Vmware Fusion/Boot Camp Advice

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by DEXTERITY, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. DEXTERITY, Aug 3, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011

    DEXTERITY macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2004

    I would appreciate anyones help. I have a Mac Pro from 2006 (1,1). I have 10gb of ram and a 1tb HD. bare with the set up:)

    Before my previous hard drive died I ran Windows XP via a bootcamp partition with VMware. Things worked fine including any devices connected via usb.

    long story short...

    I'm trying to figure out if I should just run Windows via VMware fusion directly or if I should start all over and make a real Windows partition via Bootcamp and use VMware fusion that way.

    I contacted VM tech support and they claim their is no difference and I really don't need bootcamp. I've read articles online stating the opposite.

    Can someone please tell me the pro's and con's to not using bootcamp?

    I'd rather use it if there is going to be lag or a slow down. However, if its not necessary, then I obviously would like to avoid the hassle of reinstalling all my software and waisting another 12 hours of my life.

    Lastly, can I run Windows 7 64bit with my mac pro? I'm not sure if the 64 bit version will run correctly on an older mac pro. I'm also not sure if there is a specific Windows 7 that I need to purchase. Not sure if it matters, but I am going to upgrade to Lion at some point.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Running windows in vmware adds overhead and it does not have direct access to the hardware. The advantage to vmware is that for many apps like office, you'll not really see a dramatic slow down in performance. Plus you can stay in OSX.

    Bootcamp gives you the best performance, access to the hardware. The downside is that you need to reboot to go into windows.

    The question is what will you be running, and which OS will you be spending most of your time in. If you're doing a lot of windows work with some demanding apps, then bootcamp is the a better choice.

    If you prefer OSX and only go into windows to get some tasks done from time to time, then vmware is a better solution.
  3. ventmore macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2008
    As I read it, the OP isn't (or wasn't) booting into Bootcamp, but rather just accessing the Bootcamp partition through VMWare from the OS X desktop.

    If that's the case, then I see know reason why that setup should perform any better than running an actual VMWare image. You are still running the machine virtually, so the overhead still exists.

    The only advantage I can see with the Bootcamp partition, is that, if you needed some extra power for a particular task, you could reboot into the Bootcamp partition, and run Windows natively. Make sure you shut the VM down properly though, as I believe simply suspending it would cause problems when you tried to boot from that partition.

    If you have a VMWare image already, and want to go the Bootcamp route, then a quick Google shows that you could copy that machine to the Bootcamp partition with some suitable disk imaging software.

  4. DEXTERITY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2004
    thanks for both of your replies. yes, before I was not shutting down and booting into Windows directly. I didn't even know that was an option.

    I was accessing the bootcamp partition via VMWare Fusion from the OS X desktop. Sorry for the confusion.

    I'm really only using it to run Fed Ex shipping software and one other shipping program. No games, graphics, etc. I do everything else in OS X.

    It sounds like (for what I'm doing) simply using VMware by itself will be the same as using both that and bootcamp.

    My only problem is now I have a 150gb partition that I have no use for.. I guess I could use time machine, reformat and get rid of the partition.

    For some reason I'm skeptical of time machine (never used it). I assume it reinstalls all third party apps the same with no issues.

    Thanks again for your help!

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