General Question

djbyron's avatar

Windows on Mac... Parallels or VM Fusion?

Asked by djbyron (147points) October 1st, 2007

Just about ready to take the plunge and order a Macbook Pro and wanted to see who has had experience with Parallels and VM Fusion. Has anyone had experience with both and prefers one over the other? (and why of course)

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8 Answers

klaas4's avatar

I think I heard better reviews about VMware then Parallels. So if I had to buy VMWare, I would do it because of it’s performance.

By the way: Do you want to run the two together. If not, you could use Apple’s Bootcamp, but that’s actually not a virtualization-suite.

Greetings Davey.

segdeha's avatar

I recommend VMWare over Parallels.

I’ve used both and I can attest that VMWare is both faster and uses less RAM than Parallels. It’s faster mostly because it supports multiple processors. The interface is a little less polished than Parallels, but for my purposes (testing websites in IE), it’s more than adequate.

Michael's avatar

I just wanted to add that I have a Macbook and installed windows on it using Bootcamp. It went completely smoothly and has been a great addition to my computing life. If you don’t need to have both operating systems running at the same time, then I’d definitely recommend Bootcamp.

djbyron's avatar

Yea bootcamp is always an option… Seeing as I don’t have the mac yet I’m not sure just how much I would use the two OS’s simultaneously. I’ve heard great things about bootcamp performance (same or better than any PC) but due to my profession in web development I can definitley forsee having to run them side by side. I think thus far I’ve heard better things about Fusion so I’ll probably download the eval version and see how it works when the time comes! Thanks everyone!

bangpound's avatar

I’ve used both, and I currently rely on VMWare Fusion only. VMWare uses virtual machine files that I can use on any other VMWare product, incuding the open source vmware player and server on Linux and Windows. Parallels may have the same kind of compatibility, but I’ve never seen a copy of Parallels on Linux in the wild.

Parallels has superior graphics in Windows. If you’re a gamer, go with Parallels for now. I think VMWare will catch up soon but not yet.

mjm1138's avatar

I haven’t used VMWare Fusion, though I have experience with, and a generally positive view of, their other products. I run XP on Parallels and it works fine too. For what it’s worth, the “coherence” view mode in Parallels sounds compelling, but in my personal experience it’s a little clunky and not worth the trouble. I guess my recommendation is to get the product on which you can get the best deal; either is likely to be fine for most users.

phred78's avatar

I’ve tried both and opted for VMware Fusion. It’s faster, has better drive support and has never crashed my MacBook Pro, while Parallels was always hanging and consuming memory needed for other apps. You do need at least 512MB of RAM reserved for WindowsXP or it won’t run properly. I use it just to test websites and get my daily dose of Internet Explorer annoyance.

artificialard's avatar

I work in Mac retail and would recommend VMware Fusion as well. It’s faster, more stable, and coming from the foremost virtualization software company I have faith they will continue to improve it.

The Macworld review seems to confirm this. Interesting point: Fusion can use both cores in a Core Duo system whereas Parallels cannot.

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