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I have a client who just recently switched to a Mac and wants to run all of his old Windows programs within the Mac. I'm not familiar enough with Mac to know but I would assume this would be handled either By bootcamp which would dual boot both Windows and Mac on the Mac and parallels which virtualizes Windows as the Mac is booted.

Its obvious from a performance perspective that bootcamp would be the number one choice here. So here are a few of my concerns.

Is Bootcamp free? Does it come with the Mac? (I know parallels is not free.) If I went with Bootcamp could I migrate his existing Windows install to a bootcamp config? I really don't want to install from scratch.

I know he already has bought parallels but I have concerns about the performance. Would Autocad or Windows in general take a major performance hit if virtualized with parallels?

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Any update on this? Did you try VirtualBox too? –  antoine129 Jul 24 at 11:48

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I personally don't have any problems running windows desktops with parallels on my mac. I do some development with windows and mac. Currently I run windows7 (visual studio and sql express), windows8.1 ( visual studio 2012), and windows server 2008 r2 with sql server on my iMac with no issues. I did recently increase my ram from 8 gigs to 24gigs. This was only so I could give each VM at least 4gigs. Parallels has a really cool coherence feature that makes windows applications look like they are native mac.

Boot camp would require a fresh install and if you want to switch between osx and windows you need to reboot.

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