Getting a new Mini-Mac! Bootcamp or parrallells with fusion drive?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by kristenanne77, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2009
    Ordered new "Mini-Mac" quad core with faster processor and the hybrid "fusion" drive. Will upgrade ram later.

    I will continue to use some of my windoz stuff with it as I have been doing with for years on my good old macbook. I use bootcamp on my macbook. I have never used parrallels so I really wouldn't know what to expect or if it would be worth it.
    For the Mini-Mac is there a preference "speedwise" as what may be better? Bootcamp or Parrallells?
    Also, does the fusion drive work only for mac programs or will it work for windoz programs as well.
    What I mean is that if run "bootcamp" and the computer runs "like a pc", will the fusion drive work properly or does it need to be running in native mac os mode?

    Special K
  2. macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Fusion drive will only operate under OSX or Parallels. Under Bootcamp, Windows can only be installed on the harddrive.
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2009
    I am only used to doing a Bootcamp and loading windows to the bootcamp partition.

    How would I install windows using parallells?
  4. macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    There are detailed reviews of Fusion and Parallels online. I think that Ars Technica has published reviews on both programs.

    Do a Google search. There are differences between the programs. Parallels is currently available for $30. Details at

    If I remember correctly there is a free copy of "Take Control of VMWare Fusion." It is an excellent guide that details the installation and configuration options of Fusion.

    You will need a copy of Windows. Make sure that whatever software you want to run is compatible with the Windows version that you want to use. An OEM DVD of Windows purchased from is usually the cheapest option.
  5. macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2009
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2009
    Can I run Bootcamp AND Parallells on my Mini-mac or is it just one or the other?
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2011
    You can point Parallels to the Bootcamp partition so that changes made when using Parallels will be seen when using the Bootcamp partition and vice versa.
  8. macrumors 68030


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    Boot camp would just be too much of an inconvenience for me. I use VMWare Fusion (I also use Parallels on my work iMac and it's fine; I chose VMWare because I was already using VMWare Workstation on Windows and had a bunch of VMs built already. Both seem to be very useful products). I suppose Boot Camp might be useful for something very hardware/graphics intensive like gaming, but for anything short of that virtual is the way to go.
  9. macrumors regular


    Sep 25, 2003
    Bournville, UK
    My experience is the opposite. I have tried VirtulaBox, CrossOver, Fusion and Parallels, but have recently settled on BootCamp/Windows 7 Pro on my 2009 Mac Mini.

    I would much prefer to sacrifice the convenience of virtualisation compared to the brisk/native speeds facilitated by BootCamp.
  10. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2009
    Here's a SECRET TIP for you guys:
    On my macbook where i have both mac os and windoz xp on the bootcamp drive, I have a program called MACDRIVE than allows me, when using windoz in bootcamp mode, to see (and use) the mac drive for storage!

    This is the latest version:

    i don't know if its as good as fusion but it does work well!
  11. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2009

    WOW. I went to see what fusion can do. It is so much more than macdrive! The Fusion commercial says I can jumper ALL my windoz stuff right over to the mac. No reinstalling of any windows programs! . This seems like a dream come true!

    i have several programs on the windoz computer. Can all these programs and the windoz operating system be moved over at once with no reinstall???

    I am psyched! Does fusion really do this?
  12. macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    Bootcamp will always be faster, but under Parallels my 2012 Mac Mini performs very well, and as one of my uses is rendering of video, Bootcamp isn't practical.
  13. macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    If you want to use Fusion or Parallels max-out your RAM. 8GB is the minimum and more is better, particularly if you use RAM-hungry software.

    I set-up a friend's medical practice running Fusion/Windows 7 on a 2010 Mac Mini. The installation was relatively painless; only a default Windows setting gave me grief when trying to install the electronic health records software (Amazing Charts). Basically, Fusion installs everything you need including anti-virus software with a free one-year subscription.

    TidBITS offers a free "Take Control of VMWare Fusion 3" ebook that was very helpful in getting things set-up properly. It was the first time that I configured such a demanding VM and I doubt that it would have gone as well without the ebook. There are various tips on how to configure the settings that I would not know how to do otherwise.
  14. macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2011
    Whitefish Bay, WI
  15. macrumors member


    Dec 28, 2012
    Just remember, according to the Apple site, you can only partition a Fusion drive once, so keep that in mind when you partition the drive, whatever software you use.
  16. macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2011
    I have only used bootcamp on a 2009 MBP and with 8gb of ram and no SSD VMs are pretty sluggish. However, on my Mini with a 3rd party SSD and 16g of ram VMs are pretty snappy. The VM loads up very quickly (VMware Fusion btw) and is quick. I have tried Windows 8 VMs and some Linux distros running on it. Bootcamp becomes a pain later on if you ever decide you need more space and the bootcamp partition was initially made too large (what I ended up running into). Not sure how it would work with the fusion drive as the best bet would be to have the VM load from the SSD, but since fusion is automated I'm not sure if it would get moved to the spindle drive or not. Which is why I like to keep my drives separate so I can decide what to put where and symlink folders as needed.

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