February 28, 2007

Get an email today - my new MacBook is in the post!

So, Mac people, Parallels or VMWare?

Posted to Mac by Simon Brunning at February 28, 2007 12:36 PM

I'd wait - I went and bought parallels, and haven't found a single reason to fire it up.

Posted by: sam newman on February 28, 2007 01:19 PM

Oooo - who's a lucky boy then?

Posted by: Sujatin on February 28, 2007 01:32 PM

Parallels rocks, coherence is the sh*t.

I can't speak for VMWare, but I can say that I've amazed several non-mac people with parallels running Visual Studio.

Posted by: Bill Mill on February 28, 2007 02:39 PM

Like Bill, I haven't used the VMWare option, and again like Bill, I have to say that Parallels is an amazing tool. It works. Over and over again, I use it and it. just. works.

Get lotsa RAM, though. I had a stock MBP w/1GB, and when I had a VM running, I swapped out pretty much all of my other apps. I upgraded to 2GB, and now I don't swap -- Parallels runs quite happily, I can switch between apps without noticeable lag, and I'm a much happier user.

Posted by: Peter Herndon on February 28, 2007 08:09 PM

I have not used VMware for Mac just yet, but am an avid Parallels user. Here's how I break it down...

1. Parallels is production, VMware Fusion is still in beta.
2. The 3D acceleration virtualization demo for an upcoming version of VMware was sweet. I believe Parallels have something similar in the works, however VMware's development resources may mean they get to market with this feature first if it is important to you.
3. There are more ready-to-run virtual appliances available in VMware's Virtual Machine format which I presume work just fine under VMware Fusion. Parallels have a tool called Parallels Transporter which is supported to convert VMware, MS Virtual PC VMs to their own format but I have yet to get it to work successfully on a number of virtual appliances.
4. Parallels have shown they are an innovative player with such features as Coherence.

Overall, I am rooting for Parallels as they are the underdog but I think they have a fight on their hands once VMware get ramped up.

Posted by: James Webster on February 28, 2007 10:39 PM

Go for Parallels. Why? Because I'm planning to upgrade to a MacBook or MacBook Pro myself (from the old iBook that I'm writing this on) and want to learn from your experience!

By the way, what's the most memory hungry Windows software you're planning to run?

Posted by: Keith Pitty on February 28, 2007 10:44 PM

Which one runs Ubuntu? Because you don't want no steenking Windows software on your Mac now do you?

All of the information I've seen mentions Redmond's finest work but I have yet to see anything that talks about running other operating systems on your Mac.

Posted by: Andy Todd on March 1, 2007 02:45 AM

Oh, hang on, according to the Parallels FAQ [1] you can run 'Windows (or some other OS)' in Parallels. The difference appears to be that you can only have one VM at a time. VMWare allows you to have as many VMs as you have disk space for.

[1] http://www.parallels.com/products/desktop/faq/3/#3-1

Posted by: Andy Todd on March 1, 2007 02:49 AM

Andy Todd: With Parallels, You can have multiple images of multiple operating systems on your disk, and you can open as many simultaneously as you have memory available for.

One thing missing from Parallels, that I've noticed that the VMware Fusion beta doesn't have either, is VMware Workstation's ability to make cheap snapshots of a VM's state, and to allow you to manage an arbitrary tree of snapshots with branching and pruning, etc. Great for QA testing.

Posted by: Matthew Scott on March 1, 2007 04:41 AM

I'd go with Parallels. The VMWare beta is in my opinion a very early product. It has potential, but it's really not there yet, especially with regard to networking support. Parallels has been solid and if you want to run Windows, Coherence mode is a great feature.

Posted by: Kimbro Staken on March 1, 2007 11:37 PM

I'm way behind here, but the good news is that you can run both, no need to choose. For anything serious, Parallels is your only sensible choice as VMWare Fusion is still beta and runs in debug mode which isn't full speed. It also has a few bugs. I've been playing with both for quite a while, and they are both impressive products. Parallels runs _damn fast_ on my MacBook Pro. If you really only want to run Windows (XP or Vista - they both run happily in Parallels) then Parallels is all you need.

Reasons to play with VMWare Fusion:

1) It provides "Tools" for more OS's than Windows - Linux and Solaris, for example; so the seemless experience is partially better. Parallels only offers tools for Windows (although they do have a few extra drivers hidden in there, like a network driver for Solaris);

2) It can present both CPUs (optionally) to the guest machine. In Parallels the guest only ever sees a single-CPU system.

3) You can download all the pre-built virtual "appliances" for VMWare, which can be handy to test operating systems and software without bothering to install them - http://www.vmware.com/vmtn/appliances/

Posted by: Chris Miles on March 6, 2007 08:40 AM

how about saving your money and buying a 300 dell just to run windows,

Posted by: mark boyce on March 7, 2007 03:48 PM
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