Parallels v VM v Boot Camp

Who uses what and why? and is anyone aware of any Parallels specials/deals/coupons for 18? $70 for an upgrade is out of my league


If you run an Intel Mac VirtualBox is free. I’ve not used it in a few years but it was fine for running office apps, etc.

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Boot Camp doesn’t work on Apple Silicon. It only works with Intel Macs. Parallels will allow you to run an ARM version of Windows, but how much software will actually run on ARM Windows? Almost all Windows PCs are Intel based, so I can’t imagine very much software has been ported to ARM.


This, if accurate, would indicate you are correct.

Parallels is offering a Student-Version, if you are a student, that might help.

What do you want to run on the VM?
What’s your hardware?

Edit: something else you might want to consider is just buying an off-lease computer, like a Dell 7040, prices vary with hardware capabilities, but you’ll know it’s compatible with Windows, and it comes with a legit license. Prices for a PC with Windows 10 Pro often start at about the same as a license for Windows 10 Pro from Microsoft. You can also dual-boot Ubuntu, some other Linux distro, Free BSD, play PC games, etc. You’ll also be able to use NVidia graphics cards for CUDA applications that utilize their GPUs (consider case size, power supply, etc.).

I am using Parallels on M1 with Windows 11 ARM version. I never came to situation where a software I needed didn’t work on Windows. But considering this is just used for specific needs (develop on Microsoft Visual Studio), so my mileage is not a good indicator of ARM support.

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Same here. I have a Windows VM on my M1, mostly used to run Excel. And to try out random stuff. Everything, so far, worked.

@WayneG @jcarucci Windows for Arm has had Intel emulation for almost two years now which, while not incredibly fast and with some limitations, works quite well for productivity apps, i.e. you can run Windows apps compiled for Intel CPUs in Windows for Arm under Parallels.

I agree. I tried both Parallels and VMWare Fusion for my Mac users that also needed Windows and both were quality products, IMO. But we frequently had problems when OSX was updated and other problems caused by user error.

In the end I set up a used PC in the server room for each user and had them connect via Microsoft Remote Desktop.

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This is what I did. Ran Parallels for a few years but got tired of needing updates with most MacOS upgrades. Decided it was cheaper to pickup a cheap laptop. Did fine for a couple of years until I was able to ditch Windows.


Why don‘t you use the Mac-Version of Excel?

They are not the same in terms of functionality. There are features missing on the Mac. The Mac version does not support PowerPivots, for example.

Some additional software/templates made for Excel, for example NodeXL, also does not work with the Mac version of Excel.


Excel for Mac doesn’t have full VBA support. Among other missing features.


I have been kinda-sorta able to edit out what I was looking for via BBEdit… a bit more work than I wanted, but I’ll be pleased when all is said and done

I use Boot Camp on my intel iMac and i9 Macbook Pro. This should be the only choice of an Intel mac user. You literally have a Windows machine. Great for gaming.

On my m2 Air, I use Parallels for Command & Conquer Red Alert 2 and Campaign Cartographer. I don’t use Windows for productivity so thats as far as my need goes.

Wait a bit and Parallels will have their sale when you can get it for $49.99…

Use Parallels on M1 MacBook Pro.
All my x86 apps works fine, even old stuff (think Java 1.8… / oracle 12)

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does Parallels support running games on m1 macs?

yes. here is a list of some of them.

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