Best option for Windows

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by roland.g, Oct 10, 2015.

  1. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    One mile up and soaring
    #1
    I need to run Windows for work. I currently have a 2012 MBA 1.8GHz with 8GB of RAM.

    I can either use that, with Fusion 8.

    Sell it and get a 13" rMBP and run Fusion 8.

    Or just get a Surface Pro 4.

    I need to run MS Office, including OneDrive for Business and have Excel and Outlook perform at native speeds or close enough. And I will be running QuickBooks Enterprise 15. I will use 2 external displays, and always have 2 QB companies open, up to 10 spreadsheets, and I bounce through apps and really ask the box to keep up with me. Is Fusion even worth it in this environment.

    Going with a Mac allows me to Target Display Mode my 27" iMac at home. But I will also need a CalDigit TB dock or OWC TB dock at work to connect 2 displays and ethernet and Keyboard.

    the Surface Pro 4 can do all those things easily except for connect to my iMac. So at home I'm SOL for a display unless I want to either a) get rid of the iMac and get a Mac Mini and an ultra wide display for the mini and SP4 to share, or b) get an extra display to either crowd my desk or put on the floor in the corner when not in use. The SP4 screen by itself is not a consideration for any real work.

    Any suggestions or feedback would be great. Thanks.
     
  2. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Location:
    Canada is my city
    #2
    You will need to use a Mac with Thunderbolt in order to use Target Display. If you really use a lot of power when running Windows, I suggest you use Boot Camp instead of Fusion/Parallels, BUT I'm not sure whether it's working with Target Display. You'll need to find this out, or just try and install Boot Camp on your MacBook Air for now and try it out. If it doesn't work, then I'm afraid you will need to sell your iMac and buy a high-end Mac Mini and a display. I'd wait for until the end of this year for a refresh first, in case it happens. The Surface won't be able to connect to your iMac FYI, but if you never use OS X on your MacBook, then it might be a better choice (assuming it'll work).
     
  3. roland.g thread starter macrumors 603

    roland.g

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    One mile up and soaring
    #3
    My current Air or any Retina MBP will work with TDM on the iMac. I am aware a Surface will not. I would prefer not to use Boot Camp. At that point I would choose a Windows box. I'd like to avoid the Mac Mini route. At least until my iMac ages out. Really it is mostly an iTunes server and photos repository though I do some iMovie and a few other things but really it is mostly surf and mail. All my media data is external.

    I'm not sure how much better or not Windows in Fusion would be or if I'll have issues running it on a Retina v my Air. But I don't want the size and weight of the 15" to get a quad core.
     
  4. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Location:
    Canada is my city
    #4
    Alright. Personally, I prefer Parallels for software emulation, but you need to play with both yourself and see what you prefer. Make sure to give the VM a lot of RAM though. I'm however not sure whether dual/triple displays work with Fusion/Parallels.
     
  5. roland.g thread starter macrumors 603

    roland.g

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    One mile up and soaring
    #5
    I've downloaded a trial of Fusion 8 and a trial of Windows 7 into it. It's running on a 2012 MBA with 8GB RAM. Not sure how I allocate a set amount of RAM to it. I can hook up my iMac through Target Display Mode over Thunderbolt and in Unity Mode in Fusion I can move any app to the second display and even pin them left and right, effectively opening two spreadsheets side by side on the 27" with something else open on the MBA screen. I don't know if the MBA can drive two screens at work or if I would need to replace it with a new 13" Retina Pro. I tried to use the trial of Parallels but I get a strange activation error on the trial and their tech support for it was pathetic to say the least. So I haven't been able to try that yet.
     

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