Parallels on MacBook Pro

I am very pleased with my decision to run Windows XP in Parallels instead of using a different partition for BootCamp. Not only have I avoided the hassle of having to reboot each time I need to switch between Mac OS X and Windows XP, I also get near-native performance in Windows XP.

I installed Visual Studio .NET 2005 on a virtual machine configured with 8 GB disk space and 512 MB RAM, expecting the performance to degrade when the hefty development environment is running. I was pleasantly surprised when I was able to use it without incurring any performance loss.

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4 Replies to “Parallels on MacBook Pro”

  1. Yes. Parallels handles cpu sharing very well.
    Of course memory requirements are gonna be steeper, but the real “problem” with parallels is hardware support. Its a problem only if you play games =)

  2. For games, I’ve got a desktop computer that I like to call my console — it is used exclusively for gaming!

    Parallels runs great even with 512MB. But, I’ve ordered 2GB of RAM for the MBP just to make the experience even better.

    My only complaint is that running Parallels quickly dries up the battery juice because — I suspect — Windows remains a resource-hogging beast regardless where it is sitting.[Sigh]

  3. my questions are:
    is partitioning or another type of resource allocation required or does Parallels share the same HD and memory space with OS X?

    Does Parallels always run when the Mac is on or can it be shut down (to save battery life) when not actually required?

  4. Short answer: Parallels works in a similar way to VMWare, but with much better performance.

    Long answer: No, you do not need to repartition. Parallels creates a virtual disk (ie. a file emulating the disk on Mac OS X partition) and uses Mac OS X memory for virtual memory. In short, both the hard disk and the memory within Parallels are from Mac OS X.

    You launch Parallels as you would launch a Mac OS X application. No need to leave it on all the time.

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