Apple Bootcamp and Parallels are virtualization programs that allow you to install and work with other operating systems, such as Windows, on computers running Mac OS X. Both programs have pros and cons because they are based on completely different technologies.
Step 1. Compare the cost of the programs
- Apple BootCamp is free software included with Mac OS X.
- Parallels Desktop 6 costs $ 79.99 (or $ 49.99 if you upgrade from a previous version of the program). However, you can download and test Parallels for free for 14 days.
Step 2. Compare technologies
- Apple Bootcamp allows you to run operating systems as installed, that is, with access to all system resources (processor, video card, etc.). This is critical for certain programs, such as games, that consume a lot of system resources. However, this means that you can only work on one system (that is, you cannot use two systems at the same time).
- Parallels creates a virtual machine into which you install another operating system. This will allow you to run the operating system in a Mac OS X system window and you can work with two systems at the same time.
Step 3. Compare ways to access systems and how they integrate with Mac OS X
- Parallels lets you instantly switch between Mac OS X and another operating system. In Bootcamp, you need to select one of the systems when you turn on your computer.
- Parallels is highly integrated with Mac OS X, allowing you to access folders and transfer files between systems (using simple drag and drop). This is not possible in Bootcamp.
- Parallels starts up much faster than Bootcamp. Launching an operating system in Parallels is similar to launching a program. Starting an operating system in Bootcamp is similar to booting a system installed on a hard drive.
Step 4. Compare the consumption of system resources
The system in Parallels shares system resources with the installed Mac OS X system, so it may freeze. If you plan to run powerful programs such as games or video editor, then it is better to choose Bootcamp, where you can make full use of system resources
Step 5. Compare the installation process
- Installation of the operating system in both programs is performed according to the detailed instructions on the screen and takes 5-15 minutes. Installing the actual operating system after completing the initial setup process follows the internal system installation process. For example, the process for installing Windows is similar to installing it on a computer's hard drive.
- To install the system in Apple Bootcamp requires a utility that is preinstalled on all Apple computers with an Intel chip and is called "Boot Camp Assistant". This utility will allow you to partition your hard drive and includes a virtual CD containing all the necessary drivers for your operating system.
- To install the system in Parallels, you first need to create a virtual machine for which you can specify the amount of RAM to be allocated and the type of virtual disk (it is better to choose a dynamic disk that grows as the data on it grows, that is, uses the physical hard disk space as needed).
- Parallels Desktop supports Bootcamp partitions. First, install Windows into Bootcamp and you can open the Bootcamp partition in Parallels. Be sure to install the Parallels Tools package when Windows is running in Parallels. This package ensures the stable operation of the system.
- In Parallels Desktop, you can install non-Windows operating systems such as Linux and BSD. This is not possible in Bootcamp.
- Installing one copy of the operating system in Bootcamp and Parallels will require multiple licenses.
- To install an operating system in Bootcamp, you must format one Mac OS X partition as Extended (Journaled).