Vista on a MacBook: Parallels or Bootcamp?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Slothapotamus, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. Slothapotamus macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2008
    After some dithering I took the plunge earlier today and ordered a MacBook (2.4GHz, 2 Gig Ram, etc). It should be here tomorrow (I have that sleepless Christmas feeling I used to get as a kid).

    Anyways, when Vista came out I was stupid enough to buy a copy (Home Premium). I'm not using it (I went back to XP on this computer). I was thinking about installing Vista on my new MacBook so I can use Microsoft Office and a few other necessary apps. Would it be better to use Bootcamp or Parallels to run Vista? Which is best in terms of performance?
  2. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    both leopard and vista (and MS office) are memory hogs. u only have 2G. its better, imho, for both of them, if u use bootcamp
  3. boast macrumors 65816


    Nov 12, 2007
    Bootcamp is better performance, because you will only be running one operating system at a time.

    If you wish to run both Vista and OSX simultaneously, parallels/fusion/virtualbox would be your choice.
  4. Slothapotamus thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2008
    Good point about the memory. Thanks.
  5. err404 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    Use both. I used Bootcamp to install Windows on my machine and was able to use Parallels to connect to the Bootcamp drive. This allowed me to run the same install of windows from either native bootcamp or along side osx.

    Parallels or Fusion are ok for occasional use with 2G of RAM, but if you need it frequently, do yourself a favor and upgrade to 4G. It's fairly inexpensive to do so and any VM app will thank you for it.

    But to be honest, once your used to OSX It might not matter. After a month I found that I never used Windows for anything.

    FYI -Performance and feature wise Parallels and Fusion are very similar. I used Parallels, since I got it before VMWare got its legs on OSX, but you're fine with either.
  6. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    how about install Boot Camp and then use VMware to access your Boot Cam parititon. VMware only takes up how much RAM you have allocated to the Windows virtual machine.

    i recommend VMware as i had a less than satisfactory experiance trying to set up Boot Camp with Parallels. VMware accessed the Boot Camp partition straight away.
  7. Glenny2lappies macrumors 6502

    Sep 29, 2006
    Brighton, UK
    There's two virtual machine vendors: Parallels and VMWare Fusion. There's various debates over which is better although Fusion is the biggest player.

    Bootcamp does not look like what you want to use. The reason is it's Apple or Vista, not both. You said you'd like to run Office, this tends to be used whilst you're doing other things.

    2Gb will be enough although it's not going to set the houses on fire regarding performance. One thing though is that Parallels will enable you to use the Bootcamp version, i.e. you can use Bootcamp or Parallels to run Vista.

    To be honest, I'd run XP rather than Vista. I don't know for sure, but I think that if you have a licence to Vista, this gives you the rights to run XP. I don't know where you can get the licence key from though. Bottom line: Vista is a memory and resource hog; XP isn't as bad.
  8. err404 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    Agreed. if the OP only needs windows for a few apps the lightest functioning install would be best. I used a stripped down XP image in Parallels created with nLite that would start in under 20 seconds and run great with only 768MB RAM. But it's a bit of a hack to cut it down that much.

    It sounds like OP wants to use Vista just because he doesn't want to see his copy go the waste ;) His best bet is to understand why he needs windows in the first place and use alternative native OSX apps.
  9. OnlyMarcusCannn macrumors regular

    May 19, 2007
    Las Vegas, NV
    I agree. Though, I do like MS Office better on Windows than I do on OSX, and I use XP almost just for Office.

    If the OP isn't using any memory hogging apps (which is pretty likely since MS Office is), then Parallels or even Fusion should suffice. Overall, I like bootcamp better, though. Since it really is running Windows, it doesn't feel heavy as compared to Parallels or Fusion. And if you're any bit of a gamer (for older games, I should add), then bootcamp would be a better choice, too.

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