Bootcamp vs. Parallels 5 on MBP 13"

chuckflip53

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 18, 2010
132
0
I have a MBP 13" 2.4GHz C2D w/ 4GB RAM

Currently, I installed windows xp via Bootcamp and it's having no issues. However, I also have parallels 5 and windows 7 so i was wondering if I should delete the bootcamp partition and install win7 via parallels instead?
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,366
978
New England
I have a MBP 13" 2.4GHz C2D w/ 4GB RAM

Currently, I installed windows xp via Bootcamp and it's having no issues. However, I also have parallels 5 and windows 7 so i was wondering if I should delete the bootcamp partition and install win7 via parallels instead?
THanks for at least answering the which Mac question. What do you do in Windows?

B
 

chuckflip53

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 18, 2010
132
0
THanks for at least answering the which Mac question. What do you do in Windows?

B
Nothing heavy. Microsoft Office, Chrome browsing, at times I might launch up Halo for PC via bootcamp but nothing more. I didn't know I was required to answer 2 questions.

Anyway, I ask because I have heard from others that Parallels is less stable than Bootcamp/vice versa (running parallels w/ a C2D)?
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,366
978
New England
We get lots of folks coming in here and asking XP vs. 7, Boot Camp vs VM without giving any context. Only to find out that they have a 2006 Macbook with 2 GB or RAM or that they intend to run Starcraft II either of which would pretty much make a VM approach moot. Or the folks who insist on Boot Camp when all they want is IE.

Office and Chrome will be fine in Parallels, but both have Mac versions so why?

I wouldn't consider it if you still want to play Halo every once in a while.

B
 

BiggAW

macrumors 68030
Jun 19, 2010
2,542
171
Connecticut
Well, your best option right now is to use Parallels off of the Boot Camp partition. Only real downside to that option is that you can't pause the VM, since then it wouldn't be bootable from the partition. It's the exact same partition, so other than purchasing a license of Parallels, there is no downside or risk to this approach.

For Chrome, use the mac version.

For office, if you really need specific Windows features like the equation editor, then run it in Parallels.

For newer games, you'd want to go back to Boot Camp.

I use Parallels, I do not have Boot Camp, as I prefer to keep all 640GB in one nice big partition for all of my junk, and I like to multitask between XP and 10.6.x.

Note that Parallels is highly disk I/O bound (as is just about any Macbook C2D), but memory intensive (4GB needed for a decent experience). If you have an SSD or can run a VM off of an external drive, the performance will go up by an order of magnitude. For me, it's gotten to the point where I will often close everything and reboot before going into Parallels, which I guess sort of defeats the point of it.
 

chuckflip53

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 18, 2010
132
0
We get lots of folks coming in here and asking XP vs. 7, Boot Camp vs VM without giving any context. Only to find out that they have a 2006 Macbook with 2 GB or RAM or that they intend to run Starcraft II either of which would pretty much make a VM approach moot. Or the folks who insist on Boot Camp when all they want is IE.

Office and Chrome will be fine in Parallels, but both have Mac versions so why?

I wouldn't consider it if you still want to play Halo every once in a while.

B
I think the main reason for installing parallels is for convenience - also, I will be going to college and I've heard from others that there may be some programs in my major that are windows-only, sorry i didn't mention that either
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,366
978
New England
I think the main reason for installing parallels is for convenience - also, I will be going to college and I've heard from others that there may be some programs in my major that are windows-only, sorry i didn't mention that either
Well you can try W7 in Parallels for up to 120 days without activating it. Do you have enough disk space to do that without removing your BC partition?

Personally, I've moved most of my simple Office requirements to Google Docs.

B
 

BiggAW

macrumors 68030
Jun 19, 2010
2,542
171
Connecticut
Personally, I use XP for windows stuff in Parallels, as it's lighter than 7, although 7 isn't that horrible. Vista basically won't run in a VM (it will, its just so slow that it's impossible to use).
 

chuckflip53

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 18, 2010
132
0
Personally, I use XP for windows stuff in Parallels, as it's lighter than 7, although 7 isn't that horrible. Vista basically won't run in a VM (it will, its just so slow that it's impossible to use).
have you tried installing both? is the difference significant?
 

BiggAW

macrumors 68030
Jun 19, 2010
2,542
171
Connecticut
have you tried installing both? is the difference significant?
I've had all three in Parallels. 7 seems all right, but I haven't extensively tested it, XP is fine (or at last as fine as it's ever going to be in a VM), but Vista was a MESS. It bogged down a lot more than the others.

When using a bunch of stuff, 7 could conceivably be faster than XP, but for now I'm sticking with XP until August of 2014 when it will finally die.
 
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