Parallels vs Bootcamp and storage advice

nmaxcom

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 28, 2014
59
6
So my Mac Pro is sitting in the living room. I'm usually working with my MBP 13" in my office, and sometimes I use Mac Pro's better specs to perform calculations. I connect there through a VNC-like program.

The calculations are sadly done in Windows only.:( I thought I could get one of these externals SSD, install Windows there and get bootcamp going and VNC directly to that windows (this option might need more storage).
I guess it comes down to two doubts:

A) how much performance am I losing (CPU work) working through Parallels vs. Bootcamp and B) what recommendations would you have for a bootcamp drive
 

ZapNZs

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
2,310
1,150
How CPU-intensive is the work you will do on the Windows side?
How often will you use Windows in frequency and duration?
When you are doing the Windows work, will you also want access to OS X on the same machine simultaneously?

I use VMWare Fusion 8.5 and the Windows OS' and OS X OS' I use less frequently live on an external SSD connected via Thunderbolt 2-->eSATA (so TRIM is enabled, [formatted in HFS+ with encryption]). I'm very happy with this setup for VMs as it runs Windows 10, 2012, 8.1, and 7 as well as many native Windows machines. I can't speak to Bootcamp though. I chose Fusion because I wanted access to my primary OS X OS while using Windows so I could simultaneously use Mac-only planning Apps. I also chose it because it was easy to remote into the host OS from a less powerful MBP or my Surface Pro 3, launch the VM, and then control it while away. And while not a reason I chose it at the time, I am glad I went this way because now I frequently am running two separate versions of Windows at a given time (putting the host OS on one display, the first Windows guest OS on a second display, and the second Windows guest OS on the third display.)

Have you considered taking VMWare Fusion Pro for a trial run? They used to have a 30 day trial. I believe Parallels does as well although my personal preference is strongly VMWare at this time.
 

nmaxcom

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 28, 2014
59
6
ZapNZs said:
How CPU-intensive is the work you will do on the Windows side?
Honestly, I don't know. I haven't done benchmarks of that sort. It's number crunching, AI related work. I don't think it's going to eat the machine, I just want to know how to make it go the fastest possible.
ZapNZs said:
How often will you use Windows in frequency and duration?
I'm dedicating the Mac Pro solely for this task. I'm afraid it's kind of a waste, maybe you know.
ZapNZs said:
When you are doing the Windows work, will you also want access to OS X on the same machine simultaneously?
No, not really. As of right now, I connect directly to the Windows 7 inside of it to start the number crunching.

ZapNZs said:
Have you considered taking VMWare Fusion Pro for a trial run? They used to have a 30 day trial. I believe Parallels does as well although my personal preference is strongly VMWare at this time.
I haven't. Parallels hasn't given me any reason to try it. Am I missing performance?
 

casperes1996

macrumors 68040
Jan 26, 2014
3,955
1,903
Horsens, Denmark
I'm dedicating the Mac Pro solely for this task. I'm afraid it's kind of a waste, maybe you know.
If it's all the MP is doing - A) Why would you need to keep an eye on it whilst it does the calculations? Surely you could just let it run for days on end and that'd be that?

And 2) going through a VM for something calculation intensive is of course not as optimal as natively running it, so unless there's a reason for using Parallels, maybe you ought to consider Bootcamp