Best Way to Run Windows 7

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by HeatherA, May 13, 2013.

  1. HeatherA macrumors 6502


    Jan 31, 2009
    So my 27" iMac should be here any time now. I'm getting everything ready for the big day. One thing I need to decide on is how to run Win7. On my MBP I used Bootcamp and ran that installation as a VM in Parallels. This was just for office work, no game play.

    On my new iMac I'm considering just installing Parallels and running Win7 as a VM directly from the program.

    Or I could skip Parallels and just run Win7 with Bootcamp.

    My only reason for installing Win7 this time around is to play the Sims 2 and possibly the new SimCity. I want to insure the best experience for game play.

    What do you think is the best option of the three above?


    Edit: Oh and I'll have the 1tb Fusion if that makes any difference.
  2. Snarl macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2012
    Canada Eh
    You'll get better gaming performance through Bootcamp (Less overhead) but VMWare is more convenient and okay for less demanding games.
  3. palmharbor macrumors 6502

    Jul 31, 2007

    This software has been the most difficult to use as there always seems to be a problem...cannot fine the win os...full screen only..all mac could not download: Google could not download name it.
    Error messages all kinds of issues.
  4. karpich1, May 13, 2013
    Last edited: May 13, 2013

    karpich1 macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2007

    If you're playing games, then Bootcamp.

    Even if they're not that graphically heavy, Bootcamp is still probably your best bet. The new SimCity might be a bigger hog than Sims.

    VmWare and Parallels are great for when you just want to hop in and do something with a regular Windows app. And they might work well-enough to get some games running.

    But since you mention gaming explicitly: Bootcamp. This way if you decide to try at other (more gpu intensive) games you can still play them fine.

    AND... I forget which of them (VmWare vs Parallels) did this. But at least one of them let you point a VmWare instance at your Bootcamp partition. So you could boot into Bootcamp for heavy gaming. But if you're just in OS X and need to hop into Visual Studio to do something quickly, you could just have Parallels (or whatever) run your Bootcamp partition inside OS X


    I only give such a long-winded explanation because some young kid was telling me that the new iMacs stunk for Windows gaming. I scratched my head and said "huh?"

    He said that the VM wasn't running the latest CoD (or Modern Warfare) as good as his windows PC. He was trying to do it through VmWare because he said "there's no difference in 3D graphics running in a VM"

    Which is false. While they've made great strides in getting 3D graphics to run decent in VM it's nowhere near as good as native.
  5. Dirtyharry50 macrumors 68000


    May 17, 2012
    You will want to install Windows 7 via bootcamp for the best experience playing the new Sim City. The Sims 2 should work fine in a Windows 7 VM which is accessing the bootcamp install, so no wasted space there as it only takes a small amount to set up this VM where it is using the disk space of the already installed Windows 7 via bootcamp.

    Doing it this way offers you an ideal setup where you can avoid bothering with reboots for older or less demanding games along with Windows applications but you do have the option of rebooting for optimal performance for any newer title. This is how I do it myself and it works well for me.
  6. HeatherA thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jan 31, 2009
    Thanks everyone. Looks like I'll go the bootcamp route. I can't multitask while playing these games anyway so no real need to be booted into OSX.

    I appreciate the feedback. Now if my iMac would just get delivered I'd be a happy camper :rolleyes:
  7. forty2j macrumors 68030


    Jul 11, 2008
    I believe both games you mentioned have native OS X versions. Parallels is certainly more convenient for less intensive work, but Bootcamp is more or less required for most Windows gaming.

    In your situation I would repeat your previous setup. Parallels pointing to a Bootcamp partition gives you the flexibility of quick access to less intense tasks, and rebooting for more power for Windows if needed. The only drawback is that in this setup Parallels gets very little benefit from a Fusion drive, if you have one. But if you find OS X versions of your apps / games, you don't have to worry about that as often.
  8. HeatherA thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jan 31, 2009
    Unfortunately I have the Windows only versions of The Sims 2 and the Mac version of SimCity won't release until sometime next month.

    The only problem I remember having with my old setup had to do with Windows 7 forcing me to choose which VM was the registered version of the software. It wanted a serial number for each instance regardless that it was the same machine. So I had to choose to run it either as Bootcamp or the VM instance through Parallels. If I could find away around that then I'd be set and able to switch back and forth at will.
  9. DFWHD macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2011
    That sucks! I've been using Parallels 7 and now 8 for 6 months with no issues in Mountain lion with Win7 / Win8 virtualized on a MBP and now my iMac. Are you on the current version?
  10. HeatherA thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jan 31, 2009
    Ran a little test to answer this question for myself. I installed Win7 on a bootcamp partition and then installed all of my Sims 2 games. They ran fantastic. I then installed Parallels7 and used it to VM my bootcamp partition. Running the Sims 2 seemed fine until it was fully loaded and then the video rendering was really off... looked like a messed up version of graphics from 1995 or something. Everything was hot pink and very jittery. My iMac has the 680mx with 2gb of ram.

    So now I have Win7 set up both ways on my iMac, but will be gaming through true Bootcamp, and whatever else is needed in Windows via Parallels.

    BTW... this did take 2 registration codes for Windows to accomplish. Win7 sees each way of accessing the same installation as 2 installations. Lucky for me I have several old copies of Win7 floating around my house so did not have to make a choice this time around.
  11. forty2j macrumors 68030


    Jul 11, 2008
    I've read, though not tested, that you can use the same code on both sides.
  12. Shivetya macrumors 65816

    Jan 16, 2008
    Bootcamp install it and then install Parallels. The reason is that some games do not behave in Parallels. Essentially mouse control can get odd and games where mouse look is implemented when playing through Parallels you can get stuck in spin city. Tile based games don't seem to suffer this but most first person shooters do. Also, having the Parallels option means you can pop open a Window sessions and allow those games to patch all the while still using OS X.
  13. opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    I run win 7 and 8 and linux Mint all on Parallels. Works great.
  14. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    I believe that the network addresses in "native" and in "virtual" have to be made the same. Normally in "virtual" it is a genric address.

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