Virtual Machine vs. Boot Camp

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Rover-dude, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Nov 10, 2012
    Hello all,
    Soon I will be installing Windows 7 on my MacBook Pro, I need Windows for some classes I am taking.

    So, as I have been looking into it, I will either use or Boot Camp. So which is better?

    About 4 years ago, a IT guy for my mom's company helped me install XP using VM Ware Fusion, but my system ran SOOOO slow when XP was running, so I now have: 2.2GHz Intel Core i7 and 4GB of memory.

    So Boot Camp or VirtualBox? Oh, and which would be better if I want to eventually install say Windows 8 or Linux?

  2. macrumors 68000


    May 3, 2012
    Your new Mac should have zero issues running Windows. I would suggest using VMware Fusion or Parallels to run Windows inside OS X instead of Virtual Box. There's nothing wrong with VB... it's great... but it requires a little more fudging than the other two apps... at least from my experience.

    If you do go the VM route... I would put at least 8 GB of RAM in your computer... makes things a little more friendly when running two OS's simultaneously.

    If you use Boot Camp... I would suggest keeping a full backup of your computer... as I have... on several occasions... had my main partition corrupted in the process or corrupted after a month or so of dual booting. Not always... but it's happened enough to be extra cautious. You should be keeping a backup of your stuff anyway, but it's just something to keep in mind.
  3. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
    You alwaus use bootcamp. Apple should kill these virutalization applications for putting doubts int he consumer head. Bootcamp take full advantage of the hardware and it doenst slow your machine. You last machine was slow because of virtualization
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2012
    I am new to virtualization...I read through the first 50+ pages of the VirtualBox manual and was up and running in no time...I have 4GB of RAM on my machine -- it is a little long in the toothe -- but it has no problems running either Windows 7 or Windows 8 with just 1 GB of RAM allocated to it.

    I have also read through the Parallels manual but have not tried it because it is not free, what can I say, as I wanted to test / try virtualization...I would say the following:

    1. VirtualBox has less features than Parallels [i.e. is less seamless] but does everything you could want it to do and is simpler -- in my view -- to use. I think it would be hard not to be happy with VirtualBox.

    2. Parallels is more feature rich but with that comes a steeper learning curve to real avail oneself of its power.

    The other nice thing about VirtualBox is that it is multi-platform so should you know how to use it in a Mac host environment then you could run into in a Windows host environment, etc.

    To me I will now always run virtual machines because they have an example, I will run a VM of OS Mountain because I can try things within the VMs without destroying my native install.

    I hope this helps,

  5. macrumors newbie


    Jun 29, 2012
    Tuscany, Italy
    I been working with VM from the last 6 years, and had no problem at all, if you need it for game go with BootCamp, if not any VM can do a good job Parallel and Fusion have more features and ( as you pay for ) have support and little better performance.
    The good of VM is that youn can play on the safe side , install all you like and if you don't like it go back to square one in a second :)
    Only one think , if you have the money get 8G of ram and give the Vm 3-4 G all will be running much faster.
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 3, 2009
    Florida's Treasure Coast
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2012
    This is bad advice, and bad spelling.

    "Boot Camp" includes a CSM-BIOS which limits the hardware capability. Unless you figure out how to install and boot an OS in EFI mode, you aren't getting full ACPI and AHCI support from the hardware. There are reasons to use VM and reasons to boot natively. Booting natively does get you some performance benefits that you mostly see in GPU intensive tasks like games, but for most all other tasks a VM will have decent performance but be vastly simpler to setup and maintain, without the GPT - hybrid MBR baggage that comes with Boot Camp.
  8. macrumors member


    Dec 31, 2006
    Why not have the best of both worlds, create your boot camp partition then let VMware run it as a virtual machine. Trust me, having to reboot into windows just to run a couple of apps will soon get tedious. Best to have windows available while in your mac!
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2012
    What's the advantage of putting Windows on a partition instead of in a virtual disk? I can only think of numerous disadvantages to the dedicated partition approach.
  10. macrumors member


    Dec 31, 2006
    There is only one advantage as far as I can see, and thats dedicated graphics in your windows. If you want to game, it sucks in VMWare.

    If you have no need for gaming, no point in bootcamp.
  11. MJL, Nov 25, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012

    macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    Using a hybrid partition scheme (as when required having Windows on the same HDD or -please avoid like the plague- on a SSD) is asking for trouble. The slightest mistake and you loose both installs.

    In my case I am running a Mac mini server with Mountain Lion on the 500Gb HDD and Windows on the 120Gb SSD. (both are internal) It has been stable for over a long time, is easy to restore and maintain. On this moment I am building up a 2011 base Mac mini that I got on close out and am replacing the HDD with a SSD and adding more memory. The internal HDD will go in an external case for booting into OS X and imaging the (internal SSD) Windows partition.
  12. guklein, Nov 26, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012

    macrumors 6502a

    Oct 8, 2008
    I will use rarely windows in my iMac (no games).

    In this case what is recommended, BootCamp or Virtual Machine? I just have a Windows XP (old one from 2005).

  13. macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2012
    I find in Virtual Box, Windows 7 runs much worse if I give it more than one core. It struggles to do anything 3D and the GUI is often sluggish. It works well if I give it 1 core.
  14. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 10, 2012
    So, are you saying it would be better to have the Windows install on another hard drive? Because I have a 1TB external drive I could use for the Windows install. (As long as Mac can boot Windows from the drive)
  15. MJL
    macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    Windows cannot boot from an external drive, OS X can. I have in my Mac mini server two drives - the SSD with WIndows and the 500 Gb HDD OS X.

    Am going to use a 2011 base Mac mini with a SSD internally for Windows and will be using externally the old 500 GB with OSX to run OSX for backing up the windows partition. I am running windows (business) 24/5 and in the weekend OS X.

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