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shiryu
Jan 14, 2011, 01:49 PM
Hi, i just bought a MBA to mainly run windows and also to travel with. I am a 100% mac user that unfortunately needs windows for some other work and cross platform testing.

I only have 128GB and 4Gb of RAM and will not be using any intensive apps. Wondering if i should use bootcamp or VMWARE? I will need the USB ports. And i would still like to have OSX on there for email, etc.

And yes i know i can install VMWARE on my full time MBP, but just want the smaller machine for traveling.

Wil also be using the windows also for VAGCOM for my car.

Any sight would be much appreciated.

thanks!



MikePA
Jan 14, 2011, 02:15 PM
VMware or Parallels work fine for running Win7 Ultimate.

Anonymous Freak
Jan 14, 2011, 02:29 PM
Yeah, any of the solutions should work fine.

If you find that you sometimes *NEED* to boot natively into the OS, you should use a Boot Camp-created install. Both VMware and Parallels can use a Boot Camp install, so you only need one install to be both "cold iron" and virtual. (Of course, you do lose the flexibility of expanding drive sizes that way; since you have to hard set a drive size at Boot Camp initialization...)

gwsat
Jan 14, 2011, 08:21 PM
My 13 inch Ultimate MBA has been great running Windows 7 Ultimate in Fusion's Unity mode for nearly 3 months. I customarily keep a couple of Windows apps up and running on the OS X desktop, along with 5 or 6 OS X apps. My MBA gives me as much speed and stability with this setup as my Santa Rosa 2.4GHz with 6GB of RAM does.

matperk
Jan 14, 2011, 10:22 PM
I run both on my Air. Due to how fast the Air boots into either OS though, I prefer just to use boot camp and jump between them. I have VMWare installed if I do need to run a quick Windows app though.

2IS
Jan 14, 2011, 10:24 PM
I'm using bootcamp for Win 7 Pro 64bit. Works just like a PC laptop does.

telemark948
Jan 15, 2011, 03:04 AM
I had the same Dilema, but eventually went with Parallels on my MBA. I use Centos and windows occasionally. The fact that I now have Oracle 10G installed natively on my MBA helped me decide not to choose bootcamp. My only issue is maybe I might have to use a program that has to run natively on windows, it will not run in a virtual environment, but we will see..;)

This is one amazing laptop, very pleased, the big test is when I start travelling again with my job. I was on the road in 2010 a lot and was fed up of taking a 3KG laptop everywhere with crap battery life.:(

MikePA
Jan 15, 2011, 03:39 AM
I run both on my Air. Due to how fast the Air boots into either OS though, I prefer just to use boot camp and jump between them. I have VMWare installed if I do need to run a quick Windows app though.
There are 'quick Windows apps'?

matperk
Jan 15, 2011, 10:51 PM
There are 'quick Windows apps'?

Just the one I use to IM/conference with coworkers. ;)

voigtstr
Jan 16, 2011, 12:47 AM
Has anyone tried playing a 3d intensive game on windows 7 bootcamp. I'm thinking Eve Online for when I'm away from my 27" iMac. For the iMac I use MacFan to force the fans faster to keep the thing cool while playing eve else the body along the top of the iMac gets too hot to touch. I previously had a 17" Macbook Pro and managed to melt the graphics chip and surrounding logic board because at the time I didnt know about programs to speed the fans up. on a Macbook Air can the fan(s) still be sped up as easily as on the larger machines?

2IS
Jan 16, 2011, 03:30 AM
Has anyone tried playing a 3d intensive game on windows 7 bootcamp. I'm thinking Eve Online for when I'm away from my 27" iMac. For the iMac I use MacFan to force the fans faster to keep the thing cool while playing eve else the body along the top of the iMac gets too hot to touch. I previously had a 17" Macbook Pro and managed to melt the graphics chip and surrounding logic board because at the time I didnt know about programs to speed the fans up. on a Macbook Air can the fan(s) still be sped up as easily as on the larger machines?

If you're melting hardware by merely using it, then there is a serious design flaw on Apple's part. You shouldn't NEED to use a program to force the fans to speed up. I know some hardware enthusiasts will use them to get optimal performance and over clocks but they absolutely should not be necessary to use at default clocks to keep your chip from melting.

KPOM
Jan 16, 2011, 07:01 AM
Has anyone tried playing a 3d intensive game on windows 7 bootcamp. I'm thinking Eve Online for when I'm away from my 27" iMac. For the iMac I use MacFan to force the fans faster to keep the thing cool while playing eve else the body along the top of the iMac gets too hot to touch. I previously had a 17" Macbook Pro and managed to melt the graphics chip and surrounding logic board because at the time I didnt know about programs to speed the fans up. on a Macbook Air can the fan(s) still be sped up as easily as on the larger machines?

Was it one of the MacBook Pros with the NVIDIA 8600M GT GPUs? If so, take a look at the MacBook Pro forum. There is a 110-page thread on it. They had known defects that caused a high rate of failure.

voigtstr
Jan 17, 2011, 12:18 AM
Was it one of the MacBook Pros with the NVIDIA 8600M GT GPUs? If so, take a look at the MacBook Pro forum. There is a 110-page thread on it. They had known defects that caused a high rate of failure.

Yeah it was. Because it damaged the motherboard to the extent that it was showing as a logicboard fail rather than a graphics chip fail, they wouldnt repair it under the plan Apple had in place to cover the 8600s. I ended up replacing it with a 27' iMac and cheap dell inspiron mini 10. The small laptop wont play eve at all because of the integrated intel graphics though. So thinking of a 13" Air at some stage. For Eve when away from home.

jimmyurban
Jan 22, 2011, 09:45 PM
I run Windows 7 in bootcamp on the MBA. It's great! To be honest, i would never consider the virtualization stuff because it's just doesn't perform as well for obvious reasons (less overhead without OSX running). In Bootcamp, Windows 7 performs brilliantly, in fact, it's odd. I have been getting the "bouncing icon" issue with OSX. . .but haven't experienced a single problem on the Win7 side.

I have been getting about 5.5 hours on the Win7 side and 6 hours on the OSX side. The Mac drivers for Win7 appear to be much better on the MBA than on the MBP (where Apple has written HORRIBLE drivers).

nfl46
Jan 23, 2011, 02:53 AM
I used VMWARE and I only have 2GB. Everything runs smoothly for me. I also use Aperture & Photoshop a lot.

gwsat
Jan 23, 2011, 10:42 AM
[In Bootcamp] I have been getting about 5.5 hours on the Win7 side and 6 hours on the OSX side. The Mac drivers for Win7 appear to be much better on the MBA than on the MBP (where Apple has written HORRIBLE drivers).
Have you tried native Windows drivers with your setup? I use Fusion and have had no experience with Bootcamp but other posters have said that Win 7 runs faster in Bootcamp if you use MS's own Windows drivers with it.

I used VMWARE and I only have 2GB. Everything runs smoothly for me. I also use Aperture & Photoshop a lot.
Do you run Fusion in Unity mode? When I tried that on my MBP when it had only 2GB of RAM Windows apps ran slowly and the setup was unstable. Upping the MBP to 6GB of RAM solved all that. My 13 inch Ultimate MBA with 4GB of RAM has given me the same kind of speed and stability the MBP was providing after I upped its RAM.

blow45
Jan 26, 2011, 05:12 PM
I think parallels has the edge at the moment in terms of vm machines. They both run very smoothly. If I were you and need to run windows I d go with xp, why use up so many resources for little to none advantages in 7, instead of going with xp sp 3, they ll be a considerable difference in speed and resources between the ghastly 7 and the decent xp.

fs454
Jan 26, 2011, 05:14 PM
VAG COM! what do you drive? haha

cleric
Jan 26, 2011, 06:33 PM
VAG COM! what do you drive? haha

Im guessing an Audi/VW you really do need VAGCOM for those things seems like somethings always broken.

gwsat
Jan 27, 2011, 08:51 AM
I think parallels has the edge at the moment in terms of vm machines. They both run very smoothly. If I were you and need to run windows I d go with xp, why use up so many resources for little to none advantages in 7, instead of going with xp sp 3, they ll be a considerable difference in speed and resources between the ghastly 7 and the decent xp.
I ran XP from the time it was introduced in 2001 until about a year ago when I upgraded to Windows 7. I think that Win 7 is a significant improvement over XP, although I think we can agree that Windows Vista was, indeed, "ghastly."

As to the differences between Fusion and Parallels, I did a lot of research before finally settling on Fusion about three years ago. Based on what I have read here and elsewhere in the interim, the conventional wisdom seems to be that Fusion and Parallels have their strengths and weakness but neither is clearly superior to the other. I haven't tried Parallels so can't assess it. I can say, though, that Fusion has been eminently satisfactory and has given me no reason to want to try Parallels or any other virtualization program.

I run Windows 7 and a couple of apps in Fusion in Unity mode on my MBA, concurrently with about 5 or 6 OS X apps and it runs like a dream, with excellent speed and no instability. All virtualization programs are memory hogs, of course, and Fusion and Parallels are no exception, but I have learned to my relief that my MBA's 4GB of RAM has been plenty.

jrtaylor6
Jan 27, 2011, 09:31 PM
I run bootcamp and it works perfect.

gwsat
Jan 28, 2011, 08:30 AM
I run bootcamp and it works perfect.
I agree that Bootcamp is just fine for users who don't mind having to close OS X and then boot into Windows in order to run Windows apps. Some of us, though, need instant access to Windows apps from the OS X desktop. That requires a virtualization program such as Fusion or Parallels.

JonLa
Jan 28, 2011, 09:28 AM
Can anyone post up their Windows Experience scores? I'm looking at the 13" Air with 4gb, haven't decided on the processor, but it needs to beat my 3 year old C2D Sony.....

KPOM
Jan 28, 2011, 10:18 AM
Can anyone post up their Windows Experience scores? I'm looking at the 13" Air with 4gb, haven't decided on the processor, but it needs to beat my 3 year old C2D Sony.....

I believe it was 5.3, with the lowest score being the Aero business graphics. The highest score was 6.9 for the disk access. This is on a 2.13GHz Rev D. I'm not at it right now so I can't look up the others.

gwsat
Jan 28, 2011, 11:23 AM
Can anyone post up their Windows Experience scores? I'm looking at the 13" Air with 4gb, haven't decided on the processor, but it needs to beat my 3 year old C2D Sony.....
The Windows 7 Ultimate scores under Fusion in Unity mode on my 13 inch Ultimate MBA were slightly higher than they had been on my 17 inch 2.4GHz Santa Rosa MBP. The last time I ran the test, a couple of month ago, the MBA's scores were:

Processor: 4.4
Memory: 5.5
Graphics: 5.7
Gaming Graphics: 4.9
Primary hard disc: 7.4

From a subjective point of view, I have been very happy with Win 7's performance in this setup. It has been reasonably fast with no beachballs or instability.

wfj5444
Jan 28, 2011, 11:31 AM
...

From a subjective point of view, I have been very happy with Win 7's performance in this setup. It has been reasonably fast with no beachballs or instability.


Damn... I am going to have to try this on my wife's MBA. We got her the 13 with 4GB, and no other upgrades (1.86Ghz proc). This is very interesting.

gwsat
Jan 28, 2011, 11:45 AM
Damn... I am going to have to try this on my wife's MBA. We got her the 13 with 4GB, and no other upgrades (1.86Ghz proc). This is very interesting.
I wouldn't worry about the 1.86 GHz processor, I suspect it will be fast enough. A more serious concern would be the storage requirements of running Win 7 and Fusion or Parallels with OS X. I seem to recall that there are ways to minimize the amount of storage your Windows setup uses but I haven't had to worry about it, thanks to my MBA's 256GB of flash storage.

fs454
Jan 28, 2011, 12:28 PM
Im guessing an Audi/VW you really do need VAGCOM for those things seems like somethings always broken.


Well I knew it was an audi/vw, and hey, it's better than generic japanese crap.

90,000 miles on my A3 and counting, no issues.

Psilocybin
Jan 28, 2011, 12:30 PM
Running windows 7 on fusion, works great!

wfj5444
Jan 29, 2011, 07:07 AM
. I seem to recall that there are ways to minimize the amount of storage your Windows setup uses but I haven't had to worry about it, thanks to my MBA's 256GB of flash storage.

For gaming reasons it's a 80/20 split Windows/Mac so that's not an issue. I will still try this and see incase I need to do the same on a refreshed MBP. :)

I am betting the SSD makes the difference.