Bootcamp: Windows 7 32 or 64 bit

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by jw3571, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. jw3571 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 21, 2010
    #1
    I have a new iMac 27 i7 with 8gb of ram coming next week. I'll be installing
    Windows 7 for use in bootcamp mostly for iracing. Do want to install the 32 or 64 bit version of windows?
     
  2. celticpride678

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, MA
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #4
    Definitely 64-bit. 32-bit limits you to 3.3GB of RAM
     
  4. byron_hinson macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2003
    #5
    Yep went with 64-bit myself with my new 27" today
     
  5. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #6
    Related questions using iMac 27" with 12GB RAM and 2.93Mhz i7 Quad Core with the plan to install Windows 7 64 via boot camp. Then, I want to install Paralells 5 for easy access of both operating systems at the same time, using the boot camp partition for access via the virtual machine (VM).

    1st Question: Given slight incompatibilities between Office for Mac and Office for Windows, I'm wanting to see if I can make good use of Office 2010 via Paralells 5 instead of trying to use Office 2008 native Mac version. Anyone doing this? Do you find that Word, Excel and Power Point work well this way? (note: I use iWork on the Mac side a great deal of the time, but I do need absolute compatibility- and some features not in iWork- some of the time; I'm not looking for a bunch of "Windows sucks" and similar feedback).

    2nd Question: As I understand Paralells 5, you have to set preferences for allocations of hardware for the Windows VM. I'm under the impression that you have to tell it how many cores and how much ram to dedicate to the VM. If so, given that I'll have 4 cores (or 8 virtual cores) as well as 12 GB of RAM, what would be "plenty" for the VM without taking too much away from the Mac side? (Up to now I've got by on a relatively limited, fairly OLD Dell running XP on a mature Pentium with a total of 1GB of RAM. I'm looking for a faster experience on the Windows side, so I'd like to allocate enough horsepower to take a good shot at that). Opinions please (and experienced opinions shared as such would be especially appreciated).

    3rd Question: for the boot camp partition, I would like to set aside enough space to cover several years of Windows and Office upgrades, though I don't plan on installing much other software on the Windows side. If I wanted to allocate space for about 2X-3X the space used by Windows 7 64 plus Office 10 Student, how much hard drive space would I need for that partition?

    4th Question: I got the Mac with the 256GB SSD. Given the relative abundance of space on that drive, would it make sense to partition the Windows side on that too (for similarly faster booting & program running)? Presumably, that would speed up access to the Windows side of programs (I would guess) through Paralells 5 too? For any data files that I would want to save on the Windows side, I would guess that I would also need to create a data partition on the hard drive and format it as Windows NFTS. Would boot camp and Paralells support installing the (Windows) OS and Office on the SSD AND space for Windows-generated data on the 2TB hard drive? Conceptually, it seems this would be identical to the Apple setup of installing OS X and Applications on the SSD (Mac partition) and then user data being stored on the (Mac partition) of the 2TB hard drive. Anyone with knowledge of such stuff think this is a good or bad idea? If bad, why?

    Thanks for any good feedback.
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #7
    1. I know some people who do it. I have Office 2010 installed on my VM but rarely use it.

    2. 2 cores and 4GB of RAM should be more than enough. Mine runs fine with 1GB of RAM dedicated for VM

    3. 50GB should be plenty. You can always resize it later on

    4. Yes, it would make a lot sense to install Windows to the SSD as it's a lot faster. It should work, can't see why not. You need to install NTFS-3G in order to format drives to NTFS in Disk Utility. Again, you can resize it so 50GB should be enough
     
  7. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #8
    Hellhammer, WOW that was fast! Thank you very much for the answers!

    Relative to Answer 1, is it because you don't have much use for Office, or because it was disappointing how slow the programs ran or some other use-impacting reason like that? I'm looking for a good way to fairly regularly use them instead of going with Office 2008 for Mac. I see plenty of feedback about Paralells 5 being ideal for programs like Office (not for things like games), so I'm wondering if this alternative (Office 2010 via Paralells 5 using Windows 7 64 on the bootcamp partition) will be good (as in reasonably fast and stable) enough for regular use.

    For answer #4, is that NTFS-3G an option when I try bootcamp, or in Parallels 5? I read your answer like I need to install it perhaps before I try to use bootcamp, or is it an optional install within bootcamp? Forgive my lack of knowledge: this would be my first attempt at setting up bootcamp, and then a Paralells virtual machine.

    Is bootcamp "smart enough" to allow me the (easy?) option of setting up that 50GB partition on the SSD AND a Windows NTFS partition on the 2TB hard drive? Or is the latter- or both partitions- created with Disk Utility, AND THEN I use bootcamp to load the SSD one with Windows and Office 10, and format the 2TB partition as my Windows data drive?

    Again, I thank you- and anyone else- for your answers.
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #9
    1. It's very fast, I just don't have use for it. Especially when using Parallels in crystal mode when Windows windows will just integrate to OS X so they look like they were OS X apps. If you're just using Office, then Parallels is enough.

    4. That's a separate app (link) which adds full support for NTFS allowing you to read&write and format volumes to NTFS. I can't remember how easy it was with Boot Camp but I guess it's fairly easy to set up how you want it to be. In the end, Boot Camp doesn't do more than partitions the disk for you and helps you to boot from the disk, it's not even needed but it's very simple, so just use it. There may not be need for NTFS-3G but it's handy anyway
     
  9. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #10
    Once again Hellhammer, thanks very much for such solid replies. It is very helpful!
     

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