AAM: Converting to Mac

by Aaron Wright Mar 26, 2007

It’s time to revisit something we’ve talked about many times before here on Apple Matters: converting to a Mac.

While I’m not going to sit here and tell you why you should and shouldn’t convert to the Mac platform, I am going to post up two accounts of situations where users have found converting to a Mac to be blissfully simple, especially with Windows virtualization sitting there should one ever feel the need to jump back to Windows XP for a period of time.

SE30, who has a new Mac smell to his tag, wants to move back to the Macintosh platform but required a little help from the readers of AAM before forking out his hard earned cash on a new computer. His question was simple: could he move back to the Macintosh platform and still use Windows on the same computer any time in the future should he need to? The answer is of course yes, and this week we have not one but two responses to SE30’s question. Beeblebrox and 33Specter, thanks for taking the time to leave your comments this week, it’s appreciated.

Just before I sign off for another week, a reminder to you all that if you’ve got any technical or non-technical questions related to the Apple experience, please feel free to leave a comment in our dedicated AAM forums and you should find one of our readers or even a member of staff will get back to you with a response.

All the best,


Question of the Week

Converting to Mac

By: SE30

I was a Mac user a long time ago. The last one was an SE30….

I’ve been using the PC (D…L) brand and am not too pleased with it.

Am considering going back to MAC. The main motivation is that I’ve heard that the new Apple software/hardware will allow me to use standard PC software. Of course this has been the talk for many years but never to a satisfactory result.

Any one use it recently and can provide experience with it?

Is it really that easy to use?

Is it stable?

Answer(s) of the Week

By: Beeblebrox

You have two options. Parallels, which is virtualization. Or Boot Camp, which is a dual boot system.

I do a lot of 3D and Photoshop work, so I use BC. It works great. I’ve been very happily running Vista in BC and it is fast. The advantage is that Windows runs just like it would in any other PC hardware and does not share any resources the way it does in Parallels.

This is the preferred method for gaming.

Although I’d prefer to use virtualization, Parallels does not support 3d acceleration and I do not really have enough RAM to be satisfied with the way it runs.

However, many people claim up to 90% speed with common apps like Word. So that could work for you, though you’ll need at least 2GB of RAM.

Keep in mind that you will need a full working version of Windows XP or Vista.

By: 33Specter

I can only second what has been already said.

Parallels has become an indispensable solution personally for me. It really works very fast with 2Gigs of RAM, and this amount of RAM is really optimal for Parallels. Though it doesn’t support 3D graphics yet, they say that this feature is soon to come. To sum up—Parallels is for you if you need to run some Windows apps simultaneously with Mac OS. It is really very convenient if compared to dual boot, though Boot Camp has its own certain good features.

Boot Camp lets you run Windows natively—you just boot into it from your Mac. It’s not so convenient for those who need to switch OSes, but it supports 3D graphics and lets people play games—and that’s mainly why it’s very popular.

The main issue about any virtual machine (Parallels I mean) is that you have to allocate RAM you have between two (or more) OSes you run.

Have a technical question? Drop by our dedicated forums and leave a message. You’re sure to get a reply from one of our regular readers or even a member of our staff.


  • I’d like to wonder aloud, on the off chance anyone here uses XP or Vista in Parallels, if anyone is truly getting the 90% speed I’ve heard oft claimed.

    I don’t get anywhere close to that using Vista RC1, which runs just fine in BC.  Is it because of my version of Vista or my 1 GB of RAM?  Could I really expect faster speed with more RAM and XP?

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Mar 27, 2007 Posts: 2220
  • I’d like to wonder aloud, on the off chance anyone here uses XP or Vista in Parallels, if anyone is truly getting the 90% speed I’ve heard oft claimed.
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