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Choosing Parallels Over BootCamp for OS X 138

juusan writes "Sysadmin Jeremy Randall outlines his installation and impressions of Parallels for Mac OS X. Is it better than BootCamp? Does it run succesfully on a Mac Mini? Does it pass the scrutiny of a fairly picky system administrator? Yes indeed, on all counts."
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Choosing Parallels Over BootCamp for OS X

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  • by nighty5 ( 615965 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @06:42PM (#15565137)
    The application looks like something from Windows 3.11
    • While it's running, if it's not in fullscreen mode it actually looks a lot like the MS Virtual PC interface. I suppose that's probably intentional, although that interface was not exactly "pretty."
    • This is what happens when you put Qt in the wrong hands.
    • Re:Back in Time (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Yeah, after using a Mac for a while all windows apps tend to look that way. In this thing you were probably looking at something more modern (XP or Longhorn or ME, or whatever's the microsoft state-of-the-art), but I couldn't tell either.


      Oh.. were you talking about parallels itself?

  • Summary: It's OK (Score:5, Informative)

    by rblum ( 211213 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @06:44PM (#15565148)
    And really, not much more to read in the article. If he actually were a picky sysadmin, he'd have looked at such points as "can the VM access the host drive, and how can I stop that". If he had a more than cursory interest in it, he would've looked at DirectX support. He couldn't even be bothered to figure out if his Mac supports certain features.

    (Don't get me wrong - that's an indicator that Parallels is fairly good. He doesn't even have to care if some things work or not. But that's certainly not "in-depth")

    • If he actually were a picky sysadmin, he'd have looked at such points as "can the VM access the host drive, and how can I stop that"
      Well, can it? Isn't it behaving like VMWare?
      • Re:Summary: It's OK (Score:5, Informative)

        by Dragonfly ( 5975 ) <jddaigle@mac.cGIRAFFEom minus herbivore> on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @11:40AM (#15569688) Homepage
        I've been using Parallels for a couple of months now on my 2.0 Ghz Intel iMac. Parallels can access a special shared folder, or you can turn on Windows networking on yoru Mac and the VM can connect to it as a server (my preferred method as it doesn't require that you create a special folder and move things in and out of it just so you can access them from the VM).

        I run WinXP Pro on my VM and have 512MB of RAM assigned to it (out of a total of 2 gigs in the iMac) and performance is quite acceptable for running Office apps and testing web sites with different versions of IE. Naturally, the more RAM the better, and in an ideal world my iMac would have 4gigs of RAM with 1 gig given to the VM, but that's mostly because I often have Safari, Firefox, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver running under OS X and that doesn't leave a lot of room for Parallels without a lot of swapping.

        I know that Parallels is planning to improve USB device support in future releases, but for now connecting to devices over the network works for me.
  • I'll save you time (Score:5, Informative)

    by Golias ( 176380 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @06:45PM (#15565153)
    Everything TFA has to say.

    1. It works pretty good for a version-1 app.
    2. It doesn't work well with external USB drives.
    3. You get the occasional "beach ball" if you are running other apps on the OS X desktop and have only 1 GB of RAM.
    4. The author is "platform agnostic" and really, really wants you to know that.
    5. Rumors are flying that Apple might buy them and incorporate this into 10.5, but then again, maybe not.

    Everybody who read my summary instead of clicking the link just saved 5 minutes. If a few million of you did so, I just saved a whole bunch of of entire lives!
    • by macaulay805 ( 823467 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @07:11PM (#15565319) Homepage Journal
      I vote for you to be a Slashdot mod and put your summaries in every story. Save the world some time (and 40 "next" page link clicks).
    • by PatMouser ( 1692 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @07:28PM (#15565422) Homepage
      I've been running in for a few weeks now (Beta 6, RC1, RC2, and the final production version) and haven't had a problem with the external drive, but I'm using a LaCie d2 connected via my FW800 port, so it's a little zippier. :)

      It's a seriously cool product and right now with XP running Word 2003 with one document open, AVG, and the generic Windows XP crap top is showing anywhere from 11.7 to 13.0 percent cpu. That's on a 17" MBP with 2G RAM.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      5 minutes in savings
      12 of those in an hour
      288 in a day
      about 300,000 in 3 years
      about 3 million in 30 years

      You have to save in the neighborhood of 5-10 million people five minutes each to save one lifetime's worth of time.

      you < Superman
      • So if you waste 5 minutes each from 5 or 10 million people, can we just say you're guilty of murder and execute you?

        Because if so, there are a whole lot of people on American Idol that I want to make sure are first up against the wall. Then we'll start on spammers and the guy who wrote the Llama Song.

    • by nEoN nOoDlE ( 27594 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @08:19PM (#15565664) Homepage
      Damnit, I just squandered those 5 minutes you saved me reading the comments in the thread.
    • Everybody who read my summary instead of clicking the link just saved 5 minutes. If a few million of you did so, I just saved a whole bunch of of entire lives!

      Go you!
  • by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @06:50PM (#15565179)
    Is it better than BootCamp?

    No. For starters, it can't directly access the graphics hardware, which makes it useless for almost any 3D gaming. It also uses an enormous amount of CPU time sitting around doing absolutely nothing. Seriously- XP, sitting doing nothing, nothing open- uses 20% of my Macbook's CPU. In Qemu (or rather, the Q Project build of QEMU), it's under 5%...and QEMU is emulating, whereas Parallels supposedly is using virtualization technology. What the hell?

    If only Boot Camp and XP supported external drives (you have to hack XP considerably, unless you're using eSATA, I think)...

    • by mgv ( 198488 ) * <Nospam.01.slash2dot@NOsPAm.veltman.org> on Monday June 19, 2006 @07:04PM (#15565277) Homepage Journal
      No. For starters, it can't directly access the graphics hardware, which makes it useless for almost any 3D gaming. It also uses an enormous amount of CPU time sitting around doing absolutely nothing. Seriously- XP, sitting doing nothing, nothing open- uses 20% of my Macbook's CPU. In Qemu (or rather, the Q Project build of QEMU), it's under 5%...and QEMU is emulating, whereas Parallels supposedly is using virtualization technology. What the hell?

      My macbook only needs about 5% of CPU time using parallels. But that is running windows 2000. Maybe its not parallels fault that XP is doing stuff when its supposed to be idle?

      Michael

    • by pla ( 258480 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @07:04PM (#15565280) Journal
      Seriously- XP, sitting doing nothing, nothing open- uses 20% of my Macbook's CPU.

      Welcome to the Windows world. XP, sitting doing nothing, on a native PC install, uses between 4% and 11% of the CPU on an Athlon 64 3000.


      it's under 5%...and QEMU is emulating

      QEMU (and most any emulator) actually optimizes out XP's OCD-like behavior, resulting in lower idle CPU use than the real thing. Add a moderate load, though, and watch the difference reverse itself drastically. Virtualization should see that 20% vanish into the actual load, while an emulator will grind to a crawl under load.

      • Using procexp, the program that you suggest, tells me that my computer is currently using 7% of its CPU.

        3% of that is Winamp, which I did not bother to pause. 1% of that is VNC, which I am running in the background. 2% is "System" - I don't know what this consists of, but considering that I have three windows updating frequently, I don't mind too much. 1% appears to be getting lost in rounding error. Note that this is an Intel system which predates hyperthreading. It is not exactly a powerhouse.

        I suggest fi
      • by bogie ( 31020 )
        Something is wrong with your PC then. I'm idling at 2% and part of that is task manager. If its at 11% then you just happen to be looking at your system while its updating something or XP is running backgroud tasks. The same thing happens on linux.

        If through this app XP takes up 20% cpu just sitting there then the app is buggy.
      • Wow, what do you guys eat to get that high cpu cycles for an machine?
        Just erase any unnecessary softwares out... seriously it's the best way to make your Windows run stable and fast.

        I simply get 0% cpu cycle on my WinXP watching task manager's graph drawing a horizontal line at the bottom with about 300MB of unused RAM on a 512MB ram machine.
        It's not the Windows... it's you that's abbusing the system resource.
      • Seriously- XP, sitting doing nothing, nothing open- uses 20% of my Macbook's CPU.

        Welcome to the Windows world. XP, sitting doing nothing, on a native PC install, uses between 4% and 11% of the CPU on an Athlon 64 3000.

        Life isn't as bad as all that. First off, remove all unnecessary services [clankiller.com] to reduce both your memory footprint and your idle CPU consumption. You'll have to tweak that list a little, but my XP system at home runs in about 100MB of RAM with 1-2% CPU. It also only has 6 services running, and

    • You mean supported BOOTING from external drives? I've got XP running on my mini (haven't used it since the day after Boot Camp came out, to load maps on my GPS). It boots off the mini's HD but everything but the OS is on an external drive.
    • by sootman ( 158191 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @09:50AM (#15568674) Homepage Journal
      >> Is it better than BootCamp?

      > No.

      *sigh.* Once again, kids: there's no single criterion with which you can determine a universal correct answer to the question of 'better.' What I use Windows for doesn't require graphics acceleration. So, let's look at this another way:

      Is Boot Camp better than Parallels?

      No. It forces you to reboot.


      See?
  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @06:50PM (#15565184)
    Or VPC because that's all it is. It's just a virtualizer. The advantages are you don't need to leave your main OS, you can have multiple guests, even runnig at the same thing if your system is powerful enough, and it probaly supports some kind of snapshot system, like VMWare. The disadvantages are of course the same as with VMware, mainly speed and hardware support. At least until VT support gets ramped up or hypervisors become popular you aren't going to get anywhere near native speeds. Also at this point the hardware in VMs is pretty low level. If you have a nice pro 3D card or multi-channel audio card, your guest OSes will not have access to their features.

    Like Boot Camp, I think Parallels it getting more hype than it mertis just because it happens ot run on OS-X. Yep, it virtualizes a computer and lets you run Linux or Windows at a reasonable speed. Ok great, same thing as VMWare on a Linux or Windows host. Certianly not worthless, but nothing that's really news.

    Use a native install (Boot Camp) if it's speed and access to hardware that are the prime requirements and you are willing to spend time booting back and forth. Use a virtualizer if you just need incidental access to the other OS and can take teh speed hit.
    • Or VPC because that's all it is. It's just a virtualizer.

      Except Virtual PC on the Mac is actually an emulator and not a virtualizer. With VPC the CPU is emulated so it is mind-numbingly slow. Parallels on the Mac will virtualise the CPU if your CPU supports VT-x (although everything else is emulated).

  • by tool462 ( 677306 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @06:59PM (#15565245)
    And it does everything I need it to do, and does it well. I can VPN to my company's network and can run all the software I need to get my work done, and it runs plenty fast. It also handles the older games I still play with no noticeable problems (starcraft, civ 3, etc). I plan to try out some new games like Oblivion soon, just to see how well that runs. I'm not as optimistic about that, however.

    The key advantages to me, over using something like BootCamp, is that I don't have to reboot my machine to access my Windows only stuff, and I minimize my risk of cross contamination. I'm less likely to hose my OSX install if I destroy my Win2K install (which I am prone to doing). :) I avoid computational and memory intensive stuff on the Win2K VM, so that potential downfall doesn't cause me any trouble.
    • I think you might be the right guy for me to ask then...Right now I'm typing this on a Dell Inspiron 8200.....1.6GHz Pentium 4-m, 768 megs of RAM, 32 meg NVIDIA card. I basically run Excel all day and a little Word. I want to install Parallels on my Macbook Pro, which has a 2GHz Core Duo and a gig of RAM. In your opinion, will Windows XP under Parallels on the MB Pro be at least as "snappy" as my current setup?
      • by tool462 ( 677306 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @08:03PM (#15565584)
        I'm running Parallels on the exact same setup, and all that stuff runs fine. I do plan to upgrade to 2GB of RAM on the MacBook Pro, though. I will start to have slowdown issues if I have, say, iTunes & Safari running on OSX and then run something memory intensive on the Win2K VM, which is set to use 512MB of RAM. You may not be quite as fast as running it on your Dell, but any slowdown shouldn't be noticeable. At any rate, Parallels has a free trial code, so you can give it a shot without any cost but your time.
        • I do plan to upgrade to 2GB of RAM on the MacBook Pro, though.

          Do yourself a favor. Run, don't walk, to the nearest computer hardware store and get the additional gig of RAM. It's a world of a difference.

          My MacBook Pro felt slow with only one gig. Worse, when running lots of applications, or single applications which didn't behave too well, it would slow to a crawl, sometimes not accepting mouse clicks for seconds. With the second gigabyte, it's fast, snappy, responsive.

          Don't run a MacBook Pro with only

          • I'll second this. 2GB of RAM in a MacBook Pro is ideal.

            and for the great grand-parent, you should find that parallels running on a MBP will outperform the Pentium M you have in the Dell, provided you aren't simultaneously soaking the processor in OS X :-)

  • Windows Addicts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by QuantumG ( 50515 ) <qg@biodome.org> on Monday June 19, 2006 @06:59PM (#15565247) Homepage Journal
    Friends of mine just switched. They have fiddled around with Bootcamp and Parallels. Personally I think this stuff sucks. If you're trying to give up drinking you don't take an occasional belt from your hip flask, even if everyone else around you is still drunk off their ass. I've seen this kind of behaviour with Linux users. They try the live CD, decide they like it and set up a dual boot system. After using nothing but Linux for a month they find they miss some app they only have on Windows (typically a game) and reboot to use it. Then they surf the web a bit with Firefox and may or may not notice how much better it runs under Windows. Reluctantly they reboot into Linux and feel the withdrawl symptoms. Soon they're installing VMware or Cedega but it's just not as good as the raw experience. A month later their Linux partition is just a big waste of harddrive space, so they delete it.
    • Re:Windows Addicts (Score:5, Insightful)

      by GeorgeMcBay ( 106610 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @07:18PM (#15565364)
      So.. what you're saying is that Windows is a better OS than Linux for your casual user friends?

      SHOCKING!!
    • by r00t ( 33219 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @09:57PM (#15566030) Journal
      The Windows setup gets slow for some unknown reason. It gains unwanted features like Sony DRM and the CoolWebSearch toolbar. Pretty soon the Windows partition is just a big waste of space.

      For me, it was when my NT4 setup got hacked over the local network. Probably the C$ administrative share had something to do with it. (WTF was that for anyway? I never asked for that. I disabled it many times, but Windows would helpfully restore the damn thing.) Fortunately I had NT4 on D:, making the c:autoexec.bat vandalism harmless. After that though, I would always physically disconnect the network cable before booting Windows. Pretty soon I took to leaving Mozilla running for weeks in Linux.
      • Probably the C$ administrative share had something to do with it. (WTF was that for anyway? I never asked for that. I disabled it many times, but Windows would helpfully restore the damn thing.)

        History. [msdn.com]

        You probably got pwned by a weak Administrator password.

        • I don't recall what I had for an Administrator password, but this was around 1997. Cracking NT passwords was harder than it is today.

          Since I never asked to serve my filesystem, I certainly shouldn't need a password at all. I never chose to be a server. I didn't enable anything.

          The link you provided is quite disturbing. I feel like I must be reading it wrongly. That just can't be real. A plain old NT4 install would share all drives to the world without passwords? Oh my God. This wasn't headline news? About t
          • The link you provided is quite disturbing. I feel like I must be reading it wrongly. That just can't be real. A plain old NT4 install would share all drives to the world without passwords?

            You're reading it wrong. It will share it to Administrator level users (ie: you need an Administrator user/pass), for administrative purposes.

            • "to Administrator level users"

              OK, that should only be me. This was a dorm network, back when everyone else was running Windows 95. I certainly wasn't in any sort of realm or NT domain.

              Having not installed anything like telnet/rsh/ftp services, I shouldn't need a password.

              I guess that's not the way it is, because of the stupid admin shares and the well-known SID for the Administrator? (in other words, what I said: shared to the world w/o a password, because having a password sure wasn't enforced nor was any
              • OK, that should only be me. This was a dorm network, back when everyone else was running Windows 95. I certainly wasn't in any sort of realm or NT domain.

                Computers aren't psychic. They have no way of knowing whether "you" really is "you" or someone pretending to be "you". All they can determine is whether or not some attempt to access resources has the right credentials.

                Having not installed anything like telnet/rsh/ftp services, I shouldn't need a password.

                Default configuration included file sharing.

                • Anybody using a UNIX system back then would know that it comes configured with rsh, telnet, rlogin, ftp, etc. You need a password. (note: the filesystem root is NOT exported by default)

                  Windows is a desktop and gaming OS. It doesn't normally provide UNIX-style services. I can't telnet in. Of course I don't expect to need a password.
                  • Anybody using a UNIX system back then would know that it comes configured with rsh, telnet, rlogin, ftp, etc.

                    As would anyone using Windows NT4 and Windows 2000.

                    You need a password.

                    As you did with Windows NT4 and Windows 2000.

                    (note: the filesystem root is NOT exported by default)

                    You could typically *telnet as root* into unix machines that old by default. More recent ones you can typically "only" SSH in as root.

                    Now, which do you consider to be more exposure - the ability get a root shell or the abili

    • After using nothing but Linux for a month they find they miss some app they only have on Windows (typically a game) and reboot to use it. Then they surf the web a bit with Firefox and may or may not notice how much better it runs under Windows. Reluctantly they reboot into Linux and feel the withdrawl symptoms. Soon they're installing VMware or Cedega but it's just not as good as the raw experience. A month later their Linux partition is just a big waste of harddrive space, so they delete it.

      And?

      Oh, I forgo

    • If you're trying to give up drinking you don't take an occasional belt from your hip flask, even if everyone else around you is still drunk off their ass.

      So you're comparing Windows to an addiction? I think your analogy is flawed. These are tools we're talking about. Here's a different analogy. When working in the garden using a roto-tiller, sometimes it is tempting to use a shovel for certain tasks. This is wrong, because soon you'll find that using a shovel is easier in some cases.

      People should use wh

  • Has anyone here tried Parallels for linux? Wondering how well it works compared to VMware workstation/vmplayer.
    • I have been using it for about 1 month to run Ubuntu for about a month. I have no real problems, the only drawback is that Parallels does not provide a handy script to share a folder between OS X and ubuntu. I am sure that there is an easy way to do this, but I have not investigated because it is not really a drawback for me as the files I am accessing are on a webDAV remote share. Boot up is snappy, you can map the Virtual cd-rom to an .iso, so install is speedy. This is on a MacBook (trusy white) 2Ghz wit
  • Two things missing: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bloggin joe ( 951610 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @07:06PM (#15565296)
    As someone else said elsewhere, there's two things missing:
    1. Hardware accellerated graphics - doesn't need to be perfect or native-speed, but anything is better than software (I hate the current redraws when resizing windows)
    2. Direct HD partition support so we can boot off the same 'system' and have the same applications and data, with the only thing needed being a seperate Hardware profile in Windows - would make things a lot easier to use and convenient (Boot directly into windows for games, boot in Parallels for work, as needed)
    Plus I would add a third: bring the price back down to $49.99 as it was originally.
  • by RzUpAnmsCwrds ( 262647 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @07:11PM (#15565318)
    Does it run succesfully on a Mac Mini?

    Why is this even a real question? The Mac Mini is nothing but an Intel Yonah (Core Solo / Duo) CPU system with an Intel 945 Express chipset (and integrated Intel GMA950 GPU), and EFI instead of a BIOS. Hardware wise, it's an exceptionally common Intel system.

    • Because, if you do research you will find that not all the MacMini's support the virtualization required.

      Seems intel had a run of chips that didn't support it and Apple didn't care either way, it wasn't a selling point of the machine at the time.
    • I've heard that a number of the Minis -- I'm not sure which -- have chips which don't have the virtualization support, or have it crippled by firmware troubles. There's some info in the wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_mini [wikipedia.org]

      The real question: why does the person who submitted the story think the Mini question is answered in the review? The word "mini" doesn't even appear in the blog post anywhere.
      • I've got Parallels running WinXP just fine on my Mac mini, and it's pretty nice. I'm forced to run certain things (robot programming) under Windows. Now that I have a good environment to play with I can play with linux distros and find better robot tools.

        I didn't even know about the virtualization problem, I just got the warning from Parallels but it ran fine. Now I have to look into some fixes and speed that sucker up. Or maybe I can upgrade to a Core 2 Duo [macenstein.com].
  • Apple agrees! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sootman ( 158191 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @07:13PM (#15565329) Homepage Journal
    Here's the interesting thing: Apple talks about Parallels, not Boot Camp, on their "OMG It runs teh windoze!!!111oneone" page:
    Talk about a win-win situation. Now you can take advantage of all the benefits of owning a Mac but still enjoy the convenience of starting up your Mac in Windows XP and running a Windows-only game or productivity application when needed. Third-party software solutions such as Parallels Desktop for Mac help make it possible.

    (From http://www.apple.com/getamac/windows.html [apple.com])

    The funny thing is, they mention "starting up your Mac in Windows XP"--sounds like some of the copy writers need a crash-course in the difference between multibooting and virtualization.
    • Re:Apple agrees! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mr_matticus ( 928346 )
      Actually, the "start your Mac up in Windows XP" is a direct reference to Boot Camp. The last sentence really belongs in the following paragraph and I'd have worded it differently, but there it is.

      Beyond that, there's a certain quiet genius in the ad. They're pushing Parallels because it helps the publisher make money, but it also achieves an OS X marketing advantage. Not only does it cost more to buy Windows+Parallels, but it doesn't run exceptionally well--OS X will always be faster. Both of these re
  • I want this software too boot up from the windows partition. That way I can have convenience when I want it, and reboot to play games if I must. I wrote Parallels about this, and they said it should be on their feature list.... but it should be priority #1
    • VMware has a setup called "raw disk" which is basically what you requested. It really is the best of both worlds, I can use Windows office apps from Linux when I need to without rebooting. But when I want to play some games I can just boot to the same partition. I agree there should be more focus on this type of setup for Desktop users.
    • Coming from the Mac, I have a question about this: Doesn't this clash with Windows' Activation? If you boot the same installation from within Parallels and from the Mac itself, wouldn't Windows see that as two different computers, which would trigger a new activation?

      • I don't think so, depending on:

        1. Parallels, in the future, includes some kind of FAT32 disk format/resizing(like Boot Camp does) capability. The reason it needs FAT32 is OS X can read/write to a FAT32 partiton, but not a NTFS partition(which will be a problem with Vista). This would make a much easier transition, since it already knows how to write to a virtual Windows disk.

        2. You haven't already installed the copy of Windows XP on the virtual disk. If you've done that, I'm sure it would be treated as i
  • Why choose? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Freak ( 16973 ) <prius.driverNO@SPAMmac.com> on Monday June 19, 2006 @07:27PM (#15565416) Journal
    They are meant for different markets.

    Parallels is for people who need to run OS X and Windows at the same time.

    Boot Camp is for people who need to occassionally run Windows separately from Mac OS X. For example: games, secure environments, people who just want to use Apple hardware with Windows, and have nothing to do with OS X whatsoever.
  • by multimediavt ( 965608 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @07:32PM (#15565441)
    Ok, for everyone that thinks, i.e., assumes and doesn't know, that Boot Camp from Apple or Parallel's Desktop for Macintosh were created for gamers, you're dead wrong!

    Neither product claims to be able to play games, nor offers much in the way of support for gaming. Although, Boot Camp and running Windows XP natively on the hardware will certainly give you a better chance of doing so.

    These applications are for people (like me) who work in an office that is Windows abundant so they can run stupid, lousy, poorly written pieces of software like Outlook and can get on the Exchange server to do what they're already doing BETTER with an open source product running someplace else. It's also for those of us that need access to applications like AutoCAD from time-to-time or some other application that only runs under Windows.

    Yes, for some, the desire to play Windows-based games is driving them to these products, but they're no where near ready for that crowd. Parallels Desktop is RC2 and even though it has a version number of 2.1, it's really the first revision for the Intel-based Macs. Boot Camp, well, it's clearly labeled on the web page as "Public BETA", i.e., use at your own peril.

    Please stop bashing a product simply because it doesn't do what you want it to do even though it wasn't designed (or intended) to do that task. Parallels is a very capable virtual machine application and is very easy to setup and use. As someone who has used a dual-boot system as his primary machine, I can tell you (IMHO) the Parallels product kicks dual booting in the ass! Dual boot is fine if you're only going to use the one partition for gaming. If you're talking about a work environment where you need to switch back and forth fairly regularly, dual-booting sucks! Again, IMHO.
    • by ZackSchil ( 560462 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @08:28PM (#15565697)
      Actually, Boot Camp is geared towards gamers. Apple worked with ATI to release a 3D accelerated Windows driver for the ATI cards included with Macs. The standard Windows drivers would have been enough to use office apps, etc and 3D hardware acceleration would not have been needed had they not intended the driver package to be used by gamers.

      It would be silly to think Apple didn't see "Run Windows games on a Mac" for the runaway money train it truly is.
    • It's also for those of us that need access to applications like AutoCAD from time-to-time or some other application that only runs under Windows.

      I didn't see that Autodesk had AutoCAD for Macs, it does have AutoCAD LT [autodesk.com] ported to Macs though. Also there are other CAD packages for Macs, Architosh [architosh.com] is a community of Mac based architects and other CAD users. There may be a specific requirement to use AutoCAD but there are CAD programs for Macs if there isn't a requirement. Otherwise I agree with your post.

    • I'm really getting tired of reading all these comments to the effect that "Bootcamp sucks, it won't run games, it isn't designed for a gamer crowd, etc."

      I have no idea if it was built for gamers or not. All I know is that I own a Macbook Pro, have bootcamp installed on it, and find that it works absolutly fine for gaming.

      Does it run every last game at tip-top resolutions and graphics levels? No, it's a laptop with an X1600 mobile card in it. It runs newer games (Oblivion is a prime example) WELL, even wi
      • Just curious what settings you need to use in Oblivion in Windows XP on Parallels in order for it to run "WELL" (your word).
        • mod -1, failure to read parent article.

          The parent in question is explicitly talking about boot camp, not Parallels, running Oblivion well.

          This agrees well with other reports and with common sense. An x1600, even underclocked, ought to be able to run Oblivion well. While it might not be the uber screaming chip for the macho teenagers using their computers as a measure of penis size, it is pretty decent. For example, it is better than any of the graphics chips I happen to have in any of my Windows boxes (one
    • So a beta program (boot camp) that can screw up your system is good for work stuff? Where a system going down can cost you lots of productivity? I'd imagine it's more common and makes more sense to use it to play games.
  • Misleading story (Score:3, Informative)

    by solistus ( 556078 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @07:47PM (#15565516) Homepage
    TFA says NOTHING about Parallels being better than Boot Camp; the only reason he cites for wanting to use Parallels instead is to save room on the main disk. Since Parallels fails entirely on his external drive, it doesn't even accomplish that modest goal.

    Aside from some fairly vague comments about the VMs being "fairly snappy," there's no indication of performance. From what I've heard, Parallels doesn't even come close to Boot Camp on that front, probably because Apple ported its own drivers specifically for Boot Camp so that all the hardware would work at full speed.

    Also, Parallels costs $49.99. Boot Camp is free.

    Oh, and the author says that setting up the VMs is time-consuming and complex; Boot Camp, by most reports, is easier to set up than installing Windows on a 'regular' PC.

    The only advantage Parallels has over Boot Camp is that it can be used for more than just Windows. However, that's not a reason to prefer it if what you want is Windows. Boot Camp is free, faster and easier to set up. There may be some other advantages to Parallels, but this (decidedly mediocre) article doesn't mention any of them.
    • by chris234 ( 59958 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @08:16PM (#15565654)
      The main advantage to Parallels for me (I've been trying it since it initial release, btw) is the simple fact that I don't have to reboot to run Windows. Bootcamp doesn't cut it, if I need to exit my computing environment just to work on a Visio document or some other Windows app. I don't want to lose access to the rest of my online world in those cases.
      • That is a very nice feature, and probably one of the main ones that causes people to run Parallels over Boot Camp. However, TFA didn't discuss this. I was just pointing out that the article does not make any arguments as to why Parallels > Boot Camp, and, from what the article says, there is no apparent reason to prefer Parallels.
        • I was just pointing out that the article does not make any arguments as to why Parallels > Boot Camp

          Parallels Desktop for Mac worked quite well. The XP VM was pretty snappy, especially after installing the Parallels tools, which made the mouse cursor seamless with the Mac desktop. Performance was very good; the XP VM ran comparable to a regular mid-range PC. Occasionally the overall system would slow down for a few moments, or the beach ball would appear. Since I had iTunes and Firefox running on the hos

    • Re:Misleading story (Score:3, Informative)

      by FredFnord ( 635797 )

      From what I've heard, Parallels doesn't even come close to Boot Camp on that front, probably because Apple ported its own drivers specifically for Boot Camp so that all the hardware would work at full speed.

      From what I've heard, Parallels runs between 4% slower and 1% faster than XP on a MacBook Pro. The only problem area is graphics. Perhaps you mean 'doesn't even come close to Boot Camp for games? Believe it or not, that's not its target market.

      -fred

      • by solistus ( 556078 )
        GPU performance is important for a lot more than games, and will continue to become even more vital in the future. Heard of Vista Premium? A lot of people also want to be able to run graphics-intensive CAD, Photoshop, etc. style apps. I never said every component ran slower, but buying a machine with a decent graphics card and then using Parallels to lose that performance benefit might make sense to some users who value not having to reboot over having the full power of their machine, but there are plent
    • Boy, you really missed the big one.

      Not only is Parallels not in the same league as boot camp, it's not even playing the same game!

      The only advantage Parallels has over Boot Camp is that it can be used for more than just Windows.

      If you want to boot any other OS on your Mac you don't need a hack like "Boot Camp". The only reason you need Boot Camp at all is because Windows doesn't support EFI natively. If you want to run UNIX on your Mac you have your choice of a variety of free UNIXes or Apple's native opera
  • easier, slower (Score:4, Informative)

    by m874t232 ( 973431 ) on Monday June 19, 2006 @09:43PM (#15565978)
    Using Parallels is an easy way of installing Linux or Windows. In terms of raw CPU, it works efficiently, with little overhead. However, OSX has a hell of a time with paging and big processes, so get a lot of memory and still be prepared to watch the spinning cursor for a while while switching to/from Parallels.
  • by JohnDProctor ( 983716 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @06:05AM (#15567651)
    A rather superficial review. As a long time user of VPC on my G4 PB(s) and now using a MacBook Pro 15" (2 GB Ram) I can honestly say Parallels is good for a first off product. While it supports DirectX 2D it does not support DirectX 3D (no I'm not a gamer!) I have a Windows marine navigation application which uses DirectX 3D and it does not run on Parallels. I suspect that support will be forthcoming but it probably will target DirectX Version 10 (Vista). I've been able to access USB peripherals (LaCie DL DVD writer, Keyspan USB to Serial addapter). Fidelity is good, stability is good, performance is excellent and this is with the released product for which I have a permanent key. I also have Boot Camp installed and it works well and does support fully DirectX 3D. My navigation application works well under boot camp. The only hassle is the separate disk partition and the reboot. Windows XP runs well in this environment and wireless networking came up without a hitch! The peripherals which don't have Apple supported drivers yet (USB camera, ambient light sensor etc.) are really not a problem for me. So for full fidelity Boot Camp is the go. For everything else Parallels wins hands down!
    • I'm more interested in seeing whether it'll support OpenGL 3d. Given Apple's strong support for OpenGL, running apps that do support both APIs in OpenGL mode is likely to be the best option if it's available.
  • by raddan ( 519638 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @10:44AM (#15569178)
    I've been using Parallels Workstation for the Mac (or whatever they call it now) for a couple of months now. I admin a respectably-sized Active Directory and radmind'ed Mac network. We also have a dozen or so OpenBSD servers in our closet, so having a machine that can work with Windows, Macs, and has all of my fun UNIX tools is great. For years I've had two or three boxes connected via a KVM, but this is superior. I have a dual-display set up with my Intel iMac, with Parallels (WinXP) in one display, and the MacOS in the other. I can share files between the two, and I don't need to fiddle with a KVM switch, which never really seems to handle USB device removal/insertion very well.

    This is the ultimate test of Parallels in my mind: I am running the Exchange 5.5 Administrator tool on my Mac (we have a legacy 5.5 install that we're migration away from). Do any of you realize what a perversion this is? It runs great!

    Oh, and the Parallels team is super-responsive to bug reports. I am quite happy with this product.
  • by Pliep ( 880962 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2006 @03:22PM (#15571534) Homepage
    Parallels lets me run any Windows version + apps inside a window on my OS X desktop.

    Being a web designer, I can now do all my work on Mac OS X and switch back and forth to Windows + Internet Explorer in seconds (to check how barfingly ugly my work will look to MSIE visitors). Well worth it's money, even though gaming is not supported.

    Boot Camp is just total nonsense in my situation. I'm just NOT willing to reboot for anything.

    Lastly, Parallels with Windows XP Home Edition with no running apps takes up 6-7% CPU on my 1,66 GHz Core Duo Mac mini.
  • Could we have had benchmarks under bootcamp and then under parallels? I really think alot of users would like to know how much of a hit we take just to get this. Also can we bootcamp and parallel on the same machine? If so are they the same boot, or are they two separate windows installs?
  • If anyone actually knows and is not just speculating, what are the issues/warnings/pitfalls with using Parallels to run a .NET development environment?

    Does Parallels run and entire Windows OS in the window (with start button, etc) or does it just run the App?

    I love my Mac at home and would like to work from home but I have to use IIS, Visual Studio, and SQL Server to do that. I know Boot Camp can handle the task, but I'd really love to do my coding and have my iTunes, Mail, iChat, etc all running in OS X to

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