iMac and Windows: Boot Camp or Parallel

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ivanwi11iams, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. ivanwi11iams macrumors 65816

    ivanwi11iams

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #1
    Morning All,

    I'm thinking about installing Windows 10 on my iMac 2015 (2TB, with 16GB memory). But, the decision to be made prior to actually doing it, is use:
    - Boot Camp
    - Parallels (aware of cost here)

    What is your take on this? I'll merely be using Windows 10 to support users at work (thus need access to Windows), and my missus to keep working with what she knows (long story!) best. In addition, to probably running Quicken 2015/16 or even 2017.

    Especially looking for feedback from @maflynn ;)
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    Boston
    #2
    Boot camp advantages
    Speed, windows has direct access to the hardware. Cost, you only have to pay for the win 10 license.

    Disadvantages:
    You have to reboot out of OS X and into Windows. Backing up the windows partition requires more software

    Virtualization advantages
    You can run windows while in OS X. Backing up is easier, since its just a container file on your drive.

    Disadvantages:
    Lack of direct access, means performance is inferior to boot camp - only really matters for games. On the iMac I found scaling in Vmware Fusion to be worse, that is, windows is inferior to OS X in scaling, and for some reason it seems worse running inside Vmware. I'm not sure if parallels has the same issue.

    Another disadvantage, is cost, you have buy and continually pay for upgrades, usually OS upgrades breaks virtualization, and most of the time, you have buy the latest upgrade, though this past iteration parallels upgraded you for free I believe

    For light use, I like virtualization, but I personally prefer running natively.

    I know I seem to be saying both are good, but that is the case. If it was just your use case, I'd say parallels, but your wife may prefer the full boot camp experience.

    Download the trial and setup windows and see how it feels by way of virtualization. if you and your wife are happy with it, you have your answer, if not then go the boot camp route.
     
  3. ivanwi11iams thread starter macrumors 65816

    ivanwi11iams

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    #3
    ...spot on info, EXACTLY what I needed.
    For now, since I won't really be placing data on Windows per se', I'm going the Boot Camp root.

    Off to start the process. This should be interesting.
     
  4. fathergll macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    What drive are you going to install Windows? If its a 2TB Fusion drive it will be on the terribly slow hard drive portion.
     
  5. ivanwi11iams thread starter macrumors 65816

    ivanwi11iams

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    #5
    Yes, I was going to use the Fusion. I already had one SSD connected to the iMac, for Time Machine backups. I'd rather not have another.

     
  6. fathergll macrumors 6502a

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    #6

    Installing Windows on a 5400rpm drive sounds awful especially if your going to be going back and forth between OSX and Windows.
     
  7. bernuli macrumors 6502

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    Oct 10, 2011
    #7
    If I were you in that situation I would do virtualization, either VMware or Parallels. I think slightly easier setup to since you dont' need to partition. Just go with the defaults with VMware would be my recommendation.
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #8
    The 21" iMac uses 5400 RPM drives, the 27"uses the 7200 models.

    Still, it will be slow, no matter how much you slice it.
     
  9. ivanwi11iams thread starter macrumors 65816

    ivanwi11iams

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    #9
    During the past few hours, I've installed Parallels, and Windows 10.
    However, I'm having an issue with Windows 10 drivers. In particular the graphics driver...
     
  10. fathergll macrumors 6502a

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    #10

    Ah you are right. For some reason I thought the 2015 Retina models had a 5400rpm. But far worse than that they are using a 24 GB SSD in the 1TB Fusion....though the 2TB fusion is suppose to have the 128 GB SSD i think.
     
  11. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #11
    Did you load the Parallel drivers? I don't use that app, but rather vmware Fusion, and for that, I needed to install the client portion that included video drivers.

    Its still slow, when you're used to SSD speeds.
     
  12. ivanwi11iams thread starter macrumors 65816

    ivanwi11iams

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    #12
    Rather odd, but, I'd already installed the Parallels drivers, and display drivers were acting weird. But, I had to uninstall them, reboot the Windows 10 VM, and then install again.
     
  13. fathergll macrumors 6502a

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    #13

    I agree, 5400 vs 7200 is irrelevant in the context of this discussion. Basically use a external SSD in this case.
     
  14. ivanwi11iams thread starter macrumors 65816

    ivanwi11iams

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    #14
    Right...
    - Parallels has been installed
    - Windows 10 and respective updates completed
    - Office 2016, installed
    - Quicken 2015 installed, and data file copied from other Windows 10 computer
    - Backup set to Time Machine, via SmartGuard

    I'll try to make as much use out of my trial as possible, before purchasing (either $79.99 or $99)...
     
  15. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #15
    Getting Windows installed on a external drive is rather difficult, as MS has made it hard for some wacky reason. It can be done, but its a pain.

    Instead, I split up my Fusion drive, installed Windows on the 128GB SSD and I run OS X off an external 500GB SSD.
     
  16. ivanwi11iams thread starter macrumors 65816

    ivanwi11iams

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    #16
    Day Two:
    So far so good with Parallels and Windows 10
    All apps installed and working correctly.

    Now I need to learn the Task Manager equivalent on a Mac. To make sure I'm not maxing resources. I have three cores on the VM, 4GB memory set aside for it.
     
  17. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #17
    Activity Monitor
     
  18. fathergll macrumors 6502a

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    #18

    Thats interesting. Is there instructions on how to do that? Do you have to decouple the drives first, install OSX on the external and then have bootcamp install on the 128GB?
     
  19. varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

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    San Francisco
    #19
    I used to have parallels, ran terribly. I couldn't stand it

    Installing via boot camp is easily better. Runs much better. The only drawback is you won't have access to anything in OS X but at the same time, why would you want to?
     
  20. fathergll macrumors 6502a

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    #20

    Also when you split up your fusion drive what was on the internal HD? I'm trying to get an idea of the actual installation.
     
  21. organic bond macrumors regular

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    May 5, 2007
    #21
    For example because you want to copy files, and you can just drag them from one desktop to the other. Handy. And you can work with two machines at the same time, why stop working on the Mac, just because you need Windows for a specific task? Zero problems here with Parallels. It depends what you need I guess.
     
  22. varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

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    #22
    That's valid, could come in handy maybe I will need revisit parallels, it has been a long time since I've used it.
     
  23. ivanwi11iams thread starter macrumors 65816

    ivanwi11iams

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    #23
    I will say, Parallels does 'just' work. A few minor issues here and there (mainly DPI).
    But, I may test VMWare this weekend; just to see...
     
  24. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

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    Sep 3, 2013
    #24
    Be advised Parallels recently removed functionality from Desktop, limiting it to only 8GB of RAM. This was done as part of a minor "point release", update 1 to version 12. Parallels users who did the update may encounter an error if they were using more than 8GB for the Windows VM. They can get around the error by lowering Parallels memory to 8GB. This is not a bug but an intentional decision by Parallels to restrict functionality. For those needing more than 8GB, they now offer a subscription-based service called Parallels Desktop Pro Edition which is $100 per year.
     
  25. ivanwi11iams thread starter macrumors 65816

    ivanwi11iams

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    #25
    Flipping heck! So, if you're running a Windows Server 2012 R2, and have/need more the 8GB, you have to cough up the cash.

    Interesting...

     

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