Posted 07 December 2010 - 08:17 PM
I'm a newbie to mac and to virtual machines. I'm using VirtualBox to run Word and PaperPort on a WinXP VM - so notepad is readily accessible.
VirtualBox was free and Parallels is not. I did read the user's manual about 3xes before trying to install VB, but once I got up the courage it installed and setup easily. Winxp installed into VB and activated w/out problem. I allocated 1 GB of my mac's 4 GB memory to the VM and Word and PaperPort [both memory hogs] run fine with multitasking in both the VM and the mac "side". Not as fast as my apps on the mac "side", but at the same speed that they ran on my pc. So I think VirtualBox is a good VM program to run windows with.
I'm not sure what open-source programs you intend to run, but I would think if they run OK on windows they'll run OK on windows in a VM.
I've never run games, so I don't know if VB would be adequate for that. You might need to use bootcamp for that rather than trying to run it from a VM. I expect when you run a game you don't do other computer stuff so having to boot either into windows or into mac wouldn't be a problem. I need to run win programs and mac programs simultaneously, so I need the VM to run windows.
mac 10.6 on macbook pro
WinXP sp2 on Dell 380 w/ 512 MB RAM- currently dead in the water
WinXP tab ed sp 3 on Thinkpad X41 w/ 1.5 GB RAM - lemony flavored
Win2K Sp4 on Sony VAIO GXR600 w/ 512 MB RAM - currently blue screening