Bootcamp/Parallels - Silly questions

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by jazzer15, Dec 27, 2015.

  1. jazzer15 macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2010
    I am planning to run Windows on my new iMac. For work purposes I would like to treat Windows and OSX as two separate computers to keep work separate from my personal things and so I would like to use bootcamp. I do, however, have a couple of Windows programs that are not work related, so I might like to run Parallels as well.

    Silly question # 1 :) I will need to be booting in and out of Windows a number of times every week. Aside from the inconvenience (although I have a 512GB SSD so it should be pretty fast), is there any concern from a computer and hardware longevity standpoint as a result of doing frequent reboots?

    Question 2 (perhaps a little less silly): I understand that I can run parallels off the bootcamp partition/installation of Windows. What kind of resources would this require in terms of RAM? Would 16GB be sufficient or should I go for more? (I currently have only 8GB and planned to install some more for my photo editing in any event).

  2. Lankyman macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2011
    I don't really understand why you need to us bootcamp at all? If you install Parallels in OS X then you have the option of running Windows as a totally separate system from the Mac (that is how I like to use Parallels on my iMac) or you can opt for partial or full integration with OS X.

    If you use it in OS X but keep then as separate entities then you can dip in and out of Windows in a matter of seconds. You are seeking to complicate the uncomplicated.
  3. jazzer15 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2010
    Thanks. I didn't realize there was an option in Parallels to run Windows as a separate system. I guess the only possible problem then would be if I picked up a virus or malware on the Windows side it could potentially affect the entire system, but I doubt I would be using Windows on the internet anyway, so it is probably a non-issue.
  4. Lankyman macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2011
    A virus that affects Windows would not affect OS X. I use Windows exactly like I do OS X or as I would were it a separate machine including full internet and email access.

    Only use 1 core when setting up the VM - cores in VMs do not mean the same thing as they do on hardware based systems. I found mine runs really well with an allocation of 6 gigs of RAM 1 core CPU and 256mb of video memory (that leaves 14 gigs for OS X). When you're not using Windows then the RAM is released to be used by OS X.
  5. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

    May 1, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    The other downside of running both Bootcamp and Parallels is that you would need two separate Windows licenses.
  6. takeshi74, Dec 28, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2015

    takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Do you really need a separate VM for non-work Windows stuff? If you don't need the lack of overhead with Boot Camp you can run multiple VM's under Parallels but you'll need multiple Windows licenses.

    If you think you might need the added performance of Boot Camp (or if you're not sure and just want to have the option) then you can set up Boot Camp and set up Parallels to run the Boot Camp partition. Then you can either reboot into Boot Camp if you need the added performance or just fire up Parallels if you don't.


    You'd need enough RAM for both for your usage of OSX and Windows. It's impossible to say if 16GB is enough without a sufficient understanding of your usage. Less might be enough or 16 might not be enough for all we know at this point.

    No matter what option you choose, Windows is separate. Features like Unity (which is what Fusion calls it -- not sure what Parallels calls it) just make Windows apps appear like OSX apps but the Windows apps are running under Windows which is a separate OS.

    This is incorrect if one is running Boot Camp and also using Parallels to run Boot Camp. If one creates another Windows VM (in addition to running Boot Camp) then one would need another license.
  7. jazzer15 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2010
    Thanks for the responses. It sounds like a VM makes the most sense. I only wanted to use Boot Camp to keep work separate from personal. I will have to see if there will be any problems though because there are a ton of security measures put into place for our work network and it is possible something won't operate quite right if I am using a VM. I'll have to see. It shouldn't be any issue, but it wouldn't be the first time that there was some weird conflict.

    Actually, I could use OSX rather than Windows to VPN into my office network, but I would really like some separation. The last time I tried to do that (use my old iMac to VPN) the VPN software caused some issue with my internet access and it took me weeks of troubleshooting to figure out what the problem was. Ultimately I had to delete the software and just used a work issued laptop. I would continue to use the laptop, but I would really like to be able to use my screen, which of course you can't do with the new iMacs.

    As far as resources I was just trying to figure out how much dedicated RAM is needed for Windows (I will not be doing anything too intensive on the Windows side). 16GB of RAM should be sufficient for my OSX work, which will include photo editing with Lightroom and Photoshop and some audio recording, but I wouldn't be doing those things while going back and forth into Windows.

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