Ordering my first MBP tomorrow, some questions

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dendanskesimon, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. dendanskesimon macrumors newbie

    Jul 13, 2010
    Im going to be starting school in August and am double majoring in Business Administration and some sort of economics. Ive spent about 20 hours on this site over the past few days researching and whatnot and have decided Ill be buying a 13'' 2.4GHz MBP, most likely with the 320CB hard drive.

    I decided to go 13'' because I need the portability and I doubt that Ill need the i5 CPU. I might be playing a few games, but I have a 360 that I mainly use for that, although in the past I have run emulators on pcs which I dont know how easy it would be on the MBP.

    The Business school has emailed me saying that we need a laptop and it must boot to Windows, preferably Windows 7. This would mean I have to use BootCamp, but my school gives access to a bunch of free software, which has got me thinking.

    Heres some of it:
    Microsoft Windows 7 Enterprise/Ultimate Upgrade
    Microsoft Office 2010 (Windows)
    Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac
    and then all sorts of antivirus for both mac and windows etc.

    Because the battery life is longer when not running Windows, I was wondering if I could use the MS Office for Mac and then open them with MS Office for Windows later, and if the opposite would work as well.

    My original intention was simply to use OSX as if it were a recreational computer and then treat the Windows partition as a sort of work computer and split the two entirely. Now, however, Im not sure if it would be equally or more effecient to use both OSs for my schoolwork.

    I know some programs are Windows only, but I dont know how many programs like that would be relevant to my two majors. Based on my own assumptions, it seems like most work will be research, typing, reports etc. and this is why Im thinking a Virtual PC might be a good choice while also using Office for the Mac. Because the computer apparently must boot to Windows though, this might not be a good idea, or maybe I could implement both.

    I suppose some of my question belongs in the Bootcamp/Windows section, but because it doesnt entirely, Im posting it here.
    Any advice or insight? Thanks.
  2. stridemat Moderator


    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Most files created in either mac or windows versions of Office can normally be opened in their alternative.

    If I was you I would use a virtual machine, thus allowing you to boot into it when it is required, without having to fully leave OSX.

    My Univeristy course said I should run windows, however I never got into any problems using OSX.
  3. dendanskesimon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 13, 2010
    This is what it said in one of the emails from the school. The last bolded part makes me think their either ignorant or just trying to stop students from asking questions about alternatives. Can I use both VirtualPC and BootCamp?

    All computers must boot to Windows. This is the operating system required for
    the CIS150 course.
    • If you have a PC or MAC, you will need to install either Windows
    XPVista or Windows 7 (Recommended)
    • Windows 7 and Windows XPVista software are available for free
    download at: http://www6.miami.edu/software/
    • If you own a MAC, take it to an APPLE store and have a technician
    assist you in installing “BOOTCAMP.” THIS IS REQUIRED FOR ALL
  4. csunflip macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2010
    UN and PW please!!
  5. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    Bootcamp is so easy. You do not need any help. Just read the very short pdf document from Apple on how to use the Bootcamp Utility, installing windows, and installing the windows drivers. You will also have to update the drivers via the internet or you can download the latest windows drivers directly from Apple.
    You can use a virtual machine software such as VMware or Parallels, but you will want to more than likely upgrade to 8GB ram if you intend to have many programs open at once.

    Here are two links to the pdf
  6. mdatwood macrumors 6502a

    Mar 14, 2010
    Denver, CO
    Most likely this is the standard email that goes out to incoming students. Understand that the school ends up having to support a bunch of clueless people and forcing everyone to bootcamp windows make it much easier for them. If you don't mind troubleshooting for yourself I'm guessing you won't have many problems just running windows in a VM.

    Office should be fine across platforms. If teachers want to be super picky about layout then they should have you turning in PDFs anyway since Office versions have differences even on the same platform.
  7. dendanskesimon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 13, 2010
    Im not worried about the installs of either a virtual machine or bootcamp, Ive already read up on both and its easy stuff.

    I suppose the issue, assuming Ill ignore the fact that the school claims only bootcamp can be used, is then whether I should run Virtual PC or go with BootCamp.

    Is upgrading to 8 gigs of RAM really a necessity with virtual PC? Also can I use both of them on my MBP and would that be a viable choice at all?
  8. vnle macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2010
    My school had those emails too (I'm a Comp Sci major). At the time (2 years ago), I had just brought a 4 GB, 2.4 gHz MacBook. I ended up installing a virtual machine using VMware Fusion. Albeit I used Windows XP but it worked fine. I had no problems with it at all. I would imagine so for Windows 7 as I am using that currently (though I have an upgraded Mac).

    I believe that you're able to do both Boot Camp and Virtual Machine as the VM would just be any other program and Boot Camp just requires a drive partition + some other things. The 2 doesn't conflict so you're safe. :cool:
  9. erasr macrumors 6502

    Sep 18, 2007
    I thought I'd need all that too, but I'm happy with Open Office on the Mac right now. Works fine for me and I haven't even got a copy of Windows.
  10. mdatwood macrumors 6502a

    Mar 14, 2010
    Denver, CO
    Fusion (or whatever you want to use) is the optimal choice IMHO. Having to reboot to change OSs is a huge PITA.

    8GB of ram will help, but 4GB will be fine. I have 4GB now and work all day in a win7 VM. The only time I really want more RAM is when I have to also boot up a WinXP VM.
  11. djasterix macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2010
    Paradise City
    Fusion 3 works great with windows 7, zero problems, really worth the investment...

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