How much space should I dedicate to Windows7 ?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by lilcorey10, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. lilcorey10 macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2012
    I am going to purchase a 256GB rMBP soon and will need to have a Windows partition for college.

    How many GB should I give to Windows?

    I don't want to use Windows at all but my Uni requires Windows on my Mac so I would like to keep it to a minimum. I am going to be a CS major, so does that play into deciding how much space I should give to Windows?


    NOTE: I plan on using a VM to load the Bootcamp partition when doing light tasks in Windows
  2. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    Up to you. I personally use 50/50 drive space since I have plenty. Even in your case, if I had a 256GB drive, I would split it 50/50 but in the end it depends on how much space you actually have and need in the OSX then factor whats left over for Windows.
  3. rocanlover163 macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2012
    I actually was wondering the same thing. I really only need windows for Excel.. what would be a good amount? Also what would be the best method for booting windows on the MBP?
  4. throAU, Jun 24, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012

    throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Depends what version of Windows you plan to install and what you plan to install in it.

    I found 100gb limiting with a couple of games, vista + updates, office 2010 and not much else.

    Be aware that your windows install will grow - since vista, every update leaves the old files on the system as well and there is no real way to clean them (the theory being, windows can supply an old version of a DLL to a program if required or some other such nonsense). So, if you can install from SP1 install media, do so, rather than installing Windows 7 pre-sp1 and then updating...

    If you can get away with XP, run XP instead. It is smaller, and doesn't keep every old DLL forever either. Boot-camping that will be tricky.

    If you can get away with it, i'd be running Windows off a thunderbolt attached external disk (when you need it) instead of your SSD. Or, at least install it in a VM rather than bootcamp partition - because then only the space it is actually using is consumed.

    see here for the update problem:

    it happens on Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2 as well.
  5. lilcorey10 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2012
    I was thinking of ~50GB for the Windows partition. I dont game and would only put Visual studios and some type of application for Calculus
  6. Morien macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2010
    I thought you couldn't boot off of an external? Is this limited to Thunderbolt?
  7. throAU, Jun 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012

    throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    If you can't boot it, run it there using VMware or Parallels. Blowing a hundred gig of SSD or more on a copy of Windows is totally not worth it in my opinion if you've only got a 256gb SSD.

    Surely you can boot off thunderbolt with the option key menu? Its just an external PCIe connector?


    50gb will be very, very tight.

    Windows is 10+ gigs without any patches or applications.

    If all you're doing is running visual studio and a calculus app, don't waste the space on bootcamp, seriously. Just run it in a VM using a file. Those apps will work just fine that way, and you can provision say 100gb for the Windows OS disk and only use the space on your mac that is actually in use.

    I run far more intensive stuff than that in virtual machines all the time.

    Just checked my Windows 7 VM i use for a few things on my MBP here. Its using 22gb of 40gb that I allocated for C: on it. All it has is Office 2010, Visio 2010, VMware vSphere client (not large) and Adobe Reader. Plus patches and a few small network utility style apps.

    So i guess you could do it with 50gb.... so long as you're pretty strict about the no gaming and limited apps thing.

    To give you an idea of the patching thing..... my c:\windows\winsxs folder is 5.6gb. That is all old copies of DLL files...!
  8. Sylon macrumors 68020


    Feb 26, 2012
    Michigan/Ohio, USA
    I just recently tried Bootcamp with Win8, allotted 60GB towards it. I don't plan on using Windows for much, just want to see if a game or two will install on it. Being that I'm away from home for a few months, I have a lot of media on my OS-X side that's taking up space. Once I get home, if I still want to use my Mac for Windows, I'll install a legit copy of Win7 after cleaning up my HDD and give it at least 100-150GB of my 500GB HDD.
  9. lilcorey10 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2012
    If you have 40GB for Windows, using 50GB for bootcamp won't be much different. I will still use a VM to load bootcamp when I only need Windows quickly(not planing on working in windows for a long time or running intensive stuff).
  10. throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Well actually it will.

    Because that 40gb VM is currently consuming only 22gb of disk space due to thin provisioning. I'm free to use the other 18gb until that VM expands to the full 40gb in size.

    e.g., if i wanted to I could "allocate" 200gb to the Windows VM and until it expands to the full size of the drive, I don't actually need 200gb of space out of my OS X install for it. When it gets big and my drive gets cramped, i can simply pick the file up and copy it to my new system drive - no reinstall of Windows or partition magic faffing about to re-size it required.

    Never mind the other benefits such as snapshots that you won't get while running off a bootcamp partition.
  11. midtownhd macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2012
    I'd say 50gb for windows + office is enough, as long as you don't play games on it
  12. dotcompals macrumors newbie


    Jul 5, 2012
    Kerala, India
    I am new to mac.
    I want to use both mac & windows 7.

    what about partitioning my 500 GB as - 300 to Mac OS and 200 GB to windows 7 ?
  13. ksaswat macrumors newbie

    Sep 9, 2011
    100 GB should be fine for the windows. Actually it depends what you going to use most of the time. 60% with the one you going to use most and 40 to the rest.
  14. not1lost, Jul 5, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012

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