13" rMBP Parallels 8 or Bootcamp for Windows 8

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dorkus, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. dorkus macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2013
    So I received a new 13" rMBP i7 3GHz 512SSD and 8GB Ram from my company.

    As there is no way around Windows (Domain, Shared network drives, Exchange, Office) I need to install windows 8 on either parallels or via bootcamp.

    How would you go around it? Is the performance of the rMBP enough to run windows smoothly with parallels 8? Windows needs to run Office 2013 and a few special programs that are not available in OSX.

    If you think its better to go with Bootcamp, how would divide the ssd? Is there a way to access the files on both operating systems?
    Like a c: drive with OSX and W8 and a d: drive with all data files?

    Please let me know.

    Thank you!
  2. chrisrosemusic1 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2012
    Northamptonshire, England
    To start, Exchange and Office are available for Mac - I use most of the Office suite on a regular basis and all Windows file formats are supported.

    Bootcamp is fantastic if you don't mind rebooting to use Windows. You can partition the drive as required when you run the bootcamp setup. You would however need an external CD drive (Apple or otherwise) or you will need to make a USB installation (use Google) disk.

    I haven't used VM with my rMBP but I would imagine it would run great. Everything else I throw at my Mac runs flawlessly and effortlessly.

    In my previous bootcamp experience, you were able to access Windows files whilst in OSX, but not the other way around. This may have changed as I haven't used it since XP.

    Good luck.
  3. ncrypt macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2012
    In Bootcamp, you can read your Mac partition but not write to it. Installing MacDrive onto your Bootcamp partition will allow write so accessing files aren't at all an issue.

    What I do is redirect my Documents folder on the bootcamp partition to the Documents folder on my Mac partition so that it's seamless (done by right clicking on 'Documents' and changing the location)
  4. swerve147 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 12, 2013
    If you have the RAM to spare then Parallels is much more convenient. Having to reboot every time you need to run software in Windows is a huge PITA.

    The only reasons I would choose Boot Camp over Parallels is if:

    • you don't have spare RAM to run VMs
    • you do a lot of gaming in Windows, or
    • you can't afford to buy Parallels
  5. Mercmanman macrumors member

    Nov 24, 2012

    I run Win 7 in Parallels every day. 13" i7 512 GB rMBP runs it just fine. Battery life takes a hit when windows is running...but having the full speed i7 processor vs the low voltage MBA processor for example. So it runs visual studio and office etc perfectly, and does not break a sweat.

    Typically I run everything in OSX (mail, Office, Internet apps etc), and use with Win VM for those that are truly unique.

    I completely recommend Parallels 8 and Windows in a VM....
  6. xShane macrumors 6502a


    Nov 2, 2012
    United States
    You will get the best performance via Bootcamp.

    However, Parallels may or may not be more convenient because it can be run as a virtual machine, allowing for access from within the OS X environment.

    One thing you might want to try is installing on Bootcamp and setting everything up there. I'm pretty sure you can then later access your Bootcamp partition from Parallels. That way, you can use Bootcamp when you need the best performance, and use Parallels when convenient for you.
  7. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    Does VirtualBox worth with Windows 8? It's free.
  8. sniffs macrumors regular


    Jan 24, 2013
    Everything you mentioned is available on native OSX.

    You can join them to a Windows domain. You can map network drives using "Connect to Server" from the Go dropdown, and Office for Mac 2011 has Outlook/Exchange integration.

    Anything else? :D
  9. applepie555 macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2012
    You can put windows in boot camp and setup parallels to boot off of that. That way, you can use parallels when you need OS X and windows at the same time, and use bootcamp when you need full performance
  10. Mercmanman macrumors member

    Nov 24, 2012

    Great suggestion. Best of both worlds.


    Virtual Box works well with Win 8, with two exceptions:

    Graphics drivers on VBOX are weak, and VBOX is not optimized for the rMBP. Parallels does a fantastic job of driving windows at retina resolution through to 1680x1050 on my 13" rMBP. The retina compatibility was the main reason I switched after two years of running VBOX on two different MBA's


    Virtual Box works well with Win 8, with two exceptions:

    Graphics drivers on VBOX are weak, and VBOX is not optimized for the rMBP. Parallels does a fantastic job of driving windows at retina resolution through to 1680x1050 on my 13" rMBP. The retina compatibility was the main reason I switched after two years of running VBOX on two different MBA's
  11. jlc1978, Mar 7, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013

    jlc1978 macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2009
    While I run Office 2011 on my RMBP, Exchange integration is spotty. Sure you can get mail and calender functions like in Win but more advanced features such as Sharepoint integration is lacking. I wound up using mail,calender and contacts native Exchange sync capabilities instead and am quite happy. That said, I also use Parallels 8 ( which is in the current MacUpdate bundle) to run Office when I need to or Visio when Omnigraffle won't do. I find it fast enough for my needs since I don't run games and not having to reboot is a plus. Until Apple builds in a boot into both and switch as needed feature in Bootcamp I will stick with Parallels.
  12. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Parallels* will be more than adequate for that sort of "office productivity" stuff. I'd only bother with BootCamp if you need to run heavy duty graphics, video editing software or 3D-heavy games.

    Parallels have done a pretty good job of integrating Windows with OS X. You can have Windows Apps sitting in the dock, running side-by-side on the desktop alongside OSX apps, cut & paste, share desktop and documents folders etc.

    It also solves your disk partition problem - with BootCamp you have to partition your disk between OS X and Windows, which will inevitably waste space. Parallels uses an expanding disc file that starts small and grows as it fills up (and can be compacted to free up space).

    I wouldn't go for the "dual mode" Bootcamp/Parallels solution unless you are sure that you will need Bootcamp performance. You lose some of the advantages of a pure virtual machine.

    *I say Parallels - there's also VMWare Fusion and VirtualBox. I use both Parallels and VirtualBox - haven't used VMWare for a while. I'd say that Parallels tends to be slickest and best for OS X/Windows integration, VMWare has a slightly better rep for stability and support, VirtualBox does all the basics - and some of the trimmings - for free and you might want to try it before shelling out for Parallels.
  13. Crzyrio macrumors 65816

    Jul 6, 2010
    VMWare or Parrales handsdown, if your not doing any PC intensive work. E.g 3d modeling, games, programming etc.

    If it is just word processing and email you wont even notice the difference.

    I have a C2D Mac with 8GB Ram and an SSD and I can run VMWare with Windows in one space and switch back and forth with no lag whatsoever. Someone using windows wouldnt be able to tell the difference.

    Although I do let it use 3GB of ram and a core. Youll be able to get away with giving it 2 cores and 3GB ram.
  14. 262Runnr macrumors regular


    Jul 21, 2008
    I have only used Vmware and haven't had any issues with Windows 8. :)
    Windows 8 actually boots up faster in Vmware than on my Windows PC... :)
    I had issues running Windows 7 however because there was no native support for USB 3.0.
  15. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011
    All of the above list can be done without Windows.
  16. dorkus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2013
    well there are quite a few tools that are not available on osx. also samba shares and domain integration are way too buggy and unstable to avoid windows completely.... sad but true.
  17. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    I don't know why nobody has told you that Windows 8 can't be installed via Bootcamp as of now. Only Windows 7.
  18. vatter69 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 4, 2013
    Isn't it more like it's not officially supported but runs well with the Drivers supplied by the Boot Camp assistant?
  19. boto macrumors 6502


    Jun 4, 2012
    I'm running Windows 8 just fine on my iMac. I'm sure the 13" rMBP can as well but just isn't supported with new drivers, which are most likely going to release in OSX 10.8.3. The only difference I've seen thus far is no access to the Mac partition while on Windows, the D drive.
  20. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    So am I but I had to manually install the drivers.

    The bootcamp installer insists you have a Windows 7 disk. It won't allow a Windows 8 version.
  21. QJMan macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2012
    Parallels 8 is excellent, but you should upgrade your RAM before.
  22. vatter69 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 4, 2013
    Gonna be tough with a Retina :)

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