Jump to content
RPSharman

Help with Parallels

Recommended Posts

To those who know...

 

My son wants to run some PC games on his MacBook Pro.  Parallels seems to be the go to option, but it appears he must buy BOTH Parallels and Windows.

 

I think we have an old Windows install disk from an old laptop, but it might be serial number specific and very outdated. Are there any other options? Can I buy "used" Parallels and Windows?

 

Senator disclaimer... I have been to the Parallels website, and have done some searches of various forums, but I am asking this group of trustworthy friends and colleagues to see if someone here has specific and personal knowledge.

 

Thanks,

 

Robert

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Robert,

 

Indeed, you would need each of Parallels and Windows.  Parallels is similar to Boot Camp and VMWare, and Windows is the OS.  You can certainly get Parallels, install it, then install Windows on top without the key.  What would happen is you'd receive the "activate" notification popups all the time.  That notification popup could indeed force his in-game window to minimize as it takes priority.  Just

 

Sometimes sound would not appear within Windows under Parallels due to the way the soft/hardware has priority over the sound interface in Mac land.  Program dependent.

 

a

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, Parallels is a virtualization software, as is VMWare, but Boot Camp is actually different, it allows you to natively install Windows into a partition of your drive, without virtualization.

Boot Camp is free, or rather comes available with Mac OS; to access Windows, you would have to restart your computer, hold down the option key before the Apple logo comes up to access the Boot menu, and select the Windows partition. Then the computer would bout as though it was a Windows machine.

Parallels and VMWare create a virtual image disk in your User folder in the Mac OS, which the virtualization software access to every time it boots Windows, no restarts needed. Both are paid Software. I'm partial to Parallels myself, as it offers features such as "Coherence Mode", where Windows applications are masked to operate under the Mac OS look, you don't have to open the Windows Desktop, and they can be added to the doc, etc. Very neat.

A third, free and open source virtualization software option is Virtual Box. It does the job, but doesn't offer the extra features like its paid counterparts do.

While running Windows via Boot Camp would be faster as it is native, I think that virtualization software have become so sophisticated, that the difference is negligible.

In all cases, you would have to buy a copy of Windows, which is very inexpensive (less than USD$100 iirc).

Cheers,

José

PS while in college, I used to work as an IT, where we tried all these methods top run Windows in Mac. We started with Boot Camp, but decided to move into virtualization to offer more convenience, as it would avoid restarting the computer every time you wanted to switch between OS'es, thus saving time. While we all agreed that Parallels offered the best features and convenience, we endedup going for Virtual Box, because it was free. And for the 2 years I was there, it worked pretty well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, José.

 

I'll look into a free option. He's just playing PC only games, so I can't imagine functionality is an issue. Speed might be, but it's a pretty fast computer. Reformatting the drive with a new partition for Boot Camp, then reloading everything, might be beyond me. Although I could probably handle it. I've loaded new drives before into other Macs.

 

Windows is £100 in the UK. Perhaps I'll see if I can order it with my US card and billing address for less.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would definitely use boot camp if I was gaming in windows or doing anything requiring lots of RAM/ processing. VMware is good if you need to run both OS's at the same time, but for gaming you will want all the resources you can free up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I, too, would recommend boot camp if your son wants to play processing heavy games. The benefit to running Windows via Boot Camp is that you get full access to your computer resources, whereas virtualization uses limited access instead. I use Parallels solely because I don't use any processing heavy Windows software, mostly some tools that I need or use for sound work, and I like the fact that I can set it up in Coherence mode so that everything looks seamless, as if under one single OS.

 

The Boot Camp Assistant software will allow you to partition your current hard drive without re-formatting, and it is pretty straight forward. You should have no problems. Here's some simple instructions from the Apple website:

http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201468

 

Here's a YouTube video with more in-depth step-by-step instructions:

 

Here's a link to Amazon selling Windows 7 Home Premium for a bit under USD$100:

http://www.amazon.com/Windows-Premium-System-Builder-Packaging/dp/B00H09BB16

 

The only caveat is that you need to make sure you get a 64-bit version of Windows, as 32-bit will not work.

 

Feel free to PM me, I'm happy to answer any specific questions about the process if any should arise.

 

Cheers,

J.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks.

I'll sort out creating a partition and finding a copy of Windows.

If you have a spare drive bay in your mac you could use that and another drive for bootcamp. Adding a partition to an existing drive is a bit of a hassle, I think (although Jose seems to know an easy way). But you can also use an external Firewire 800 or Thunderbolt or whatever drive to use as a windows boot drive. That's probably the easiest option for Bootcamp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been using Virtual Box for years now and have not had any problems with it. It's also free. I had parallels/boot camp before and didn't like them. If I remember correctly with bootcamp you can only boot up in one system instead of running both at the same time as virtual box allows. Since I have two screens I'll usually have windows on one and mac on the other. Again, works great! 

 

virtualbox.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No Parallels on a mac.. don't do it!

Boot camp.

I don't want to hear any whinning about how much trouble it is.

Been running Parallels on my MacBook pro very successfully, and while running via Boot Camp will definitely perform better, virtualization via Parallels or even Virtual Box works very well.

I'm using some Windows only software via Parallels, that while are not process hungry like Pro Tools, do more processing than a web browser, and like Michael, love the fact that I can switch between OS'es without restarting, or better, just integrate them into one OS experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Next step, talk to my boy and see if he wants ease of virtual or performance of performance of BootCamp - dare I say he could try both!

I'll look into a W7 disk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm running a Macbook Pro/Mavericks at work that has Parallels 10 and W7 on it. This allows me to run BoomRecorder, Pixnet, LecNet, Yamaha Studio Manager, and various other Mac based software at the same time without all the rebooting/partitioning etc.

Yes, with Parallels you need a W7 installer but for me it was one of the few ways I could get LecNet to run along with what I am always running on set.

 

As an aside, I would absolutely love to see Lectrosonics code their software for the Mac as it seems beyond obvious that most of us work in the OSX side of the world.

 

S

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're gaming you might as well get a straight up PC. They're cheap enough - although a good video card would be where you want to  sink some dough into.  Make your son work for the money and do some research on how to build it himself. It would be a great self-esteem builder and father/son project.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before You start all of this what MBP do you have, how much ram is in it and how big is the main hard drive. You can install a boot camp on a second drive without jumping through hoops you might not realistically have enough space to give the partition, MBP are not known for their gaming optimized graphics cards, and if you don't have at least 16 gigs of ram running a VM for gaming is going to choke out in a heart beat with any of the newer games.

 

Edit: P.S. When he discovers STEAM I can guarantee if he wasn't a serious gamer before he will be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×