“For years, my desk has been cluttered by two computers — one Macintosh and one PC. It’s been an arrangement of necessity, as I prefer the Mac but sometimes need a Windows machine for work,” Robert Weston writes for The Associated Press. “So it was with great interest that I read about Apple Computer’s launch last week of a program allowing newer Intel-based Macs to boot Microsoft’s Windows operating system . A day later, another company unveiled software that runs Windows in Mac OS X at nearly full speed.”
“In both cases, software emulation isn’t required, because the new Macs share the same hardware brains as Windows PCs . Unlike Microsoft’s Virtual PC program that lets some Windows programs run on my old PowerPC-based Mac, there’s no significant performance hit. The major difference between Apple’s Boot Camp and Parallels Software International’s Parallels Workstation is that the latter allows the user to seamlessly switch back and forth between the systems without restarting. Boot Camp requires a decision at startup — if you want to run the other OS after that, you need to reboot,” Weston writes. “To see which approach — Apple’s dual booting or Parallels’ Windows-in-a-window — works best, I installed them on a borrowed 20-inch iMac with a 2-gigahertz Intel Core Duo processor.”
“Parallels Workstation’s most obvious advantage is its ability to run both operating systems simultaneously [with no need to reboot, but it] doesn’t yet provide the native graphics drivers needed to make the display hardware run at full speed. That may explain the fairly significant drop-off in speed from a regular PC… Apple’s Boot Camp, which is available as a free download, feels much more like a finished product, despite its beta label,” Weston writes. ” Performance is what you would expect running Windows XP on a similarly configured PC… Windows games installed and played at top speed without a hitch.”
“For hardcore gamers, there really is no option. Boot Camp is the best way to run Windows games on a Mac,” Weston writes. “For computer users who today need to use a few PC-only Windows applications, Parallels Workstation bears watching. If the company can develop graphics drivers and work out the kinks in the product, it could become the coveted all-in-one solution of the computer world.”
Full article here.
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