP or Vista) and MS apps (for instance, MS Office) in both the standalone Bootcamp environment and in the virtual machine environment. The OS and the apps see them as two distinct machines. If you activated the OS and apps in Bootcamp, when they start up in the VM they complain and want to be reactivated. In Parallels, the OS issue got fixed and I fixed the apps issue by forcing the Parallels virtual machine to use the same MAC (physical network) address as the Macintosh. This fools the apps into thinking they are the same machine (they are, really). In Parallels this is a really simple configuration setting change.

    VMware may well have fixed the problem by now. Anyway, ask the question. Otherwise you will have to choose Bootcamp or VMware or constantly reactivate.

    Beyond that, I did not see much practical difference between the two vendors products.

  6. Neil


    Jul 8, 2005
    Douglasville, GA
    Not sure which magazine I was looking at while at Borders but article said to install Windows OS in bootcamp but not to register or activate it. Then install VMware and do the Windows OS register or activate from inside VMware was way to solve the problem both would then work. Not sure why but article seemed to imply that there is a benifit from the bootcamp install. Not a Mac owner yet just gathering information before making a decision.
  7. Thanks for the info. Using Boot Camp has been pretty much trouble free on this MacBook. But it sounds like VMWare may be the way to go ... especially for my relatively "heavy" usage. Although licensing/activation is not a big deal for me (I'm a MS Partner), I appreciate the heads up about the "issues".

    Again, THANKS!!


  8. RaceTripper


    Jan 6, 2007
    St. Louis
    I've been using Windows XP Pro on VMWare Fusion with a bootcamp partition for the past year with no issues. I also have a Parallels license and every time I try it instead I'm disappointed. VMWare networking is faster and more robust for me than Parallels.

    I've had no activation issues. If you do, just make sure the network adapter MAC address is the same for bootcamp and when running under the VM.
  9. ChrisA

    ChrisA Guest

    I second this idea. The price is right. It's free. VMware however lets you have two CPUs in the virtual machine but other then that the feature sets are close enough.


    Sun Microsystems recently bought this software and it making it available for free. Sun is a huge company, Well not quite a big as Apple but huge compared to the companies that make VMware Fusion or Parallels. I wonder if they are worried that Sun has put a free competitor on the market. Sun, like Apple is a hardware company and I think they are offering their software free to drive hardware sales. How long can Fusion and Parallels continue?
  10. revoke99


    Jul 26, 2008
    Marina Del Rey
    I would go with VMware over Parallels it crashes a lot less..
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