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In fact, a built-in downloader allows you to grab the respective ISOs and install them automatically. I think that's quite a killer feature for IT pros: The Windows 7 installation procedure is fairly straightforward in both Boot Camp and Parallels Desktop 7. However, I went a slightly different route. I actually used Parallels to virtualize my Boot Camp partition.

5 top ways to run Windows on a Mac | Computerworld

Yes, Parallels Desktop 7 allows you to select your pre-existing Windows 7 partition on your Mac and just run it as it if were an actual virtual machine. This is actually the only way to compare performance of Boot Camp versus Parallels, since I'm testing both solutions on the exact same configuration with the exact same number of programs installed and identical settings. More good reads. Running Windows on a Mac Part 1: Lion vs.

Win7 performance shootout.


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  • Despite the Mac's recent gains in market share, Windows is still the dominant operating system, especially in businesses. That means there may be times when you need to run the Microsoft OS: Whatever your reason for running Windows, there are a number of ways your Mac can do it for you. CrossOver's vendor, CodeWeavers, maintains a list of compatible apps.

    If you need a more flexible, full-fledged Windows installation, you still have several other options.


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    • Or you could install one of three third-party virtualization programs: Of those four options, Boot Camp offers the best performance; your Mac is wholly given over to running Windows. And while VirtualBox is free, setting it up is complicated—downright geeky, at times—and it lacks some bells and whistles you might want.

      So, of those two, how do you decide which one is right for you? In the past, I tried to answer that question by comparing virtualization programs head-to-head , to see how they did on specific tasks. So instead of picking one program over the other based on how well it performs a given task, the choice now hinges on some more subjective factors. Note that, for the most part, I've focused primarily on using these programs to run Windows on your Mac. As noted, both Parallels Desktop and Fusion perform well when it comes to running Windows 7 on a Mac.

      Parallels Desktop was faster than Fusion in some individual tests, Fusion was faster in others, and in the rest the differences were almost too close to call. WorldBench 6 uses automated test scripts and eight different applications to simulate the real-world use of a system; we run the full suite multiple times then average the results together. For WorldBench scores, higher is better.

      All other results are in seconds; lower is better. Best result in bold. Tests run on a inch 2. Distill these numbers to their essence, and what you have are two fast, capable ways of running Windows on your Mac. While the two programs are practically indistinguishable in general usage, there are three specific scenarios in which greater differences emerge.

      The first of them: In my testing, it handily outperformed Fusion, especially on newer titles. BMW Racing ran great in Parallels, with high frame rates and stutter-free audio. So if Windows gaming is your thing, Parallels is the one you want to use. The second big difference between the two: The third big difference: The one exception, starting in , has been consistent support for running Windows on Macs.

      By now, the practice is well-established.

      Install Windows 7/8 on Mac with Parallels!

      But the issue of management still looms large. How can IT deploy Macs that run Windows without multiplying the complexity and cost of deployment, maintenance and security by at least a factor of two? Windows on Mac works, and can work well.

      Virtualization for serious work?

      The most relevant question for enterprises is which Windows-on-Mac virtualization options offer:. They vary in cost, complexity and feature sets, and my perceptions of their pros and cons might help you decide which will be best for your circumstances.

      The hidden costs of running Windows on a Mac

      Using a basket of benchmarks covering CPU, graphics and sample workflow measurements, performance was simply not a key differentiator in these tests. All of the products we tested are mature and stable, and aside from the natural differences between Boot Camp and the rest native hardware support vs. Virtualization always incurs processing overhead, and it will never be as fast as native, non-virtualized instances — which brings us to the first option, Boot Camp. A Mac running Windows via Boot Camp will perform at pretty much the same speed as a dedicated Windows machine with equivalent hardware specs — in fact, Macs have often made great higher-end Windows machines, and compatibility is usually not an issue as long as Apple supports the version of Windows you need; see below.

      More Information

      A big drawback with Boot Camp, however, is that every switch between Windows and macOS requires a complete reboot, which gets frustrating if you have to do it a lot. There can also be compatibility issues when accessing files on NTFS-formatted Windows drives from the Mac side — though third-party drivers are available, such as those from Paragon Software Group , that bridge that gap.

      Even an individual machine can be difficult to set up with Boot Camp, and of course a large, heterogeneous enterprise deployment will be more so. Adding stand-alone, unmanaged copies of Windows to your environment via Boot Camp may not be advisable from a security or manageability perspective.

      Expert users and IT staff should have no problem, but those used to fairly seamless and simple Mac installations may find it far from intuitive. The current version of Boot Camp 6. If the combination of hardware and operating system you want is not officially supported, there is almost always a fairly simple workaround.