Bootcamp vs Parallels …whats the better choice when running Windows on a Mac?
Let’s start with Apple’s product Bootcamp( still in BETA form, to be released with the next major release of OS X ).
Bootcamp was the 1st way to run the Microsoft built operating system on a Mac natively. This means no emulating of any resources at all. The problem we run into with Bootcamp is the ability to ru the two operating systems simultaneously.
Yes, it’s great to have windows running at full speed with the ability to render 3d graphics 100% speed. This means, if your a gamer then yes you can now use a mac to run all those great PC based games. However, thats about the only reason I see Bootcamp being used.
Most Mac users will buy a Mac because of its solid, simple, fast and secure operating system. So if it’s that good, why run Windows at all? Because you have to, Windows still is the most common operating system in the world and there are some programs that are only available in Windows, but do they all need native support? would it not be better to have access to those programs while doing other work in OS X?
Welcome to Parallels, the latest way to run Windows on a Mac. Previous version of Parallels have run Windows in a “windowed mode” or full screen mode” with some speed loss. However, today i was browsing the web and came across the latest Parallels Beta download. I knew there was nothign to so i downloaded the 29 MB file, installed and booted in Windows XP in 30 seconds! Wow! much faster than restarting, and waiting for the the slow bulky windows xp to startup in bootcamp!
Well that was just the start, the new version of Parallels has many new features, i won’t list them all. Today i will talk about the three major releases in this version
#1 Copy and paste – Before this version whatever was done in Windows, stayed in Windows. This means if i had somethign copied to my clipboard in the Parallels Windows XP, i could not simply paste it in my os x platform. This BETA release offers just that, the ability to transfer clipboard items between the two operating systems.
#2 Drag and Drop – In the new version of Parallels it gives me the opportunity to transfer files from my OS X desktop onto my windows desktop with a simple “drag and drop”. Talk about time saving!
#3 Coherency mode – This is by far the biggest improvement in Parallels. Coherency mode allows me to run windows at full screen without seeing the windows desktop and items on the desktop.
This means i can have windows running while I’m working in os x and not even know it! If i need to access IE to check something on one oh my pages, no problem, i just use the start menu to access IE. and it shows up in OS X as a mac application.
Parallels is by far the coolest thing ive seen in OS X so far. It does however, have some minor drawbacks. Parallels will never run fully native ( it runs now at about 95% of the normal speed, so really… you dont even notice it.) 3D accelerated graphics in Parallels is an issue being worked on right now. For example, if you are a person who uses CAD but would like to work on a mac, you can do it fine, 2d dimensional images will be done at normal speed but the rendering time of 3D images might take a bit longer ( if you ask me it’s a small price to pay compared to working in a windows only enviroment ).
If you are a gamer and need to working a 100% 3D accelerated native windows environment, then Bootcamp is for you. However, for most people in the world (like myself) I can deal witht he very minor speed loss from Parallels since it manages to keep me in my os x envroment -simple, secure, stable and safe.
Oh and i forgot to mention, Bootcamp ONLY supports Windows XP with SP 2, Im pretty sure Vista is coming soon if it is not already being run in bootcamp. Parallels is able to run any Microsift based operating system from Windows 95- vista.
Here are the screenshots of parallels in the 3 different window modes.