vmware fusion vs. boot camp

macOS & Mac Apps


Which is better, VMWare Fusion or boot camp? I know with VMWare, I can run Windows while in OSX but need to share the memory. In BC, Windows will have all the RAM to itself.

Besides the cost of VMWARE, is there advantages or disadvantages one has over the other?




Submitted by techluver on Monday, February 27, 2017

The lag on VMware is horrible. 'nough said.

Submitted by david s on Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Could you please provide more info? You mentioned Fusion lags. What version on which OSX? What processor and how much RAM?

Besides the lag, did Fusion offer anything for you or did you skip it and go with Boot Camp?


Submitted by Chris on Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Fusion is always going to lag a little bit simply because you're having to share your computer resources. The major advantage to Fusion is that you have the ability to run two operating systems simultaneously and share data between them. If you're planning to run anything newer than Windows XP inside Fusion, I'd suggest having 8 GB or more of system memory and give Windows 4 or more GB.

If you cannot tolerate any lag what so ever and want to run Windows at full speed, install it onto your Mac and boot directly into your Windows environment. As far as Windows and your Mac are concerned, you're running a standard Windows installation with all the hardware resources to utilize.

Submitted by techluver on Tuesday, February 28, 2017

I use a 2014 MBA with 8gb ram and 512GBSSD and i7. it's a top end machine for its time. And it lags like crazy.

Submitted by Andy B. on Wednesday, March 1, 2017

If you use Fusion, there isn't a waste of resources such as duplicate images of iCloud or dropbox. . I have a late 2015 with 16GB of memory, an I7, and 512GB of sad space. Windows runs just fine in bootcamp, but still lags slightly in Fusion. The only thing I don't like with bootcamp is the need for multiple copies of the same files.

Submitted by Chris on Wednesday, March 1, 2017

That configuration shouldn't lag when your natively running Windows. How long has it been since you performed a clean install? You could have a lot of junk boggging down the system. You can also try disabling unnecessary startup items under task manager or msconfig in older versions of Windows. I am posting this here to clear up any confusion that may come up. I'm using a 2013 MacBook Air with 4 gigs of RAM and Windows 8.1 and 10 work great if I install them using BootCamp.

Submitted by Mac A.Rony on Sunday, November 12, 2017

In reply to by techluver

Macbook Air is not exactly a power pack in those cases where you need VmWare. The processor is probably only a dual core i7. There will be only 1 kernel for Mac and one for Windows. Maybe you've assigned too many kernels to Windows?

Submitted by Voracious P. Brain on Monday, November 13, 2017

VMWare pros:
* Share document folder, downloads, etc. with the Mac. Even cut and paste between operating systems.
* Convenient as heck for launching the occasional program while staying connected to I-stuff like messages and Facetime.
* The newest 8th gen processors bring quad-core to ultrabooks, and that should make Fusion a much better option going forward.
* THere's a sort of "hack" that lets you connect keyboards directly to the VM without the Mac receiving input (you can google it: two lines in the vmx file is all it takes). I have a Windows keyboard plugged into my Mac and I can actually work in Windows even while my Mac is focussed away from VMWare. So, it's very much like having two computers running through the same speakers.

VMWare cons:
* Typing lag is noticeable, whether on my I7 MBA or my touchbar MBP. Exactly the same subjective performance, in fact. Since Jaws with Eloquence or Vocalizer 2 is so incredibly fluid (until it crashes), I always get immediately frustrated with Fusion for this reason and stick to Bootcamp. Sound editing is also too slow, and so is editing Word documents if there are comments in the doc.
* Apple doesn't let the CapsLock key act as an NVDA or Jaws key. The Seal app and Carribiner worked fine to regain the capslock key in Windows, but tends to need to be uninstalled/reinstalled unpredictably when upgrading the Mac, so I stopped relying on it. I also can't do without capslock as a VO key. See keyboard hack above.
* Expensive Fusion upgrades for just about every new Mac version.

Note that, when setting processor cores, Fusion is reporting virtual cores, meaning threads. So, for a dual-core I7 or newer I5, you have 4 processor cores and can give the VM 2 cores. THat seems optimal in my experience, but it still lags.

Bootcamp pros:
* I've probably logged more Windows hours on my MBA than Mac hours, actually. It's just about the best Windows machine I've ever had, despite having to blow away the bootcamp partition a time or two when I messed something up. Generally speaking, it's been very stable and Macs have far better speakers than most Windows laptops.
* The "Fall Creator's update" (version 1709) brings back selective sync for OneDrive, so I don't have an issue with duplicate document folders.

Bootcamp cons:
* Blind people can't use bootcamp with touchbar Macs. I hate the touchbar under any circumstances, so getting a non-touchbar model is the answer until Apple takes that option away (like they've been doing with the startup chime, USB ports, headphone jack, home button, etc.). Only workarounds for escape and function keys would be an external keyboard or else some fancy Auto Hotkey scripts to replace them with macros.
* Battery life really takes a hit, relative to the battery life under Mac OS, mainly because the Apple-authored Windows drivers are not optimal.
* On many models, sound is considerably quieter in Bootcamp, again because the sound drivers aren't optimal. My MBA really just doesn't get quite loud enough to work outdoors, for instance, though it's fine at the desk.

Submitted by Tree on Monday, November 13, 2017

I'm planning on posting this question as its own topic at some point today, when I find the time, but I thought I would go ahead and ask it here since I saw this post on the home page. I'm running the latest version of Windows 10 on a 2016 mac book pro through bootcamp. Ever since I got the computer I have had an issue where the first part of phrases spoken by NVDA or Jaws will sometimes be cut off. For example, if I read a line that says, "Peter went to the store" my screen readers under bootcamp will sometimes cut off the word peter and just say,, "went to the store.

I would say I experience this issue at least two thirds of the time when I'm using the headphone port for sound. However, I do not believe I ever experience it when I'm using the computer's internal speakers. I have tried almost everything I can think of to fix this issue: I have deleted and reinstalled my audio drivers, used Window's 10 built in audio trouble shooter, tried multiple synthesizers and screen reader settings, and even did a complete clean install of Windows.

I'm wondering if updating the Mac OS to the latest version could help this issue on bootcamp. i no longer use Mac OS, so I have not updated the OS on the mac side since I got the computer. Has anyone experienced this chopping off the first part of a phrase issue in bootcamp, and if so do you have any suggestions for fixing it? I do think I will update to High Sierra, but I hate to lose the ability to accessibly switch between windows and mac, if updating does not fix my issue; of course, if it does fix my audio issue I would gladly deal with the extra trouble of switching between each OS; as I said, I no longer even use Mac OS, so I never really boot into that part of my drive.

I would really appreciate any help with my issue. This is the machine I use for work every day, and the issue has a serious productivity impact on my work. When I use Excel, for example, if a cell in the spread sheet only has one number in it, my screen readers will often not speak the number at all, and just read the cell coordinates.

Thank you,

It's probably a driver issue, but you would need to update to the latest bootcamp drivers. I'm not sure if you can download the latest bootcamp software directly. I think you have to update your Mac, then use Bootcamp assistant to download it to a usb drive.
I'm very familiar with the general phenomenon, though not in the context you mention. Some audio devices chop off the first half-second or so, I think as a result of disconnecting/reconnecting the audio device when the screen reader or OS sends a new sound to it. If this has just started happening, it's probably the result of a Windows update that Bootcamp drivers need to catch up with. You can try a bluetooth headset (although some of those have the same issue).

Submitted by Tree on Monday, November 13, 2017

In reply to by Voracious P. Brain

Your thoughts are exactly what I suspect to be the issue. I am probably just going to update Mac OS as soon as I have the time. It's encouraging that you think a driver issue could behave like what I'm experiencing.

It's annoying that I have been unable to find any high sierra release notes that detail bootcamp updates. I already knew that this will be the last mac I ever buy, but man I hate the fact that even though I'm exclusively using windows, I'm still tied to Apple having to put out entire OS updates just to fix simple issues.

Submitted by Tree on Monday, November 13, 2017

I just used the bootcamp installer to download the windows drivers to a thumb drive and then I opened bootcamp and used the repair option to reinstall the new drivers. I can't say for sure that my audio problem is gone, because it does not happen all of the time, but I believe it might be gone. I will post an update here if I experience any audio getting chopped. For once, Apple exceeded my very low expectations. If I did indeed download the latest drivers, it seems like you can download them without having to update the mac OS. This makes since, especially since Apple does not make the drivers, but I'm still surprised. In all of my years using bootcamp and talking to blind people about it, I never realized that one should do this process, from time to time, to insure that your windows drivers are up to date. Perhaps, this was just unique ignorance on my part.

You can find out more about the process with this link.

Submitted by Tree on Tuesday, November 14, 2017

I do believe the drivers I downloaded have improved my audio issue, but the issue has not gone away. I'm still running into the first part of audio being chopped off. Looks like I will have to update the mac OS and just hope that will get Apple to allow me to download newer drivers. I would have been so much better off if I had got a windows machine instead of giving Apple 1700 dollars; at least I believe they will not be getting another cent from me.

Submitted by Joe on Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Club AppleVis Member

One could argue logic would say if you want windows by a windows computer. The fact the Mac allows you to run both is cool I don't expect it to run everything perfectly.

Submitted by Anatoliy D. Popko on Saturday, December 26, 2020

In reply to by Tree

Just installed Windows 10 on Mac mini 2018 and ran into very same issue. The basic workaround is to start playing some audio lowering the volume to a sheer minimum. If there is any background sound speech does not get cut out.
BTW: I've seen this behaviour on dedicated Windows machines too.

Submitted by Igna Triay on Sunday, December 27, 2020

I would say vmware fusion. Speaking of which... its not payed. With vmware fusion 12, they releaced a free version of vmware fusion that is for personal use. Of course if you want comercial use etc, then yes you have to pay, but there is a free version now so that's a plus. Its true that in vmware you have to share memory, but if you have 16 or so you should be fine. Bootcamp just... its not worth it imo, but that's just me. I'm curious about something though, how does bootcamp and the touchbar work? Do you have to know where your pressing or does it speak the fuction keys like on the mac?

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