Potential new Parallels user...

Discussion in 'Parallels Desktop for Mac' started by BigDogues, May 3, 2007.

  1. BigDogues


    Greetings all,
    I have recently purchased a MacBook pro and installed XP pro using Boot Camp. I have heard some good things about Parallels and want to ask a few questions before I take the plunge.
    First off, have I started with the cleanest set-up, having installed XP pro in boot camp, prior to installing Parallels? I have read some licencing issues here on the boards regarding XP and don't want to have any issues.
    Being a PC user all of my printers, scanners and what-not, are PC based. I know for a fact that there is no driver for one of my printers. (Samsung ML-1210) By using Parallels will this allow me to print using an XP driver while in OS-X?
    I have also noticed that my MB seems to run hotter running XP in boot camp (or maybe it's just my imagination) Are there any preformance differances between Parallels and Boot Camp? Temps, CPU usage, etc.?
    I know this is a little off topic but I have yet to use MS office on this new machine. I am trying to decide between Office basic for PC and keeping the Office programs for Mac that came with the machine. Are there any considerations or opinions as to which would work the best.
  2. dkp


    If there are no OS X drivers for your peripherals then your OS X applications have no idea how to format the print stream so that it makes sense to the printer. It is certainly possible to feed the printer data from OS X but it will be meaningless - rather like sending a Postscript file to a printer that does not understand Postscript.

    OS X can be used as a printer server for Windows. It will attach to the printer as a raw device - in other words, it will send to the printer data from Windows exactly as it arrives and without modification. This would be of value if for some reason the USB connection directly from Windows proves unreliable. USB is a pretty flakey protocol in many implementations and vendors play loose with the rules, so USB reliability isn't what it should be.

    It would be time well spent developing an understanding of the relationships that are inherent in running Windows as a virtual machine, particularly in regards to CD/DVD drives, USB, PDAs, and printer/scanners that don't understand and were never built for such an environment. 3D video is completely unsupported.

    If you are primarily a Windows user with occasional OS X needs then you may very well find Boot Camp is a better solution but it is cost free to find out if Parallels will work for you. The demo version is a fully functional product with a timer on the license.
  3. Al_Q


    About running hot -- I have a similar impression from my MacBook. I think that Apple does not yet have full Windows power management implemented in Boot Camp.

    I have had no problems running XP from my Boot Camp partition, both natively and from Parallels. I run it both ways frequently. With early betas of the current Parallels release (when they added Boot Camp support) I did have to phone Microsoft to reactivate (once). I don't think even that much is usually necessary now. Just tell Microsoft that you have had to reinstall Windows on the same computer after a drive change and they give you a code.

    With Parallels you can share printers between Windows and Mac sides, in either direction, using either Windows printer sharing protocols or the Bonjour protocol (need to install Bonjour for Windows, available free from Apple). You may have to turn on Windows printer sharing in the OS X printer preference pane. You also want to use shared networking so that the two sides can see each other easily as separate computers on the same subnet.

    You need a driver for each printer in the OS where you are doing the printing. The CUPS printer system (Unix based) gives the Mac side access to a great many printers that have no specific Mac drivers so you may be able to get at your existing printers that way. You can also easily print from the Mac side to any Windows printer that supports PostScript.
  4. yuetsu


    now some more questions... on Vista

    hi all,

    ok, so here's a continuation on this thread. i have a macbook (black), 2.0 ghz intel core2duo processor, 2 gb ram, mac os x 10.4.9 with all the latest updates, and parallels build 3188 (the latest, i believe).

    i've been running vista in it. it works ok, but as one can imagine - dog slow. :( i'd love to up the performance a bit. i've tried the microsoft support site about increasing hardward acceleration and that helped a bit, toying around with that. i'm also aware that there have been many requests in the wish list section of this forum for 3d hardware acceleration.

    but here's my thought/inquiry — would installing the windows vista in boot camp, and then running it in parallels build 3188 run it faster? anyone try this? anyone got some vista speed optimization tips without ruining the graphics entirely? any word on parallels updating the graphics driver? the driver in a black macbook intel core2duo is an intel gma 950 with 64 mb of vram, by the way.

    any help here would be appreciated.
  5. kruton6


    First thing that comes to mind is that parallels doesn't support dx in virtualization yet as well as vista runs like crap on normal x86 laptops but I'm thinking this is a RAM issue more than anything else as vista is a ram intensive OS. What do you have specked out for vista to use as far as your RAM settings are concerned? I'd recommend at LEAST 512 but 768-1024 sound much better.
  6. dkp


    To improve Vista performance try shutting down all unnecessary Vista services. The same binary code set is used for Vista Boot Camp as for Vista Parallels so don't expect a big perf boost. There may be an advantage to not using the Parallels virtual file system vs the Boot Camp partition. Don't waste your time defragging Windows's virtual file system unless you defrag OS X's file system first (for non-Boot Camp installs).

    You might want to ask yourself what advantage Vista brings over XP - XP runs quite well in a VM.
  7. yuetsu


    thanx to kruton6 & dkp for the replies. i've upped the memory to 768 MB, and it's running... better. i got vista as mostly a proof on concept thing — this was before all the news came out about how dog slow it was on native pc hardware, let alone a virtualization. another disappointing thing is, at least with this hardware config., i'll never see the windows aero glass effects. not only is it a problem because 3d and dx graphics aren't suppoted curretnly by parallels, but aero in vista requires you devote 1 GB of RAM to the system, plus have a graphics card that has 128 MB of VRAM. the black macbook is cool and sleek, but its graphics chip, sodered on the board (so no upgrade, ever) is an intel dma 950 with 64 mb tops. oh well. but it's running better now, thanx. i'll skip installing boot camp, but i did do the parallels compression on the virtual drive/file.

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