MBA rev B - Bootcamp or Parallels 5 ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by PreetinderBajwa, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. PreetinderBajwa macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
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    HK
    #1
    Hi !

    I need to use windows to access some services that are not "connectable" through Mac OSX at work. My MBA is 120 Gb HDD 4200 rpm and everything else is standard, I have OSX 10.6 on my machine. You all are very well aware how limited option there are for upgrading a MBA!!

    Can anyone share real life experience highlighting performance difference between Win 7 under bootcamp or Parallels 5 ? :confused:

    Is there a lot of performance lag while using Parallels/Fusion ? My 17" MBP unibody, shows very high CPU and RAM utilization when I see iStat indicators while launching and then using Parallels 4 and XP on my MBP. (My MBP has 4 GB RAM and 320 GB HDD 5400 rpm).

    I have win 7 64 bit Pro and Home premium as well as Win 7 32 bit home premium available, I would like to install one of these.

    I would prefer the parallels/fusion route but if overheating, full speed fan and high load on processors/RAM or slow/lag response then I would have to consider boot camp. :confused:

    Any advise/reviews/experience sharing will be very useful and helpful.

    Thanking in advance. :)

    Preetinder
     
  2. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

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    #2
    Running two operating systems on a single computer will ramp up the fans and cause high processor load. It'll happen everywhere. Running it in boot camp will run hotter, but performance would be better.

    You can always install the boot camp Windows and use Parallels 5 to link it.
     
  3. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    #3
    I would only use BootCamp on the MacBook Air. With 2 GB of RAM, it's tough to share RAM with both OSes. In addition, there's limited drive space which makes me not want Windows on my MBA anyways. But if I absolutely had to use Windows 7 at times, I would definitely just use BootCamp on the MBA.

    Windows 7 in 64-bit on the MBA should be super fast and fun in BootCamp.

    Finally, if you're stuck and you need to use virtual system software, I would advise you to use VMWare's Fusion 3. The vast majority who have used both prefer Fusion to Parallels.

    Good luck.
     
  4. appledyl macrumors regular

    appledyl

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  5. Maks macrumors member

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    Feb 26, 2009
    #5
    Is using RDP a possible solution? Anytime I *need* Windows, I just RDP to my Windows server here at home and use that. If I'm on the road, I just run RDP over my VPN and problem solved. Not sure what your situation is, but that might be one way to go.

    Incidentally that is also my solution for vmware. I have several vm images running on my server at home and just access them all over RDP or by RDPing into the host machine. The Mac client is surprisingly good, it's actually better than running the images on my Air.
     
  6. PreetinderBajwa thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    MBA rev B - Bootcamp or Parallels 5 ?

    Thanks ayeying, could you please guide me to a thread - outlining how that happens without doubling disk space usage by Win ?

    Hey Scottsdale, my fears are just that, with 2GB RAM performance would take a big hit. So you feel/experience Fusion is better performer than Parallels both in terms of high performance/snappier speed and less heating/fan revs ?

    Dear Appledyl, I use Parallels 4 on my UMBP 17" I don't know the load of Fusion but every time I fire up Parallels My iStat figures go really high and its only Win XP ! Have you noticed similar issues on Parallels or tried VM Ware Fusion 3 ?

    Hi Maks, what's RDP ? I am at best a home user level of technical skill, I bought a small Acer Aspire 1810TZ only because I wanted to access my work and have portability and yet ability to hold my personal stuff too on the laptop. I access corporate network but not through VPN but Citrix I think and currently when I reach a stage Juniper downloads stuff on my Win laptop but on my Mac its saying Operating system not supported. Thats why my hunt to see Bootcamp or Virtualisation !!


    Thanks for your inputs friends
     
  7. MythicFrost macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

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    Mar 11, 2009
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    Australia
    #7
    Whatever software you need to run on Windows make sure it is compatible with the virtualisation software you choose.
    I am using Parallels 5 and I am quite happy with it, but I'm not on a MBA.

    I'd run it in Boot Camp and/or if that doesn't suit create a virtual machine from the Boot Camp partition in either Parallels or Fusion.
    (I am not sure if Fusion can do this - I have never used it)
     
  8. Maks macrumors member

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    #9
  9. PreetinderBajwa thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 30, 2009
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    HK
    #10
    MBA rev B - Bootcamp or Parallels 5 ?

    Hi Friends,

    Going through the replies, RDP is not an option for me :-( Essentially the conversation breaks down to the old VM vs Bootcamp or Bootcamp access through VM !!

    I would like to seek your help in choosing the route that doesn't make MBA supernova hot ! gives adequate battery life, has better performance between the three and lastly takes the least disk space. I sound like I am looking for most optimal balance. i.e.

    - if I can get 3 hours battery without Win / VM and after the change its going to 2:45 I will live with it,
    - if the performance is 90% of OSX only ( and least spinning balls) , thats OK
    - if it doesn't super push the CPU/RAM that they start eroding faster
    - If the temperature is range is +- 5 degree C , thats OK

    Trust your experience will help me choose or point me in the right direction.

    Thanks

    Preetinder
     
  10. billgatesceo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    #11
    Check my thread from the other day....

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=814429

    Once I got parallels loaded up, it was sufficiently fast. I didn't get to play much in it because I went back into windows and it completely hosed up my flex license management for the single piece of software that I needed windows for. After working with tech support for the software for a few hours, we gave up. I ended up having to reinstall windows all over again to fix it. Needless to say, I won't be loading up parallels or fusion.

    I think there is something screwy that it does to the license and activation stuff that requires you to reactivate each time you go back and forth between bootcamp and virtualization.

    With that being said, I'm running win7 x64 via bootcamp and it is blazingly fast. I think the time that it takes to shutdown and reboot is well worth the headache. ACtually, it probably takes less time to load up the virtual machine than rebooting and reloading into windows.
     
  11. mmulin macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    #12
    All I can say, I am running Fusion 3 from VM image. No bootcamp. I tried Parallels in the past but never was satisfied. Fusion 2 & 3 were always working for me without taxing the heat issue too much. My VM settings are:
    1 CPU, 512MB RAM, performance optimized for VM, Windows XP (32).

    Of course, it all depends what else you are doing on OSX and how much you do in XP at the same time. But giving the VM only one CPU is a good way of limiting the impact on the overall system.

    Edit: I used Bootcamp native before as well but the heat was always too much, despite that I need OSX mainly or at least at the side.
     
  12. PreetinderBajwa thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 30, 2009
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    HK
    #13
    How much space ?

    Thanks to everyone :)

    I am now taking the following route please do tell me if its a good choice :

    Set up Bootcamp :

    will setting aside 20 GB for Win 7 64 bit and Office 2007 excel, word, powerpoint, visio and project + 1 GB sundry software, be enough or less or too much ? my current XP + the above takes 15GB in the virtual machine on my UMBP.

    Then install VM in OSX : and access Windows through VM if needed or boot straight into Win & as may be required ?

    Do you think thats a alright thing to do ? Do you expect any issues ? I think Parallels 5 allows for this kind of a setup but Fusion 3 might not ?

    Thanks in advance

    Preetinder
     
  13. mmulin macrumors 6502

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    Jun 22, 2006
    #14
    Fusion an Parallels support this kind of setup since several versions. So you still have freedom of choice. And yes, this setup is okay. Windows space always depends on what you need. Maybe for Win 7 it might become a bit tight including office. In any case, you can download the trial version of both and play around and pay later without the need to reinstall the setup. Also reverting the bootcamp setup and redoing it is no problem - just in case you 20GB don't seem enough. In Windows, I would turn off system restore if you don't really need it. Safes you some GBs.
     
  14. PreetinderBajwa thread starter macrumors regular

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    HK
    #15
    What's your recommendation

    Thanks Mmulin,

    What's your recommendation for ideal bootcamp partition size with Win 7 64 bit and the MS Office 2007 word, powerpoint, excel, visio and project + 1GB for other stuff ?

    Really appreciate you sharing your inputs.

    Thanks

    Preetinder
     
  15. mmulin macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    #16
    I have no idea. But since you can play around a bit, I suggest you install VMF or Parallels, create a VM, install all your stuff in it, check how much space it needed, add 1~2GB for swap, depending on the RAM you configured for the VM, add around 5GB for extra space Windows usually needs for SP installation, patches and other miracles, and delete the VM.

    In general, what suits you exactly best, only you can find out. Every user has different usage patterns.. play & learn.
     
  16. lucifiel macrumors 6502a

    lucifiel

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    Location:
    In your basement
    #17
    I installed Win 7 via bootcamp (and technically parallels trial version as I had no superdrive and had to do a work around), and my personal experience is that whilst the MBA does get a little warm, it was better than when i was fiddling with parallels.

    However, I do note that the OP is not interested in gaming, so from a "hassle" point of view, Parallels/Fusion is much less hassly than bootcamp. The ability to drag and drop from Mac to Windows is nothing short of awesome. That said, Bootcamp 3.0 lets you do that too (kinda...). So I think at the end of the day it comes down to how much effort you want to put into bootcamping/parallels-ing.
     
  17. PreetinderBajwa thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 30, 2009
    Location:
    HK
    #18
    Space needed ?

    Hi Billgatesceo,

    Can you please share what is the size of the bootcamp partition that you required finally after installing win 7 ? 64 bit ?

    Thanks

    Preetinder
     
  18. PreetinderBajwa thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 30, 2009
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    HK
    #19
    Sounds like something

    Hi Lucifel,

    Thanks, you rightly ID'ed I have zilch gaming needs, all I need windows for is to access work and have MS office and internet security on that partition maybe Kaspersky. +1GB is for the installs to make explorer work like Quick time, Flash etc.

    Bootcamp sounded like a faster and native(r) solution and adding parallels would allow accessing windows exclusively by booting thereinto Windows or accessing it through parallels when I need both OSX and Win running simultaneously.

    What do you think ? I am willing to make the effort but end result's efficiency and straight through use is more important ( I did mention a couple of criteria in post #13.

    Thanks once again in advance.

    Preetinder
     
  19. billgatesceo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    #20
    I used 32GB. After loading full office 2007 and my solidworks installation (6GB), I only have 8GB free. I would say 32GB as a minimum
     
  20. PreetinderBajwa thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Location:
    HK
    #21
    Partial Sucess


    Hi Friends,

    So last night installed bootcamp.. bootcamp drivers didn't automatically install (kept on saying doesn't support 64bit ? I installed Win 7 Pro 64 bit) so had to go through apple's install disk and manually install as many as I could... few didn't install or I didn't install them...namely IDTSigmatel, Realtecsetup, NvidiaGraphicsMobileVista64, NVidiaGraphicasDesktopVista 64.

    Then tried to import into the Parallels 3... it recognized the bootcamp and started to work on it, after step 1 where it does something a dialogue box error cropped up and it says repairing and then can't repair and hence no luck accessing my BOOT camp through Parallels :-(

    Anyone faced a similar issues ?

    Look forward to your help to make this all work like a charm

    Thanks

    Preetinder
     
  21. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
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    #22
    Are you really using Parallels 3? Perhaps it's Fusion 3 or Parallels 5?

    Good luck with that issue. If it's an older version it may not be compatible with Snow Leopard? I am a little confused as to the virtual software you're using...
     
  22. lucifiel macrumors 6502a

    lucifiel

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #23
    As far as I know, Win 7 is not compatible with Parallels 3, Win 7 has only been compatible since Parallels 4.

    You are right to point out that bootcamp will be quicker to run, but god it can be a hassle to set up, and juggled with the similar performance you can obtain from Parallels 4 (maybe better in 5? i have no idea), at least for the purposes of word processing, etc., I think parallels might be a better solution.

    That said though, if you intend to run Win 7, you might need to fork out $100 or so to get Parallels 4.

    Cheers and good luck!
     
  23. billgatesceo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    #24
    Having installed win7 x64 for the 5th time now, I have it down. to install the bootcamp drivers, you need to get the disk in (harder than you think).

    You then have to have mouse because you need to be able to right click. pull up the start menu, then accessories, then right click on command prompt. Do run as administrator. That should bring up a command prompt. Navigate to the DVD. Go to bootcamp (I think), then drivers, then apple. Under there is a bootcamp64.msi. Type bootcamp64.msi. That will run and install all the drivers for you and not error out. Reboot, and you should be good to go.
     
  24. lucifiel macrumors 6502a

    lucifiel

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    In your basement
    #25
    If one has access to a PC, you can go into the Leopard/Snow Leopard disc and manually copy out the bootcamp driver files onto a usb key or something and just plug that into your MBA whilst under bootcamp.
     

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