VMWARE and Parallels are available for free download to try. VirtualBox is free. You should try each and stick with the one that works best for you.
That's the best way to go. There are pro and cons to each.
I started with Parallels way back, then gave up on it around v3 after it completely hosed my Boot Camp partition. I also didn't like how some Windows updates wouldn't stick, which I'm pretty sure had to do with how those early versions of Parallels would "swap" certain system files for the VM. I haven't used it since then, so I have no idea if that's still a problem, and I've also stopped using Boot Camp. I switched to Fusion.
I like the VM to run stably without much fuss, and Fusion works for me. I've only had one issue with the first version of Fusion v4 that got solved on the very next update. I take a snapshot, and make a copy of the VMs before trying updates, particularly version updates -- as I did today to test out the new Fusion v5.
I've been using VirtualBox lately too, mostly because I'm testing some Oracle stuff that's available was prepackaged VM for VirtualBox. VirtualBox works well enough too, but I was getting kernel panics. No doubt I was pushing my MBP by running too many VMs at the same time. There are some things, e.g. resizing virtual disks, that require the command line in VirtualBox -- no easy GUI slider like Fusion. There's a new version that just came out days ago, so I don't know what it's like.
so i am running win 7 on parallels on both my older mac pro and my macbook pro since about V5. i've updated releases almost immediately when they were released in the hopes of fixing things that seemed to be problematic.
i have also had to do fresh installs on both my computers over the past week and it got me thinking as i rehook up the VM.
basically i find parallels way too finicky and way to complicated, even though i think i have tamed it at this point.
at the same time if there was something with a smoother UI or more intuitive or better for 3d modeling programs it is a good time for me to try it.
any recommendations? can i get you to elaborate a bit as some of this is hard for me to follow. Fusion is a fourth option in this or is it VM Ware..?
can you help me a bit more here?
i am also not so thrilled with Parallels and have been plunking down cash for updates almost immediately after their release. now that i am on 10.8 on the MBP (10.7.4 on the Mac Pro because it won't accept anything higher) - and parallels seems to be releasing 8 in september i am wondering if it is time to invest a little money and time into something else.
you would suggest Virtual Box?
can you compare it against parallels as a baseline say in terms of ease of use or functionality or whatever?
can you recommend it for 3d modeling software?
There are pros and cons to each virtual OS software.
I like Virtualbox better for playing nicer with time machine. Time machine backs up the entire block of the virtual drive with parrellels(II), VB, just those parts that are changed, so Time machine doesn't slow down your machine for so long when TM backs up. one bad solution is to just remove II from backing up.
I feel that VB loads much faster and stable, it also hasn't crashed for me yet, something II did almost all of the time. I had to rebuild alot in II, would take forever to update old virtual machines, or wouldn't update at all, and be left rebuilding. It is easier (for me) to increase/decrease the amount of ram and processors. It is also alot easier to make a clone, backup, or linked virtual machine. increasing partition sizes is a bit more troublesome as noted by Eric. VB has a greater range of operating system that you can install compared to II. currently i have XP, windows server 2008, Snow Leopard running on VB, as I have to connect to lots of old or odd hardware and software, i also just like arrows and fat scrollbars sometimes. (i also run mac server, running other mac os's is frowned upon unless you do).
Virtualbox is free.
I haven't installed 3d modeling on the virtualbox OS's yet, as I still use and own some pretty good mac 3d software. all of them have 3D graphics acceleration as an option.
You might look into crossover if you are limiting windows use to few applications. make sure your software is supported first.
I've tried parallels and bootcamp before, liked NETHIER.
Free and Open-Source
Works just as good as parallels
More Difficlut to use then parallels
Interface is not as pretty as parallels( Who cares? )
Easy to use
The Price ($70 man u crazy!!!)
Some software cannot install correctly
I use VirtualBox to run xp myself. Runs flawlessly. Its probably the best option, so I highly recamend VirtualBox. Heare are some tips:
-You need to know what RAM is and how much you have free, because when creating a new virtual machine requires that you know how much ram you have and how much you have.
-When it askes you for what type of storage you want, I'd chose fixed size cause its faster, but will take up more space when you allocate storage to your VM. Dynamically allocated allows the machine to grow untill a size you spcify.
WIndows xp running flawlesly on virtual box.