Using rMBP to run Win 7 for work

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by whorocks83, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2010
    Hi all,

    Apologies if this has been covered in previous threads, I can't find exactly what I'm seeking some advice on.

    Basically I'm trying to decide if I can run Windows 7 in a stable way on a new rMBP, to be used on a daily basis for work related tasks. In Windows I would need it to run, Excel (advanced use, ie: macros and VBA). SQL databases, OLAP software all of which is normally pretty memory intensive.

    I would use the OSX part of the machine to run my other type of work, which is in Aperture, FCPX, Photoshop and do all my admin type work in, such as mail, accounting, web, etc.

    A lot of people in my industry around finance consulting work tend to use Dell or Sony laptops, and even though you can purchase pretty high speced out machines I do prefer Mac (using a MBP Mid 2010 model with Windows 7 in Parallels currently, however not using it all that much for work currently except for Aperture and FCPX).

    The biggest advantage of the rMBP is ability to expand out to 16gb ram, SSD and have essentially two machines in one. As I may have to do a bit of travel in the near future I would prefer having everything in one place.

    I would essentially use Bootcamp for the full days where I just need to do data analytics, processing etc and then Parallels 7 for the other times when I need both systems.

    Does anyone have any advice or experience by using a Mac running Windows for their day to day use, especially with Excel? I do like my windows shortcuts that seem hard to get for Excel running through Parallels.

    If I had the 16gb ram upgrade, and booted up via bootcamp, Windows 7 should be able to access the full hardware specs of the machine, which would blow out of the water a huge percentage of currently available Windows laptops?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2010
  3. macrumors 68020


    Aug 13, 2011
    My wife and I both run Windows on our iMacs(mine runs XP, hers runs Windows 7). I would not recommend boot camp since it seems it would be better for you to run it through virtualization like you already stated using Parallels. I prefer to use virtual box instead of Fusion or Parallels because it's free and does what I need it to do. I also have not noticed an issue with using keyboard shortcuts when virtualizing, so you might want to avoid partitioning your hard drive if you can avoid it.
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2010
    Has anyone got any comments on this, regarding using the rMBP to run bootcamp with windows 7 or 8 on a PC network? I really do like my current mbp (2010) for video and photo editing but also need a new laptop for work where I run accounting software, excel etc as already discussed. I guess I would generally run it in bootcamp at work and use OSX at home when I do the video and photo work.


  5. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2011
    United States
    This should work fine, however be aware that Windows 7 may handle the extreme resolution of the MacBook Pro with Retina Display odd with many applications. Apple and some resellers (Best Buy) have excellent return policies, so your best bet would be to try one. If attaching to a corporate network, you may need a Thunderbolt -> GbE adapter, which should work under Windows 7.

    An ideal option would be to have the Apple Thunderbolt Display at the office for network connectivity, and attach a keyboard with numerical keypad for Excel and Accounting work. They are affordable as refurbished models from the Apple store. Then you would not even need to be concerned a out the resolution because Windows would work great on the Thunderbolt Display resolution.
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2010
    Thanks for the feedback.

    If I boot up in bootcamp do I get all of the native windows shortcuts, like in Excel when you hit f2 and it goes to edit the cell?
  7. macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2010
    Calgary AB
    I have a 15" rMBP and use a lot of the functionality that you are describing in Excel etc. I'm in business and cannot stand mac excel for modelling and other stuff, the pc version is the way to go for sure.

    Bootcamp literally makes your machine act like a windows pc. I installed windows 7 as a bootcamp partition so i could run it natively if i wanted... Then I installed Parallels on my mac, which then I told to address the existing bootcamp partition, so I could access it without rebooting my machine. Even in this mode in a virtualized environment, all the shortcuts and such work as necessary for the pc programs. The machine has more than enough power to adequately run anything you throw at it.
  8. macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2013
    Windows 7 on Macbook Pro 15

    I have been using my macbook pro and Windows 7 through Parallels now for about 2 months. I have 16gb of RAM and the 512SSD. I have Office Professional 10 installed and have no problems with running any of the programs including Excel. I use a medical version of Nuance Voice Recognition that is not available on the Mac platform, and even though it is memory and processor intensive have had no issues. I do enjoy being able to run both platforms simultaneously and swipe between them. This has worked so well for me that I've never considered bootcamp, the only reason I could see would be if I played games on the Windows side which I don't. Good Luck in your choice and decsion.

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