Parallels, VMware and other questions

Started Jun 9, 2013 | Discussions thread
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MikeFromMesa
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Parallels, VMware and other questions
Jun 9, 2013

I have been thinking about replacing my existing Windows 8 laptop with an iMac but, because I have a ton of photo editing software with Windows licenses, was thinking about buying either Parallels or VMware. The sales guy at Apple said VMware is "much better" but that is probably because Apple sells VMware, but not Parallels. So, before I did anything, I thought I would ask about both of these products as well as ask a couple of other questions.

DO THEY WORK REASONABLY WELL?

That is, can someone expect to run editing software like LightRoom, Photoshop, PhotoNinja and so on, in their Windows form, under either of these and have them run properly? Or is the software glitch?

HOW MUCH EXTRA MEMORY WOULD I NEED TO RUN APPS

Since I might be running apps under both OSX and Windows simultaneously I assume that both will share the available RAM. How much RAM would I need to insure that both run photo editing software properly?

IS ONE BETTER THAN THE OTHER

I realize that this is a subjective question and that there are probably very few people, if any, who have both and could compare them directly on the same machine. Still, it seems like a reasonable question.

As I mentioned, the Apple guy told me VMware was much better, but the Wikipedia article he pointed me to had a table which said that VMware had 2 pieces of functionality that Parallels did not  have but that Parallels had 42 pieces of functionality that VMware did not have. Of course it was comparing version 8 of Parallels against version 4 of VMware and the current version of VMware is now 5 so the information is out of date.

WOULD I NEED AN OPTICAL DRIVE?

The iMac does not come with an optical drive so I assume that all Apple software is downloaded. Is that correct? Or would I need to buy a separate optical drive to be able to expect to work properly on an iMac?

HOW NICE IS THE RETINA DISPLAY?

Of course I could see it in the store but how nice is it with photo software and is it significantly better than the Windows displays? The resolution of the 27" iMac is 2560 x 1440. Will the photo editing software work properly at those resolutions running under Parallels or VMware? Or only under OSX?

Thanks for any help you can give me.

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