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May 10, 2019
Video Length:  50:58
Presented By:  Mike Bennett

If you work with Macs, you'll need Parallels and a Windows operating system to use Land F/X. We'll take a look at some of the basic system requirements for using this software and show you some configuration settings that will prepare you for the best possible experience with virtualization. As a bonus, we'll hold a raffle at the end of the webinar, where one lucky viewer will win licenses for both Parallels and Windows 10 Home edition.

Webinar Contents:

Note: The following catalog of content covered in this webinar is time stamped to allow you to follow along or skip to sections of the video that are relevant to your questions. You can also search for content on this page using the FIND command in your browser (CTRL + F in Windows, Command + F in Mac OS.)

  • Intro/TOC
  • What Is Parallels?
  • How Parallels Benefits the User
  • Parallels vs. Bootcamp
  • Hardware Recommendations
  • Setting Up a New Virtual Machine
  • Backing Up / Transferring VM to a New Host

0:00 – 4:14: Intro/TOC

4:15 –5:40: What Is Parallels?

  • Parallels allows you to run a virtual computer inside another computer.
  • Why would you want to do that?
    • Some pieces of software may only run under Windows or Mac.
  • Why not just buy a Windows machine, then?
    • Maybe you already own a Mac. $$$.
    • Use the operating system you prefer.

5:41 –7:22: How Parallels Benefits the User

Why would you want to run a virtual machine (VM)?

  • Windows-only applications
    • ArcGIS
    • F/X CAD
  • Applications that currently perform better under Windows (our opinion)
    • SketchUp
    • Rhino
  • Still get to work primarily in your OS of choice
  • Upgrading your computer? Bringing your VM along is a piece of cake.

7:23 – 12:02: Parallels vs. Bootcamp

Which is better for you? (7:57)


  • Runs as an application within macOS
  • Can start and shut down without affecting the host OS
  • VM is contained within a single file, which saves storage space
  • Additional purchase required



  • Runs as its own computer
  • Requires a reboot to switch between OSs
  • Shares host computer HDD, splits available storage at time of creation.
  • Bundled with macOS


Sharing between macOS and Windows (10:07)


  • Piggybacks off your existing drivers
  • Can share specific folders such as Downloads, Documents, etc. between both OSs



  • Will need to find dedicated drivers for printers, etc. for Windows
  • Separate HDD requires copying files from one the other. Windows to Mac requires 3rd-party software

12:03 – 17:18: Hardware Recommendations

Start with a solid foundation (12:23)

  • Macbook Pro, iMac (Pro), Mac Pro, or 2019+ Mac Mini
    • Quad Core and up
    • GPU (video card) 2GB+
    • 8–16GB RAM
    • SSD – very important
  • Standard HDD will work, but be prepared to wait … and wait.
  • USB 3.0 SSDs are much faster than a spinner or SD cards.


External SSD examples (14:13):

  • USB 3.0 – compatible with any system with USB 3.0 ports
    • Samsung T5 1TB SSD: $167.99
      • 540 MB/s read/write speeds
    • SanDisk 1TB Extreme SSD: $179.90
      • 550 MB/s read/write speeds
    • Thunderbolt 3 SSD – compatible with TB3-equipped systems only
    • Samsung X5 portable SSD: $447.99
      • 2,800 MB/s read
      • 2,300 MB/s write


What you’ll need (16:48)

  • Mac (host computer)
  • Parallels Desktop
  • Windows OS download and license

17:19 – 46:49: Setting Up a New Virtual Machine

Some important Parallels settings (17:38):

  • Out-of-the-box Parallels will take 1/2 of each hardware category.
    • Processor cores
    • Memory
  • Mouse & Keyboard: Set mouse to “Do not optimize for games”
  • SmartGuard: Automatic snapshots of VM taken by Parallels


Finding a Windows 10 disc image (ISO) (19:10)

Make sure to download the ISO directly from the Microsoft website and, in the vast majority of cases, to download the 64-bit version.


Creating a new VM (21:10)


Entering your Windows license key (21:57)


Configuring the settings for your VM – our recommendations (23:30)


Installing Windows (36:00)


View options (full screen, coherence mode, window mode, etc.) (37:08)

Coherence Mode causes your VM to work like a Mac. We’ve found it to be somewhat buggy – especially with multiple monitors.


Accessing files and folders from your Mac using your VM (40:00)


Snapshots (42:00)


Some important Parallels settings (46:30):

  • Out-of-the-box Parallels will take 1/2 of each hardware category:
    • Processor cores
    • Memory
  • Mouse & Keyboard: Set Mouse to “Do not optimize for games.”
  • SmartGuard: Automatic snapshots of VM taken by Parallels


46:50 – end: Backing Up / Transferring VM to a New Host

As a VM is a single file, backup is extra simple:

  • If you’re already backing up using Time Machine, your VM will be included by default.
  • If not, the default location is UserFolder\Parallels\YourVM.pvm


Moving to a new system is even easier:

  • Copy your .pvm file to an external storage medium to bring it to your new machine.


Why limit yourself to one OS or the other when you can reap the benefits of both? (48:00)

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