Best way to run Windows on my MBP?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by militaryman911, May 31, 2011.

  1. militaryman911 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    #1
    I am going to be a freshman in college this fall studying mechanical engineering. Although most school work will be done on provided computers and software, I may need to occasionally run some engineering programs on my computer as well. So the question is, how should I install Windows (and which version? 7, XP, Vista, etc.)? Should I use Parallels, Fusion, or BootCamp. I've heard for larger and more demanding programs (which the engineering ones will most likely be) to use BootCamp becuase of its native speed. Again though, I won't be using it that often however I would like to run other programs as well in Windows. (FL Studio, Sony Vegas, a few others)
     
  2. SavMBP15 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    #2
    It would be best to contact both your school's IT department and your engineering department as they will know what the best way to do what you want to do. I guarantee that you are not the first to ask this question at the school.

    Also if you do what they recommend you'll be in a better position to have them help you if you have a problem and if you need to buy software you'll probably get a discount in the school bookstore.
     
  3. francis21 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Location:
    Mississauga, ON, Canada
    #3
    Well, based on your needs and the tasks that you will be performing, its preferably to use Boot Camp. Since Boot Camp runs Windows natively, you can use all the resources of your MBP.

    But many people prefer running VMs, using Fusion or Parallels, so that they don't need to reboot their computers to boot into Windows. But both software programs allow you to import or use your physical Boot Camp partition as a virtual machine.

    So I suggest that you install either one of Fusion or Parallels and Boot Camp (if you can afford the HDD space). You have the best of both worlds. Hope this helps. Cheers! :apple:
     
  4. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #4
    I recommend using bootcamp with win 7, especially if you have a new computer. The new models do not officially support anything older than 7, which is the best to run anyhow.
     
  5. militaryman911 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    #5
    How much space is recommended I partition for Windows if I use BootCamp? If I were to install both Parallels and BootCamp like you have suggested, does that create any complications? Like would I have to dedicate yet another set amount of GB's?
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #6
    It really depends on what apps you'll need, windows needs a minimum amount and then you'll want some space for apps and what not. You'll need at least 20GB for windows, so knowing that. I'd go for 40 to 60GB to set aside for a bootcamp partition
     
  7. militaryman911 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    #7
    I forget, do you also have to partition for Parallels?
     
  8. Genocide macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    #8
    I just finished first year engineering and had the same problem as you. I ended up buying Parallels, which turned out to be a mistake as running both OS's simultaneously really slowed down my computer (I own a 2.53GHz Intel core duo 15" MBP). This made working with CPU intensive programs like CAD near impossible.

    I highly recommend using Bootcamp as it runs Windows at a much faster speed and is not all that inconvenient. You said you will only be using Windows from time to time so the rebooting shouldn't be to much of a problem and Macs do have fast boot times. Also, shutting down and rebooting to windows was faster than having parallels start windows on my Mac.

    I'd recommend partitioning 70-120GB of space for Windows as programs like CAD and Visual Studio (common engineering programs) are rather large programs. If you don't that much hard drive space to spare, consider buying an external hard drive, 500GB ones can be found for $70-$90.
     
  9. DennisN macrumors newbie

    DennisN

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    I have parallels and think it does slow the Mac down. I went to Parallels rather than Bootcamp because I used Windows mostly (for 25 years), Mac rarely. Then I got my iMac last October and moved over to Mac by preference - sadly, there are still some things I do in Windows which I can't do on Mac (I am a complete Mac novice, so the fact that I've gone Mac almost completely is quite a culture shock).

    My main concern is that when OS was upgraded from Tiger to Snow Leopard, Parallels wouldn't run, so I had to buy an updated version of Parallels. I'm expecting the same problem when Lion arrives, so at that time I guess I'll switch to Bootcamp. Probably be coming back here for advice on how to go about it!
     
  10. kppolich macrumors 6502

    kppolich

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    Iowa
    #10
    both bootcamp and parallels can be had for free online. Try them both and see which one you prefer.
     
  11. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #11
    For maximum compatibility and performance, I recommend Bootcamp.

    Bootcamp requires a copy of Windows. :)
     
  12. DennisN macrumors newbie

    DennisN

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    So also does Parallels. But Bootcamp comes free with OS X, whereas Parallels has to be purchased.
     
  13. Herdfan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2011
    #13
    Start with Bootcamp. Then install Parallels and have it use your Bootcamp install. That way you get the best of both worlds. If you find that the Windows programs you need won't run in Parallels, then delete it and you still have Bootcamp.
     
  14. francis21 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Location:
    Mississauga, ON, Canada
    #14
    Well, as mentioned above, 20 GB is the minimum recommended space. But I bet you, that wouldn't be enough, since Windows OS files can take quite a lot of space. I would go 40-50 GB or higher, if hard drive space will allow you to create such size of Windows partition.

    Well, if you want to go that way, the only complication that would occur is the activation problems for Windows. When you first run your Boot Camp partition off of your VM software, it might ask you for your activation code for Windows, since Windows is running to a different hardware environment (i.e. virtual machine hardware). Furthermore, the corresponding VM software would only install the necessary tools to run your Boot Camp partition smoothly (e.g. VMWare tools, etc.). But that's pretty much it.
     

Share This Page