Parallels 7 Question: Windows 7 or Windows XP?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by ejperry09, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. ejperry09 macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2011
    Hi all,
    I have 8 GB RAM on a 2009 iMac (3.8GHz) and just purchased Parallels 7 primarily for running multiple MS Excel macro-intensive spreadsheets. Would you recommend installing Windows XP or Windows 7?

    It seems like most recommendations are “use 7 because it’s a better OS”, but I’m not looking for which OS is better; I’m looking for which OS will enable me to run the MS Excel 2010 while consuming the least amount of my computer’s resources.

    Lastly, should I use the 32- or 64-bit version?
  2. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2010
    If you are going to allocate 4GB RAM to the VM, then I would say Win7 64 bit. Otherwise, the differences are unlikely to be noticeable. 32Bit OS won't make use of more than ~3GB RAM anyway. I don't think that you can even buy WinXP anymore, so unless you have a copy already, that should point you to Win7. The only reason that you might want to go out of your way to get XP would be if you needed to run a program that won't run under Win7 - Excel is not such a program.

    For multiple spreadsheets, RAM is going to be your limiting factor; I would allocate 4GB RAM and go with Win7 64 bit.

    Side Note: I know this is counter-intuitive, but I have found that you get better performance in a VM by allocating a single virtual core rather than multiple cores.
  3. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    XP in general is less of a resource hog than 7. Not sure how that translates to VM's though.
  4. cr2 macrumors regular

    Feb 19, 2011
    Stay with XP unless there is a reason.

    Stay with XP, takes less resources. I am assuming you are installing windows because you have to (for a specific application).

    I use Fusion for my a couple of odd windows programs, seems to work better under fusion on my Mac than Native windows.

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