Your M1 Mac Can Now Run Windows 10 (With Emulation)

M1 Mac Mini with an Xbox controller
M1 Mac Mini with an Xbox controller. Image credit: Apple.

M1 Mac computers have made waves in the news due to their impressive processing power, high performance-to-power consumption ratio (this means they are highly energy-efficient), and high performance per dollar. The performance of M1 Macs can be attributed not only to an improved CPU architecture, but also to tight hardware integration. Apple, as they have done in the past has favored the elimination of performance bottlenecks in their designs — even if it results in a higher price tag (for example: their early use of SSDs).

The M1 processors are ARM-based and can’t run Windows 10 natively at the moment (note that there is an ARM version of Windows 10). However, you can use Corel’s Parallels Desktop 16.5 software to run Windows 10 in a virtual machine on your M1 Mac. The software provides a virtual environment which simulates the hardware required to run Windows 10. This entails running Mac OS and Windows simultaneously. More specifically, Windows 10 would be running in a window (like an app) on top of Mac OS Big Sur (in the case of the M1).

This is very useful to anyone that needs to run software that is available only on Windows. However, running two operating systems simultaneously requires a significant amount of RAM, storage, and processing power. If your Mac has an ample amount of RAM and enough storage, then this is a workable solution. Otherwise you might as well buy a Windows PC.