MATLAB, Mathematica, ANSYS::Need advice on Windows Configurations in General too

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Saladsamurai, May 13, 2010.

  1. Saladsamurai macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    #1
    Hey there folks,

    I use these softwares for school quite a bit, but I am definitely not a "power user" by any means. No big simulations; I just write code whenever I need to do repetitive calculations and I occasionally mess around with student ANSYS which has a 10,000 node maximum anyway.

    I am getting pretty tired of dual booting. I am thinking that for my kind of usage, using VM ware would be sufficient, but I was hoping someone could chime in. Especially if you are a user of these softwares as well. I think I am going to give the 30 day trial a shot.

    I would also like to ask some questions about using a VM as I don't know anything about it. From what I hear, you need to allocate memory and % processor to the VM or something.

    So here are some general (and quite newb-like :eek:) questions:

    1) How do I decide how much memory and CPU to dedicate to the VM?

    2) If I dedicate 2GB RAM to the VM and I am not using the VM to capacity, but instead am only utilizing 1GB of RAM in the VM, will the other 1GB be available to OSX?

    3) If the VM is not open at all (i.e. the app is closed), will the RAM I have allocated to the VM be available to OSX?

    4) Will my battery life be any better running Windows in a VM then running it on Bootcamp?

    5) I have heard of people using BOTH Bootcamp and a VM so that they have the option of using Bootcamp if a performance hike is needed... how exactly is this accomplished? Do I need 2 licenses for Windows (legally)?


    Sorry if these sound stupid, but I am a little late to the age of technology, but as an engineering student I really need to catch up fast!

    Thanks! :)
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #2
    Depends on your Mac and what you will be doing in both OSes. Start low 1 core, 1GB and increase it if you need more performance in Windows, but stop before you start degrading OS X performance when it has to start paging out to the HDD.

    No.
    Yes.

    Probably not, since you are also running OS X at the same time. THough it does seem that the guest VM's power management is pretty decent.

    No. Parallels and VMWare treat this similarly to how a Windows laptop treats a docking station. Two hardware configurations of one machine. You may have to call MS to get both activated, but once activated things generally go smoothly. If you want to avoid activation issues, just don't use an OEM license which is the most restrictive kind. Since you are an engineering student you should have access to MSDNAA, no?

    Performance is slightly better though with a dedicated VM.

    EDIT: BTW MATLAB works great in OS X, I prefer it over the Windows version most of the time. Can you get a student version of it?

    B
     
  3. Saladsamurai thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    #3
    Hey B. Thanks for taking the time to answer these. I was just wondering about this last response. Slightly better than what? (I think I am confusing myself.)

    Thanks again :)
     
  4. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #4
    Dedicated VM is slightly better than a shared Boot Camp/VM install wrt HDD performance.

    B
     
  5. Saladsamurai thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    #5
    Hmmm. Then I guess I am missing the point of the shared configuration. What exactly is the configuration? I was thinking that it was a partitioned HDD (into 2 parts) on which one part resides OSX with a VM running in it via VM Ware or Parallels and on the other was Boot Camp with Windows running natively.

    Or are we talking about something different? Sorry for the confusion.

    ~Casey

    EDIT: I did some searching and I think that I can infer the performance issue you are referring to. When doing the 'shared' configuration, you are instructing the VM software to boot Windows from the Boot Camp image so that you are still referring to the same 'instance' of Windows. It had not occurred to me that the configuration that I described above would actually be 2 instances of Windows which would a) be a waste of resources and b) be a pain to keep track of which is which and with what apps installed.

    So in reality I have 3 main options:

    1) Dual boot (which I do not like at the moment)
    2) Install a VM that points to Boot Camp so that I can run a VM or Dual Boot
    3) Install a VM with no Boot Camp.


    It seems that the pros and cons would be summarized by something to the effect of:

    Option (1) gives the best performance but least convenience.
    Option (2) gives the most flexibility in that I don't need to reboot until Windows performance becomes an issue. However, the VM's Windows performance is worse than both (1) AND (3).
    Option (3) gives better Windows performance than (2) but does not give me the flexibility of dual booting for that extra performance if needed.
     
  6. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
  7. Saladsamurai thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    #7
    Ok great. Thanks B. You are running VMware Fusion right?
     

Share This Page