Whether you’re a Mac lifer or a recent convert, at some point you’ll probably have wished you had a Windows PC running so you could run a particular piece of software. Parallels Desktop 10 enables you to install and run multiple virtual operating systems – including Windows and other versions of OS X – on your Mac. All of your Mac files can be integrated with a virtual machine. When you run a virtual machine, you’re effectively dividing up the processor power between both operating systems; this is normally the main downfall of virtual computers.
However, the Parallels Wizard feature lets you optimise your virtual Windows machine depending on how you plan to use it. If you want to run Office software you can select the Productivity option, which will allocate the memory and CPU power necessary to run apps such as Microsoft Word. Alternatively, the Games Only option will apply maximum processing power to the virtual machine to help games run as smoothly as possible. Keep in mind that the more processing power that is allocated to the virtual machine, the slower your Mac will run.
If you’re updating to OS X Yosemite, you’ll be able to access some great improvements with Parallels Desktop 10. Integration with Parallels in Yosemite has become a two-way street, allowing you to share, save and open content from Windows on your Mac. The Yosemite update also has a notification centre that lets you know how processor- and RAM- intensive your virtual machine is.
Apple’s own Boot Camp is the best way to run a fully optimised Windows OS; however, the restrictions of having to run either
Windows or Mac individually makes Boot Camp much less streamlined than Parallels, and slowing down your Mac’s processor speed
is a small price to pay for fully integrated dual operating systems running at the same time. The Configure tool in Parallels enables you to manually configure how a virtual machine uses your Mac’s hardware, sharing power between the virtual machine and your Mac system. The added level of control over processor and memory usage makes the Parallels Desktop 10 update worthwhile. 4/5