QOTD: Boot Camp, Parallels Or Fusion?

I'm sitting here with my MacBook Pro and a copy of Windows 7, wanting to combine the two into the ultimate blogging machine. But how to do it?

I could go the cheap option of Boot Camp, which only lets me boot one OS at a time, and is free. Or I could spring for a copy of Parallels or VMWare Fusion to do the whole virtual machine thing.

So the question today is which should I choose? Either because you want to know what the process is like, or because you recommend the solution – either one is fine by me.


    I use Crossover Mac, it's pretty much Wine for mac. Sure, sometimes there's compatibility issues, but it means you don't have to buy (lol torrents) a copy of windows. It even runs Steam.

    You could always try Sun VirtualBox. It's free & open source, and does everything that Fusion and Parallels do except for the coherence thing.

    You're forgetting VirtualBox...
    Its free and works.

    How about virtual box, its free and works just as well (in my opinion) as the paid for options. http://www.virtualbox.org/

    How about free and virtualized? VirtualBox.org


    save yourself some money, it runs great, after using both Parallels and VMWare Fusion, I am sticking with virtualBox for now, its not as feature rich, but its free and works great.

    LOL I just purchased parallels today and its been hassle free it installed in a matter of minutes it allows for installs on multiple machines and runs straight off my bootcamp I have tried vm ware but I didn't like the UI as much and parallels claims to be allot faster and lots of other things both are about the same price but I just decided to go for parallels
    I hope this helps ^_^

    I suppose it depends why you need both.
    boot camp seems to be easy to do, and works fine, and you get the benefit of native speed, but you can only use one at once.
    also, as win7 aero is hardware accelerated, you'd need a vm that could do hardware acceleration to get the most out of it.

    guess I should say try a VM, Iv'e done boot camp, would be interested to see how it works in a VM

    Boot Camp was brilliant, straight forward and worked straight away, most vista drivers work fine.

    Do both. That way you can boot into windows for native performance if/when required, or load up your VM if you just want to perform smaller tasks quickly.
    Install Windows 7 via Boot Camp. Then install your VM of choice (I've own both and I prefer Fusion personally) and select your BootCamp partition as the source disk.
    One copy of windows ready to be used however you need it.

    Just stick with OSX and give your copy of windows 7 to me.

    Well my BootCamp doesnt work because it says files cant be moved and i found about everyone has this problems but anyway parallels and fusion seem to always run really smooth for me but then after about a week of use they go super slow and can barely go so if you can get BootCamp to work i suggest that.

    FWIW I have been successfully running Windows 7 RC using VMWare Fusion on my MacBook Pro for the past three months with no problems whatsoever. It's quite handy to be able to run and switch between the two OS without having to reboot. So far, no bugs or hiccups with Fusion, it setup and ran without any trouble.

    I would recommend giving Sun Microsystem's Virtual Box a shot, it's current version is somewhere in the 3's, plus it's free! And it's just as useful as any of it's competitors, I haven't had any trouble with it, and it doesn't have any extra services unlike vmware. Parallels is pretty good to with a few more features, but if all you want to do is run a guest OS, virtual box should be enough

    In my experience, VMWare Fusion is by far the best... semi-expensive but pretty stable and easy to use I thought. I don't like Bootcamp as it feels to me like I'm slowly destroying the soul of my iMac. VMWare somehow contains this soul-destruction as you can close it at any point.

    I would say to use VMWare Fusion - only because I have experience in using this for my tech machine on a day to day basis. I much prefer to work in the Mac OS but require testing and installation of Windows packages for work. VMWare Fusion allows me an easy drag and drop between the Windows and Mac OS and is hassle-free.

    I use Fusion, but I never tried the other options!

    It's slow to boot (on my iMac), and their website is HORRIBLE if you ever want to try and update. But it works seemlessly!

    As long as you don't require the bells and whistles that Parallels or Fusion bring to the table, you may want to consider VirtualBox which is available as a free download.


    Sun's VirtualBox is a great FREE alternative. It's not as polished as the other two VM options, but for most uses it still beats rebooting into Boot Camp for those one or two Windows apps you just can't do without.

    Haven't tried W7 on it yet though.

    I used VirtualBox for my mac to run windows 7. It was great, i had windows 7 running full screen, then i would just use my four finger swipe and i was back in mac land.

    I have been running Windows 7 in Fusion for several months now and have had no problems. Fusion install was extremely quick and simple and setting up the VM and installing Windows 7 was a breeze.

    It runs quick too.

    Very nice to be able to switch between the two desktops at a keystroke. Get Fusion!

    I've been running windows 7 on my macbook pro for over a year and i haven't gone back to OSX once..

    it runs incredible and you get way more colour out of the screen by playing with the nVidia display properties.. I HIGHLY recommend it over parallels or any of that other shit.. you'll find yourself never wanting to go back to OSX very quickly

    I'd go Parallels. Boot Camp, as has already been pointed out, means it's either Win or Mac. Parallels, means you can run programs side by side, copy & paste etc.

    I'm pretty sure you can also set up default programs for links etc.. i.e. if you click on a http link in a windows program, you can have it open in Mac Firefox. Or if you click a mailto link, it'll open in your default Mail app.

    I have to agree with Tim Keir above, on my iMac I have Windows 7 installed in bootcamp, but fire it up as a vm under OSX when I just need to quickly.

    Boot camp allows the full video acceleration which makes Windows 7 very pretty, and gives you more freedom (especially with external devices)

    With either Fusion or Parallels you need 4GB if you want to avoid slowdown. Starting up a VM with 2GB renders your computer unusable for about a minute, and you'll have frequent pauses thereafter, although they get sparser the longer you leave your VM open. If you have 4GB, and give 2GB to Windows 7, nothing slows down under normal use.

    Anyway, Fusion works better than Parallels for me, especially with Windows 7. The gap will probably widen further when Fusion 3 comes out, because it supports Aero and is fully 64 bit.

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