Best option for windows on MBP 13" 2.4ghz C2D???

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by chuckflip53, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. chuckflip53 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    #1
    Here's my scenario (events happen chronologically):
    - 2.4ghz 2010 unibody MBP 13"
    - installed Windows XP (w/SP2) via boot camp (2 partitions on HDD currently)
    - installed Parallels 5.0 on Mac HDD
    - made a VM thru Parallels w/ existing XP OS from boot camp partition

    Before I ask main question, the way I am running my VM right now - via boot camp partition - is that faster than if I had not created a boot camp partition and instead just installed Parallels and THEN used that to create an XP VM?

    My main question: Would my MBP run faster/equal/slower if I install Win7 Ult? Should I delete my boot camp partition and just install Win7 via Parallels or should I install Win7 onto the boot camp partition (overwrite XP)? Also, should I install Win7 32 or 64 bit? Thanks in advance for responses!
     
  2. VideoFreek macrumors 6502

    VideoFreek

    Joined:
    May 12, 2007
    Location:
    Philly
    #2
    The main advantage of installing Windows in a bootcamp partition, as you have done, is that it gives you the option of running Windows natively if you want to play games or use other resource-intensive software. Performance under virtualization (Parallels) should be about the same, I believe.

    Win7 will probably feel a bit slower than XP, because it is a much more resource-intensive OS. Nevertheless, it will run just fine on your hardware. One advantage of virtualization is that you can install it as a pure VM to try it out before committing to blowing away your XP partition!

    Regarding 32 vs 64: you didn't specify how much RAM you have installed, but in general one of the main advantages of running 64-bit Windows is that it can access more than ~3.4gb of RAM, which is the limit for 32-bit OS's. Of course, if you mainly run under virtualization, it probably doesn't matter very much.
     
  3. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #3
    The most important question is what do you want to do in Windows 7?

    As Videofreek asked, how much RAM do you have.

    There is typically a slight performance hit from using a Boot Camp install as a VM in Parallels/VMWare. You also lose the ability to sleep or hibernate your VM, but that is moot if your desire for WIndows requires native speeds (e.g. gaming)

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  4. chuckflip53 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    #4
    sorry for not mentioning that! I have 4gb, 1067mhz DDR3 RAM
    Windows will be used for the occasional programs that are not mac-compatible in college - otherwise I will be using OSx
     
  5. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    Aug 16, 2005
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    #5
    What kind of programs? (i.e. What's your major?) Heavy duty stuff (e.g. engineering) or lightweight stuff like Office (e.g liberal arts) and maybe Visual Studio (e.g. CS)?

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  6. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #6
    Not true at all! Windows 7 will have better driver support for the video card, and it will allow him to take advantage of all 4gb's of RAM, which XP can not do (unless you use 64-bit XP, which is like the bastard child of OS 9 and OS X). Additionally, Windows 7 will offer better battery life and power saving optimizations that XP does not offer, without really using much more system resources at all.
     
  7. chuckflip53 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    #7
    just wondering, where did you get statistics from? Not that I don't believe you or anything, you just seem very sure about what you're saying

    I will be majoring in business so besides the Office there might be a few statistics/finance related programs
     
  8. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #8
    What he says is confirmed by many of us who run W7 on our Macs via Boot Camp, but doesn't deal with the possibility of running in a VM only. In a VM the better hardware control tjm mentions is irrelevant since the hardware is virtualized and genericized.

    IMHO. Get the student deal for W7 get the 32 bit version and run it in Parallels exclusively. As long as you allocate 2GB of RAM to the VM it'll run well for the use you specify. I would only recommend the 64 bit version if you needed Boot Camp or if you could allocate 4GB of RAM to the VM. (i.e. you had at least 6 GB or physical RAM).

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  9. Mackan macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    #9
    Windows 7 is the way to go. It's a quite nice and snappy OS, and you can actually get around 6 hours of battery life in native Boot Camp on that MBP 13". I know, because I run Windows 7 64 bit on the new MBP 13" myself.
     
  10. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #10
    Wow. I routinely get that kind of life on my Macs in OS x but under Windows 7 they tend to be more in the ~2 hour range. What's so different about the 2010 MBP vs. my 2008 model? (The 15" suffers in battery life from not being able to use the 9400 in Windows).

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  11. Mackan macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    #11
    I was very surprised to see the long battery life as well, and it can actually get even better if Nvidia's drivers get fixed, because they cause a lot of interrupts (DPC) when the videocard runs in 2D low power mode. But power management for the videocard works, which is important.

    Speedstep and power management for the CPU also works. The 2.4 Ghz CPU is stepping down to 800 MHz when on battery (balanced profile), with a lower FSB as well, and the laptop stays very cool to the touch, just like in OS X.

    FYI, my 13" MBP 2010 consumes around 7-8 Watts when doing light work as word processing. In OS X, it is even better of course. But this is entirely due to very well optimized drivers on Apple's side. The Boot Camp drivers, while improved over the years, are still subpar.

    I guess all of this is only relevant if you can run the MBP on integrated graphics. I know the 15 and 17 inch models can only utitlize the discrete card in Windows, and that automatically destroys battery life. It's up to Apple to provide a videocard switch (with a reboot) in the Boot Camp preferences, but they haven't so far.
     

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