Slumming it with Windows on Mac: Boot Camp vs. Parallels vs. VMware vs. VirtualBox vs. CrossOver

Apple Online StoreMacWindows has updated their survey of available solutions for slumming it with Windows on Intel-based Macs.

These fall into several categories, each with different strong points. MacWindows’ goal is to help you determine which is the best soluton for you.

• Dual booting: Apple Boot Camp
• Running Windows in a virtual machine: Parallels Desktop, VMware Fusion, VirtualBox
• Running Windows apps directly in Mac OS X without Windows: CrossOver

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. People who CrossOver are humans too! Just because they look a little different doesn’t mean we should not afford all the rights the rest of us have!

    ….Miss Litella they said people who use the CrossOver software for Mac.

    …in that case, never mind.

    just my $0.02

  2. For those who don’t want to bother with Windows for running win apps & games:

    If you like to play Windows games on the mac and like double-clickable mac apps without the whole Windows thing, google: ‘The Porting Team’

    Hundreds of Windows Games are playable on the mac as simple application Ports without the need of Parallels/VMware and a Windows license.

  3. I kinda went the other way – I cahnt stahnd (fake snobby English Accent) Windoze but the only laptop I have is a Dell – since I’m currently laid up with a bad back and I can’t write apps on my iPad and I can’t afford a Mac laptop, I installed Snow Leopard (10.6.2) on the Dell – works great and now I can get my Mac needs fulfilled ’til I can sit at my desktop again. Necessity is a mother.

  4. hey… if you have even marginal mac skills you do not need to pay the premium for parallels or vmware “extra features”. all they do is cater to very simple-minded users (“grandma”), add silly aesthetic polish and cpu overhead. do you really want to look at the pathetic win 7 aero anyway? if your goal is to run a key / necessary win app… as efficiently as possible… vbox does all you need. one is my machines is a basic mac mini (2.53 duo) yet i am efficently running 64bit revit2010 via win 7 (64bit) using vbox.

    seems to me that sun is aggressively working on this project and the currently missing parts (native directx, etc) will come along in the near term.

  5. Ah, I have two windows apps I need for my work. I tried first with CrossOver, but only one of the two worked, and there were some complications as well. Then I tried the three virtual machines, and ended up with parallels5. vbox was also good, but a bit slower than parallels. The latest VMwareFusion was the worst of them, many crashes und bugs, and the forum full of complaints. But overall, all of them were much better than virtual pc I had 10 years ago on my g4. No big deal to run windows on a mac nowadays. BTW I didn’t have to buy a new copy of windows, I could deactivate one of my old computer’s licenses, and put in on the mac. One phonecall to Microsoft was enough, no problems (a friend of mine works there and gave me the tip).

  6. I recently (last sunday) finished playing Crysis on Parallels5 at Medium setting. Worked at most part like a charm. Got a bit choppyness on videosequences but otherwise it worked really good.

    Im using a Late2009 iMac 21.5″

  7. One thing they don’t list in the article is what I did: load Windows into the bootcamp partition and then create a virtual machine from the bootcamp partition. This is the best of 2 worlds. You can startup and boot right into Windows for the best performance (I know, it’s a contradiction in terms…) or open the virtual machine (I’ve been using Parallels, I tried VM ware Fusion and it wasn’t nearly as fast or have as many features) in OS X for convenience.

  8. Tried CrossoverGames on my mac.SLOW AS HECK. Decided to just use my old Windows comp (Dced from the internet ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”raspberry” style=”border:0;” />) for games.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.