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Old Feb 18, 2013, 12:33 PM   #1
volvik
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Need to use 1 MS program - Best Option?

Doing my pre-purchase planning for my first Mac product (MBA). All of the programs and utilities I use are available in a Mac platform with one exception...MS Streets and Trips. I used this route planning program for years and it works great for me so I don't want to give it up.

It gets used during my many motorcycle trips and also for off season planning but in totality it's use is a very small percentage of my computer time.

I want to keep the max of the MBA resources during the computer use so I have sort of discounted Parallels or other like software. That left me with Bootcamp but it does mean carving out about 40 gb for Win 7 and the program etc. I did read some threads on using an external USB3 drive.

So for those who know.....to have access to use one MS program infrequently what is the recommended option?
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 12:59 PM   #2
help4desk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volvik View Post
Doing my pre-purchase planning for my first Mac product (MBA). All of the programs and utilities I use are available in a Mac platform with one exception...MS Streets and Trips. I used this route planning program for years and it works great for me so I don't want to give it up.

It gets used during my many motorcycle trips and also for off season planning but in totality it's use is a very small percentage of my computer time.

I want to keep the max of the MBA resources during the computer use so I have sort of discounted Parallels or other like software. That left me with Bootcamp but it does mean carving out about 40 gb for Win 7 and the program etc. I did read some threads on using an external USB3 drive.

So for those who know.....to have access to use one MS program infrequently what is the recommended option?
Parallels with an XP Virtual Machine. I turn it on only when needed, then switch it off, so no performance issues all the time, and it is fast enough for my needs (Metastock and stock downloader). That's so simple. That mean 20GB used on HD, but you can start the VM image from a USB disk as well.

Hope that helps.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 01:04 PM   #3
Swiss-G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volvik View Post
Doing my pre-purchase planning for my first Mac product (MBA). All of the programs and utilities I use are available in a Mac platform with one exception...MS Streets and Trips. I used this route planning program for years and it works great for me so I don't want to give it up.

It gets used during my many motorcycle trips and also for off season planning but in totality it's use is a very small percentage of my computer time.

I want to keep the max of the MBA resources during the computer use so I have sort of discounted Parallels or other like software. That left me with Bootcamp but it does mean carving out about 40 gb for Win 7 and the program etc. I did read some threads on using an external USB3 drive.

So for those who know.....to have access to use one MS program infrequently what is the recommended option?
I wouldn't dismiss the idea of using Parallels or similar software.

As you have already worked out using bootcamp requires a decent sized partition to be set aside for Windows. In your case 40GB.

A typical os only win7 install under parallels weighs in at around 8GB. Add to that the 2GB required by MS Streets and Trips plus the Parallels install and you are using less of the SSD for Windows. Parallels would need to use RAM whilst running but as you state that this would only be a small proportion of your computing time it's a reasonable trade off.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 01:18 PM   #4
volvik
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That's encouraging information guys. So to confirm, if I used Parallels for the use of this one MS program ....when done with that program I can shut Parallels down and go back to the Mac OS then I have 100% of my computer resources back?

I plan on maxing out the RAM at 8 gb.

Thanks
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 01:34 PM   #5
Xgm541
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Originally Posted by volvik View Post
That's encouraging information guys. So to confirm, if I used Parallels for the use of this one MS program ....when done with that program I can shut Parallels down and go back to the Mac OS then I have 100% of my computer resources back?

I plan on maxing out the RAM at 8 gb.

Thanks
Absolutely. Other than RAM, idle windows xp will not take a lot of resources and you'll likely be fine even with xp running in the background. As mentioned above, the VM can be installed on an external USB stick and take up no space at all on your SSD.

But as a side note, why not try google maps, or another cross platform solution? I haven't used m$ maps so I do not know if that'll work.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 01:34 PM   #6
Panch0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volvik View Post
That's encouraging information guys. So to confirm, if I used Parallels for the use of this one MS program ....when done with that program I can shut Parallels down and go back to the Mac OS then I have 100% of my computer resources back?

I plan on maxing out the RAM at 8 gb.

Thanks
I usually just suspend the VM rather than shutting down completely. If the VM isn't active, the virtualization software itself isn't really doing much. I personally prefer VMWare Fusion to Parallels, but there are many with the opposite opinion. In general, Parallels is a bit ahead in graphics performance while VMWare is better supported. Neither will ever be as fast as 'bare metal', but both are more than sufficient for pretty much anything except gaming.

There aer also fans of the free VirtualBox software, but I've never tried it.

I have an Air with 8GB RAM. I have a Win7 VM with 2GB RAM Allocated running through out the work day and I don't even notice that it is running. No lack of resources at all. Your usage is probably different from mine, but you probably aren't going to see that big of a hit from the VM running.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 01:36 PM   #7
help4desk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volvik View Post
That's encouraging information guys. So to confirm, if I used Parallels for the use of this one MS program ....when done with that program I can shut Parallels down and go back to the Mac OS then I have 100% of my computer resources back?

I plan on maxing out the RAM at 8 gb.

Thanks
Exactly, Parallels is just a program such as Word or Safari. Shut it and you get all your resources back.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 01:55 PM   #8
volvik
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Originally Posted by Xgm541 View Post
Absolutely. Other than RAM, idle windows xp will not take a lot of resources and you'll likely be fine even with xp running in the background. As mentioned above, the VM can be installed on an external USB stick and take up no space at all on your SSD.

But as a side note, why not try google maps, or another cross platform solution? I haven't used m$ maps so I do not know if that'll work.
I do use Google Earth and Maps as well but that darn S & T is hard to beat. I've come across lots of threads from Mac users wishing it was available on their OS. RouteBuddy and Route66 etc just don't do the same thing.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 01:56 PM   #9
Swiss-G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volvik View Post
That's encouraging information guys. So to confirm, if I used Parallels for the use of this one MS program ....when done with that program I can shut Parallels down and go back to the Mac OS then I have 100% of my computer resources back?

I plan on maxing out the RAM at 8 gb.

Thanks
Parallels runs fine in my MBP with 8GB.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 01:59 PM   #10
volvik
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Phew! This is great news from you guys. Now off for more reading on which product to use, configuration etc. I like the idea of running the VM from a USB stick.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 02:55 PM   #11
volvik
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Never really recommended people delay their computer purchase as the next will always be faster etc but......the one change I have read of with the new MBA in June is a GPU with a 50% performance increase. Hrmmm....wait for 3.5 months or .....

Oh well back to my reading..
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 04:00 PM   #12
help4desk
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Haswell coming on June but GT3 graphics card will need more time, due for Q3. So, possibly new MBAs won't be available till september 2013.
And you still have to consider availability (think to what happened to iMacs) and possible problems into the new platform (drivers?).
MBA 2012 are, right now, very solid and functional (except for a few bugs), by far the most reliable generation of MBA. We have no idea wether MBA 2013 will be on the same level.

Conclusion: even if I already own a MBA 2012/11/4GB/i5/128GB I'm going to upgrade now to an MBA 2012/11/8GB/i7 with a 256GB or possibly 512GB SSD (should be available in the refurbs store). Life's too short...
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 05:53 PM   #13
volvik
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Good information thanks!
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