MBA bootcamp or parallels

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by zMacintoshz, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. zMacintoshz macrumors regular

    zMacintoshz

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Location:
    NY, FL
    #1
    which is better for the MBA boot camping windows 7 or using parallels for windows 7?
    i will be using winnows minimally. i have a 13" MBA 8Gb Ram 128ssd
     
  2. RocketRed macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    #2
    If you want to save money and might do a bit of gaming, go with bootcamp.

    If you are lazy and will use windows "minimally" go with parallels (although I recommend VMWare Fusion for stability).
     
  3. WesCole macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #3
    If it will just be for office use and general activities, I would go with Parallels. I use Windows in Parallels for the convenience of not having to reboot all the time. If you are using programs like AutoCAD or game a lot, then I would suggest boot camp.
     
  4. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #4
    If its just "i need windows for some app" then neither.

    Get virtualbox. it's free, but works like parallels (no need to reboot).

    It works well. The only reason I run Fusion and not Virtualbox is compatibility with VMware workstation and vSphere at work.

    http://www.virtualbox.org/
     
  5. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #5
    I wouldn't say one is "better" than the other. They are different setups for different purposes. Some folks do both.

    Going by the word "minimally", it's hard to say which one is better for YOU. What Windows applications do you intend to run? Then base your decision on that.
     
  6. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #6
    You can do both with VMWare Fusion. Install the bootable BootCamp windows, and then run that same installed image as a virtual machine in Fusion under OS X. They are both running the same installation so any changes made in one environment will also be in the other.

    I think you may be able to do the same thing with Parallels.



    -howard
     
  7. zMacintoshz thread starter macrumors regular

    zMacintoshz

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Location:
    NY, FL
    #7
    i will be mostly using explorer, but i need to be able to use the usb ports on my mac while in windows
     
  8. lannisters4life macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Sydney
    #8
    I did not know this. What an amazing feature. Last time I installed either VMware or Parallels it installed a bunch of crazy network settings in my system preferences that confused the bejesus out of me. That was about four years ago. Do they still do that?
     
  9. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #9
    You normally would let the VM attach to the OS X network connections and printers. However, you can elect to directly connect to the network from the VM if desired. I haven't found a need to do that however.

    Both VMWare Fusion and Parallels have come a long ways from what you might have encountered several years ago with them. I find they run Windows (and Linux) extremely well these days (I currently run Fusion, but started out with Parallels).


    -howard
     
  10. danrhiggins macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    #10
    I use Parallels on my MBA

    I started last August with my first MBA (2011) running Parallels on Lion. At the time I was coming from Win7/Office 2010 and didn't know how Lion and Outlook 2011 would work with my corporate infrastructure. I also had some plugins on Outlook 2010 I wanted to keep. So I spend a lot of time in Windows while I experimented with the Mac software and various applications. I really like "Coherence" mode which hides the Windows desktop and makes your IE or Office windows sort of look like OSx windows. Aside from always confusing the role of the Delete and Ctrl keys I was OK. I was spending about 60% of my time in Windows. Over the weeks and months I gradually moved to OSx environment. Now I only use IE once or twice a day if I need to access corporate apps that are coded for IE. I only use Outlook 2010 to set up meetings (our company uses the Webex plug-in for Outlook which doesn't exist in Outlook 2011.) BTW, I have become accustomed to Outlook 2011 but it is not nearly as capable as Outlook 2010.

    You asked about USB. When you plug a device in a USB port it is detected by Parallels and you are asked if you want this to be owned by the OSx or the Windows environment and if you always want to do that for that device or only for this instance.

    I haven't used Fusion. It may be great. Parallels does what I need and works. I've even run the virtual machine from an Elgato SSD Thunderbolt drive. And also take it from there over to my 17" 2011 MBP, plugged it in and run the same virtual machine on that computer.
     
  11. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    #11
    Parallels is for lazy people. Interesting. i never knew that.

    What virtualization software do arrogant people run?
     
  12. bowseruni macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    #12
    Running Parallels now as VM wouldn't transpose exactly what the control key was supposed to do in a windows program (ProEngineer V5). Works fine now and i much prefer the UI of Parallels, wish i changed earlier
     
  13. oxfordguy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Location:
    Oxford, England
    #13
    Yes, this is a great feature, as you can run less demanding stuff via Fusion, but boot into Windows via Bootcamp when you need maximum performance (e.g. for 3D games)
     
  14. Trunks87 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    #14
    If you want it all, install BootCamp first then Parallels (not vmware as its poor for gaming even with a discrete graphics chip last I checked) and import the BootCamp partition to Parallels. Now you may run 3D games installed on BootCamp from Parallels and if the fps get kind of low there's always rebooting into BootCamp. I've played BF:BC2 multiplayer on near high settings using Parallels + discrete graphics on an iMac; performance was excellent. I look forward to seeing how the HD4000 handles older windows games that I occasionally still play like AoE 2 and BF1942 (Midway stage online).

    With this setup one just has to think carefully about how much space will be allocated for BootCamp so as not to impede too hard on the native OS's available space while still having room for all the programs you'd want in BootCamp.
     
  15. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #15
    question, do you guys know if you can connect to a remote desktop while using parallels? Or would I have to use bootcamp for that?
     
  16. oxfordguy macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 27, 2008
    Location:
    Oxford, England
    #16
    Yes, of course, or you could use the Mac OS X remote desktop client
     
  17. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #17
  18. oxfordguy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Location:
    Oxford, England
    #18
    BTW - I currently have licenses for both Parallels 6 (not 7) and VMWare Fusion 4 - recently I've been using VMWare Fusion 4 on my old Macbook Pro, but was wondering whether I'd be better off using Parallels on my new Macbook Air, if its better for games - but in which case, is it worth upgrading to Parallels 7 (would cost me about £35...)?
     
  19. tersono macrumors 68000

    tersono

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #19
    Or better yet use CoRD. Open-source and, in my experience, a whole lot better behaved than the MS official client (I manage a Windows network for a living - I spend half my day remoted into a Windows server or workstation).
     
  20. Bob Coxner macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    #20
    Rebooting only takes a few seconds with SSDs. Save money and run games much better by just going bootcamp. I did and I haven't felt any need for anything else. Like you, I don't use Win often.
     
  21. oxfordguy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Location:
    Oxford, England
    #21
    Its true that reboot is quick with SSDs and you will get best games performance in Bootcamp, but I find it a pain not to be in the Mac OS X environment sometimes, with easy access to all my email and calendar setup etc., especially if you want to game for a little bit, then go back to some productivity task, so would prefer to run less demanding games via virtualisation, if possible...
     
  22. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #22
    tried both your link and the one someone else posted, and cord is great...thank you
     
  23. BlueOcean macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #23
    I do exactly this and it works a treat. As Parallels has gotten better, I've needed to boot up into Windows less on my iMac. I only ever do so for games that require full system resources, and those are quite few as like you I tend to play older PC games. I can only imagine that the Air will be even better for virtualisation with more RAM, a better processor and an SSD.

    As you said, the balance is for storage space. My iMac has a 500GB HDD and I think this is enough that I can comfortably not worry about space issues with 2 partitions. However, with 256GB, I'll have to be a little bit careful when I get my Air.

    128GB is pushing it for the OP though. For this reason, I'd go with virtualisation. The only other idea, as has been suggested in other threads, is to devote the minimal amount of Boot Camp space to Windows and install programs on a separate drive. For your uses though, I wouldn't bother.
     
  24. 3bs macrumors 603

    3bs

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    #24
    I just ordered a copy of Windows 7 and when it arrived I'll probably be doing this. Haven't ever used BootCamp or Parallels so I might be needing some help :p
     

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