VM Fusion and XP Pro 64 bit OEM

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by SrWebDeveloper, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    #1
    I wish to runn Windows on my iMac 20 (2.18Ghz, ~4GB RAM, Leopard 10.5.2) and my needs will be simple - I only need Windows for remote desktop access to my work PC using a Mobikey USB stick - the device doesn't support native OS X. I won't be using Windows for anything else as my Mac has all the software I need, and I prefer running both Mac/Windows simultaneously (i.e. I don't want to boot to one vs. the other) only when I use the Mobikey.

    So I've done some newbie research and came to the following conclusion as a best choice (in terms of quality and performance) based on my needs/platform:

    1) Buy VM Ware Fusion 1.1.1
    2) Buy Windows XP Pro 64 Bit (probably OEM for simplicity)
    3) Run Windows in Unity mode (shared Mac/Windows) - simply insert the Mobikey so I can access my computer at work from home

    Parallels seems easier to use, but it doesn't support 64 bit OS's. I don't need Vista. I figure XP Pro 64bit runs better in the scenario I've got than it's 32 bit counterpart, but admit two issues concern me: SP2 for XP Pro/64 -- will I need it, and is activating XP Pro/64 a major pain?

    What are you thoughts on this, anyone using my "desired" setup? I've not purchased a thing yet, trust the gurus on here to help a newbie out. Please point out pitfalls and concerns, okay to get technical - I'm new to this type of setup, not to Mac or Windows or computers in general.

    Thanks, all.

    -jim
     
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #2
    I don't see why you need x64. You are not using any 64-bit specific software and you don't need to address more than 3GB of RAM. WinXP 32 should be fine. I don't think you even need Pro.
     
  3. tersono macrumors 68000

    tersono

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Trust me - you most definitely do not need or want XP x64 - it will be dramatically slower than the 32bit version in your scenario and is completely unnecessary for your specific purposes. You WILL, however, need SP2 (and don't forget to install anti-virus - AVG free works just fine).

    My recommendation would be to install XPSP2 (32-bit) under bootcamp, then use Parallels or Fusion to run from the bootcamp installation - which will give you improved disk performance. Allocate 512mb to 1gb of RAM to the virtual machine, and you should find performance to be more than adequate.

    For what it's worth I use this configuration myself at work (albeit without the Mobikey) and have tried most of the variables :)

    Good luck!
     
  4. SrWebDeveloper thread starter macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    #4
    @ tersons -- Point taken.

    I know I want XP Pro, trying not to lock myself into a deprecated version as even though my needs are meager now, I wanted to allow some wiggle room.

    As to 32bit vs 64bit - I checked the knowledge base at Route 1, the people who make Mobikey, and they do support XP Pro 64 for that service. Being I wish to run in WM's "Unity" mode (same as "Coherence" for you Parallel folks) would it not result in better performance overall?

    @ flopticalcube -- Thanks for your opinions, please read above about 64bit Mobikey and see if you still stand by what you said, but you did confirm my suspicion about SP2 being a problem. I might end up running 32bit due to that issue alone, plus follow your suggestion on bootcamp. As to Anti-Virus, of course. As to memory allocation tips, thank you.

    Can you please detail what else I need to buy in terms of bootcamp setup (if at all) and the process, step by step as to installation on my existing Leopard setup? I'm not sure of the sequence.

    -jim
     
  5. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #5
    I have seen nothing that suggests Unity mode in VMware performs better with x64 than x32.

    Bootcamp is easy. Fire up Bootcamp Assistant and follow the instructions. For VMware, it will detect the presence of a bootcamp volume and ask if you want to use that.

    I can appreciate your reluctance to go with Home regarding support.
     
  6. SrWebDeveloper thread starter macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    #6
    I trust you on the performance aspect, and it seems so far that the other concerns about the 64bit option take precedence. So I'm probably going to end up using 32bit like most of you out there. As to the procedure to setup bootcamp first and so on - seems very, very easy and I thank you kindly for taking the time to explain.

    If anyone else has opinions to add, I'm going to check back here for the next few days before I make my final buying decision. Thanks to all.

    Cheers

    -jim
     

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