13 Replies Latest reply: Nov 15, 2008 12:12 PM by MistaCleen
MistaCleen Level 1 (0 points)
Lately I have been wanting to change things up a bit and load on Windows onto my Mac. I have been looking mainly at said programs in the title, and wanted to get you guy's professional opinions beforehand. Mainly I'd be using it for playing games, like Counter-Strike: Source and others. Maybe a tiny bit of browsing, but not much. I also have a copy of TinyXP on a disc, so I'll be using that for my source of an OS. I don't know which program to use, they all say that they're good for 3D games and I'm not familiar enough to make the decision myself. Also, the one thing I do know is that with BootCamp you can dedicate all of the processor and videocard to a game, instead of with VMWare where there still has to be that bit of memory in the background to keep everything running properly. Any suggestions?


MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.5)
  • LukeD Level 4 (3,120 points)
    Use Boot Camp. It is free with Leopard, it makes your Mac a true PC, and you do not have to deal with third-party middlemen like Parallels and VMWare. Boot Camp is supported by Apple, and Windows is supported by Microsoft, which makes it easy should you have a problem.
  • Kappy Level 10 (263,335 points)
    This may be helpful. In particular the link to the benchmarking:

    Windows on Intel Macs

    There are presently several alternatives for running Windows on Intel Macs.

    1. Install the Apple Boot Camp software. Purchase Windows XP w/Service Pak 2 or Vista. Follow instructions in the Boot Camp documentation on installation of Boot Camp, creating Driver CD, and installing Windows. Boot Camp enables you to boot the computer into OS X or Windows.

    2. Parallels Desktop for Mac and Windows XP, Vista Business, or Vista Ultimate. Parallels is software virtualization that enables running Windows concurrently with OS X.

    3. VM Fusionand Windows XP, Vista Business, or Vista Ultimate. VM Fusion is software virtualization that enables running Windows concurrently with OS X.

    4. CrossOver which enables running many Windows applications without having to install Windows. The Windows applications can run concurrently with OS X.

    5. VirtualBox is a new Open Source freeware virtual machine such as VM Fusion and Parallels that was developed by Solaris. It is not yet fully developed for the Mac - some features are not yet implemented - but it does work otherwise.

    6. Last is Q. Q is a freeware emulator that is compatible with Intel Macs. It is much slower than the virtualization software, Parallels and VM Fusion.

    Note that Parallels and VM Fusion can also run other operating systems such as Linux, Unix, OS/2, Solaris, etc. There are performance differences between dual-boot systems and virtualization. The latter tend to be a little slower (not much) and do not provide the video performance of the dual-boot system.

    See MacTech.com's Virtualization Benchmarking for comparisons of Boot Camp, Parallels, and VM Fusion.

    Boot Camp is only available with Leopard. The Boot Camp Beta that was used with Tiger has expired and is no longer available for use. So contrary to the other poster's comment, Boot Camp isn't truly "free." You must purchase Leopard to get it.
  • MistaCleen Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks Guys! I decided to go with boot camp. the one problem is that now it won't work and it freezes up whenever i try to install windows
  • willp1 Level 1 (90 points)
    Are you using Windows Xp service pack 2.
  • KevLeviathan Level 1 (145 points)
    I like VMWare Fusion. It's MUCH faster than parallels. Of course you can't use it for intensive things like gaming, 3D rendering, etc. I found I was never booting into windows except to use a couple very simple programs for school so I set up Fusion. Very happy so far!
  • XSemperIdem5 Level 1 (20 points)
    I use Win XP through BootCamp. I was told by Apple that if you run graphics (videos and games) through VMWare or Parallels, you will sacrifice graphics quality.
  • MistaCleen Level 1 (0 points)
    First of all, I just want to say thanks for everyone's responses. I really appreciate you guys reaching out and helping me.

    Anywho, I've decided to put my "Bootcamping" on hold. Whenever I tried to load up my copy of TinyXP it installed successfully but whenever I tried to boot up I got the same message stating "Disk Read Error, Press any key to restart." I think it's because I have a illegitimate copy of windows, which is why it won't boot properly. Any ideas?

  • LukeD Level 4 (3,120 points)
    MistaCleen wrote:I think it's because I have a illegitimate copy of windows, which is why it won't boot properly. Any ideas?


    Use a legitimate copy of Windows.
  • Jaisen Level 1 (30 points)
    Naturally bootcamp is the fastest option, but unfortunately it can also be a rather inconvenient option if you need to multitask, like look up an old email, access a bookmark from safari, play itunes music in the background, etc. I haven't tested the new VM or Parallels, but I've tried all emulators (parallels 3 and vm 3), and unlike Kev, I find parallels the fastest for playing games. In fact, no other alternative was able to play the particular game that I play smoothly (oddly enough it is an old game from 2000 and isn't very intensive). Parallels runs it perfectly. I find that even running windows through parallels is very fast and almost as fast as bootcamp itself, though I grant in order to get those results one will need to hog system resources. So, if ever you do decide to go with any of the emulators, consider having ample ram and considering testing them with the games you intend to play since results obviously vary widely.
  • JoeyR Level 6 (8,280 points)
    +*I think it's because I have a illegitimate copy of windows, which is why it won't boot properly. Any ideas?*+

    TinyXP is a super scaled down version of XP. BootCamp requires a full version of XP w/SP2 or later (including Vista). Since TinyXP is far from a full release of XP, it is not likely that you would be able to get it to run under BootCamp. BootCamp is fairly picky with respect to the version of Windows you install.
  • KevLeviathan Level 1 (145 points)
    tinyXP should work just fine, just pop in the apple installation disk and install the drivers.
  • MistaCleen Level 1 (0 points)
    So I get a legitimate copy of Windows XP Home and now I have gotten to the point where I need to format the drive in order to install windows. When I get to the menu of formatting the drive, I get nervous because it says "Format the drive" and I'm worried that this'll format my ENTIRE drive instead of just the partition. Should I be worried?
  • MistaCleen Level 1 (0 points)
    Nevermind, I decided for backup my drive on my many, many externals and it worked like a dream. Thanks anyways