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Boot camp or parallels on a Macbook Pro to run Windows?

Posted on 2016-11-04
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Last Modified: 2016-11-12
I have a new MacBook pro.  I would like to make it dual boot...both OSX and Windows 10.  Which program is better to do this or are they both about the same in terms of performance?
thanks,
capreol
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Question by:capreol
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Martin Liss earned 125 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41874436
I think that probably all users would be biased when answering which is best. I use Parallels, so...
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by:Martin Liss
ID: 41874446
I haven't used Boot Camp so I may be wrong but I don't think that you can run both Windows and OS X at the same time, whereas with Parallels the interface is seamless.
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by:rindi
rindi earned 125 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41874554
Dual boot only works with bootcamp. Parallels is a hypervisor and you run the guest OS (Windows 10) from within your host OS (OSX) at the same time.

Naturally performance will be lower if you use parallels, as you are running two OS's at the same time and they share the resources. But on the other hand you don't have to shutdown one OS to run the other. So for me the advantage clearly is that with Parallels you can run both OS's simultaneously, even if you get less performance.
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by:Eoin OSullivan
Eoin OSullivan earned 125 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41874601
If you've a new MacBook Pro and 8GB or greater .. go for one of the VM solutions
Parallels - http://www.parallels.com/products/desktop/
or
VMWare Fusion - http://www.vmware.com/products/fusion.html
or
VirtualBox - https://www.oracle.com/virtualization/virtualbox/index.html

Bootcamp involves partitioning the hard drive and as a result you lose space on both OSX and Windows  as you have to decide where to split the Hard Drive for each OS
Bootcamp is really only critical if you need gaming performance or have some very fussy apps on Windows.  

If you're planning to use MS Office and other standard windows apps then VM is the way to go as it offers more flexibility and you can run OSX and Windows applications at the same time .. e.g Outlook on Windows and iTunes on OSX
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by:Martin Liss
ID: 41874604
Naturally performance will be lower if you use parallels
That may be true but on my iMac with a 4GHz processor and 16 GB of memory it's not noticeable.
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by:Martin Liss
ID: 41874621
BTW, Parallels has a nice view called "Coherence" and here's a picture of a part of my screen in that view. The red ones are Windows and the green are OS X.
My screen
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by:serialband
serialband earned 125 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41874678
Parallels, VMWare, and Virtualbox requires you to allocate system resources (CPU, RAM) to the VM.  you will be running with less RAM.  Both Parallels and VMWare can run close to 90% of full bootcamp speeds, according to benchmark tests, but if you're going to need all 16 GB of RAM, you're not going to get it.  You will likely allocate 2-4GB of RAM to your VM, and then your OS X side will have 2-4GB less RAM available to you.

Bootcamp allows you to fully utilize all RAM and CPU cores in you Windows boot partition.  This is ideal if you need to run any programs that are memory and processor dependent.

If you play first person 3D shooting games, Bootcamp will be better.  If you're just doing business, then you can run fine with Parallels.  The advantage of Parallels over the other 2 is that you can use the Bootcamp partition for one of the VMs, so you can still boot into Bootcamp for more resources and speed if you need.

There's another option, and that's to use WINE.  If you don't really need special Windows software, a good 90% of the most used software will run in WINE or Crossover.  You will still have all 16 GB available to your Mac, and your WINE process will take about as much resources as the Windows program would on Windows, with just a bit of overhead for WINE.  I eventually found this to be more useful to me than Bootcamp or Parallels.  It all depends on what software you use.
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Author Comment

by:capreol
ID: 41874838
Thanks to all experts who contributed answers to my question about Boot Camp and Parallels.  I very much appreciate your input on this question.
best regards,
capreol
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