MacBook Air 11 ultimate + Windows 7 bootcamp or VMWare?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by jhatz, May 14, 2011.

  1. jhatz macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2010
    Hey guys.

    I just got a MBA 11" ultimate and I wanna fool around with some windows (yuk). I was looking to put on Windows 7 because it seems to be supported with Apple.

    My questions are: What is preferred, installing Windows 7 as a virtual machine through VMWare Fusion or creating a boot camp partition and then accessing the boot camp partition through VMWare Fusion?

    Also, where are the benefits of one vs. the other? I searched for a while around google and here and didn't get the answer I was looking for. Anyone here have experience with my setup and have input?

    Finally, on a side note: I don't have a superdrive, what would be my options for doing the Windows 7 installation? Should I shell out the dough for one? Or do I have other options.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. francis21 macrumors member

    May 2, 2011
    Mississauga, ON, Canada
    Here are some of my answers for all of your questions:

    First off, using virtualization software programs versus Boot Camp provide you with their own advantages/disadvantages. It all depends on your needs.

    VMs or Virtual Machines allow you to access multiple OS, or in your case - Windows 7, within your Mac OS X desktop. You can use VM at the same time with your Mac OS X without having to reboot/restart your computer. Furthermore, virtualization programs such as Parallels and VMWare Fusion allow you to provide Unity (i.e. VMWare Fusion) or Coherence (i.e. Parallels), so that you can use your Windows programs seamlessly with your Mac OS X.

    Meanwhile, Boot Camp allows you to run Windows OS natively . Furthermore, all of your hardware resources are dedicated to Windows. With that advantage, you can perform some gaming (well, it all depends on your computer specifications) in a Boot Camp partition. However, you lose the ability to use simple Windows programs within your Mac OS X desktop.

    Fortunately, both Parallels and VMWare Fusion allow you to import your Boot Camp partition so that you can access your software programs easily within Mac OS X.

    So I suggest you, if you want, you can create a Boot Camp partition (if you're doing some gaming or you really need the full horsepower of your MBA to run some CPU-intense programs) and use a virtualization program to access other software programs from your Boot Camp partition easily.

    Most likely, I would suggest you getting a SuperDrive or some other removable CD Drive so that you can boot off of your Windows CD. I heard from others that you can boot off of an ISO image file to Windows CD, when you're installing it through Boot Camp - not sure about that.

    I hope this helps you. :D
  3. jhatz thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2010
    Great post. I wish more people were as thorough as you. You answered everything for me.

    Seems I will probably have enough hard drive space so I will most likely create a boot camp partition and access it normally through boot camp for intense windows gaming and through VMWare when I just need quick Windows access.

    Thanks so much!
  4. Ancaster macrumors member

    Sep 10, 2010
    Sorry for the mini-hijack and necro bump...

    Last night, I got Windows 7 stripped down version working on vmw 3.1.3, 2010 MBA 1.4 2GB RAM, 64GB. I have 23GB of free space.

    It's only for some real estate programs.

    I noticed vmw is not supported yet on LionGM as it probably can't say until official release.

    Should I foresee any problems in performance down the road considering that's all the vmware is used for?


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