New Mac User -- Need help with my Boot Camp and storage strategy!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by sixteenbits, May 11, 2011.

  1. sixteenbits macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2010
    I recently purchased my first Mac, one of the new i7 iMacs that just released. Very excited. :D

    While it's being built and shipped, I've been researching Boot Camp / Parallels / Fusion and it sounds like Boot Camp is the way to go for me. I don't mind rebooting to run stuff in Windows and then again to enter OSX. It sounds like Boot Camp is the most stable too and I like that it is an official Apple product.

    My main use for Windows is game development. I work with UDK (Unreal Engine), some proprietary tech, Visual Studio, and the Adobe usual suspects (Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash). Nothing else required on the PC side. I actually don't need the Adobe on Boot Camp, but it would be a paint to reboot just to make little changes to graphical assets. From the sound of things, Boot Camp is my best bet for this. I think...

    My big question that I can't seem to find a clear answer on is, can I easily change the partition size for Windows later? I got the 256 ssd, and I'm thinking of allocating 50 - 75gb to the Windows partition but am worried I might need more space later. Will I have to reformat or is adding space easy using OSX's disk management? I also got an internal 1TB drive; it doesn't sound as fast/efficient but perhaps I can have Windows run off that...

    My second dilemma concerns storage. I want to get a RAID so I can have some piece of mind with my system files and work data. I have my eye on a Drobo or perhaps the upcoming Pegasus bays from Promise, since they are Thunderbolt enabled. The issue is that I'm going to have both Windows and OSX files to store. I'm thinking I probably need a NAS drive for this purpose. Or not? Any suggestions on how best to redundantly back stuff up while using Boot Camp?
  2. Dark Dragoon macrumors 6502a

    Dark Dragoon

    Jul 28, 2006
    It's worth noting that all Bootcamp does is repartition your hard drive and reboot the computer from the Windows install disk, well there's also the Windows drivers. I also wouldn't say it's really too much different stability wise.

    Where there is a difference is that with Parallels and Fusion you are running two (or more) operating systems at the same time, so more resources (RAM mostly) are used. The biggest problem for you with virtual machines though may be the slower and less well supported (some missing features) 3D acceleration.

    So I would agree that Boot Camp is likely the best solution for you.

    It is possible to change the partition size, though it can also be dangerous. You would have to shrink one partition first then enlarge the other. Disk Utility *should* let you shrink the OSX partition, and then Windows Disk Management should let you expend the Windows partition. If you do decide to do this, backup first.

    One thing to consider is how you are going to use the SSD and HDD that are inside your iMac, one possible setup of OSX is to have the SSD store only the OS and applications then use the HDD (or a part of the HDD) for your users folder. With this setup OSX won't need that much space on the SSD depending on how many applications you install. So giving more space to the Windows partition may be an option.
  3. sixteenbits thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2010
    That's what I had in mind. SSD as a system/program disk and the HDD as a user folder and scratch disk.

    Good to know about repartitioning! Thanks much.

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