Can base 13'' Air handle windows?

mushroomzx

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2012
3
0
Hello, as mentioned in the title.. I would like to ask the users if the base 13" 4GB ram and 128GB SSD can handle windows? Since i'm most likely going to use parallel 7. This is my main concern. Would really want to get an Air instead of Pro but i heard that air specs aren't suitable to use both windows and mac at the same time. >.<
 

prism

macrumors 6502a
Dec 6, 2006
805
144
Hello, as mentioned in the title.. I would like to ask the users if the base 13" 4GB ram and 128GB SSD can handle windows? Since i'm most likely going to use parallel 7. This is my main concern. Would really want to get an Air instead of Pro but i heard that air specs aren't suitable to use both windows and mac at the same time. >.<
The base should handle it without problems, although boosting ram to 8gb should make it a more pleasant experience!
 
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Djlild7hina

macrumors 6502a
Mar 28, 2009
694
24
If you're running them side by side, I would upgrade to 8GB ram for a more smooth experience and you can allocate 4GBs to each OS :)
 
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d1sahib

macrumors newbie
Oct 17, 2009
21
3
Reston, VA
I have been running Parallels on my 2010 MBA also (4GB/256GB SSD). It runs pretty well, but I would prefer 8GB of RAM. A lot depends on the applications you plan to run simultaneously.
 
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KylePowers

macrumors 68000
Mar 5, 2011
1,688
197
I run it on VirtualBox on my 2011 13in 4GB/128GB/i5 and it works splendidly. And actually only give it 1.5GB of RAM haha. Best Windows experience I've ever had, weirdly.

I'm sure it'd fly if you were bootcamping it
 
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kylera

macrumors 65816
Dec 5, 2010
1,196
27
Seoul
I run it on VirtualBox on my 2011 13in 4GB/128GB/i5 and it works splendidly. And actually only give it 1.5GB of RAM haha. Best Windows experience I've ever had, weirdly.


Probably because there's no need to deal with drivers :)
 
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Faux Carnival

macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2010
697
2
Why not? My Windows experience on 2011 Macbook Air is even better than Mac OS. (in terms of performance) Mac OS X Lion is a resource hog with all those animations and stuff. And Safari... It's a nightmare.
 
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Sounds Good

macrumors 68000
Jul 8, 2007
1,692
57
Big question is what you want to do in Windows. It's not going to handle video...
Why wouldn't it handle video ??

Also, how "safe" would Windows & Parallels be on the Air (space-wise) going with only 128GB rather than 256GBs?

Thanks.
 
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Medic311

macrumors 68000
Jul 30, 2011
1,658
56
4GB of RAM is PLENTY, but that statement also depends on what you are doing in each environment simultaneously. let's just say you will get away with 4GB for sure. upgrading to 8GB means you can do whatever you want, in one or the other environment, simultaneously and whatnot.

me personally, i would spend the extra $$$ and get 8GB. in fact, i am looking at getting a Macbook Air 13" soon w/ the 8GB add-on
 
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shznit

macrumors member
Apr 4, 2010
84
1
I use the base 2011 13" as my primary work and personal computer every day. 128Gb goes a long way if you don't store media. I have 60GB for osx, 40 for windows, and 20 for Linux. Would I like 256? Sure, but I'm not paying $300 extra for it.

The ram is a different issue, I'm definitely upgrading to 8.
 
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Sounds Good

macrumors 68000
Jul 8, 2007
1,692
57
I agree, the 8 or 4 decision is a no brainer (8 wins in my book). The tougher decision is 128 vs 256.
 
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ZBoater

macrumors G3
Jul 2, 2007
8,307
1,018
Sunny Florida
I agree, the 8 or 4 decision is a no brainer (8 wins in my book). The tougher decision is 128 vs 256.
I agree as well. With USB 3.0 an external drive becomes much more enjoyable. One should get as much storage as one can afford, as these are not exactly upgradable. But 128GB works.
 
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KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,593
3,129
Hello, as mentioned in the title.. I would like to ask the users if the base 13" 4GB ram and 128GB SSD can handle windows? Since i'm most likely going to use parallel 7. This is my main concern. Would really want to get an Air instead of Pro but i heard that air specs aren't suitable to use both windows and mac at the same time. >.<
As far as the horsepower is concerned, the 2011 was quite well, and even the 2010 was usable enough with Windows 7. With 4GB RAM, I gave Parallels 1.5GB to use for Windows 7, and it was perfectly adequate for what I use it for (Quicken 2011 for Windows, Internet Explorer for logging into my corporate site).
 
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nrfujnbfvj

macrumors member
Feb 20, 2011
83
0
Newcastle upon Tyne
This is going to sound stupid because i suspect it is but im going to ask anyway because i cant find out either way, the allocation of ram is irrelevant when only using OS X right? So if you assigned 3 of 8 gb to the VM when not using the vm you would still have 8 to play with?
 
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tuxon86

macrumors 65816
May 22, 2012
1,321
477
This is going to sound stupid because i suspect it is but im going to ask anyway because i cant find out either way, the allocation of ram is irrelevant when only using OS X right? So if you assigned 3 of 8 gb to the VM when not using the vm you would still have 8 to play with?
Yep...
 
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irfan22

macrumors regular
Sep 10, 2009
115
15
piggy backing off this thread

Looking at MBA with the 8GB ram add-on

I want to run windows 7 on a VM and run MS Office.

Assuming this would run really smoothly? Also does VM allow full-screen mode? so you swap btw desktops?
 
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kylera

macrumors 65816
Dec 5, 2010
1,196
27
Seoul
piggy backing off this thread

Looking at MBA with the 8GB ram add-on

I want to run windows 7 on a VM and run MS Office.

Assuming this would run really smoothly? Also does VM allow full-screen mode? so you swap btw desktops?
I can't say for Parallels Desktop as I don't use it, but VMware allows full screen.
 
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ZBoater

macrumors G3
Jul 2, 2007
8,307
1,018
Sunny Florida
I can't say for Parallels Desktop as I don't use it, but VMware allows full screen.
Yes, Parallels allows both full screen and something called "coherence mode", which runs the Windows apps on top of the OS X desktop like if they were Mac apps. Pretty cool.
 
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Sounds Good

macrumors 68000
Jul 8, 2007
1,692
57
Yes, Parallels allows both full screen and something called "coherence mode", which runs the Windows apps on top of the OS X desktop like if they were Mac apps. Pretty cool.
Sounds pretty good...

This probably deserves its own thread, but what's the least expensive way to buy a copy of Windows? And which is recommended for use with Parallels?
 
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ayres

macrumors 6502
Sep 27, 2010
259
21
as for running windows on bootcamp, what is a good rule-of-thumb for how much sdd space to allocate for the os - programs aside? i would need very little storage anyway for things like office.

i've seen others mention allocating almost half of their 128gb storage. that seems like a lot. but minimally, could i get by with, say, 10gb?

and is that a one of the reasons why people run windows as a vm? - you don't have to partition in advance and plan for you storage use?

that's the other tough decision about the base 13mba configuration... 128gb means you really have to pay close attention to what you leave on your computer.
 
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KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,593
3,129
as for running windows on bootcamp, what is a good rule-of-thumb for how much sdd space to allocate for the os - programs aside? i would need very little storage anyway for things like office.

i've seen others mention allocating almost half of their 128gb storage. that seems like a lot. but minimally, could i get by with, say, 10gb? and is that a one of the reasons why people run windows as a vm? - you don't have to partition in advance and plan for you storage use?
Windows 7 itself takes up about 16-20 GB depending on whether you install the 32-bit or 64-bit versions.

Yes, one advantage of a VM is that it simply creates a file on your Mac, and expands and contracts as necessary.

If you don't encrypt your Mac partition with FileVault2, Boot Camp will install a driver that lets you read your Mac partition from Windows. However, it doesn't work with encrypted partitions. If you run Windows from within a VM, the virtual machine software will let you share access to your Mac drives with Windows.

I had the 128GB drive for 3 years and managed to include Windows and OS X. I don't have a lot of video, though. Last year I upgraded to the 256GB SSD model.
 
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