Parallels Questions

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by TSE, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. TSE macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #1
    Hi, I am going to buy a MacBook Pro once they come out on Thursday, and going to load it up with Parallels Desktop, I used the search bar and found nothing, so I have a couple questions:

    -How much does Parallels effect the battery life? Does running Windows under Boot Camp allow for more battery life, or what?

    -I can get Windows XP Professional 32-bit edition for $49, or Windows 7 64-bit for $79, which one should I get? I've used both and enjoy both, but which one particularly runs better with Parallels?

    -Is running Parallels off a Boot Camp partition just as fast or is it better to have a separate Parallels disc image?

    Thank you! :)
     
  2. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    (Central) NY State of mind
    #2
    Get Windows 7.....XP is near end of life and won't be supported by Microsoft much longer, much less other software manufacturers.
     
  3. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #3
    Sounds good... could someone help me with the other questions though?

    Also, is 4 GBs of RAM enough?
     
  4. tomllama macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #4
    I doubt that it will have any meaningful effect on battery life. I've not seen any.

    I just switched to Win7 from XP. It takes getting used to, but no significant difference in speed that I can see for the apps I run.

    I like using the boot camp partition better than a separate image. That means I don't have to worry about how I access the data files, they are always synced.

    I run Win7 on a MBP3,1 via either boot camp or Parallels using the BC partition via Parallels 5 and it works fine. I got Parallels 6 up and running with the Win7x64 boot camp partition on my MP4,1 last night. I've been running Parallels for a couple years, mostly XP and an image but like the BC partition better.

    I also changed my video card last night on the MP (GT120 to 5870) but ran out of time to do the direct comparison of speed in BC vs speed using the BC partition under parallels. Maybe tonight.

    I have 4 GB of RAM on the MBP and it's fine. I give the VM 2 GB (and 2 of 4 cpu).
     
  5. tomllama macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #5
    As a point of reference, I ran the Windows Experience Index tests via boot camp and via Parallels.

    My MP4,1 has a 2.93 GHz W3540 and 16 GB RAM, SSD boot drive, with a new 5870 just installed.

    In Boot Camp overall is 7.0 (7.5, 7.5, 7.8, 7.8, 7.0)
    In Parallels overall is 6.0 (7.4, 7.5, 6.0, 6.0, 7.6)

    Both tests repeated twice and gave substantially the same results. Why the SSD is "faster" in Parallels, I have no idea.
     
  6. GadgetAddict macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #6
    My take:

    1. Parallels affects battery life a lot. Expect to get a bit more time than running on Bootcamp but nothing close to the time you get when using OSX alone. But it depends greatly on what you're doing.

    2. Absolutely Windows 7 64-bit.

    3. It is better to have a separate Parallels disk image but so much in terms of speed. I have found that if you go back and forth between running Parallels off of the Bootcamp partition and running Bootcamp alone, it messes up the licenses for many software. I had this problem with Autodesk and Adobe and they don't let you use the same license key many times...:(

    I can't tell you if 4Gb of Ram is enough. It depends greatly on what programs you will be running. I have 8Gb on my 2010 MBP i7 2.8 and it is not enough. But I'm running design software.

    What I have discovered is the graphics card has nothing to do with the performance of Parallels. And the SSD helps in boot times and application load times only. It's ALL about RAM (mainly) and CPU.
     
  7. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    (Central) NY State of mind
    #7
    4GB RAM - 2GB for OS X and 2 GB for the Parallels Windows instance is pushing the minimum for both to be fairly usable. I have 8GB in my iMac and devote 4GB for OS X and 4GB for Win7 and it works great.
     
  8. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #8
    Why don't more people understand that? Windows is just a substrate, to answer these kind of questions we need to know what you will put on top of that susbstrate.

    I agree with fhall1. 4GB is a bare minimum to be useful in both OSes, and if that is the configuration I would recommend 32 bit to make the W7 partition a bit faster.

    The good news is you can upgrade to 8GB for about $100 from third parties (macsales/OWC).

    B
     

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