Which Version 27 iMac to get if also installing Bootcamp Windows 7?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by dfine1966, May 4, 2011.

  1. dfine1966 macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2011
    I am finally going to get an iMac after years with Windows. But I want the best of both worlds, MacOS and Windows 7 Pro. I was going to split the drive half and half. I have programs that only work for Windows.

    Here are some possible setups I was looking at. Please let me know which would be a better choice for running both Windows 7 Pro in bootcamp and MacOS. Also, my wife's company gets nice discounts from Apple.

    1. 27 inch 3.4 i7, 8 GB Ram, 2TB HD, AMD Radeon HD 6970M, Magic Mouse and Trackpad, Apple Wireless Keyboard, Apple Care: $2704

    2. 27 inch 3.4 i7, 8 GB Ram, 1TB HD + 256 GB SSD, AMD Radeon HD 6970M, Magic Mouse and Trackpad, Apple Wireless Keyboard, Apple Care: $3127

    3. 27 inch 3.4 i7, 8 GB Ram,2TB HD + 256 GB SSD, AMD Radeon HD 6970M, Magic Mouse and Trackpad, Apple Wireless Keyboard, Apple Care: $3268

    What is the best configuration for me for having Windows and MacOS on this computer? How would this work with SSD and HD combo as one drive, if I want to do bootcamp at half?. I am not sure it is possible to put both OS on the SSD. I really don't want to worry about upgrading for another 4 years. I have put together my last two computer myself, which is 8 years old combined. I always get the best components at the time I build so it will last. iMac's are hard to upgrade once it is built. But I also have to have both Windows and Mac on the computer, and virtually won't work, because I need the full power of the computer for what I need to do.

    Another question I have, while I started this thread is, how can I take an external 1 GB hard drive that I have to make it work for both the Mac and Windows to see. Can I partition it half and half, and use 500 GB for Windows and 500 GB for MacOS?

    One last thing, I am also going to take out some of the components from my old computer and use with the Mac. Take my internal Blu Ray out and put it into an External Enclosure to use with the Windows side of the Mac. Will the Mac side still pick it up and be able to use it, at least to copy data onto a blu ray disk?

  2. dfine1966 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2011
  3. BobbyCat macrumors regular


    Jul 22, 2002
    Envy and jealousy because of your wife's discounts :p
  4. parkersjones macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2011
    NYC, LA and Houston
    Win7 on a 100gb bootcamp partition running on an i5 quad core with 16gb OWC memory... that was my first experience with Win7 on a Mac.

    three weeks ago I bought a last years i7 2.93ghz - and of course yesterday returned it and bought the 2011 27" i7 3.4ghz with a 2gb video card.

    get your ram from a 3rd party co. like OWC - 16gb of ram for $200 - save your money and spend it on the 2gb video card and the SSD.
  5. seasurfer macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2007
    2gb video card for iMac i7? Isn't it only 1gb?
  6. ststephen macrumors newbie


    Oct 20, 2004
    To put your imacdoeswindows plan in perspective: you are attempting to trick out an iMac to the specs of a Mac Pro, and at a price that comes close to it! You mistakenly perceive that this is what is needed to create the Supreme iMacPC TO PROPERLY RUN WINDOWS 7? Or feel that this $3k(!!!) iMac should cover all your bases now and in the future??....but you have no working experience of baseball? Let's create & invest wisely, as this creation will become obsolete in about 10 months when the new base iMac is 3x faster out of the box.
    1. Forget boot camp and booting separately. The beauty of the dual OS, and using Mac & PC apps at the same time, sharingfolders & files, and D&D'ing them back and forth seamlessly is running them at The same time! Fusion is the answer along with a 27" screen. Read the Fusion manual and surf their site to get up to speed and say good by to Boot Camp. My 2009 dual core i5 is the wirelessly networked client to a Dell server running very complex (but not demanding) business: client database, records, acting , billing, with insurance
    billing & a/r, with Xray x capture/ tweaking/ that integrates with the client
    records, insurance billing, report writing & email/ internet integration.I can wirelessly print, scan from the Dell, iMacs Mac side, iMacs PC side( canon mg8120 rules), email PC stuff from the Mac side, mobile me backup/ sync from both. ...I could keep going if you want....
    2. The 27" model: i5 dual core, running Snow, running the stock 4 gig of ram since 12/09 did all of the above perfectly and ran my business. I just did an OWC 8 gig upgrade in Feb, as the network client - server response slowed from the client / business /image files growth. Both PC 's run Vista. Since Win 7's RAM ACCESS NEEDS are higher than Vistas measly 2-3 gig, it would need
    3. I can remote access the Dell via RDC ON MY HOME MACS. I can print what im controlling on the home mac's home printer. I CAN RA THE IMAC (both
    sides of it) with Log me in free on my home macs. I can do all of this with my
    iPhone too.
    4. I'm adding another 27" iMac client. The "base" model 27 will he the one, and this is OVERKILL compared to the 2009 model.
    5. Understand that the need to do digital Xray capture (PC only), was the reason this system was put together. For the previous 10 years, a 1999 iMac dv400, with VPC RAN THE BUSINESS.
    6. When I become jerry garcia after work , a tricked out, maxed ram, 4 hd Mac pro 8 core, runs my digital recording studio. When I become ansel Adams,
    My nikon DSLR's also feed the Mac pro.
    7. A Mac Pro iMac, as you are dreaming about, can't do the a/v stuff, and thunderbolt in not the convenient answer either.
    8. If ur a gamer, buy a PC!
    9. As a well versed Fusion/ windows user, I just heard great things about
    virtual box, and just installed it in the Mac pro. ( think Fusion, looks like it will do 95-100% of what Fusion does, and what Fusion can't - has many builds to allow OSX on windows!, not just Win on macs, and allows all the other os's to
    run on Mac & win pcs!, AND IT'S FREE!
    10. the Dell is my 1st PC, I've owned 18 macs since"1993, & os7. The thought of a PC and I get hives!
    11. have you been enlightened?
    12. Your post was serious, wasn't it? ... or was it a build a Mac daydream while checking out the new models?...like the Multi arrayed ssds& hd's.....
    13.Please check the box if you found this useful []
  7. ststephen macrumors newbie


    Oct 20, 2004
    PS: you can't boot windows from an external drive, so forget that. Forget fixed boot camp partitions- you can't format an external hd part Mac/ part PC. I dint think BC will recognize an ext hd Forget fixed partitions, fusion creates an expanding "PC drive". The mac & pc sides will never step on each others ties this way. And you can defrag this setup I don't think drive genius can do it's tricks ona such a BC situation, either. Ur looking filir trouble. WHY WIULD YOU WANT TO BOOT AS A PC ONLY????? U will get ad ware, spyware, viruses this way! The dell taught me these 3 words, BIG TIME! NOT, with fusion on the Mac !!!

    Any peripheral will work seamlessly on the Mac & PC side running the PC via fusion inside if OSX. Optical drives, any and every mac and oc volume, folder, file, printer, scanner, fax, wireless lan, airprint, .... Are you getting the beauty of this yet?
    You will not love your Mac when you have to manually reconfigure everything to work on the PC if boot camped. You will break out with huge hives too! You are aware that nothing works plug and play on a PC! In fact, windows runs better under fusion on a mac than it does in a native PC!!!

    Have you really seriously been enlightened yet? []

    You can't build an iMac that will be up to spec and competitive 4 years into the future. Again, in 10 months the new base model will be 3x faster!!

    PS: In 12/09, no one in Macland would / could talk to u about Mac-PC networking, integration, not even the new and nonexistent business division They had cards to give out but would never return calls re: PC questions. ...the regular guys at the genie bar would go mute to BC QUESTIONS and wished u lots of luck! They would refer you to the "1 dude business division that never returned calls"..... Mac didn't officially support anything PC , so they couldn't speak to you even if they wanted to!

    I knew it could be done, ESP the wireless LAN, and did itall myself.

    so they were not
    allowed to speak!!!!
  8. ststephen macrumors newbie


    Oct 20, 2004
    Last bit of godly advise:
    1. Buy the base model 27". A month before the new model arrives, sell it for 80% of what you paid for it. Great resale. Your iMac just cost u $350. buy the new base model with the $ from the sale.
    **** my birthday is 12/10. You can get me an iPad 3 or 4 for a bd present, since I did save u about $2800 +/- a few 100. The iPad should do windows by then so treat itself to 1 too!
    2. A tricked out iMac will have slow, obsolete, about to die, components, so they can't be used on the new model. No extra resale value bec all the tricks have no value. Max the ram and call it a day. You'll never need/ see/ utilize the vid card upgrade to push you into an i7.
    3. SSD speed needs owc 's esata iMac UPGRADE. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW QUICKLY A 400 g hd ( that costs $1000!!) runs out of space? Now the iMac has no resale value.
    4. I can suggest a better upgrade and investment in your health, if I can
    interest you in mouthful of porcelain veneers?
  9. SideStepSociety, May 4, 2011
    Last edited: May 4, 2011

    SideStepSociety macrumors 6502


    Feb 12, 2011
    Vancouver, BC

    Uhh, I'm not really sure where to start here...

    You most definitely CAN partition an external HD with one partition being HTFS and another being NTFS. Booting to/installing Windows one on the other hand would be a different story.

    Did he even mention booting to only Windows?

    A PC (Windows or Mac) is only as good as its user. I assume once OS X becomes more popular, it'll become just as "infected" as Windows. I've been using Windows for years and never once had a problem with viruses/adware/spyware.

    Definitely NOT true. That's like saying a PS2 emulator runs better than a regular PS2. Granted, with a powerful enough computer, it's possible. Don't get me wrong, it's impressive what a virtual machine can do, but it cannot compete with running native. But it ultimately comes down to hardware and what you're comparing it to.

    $3000 iMac running a VM of Windows vs a $400 2002 Dell? The winner is obvious here.
  10. MythicFrost macrumors 68040


    Mar 11, 2009
    I say get this:

    27" iMac ($2368)
    Core i7 2600 3.4GHz
    AMD Radeon HD 6970 1GB
    4GB 1333MHz RAM
    1TB Hard Drive

    Go to otherworldcomputing and buy 2x2GB 1333MHz RAM for the 2011 model and install them yourself which will cost you ~$50 instead of you $200 from Apple.

    Don't waste money on the SSDs Apple use. They're not that great. And, you can use external drives via USB, FW800(?) and TB for any additional storage needs.
  11. ststephen macrumors newbie


    Oct 20, 2004
    May I suggest spending some time at www.macwindows.com and explore all of the articles, forums, and links You will get a very clear picture of all aspects of virtualization, vs boot camping, on all Mac os's. The problems of hardware support, feature implimentation, application implimentation, with solutions, workarounds, and precautions of each solution, are outlined in extraordinary factual detail.
    Then the the need to dissect and correct petty minutiae, that has nothing to do with giving someone sound advice, from YEARS OF WORKING EXPERIENCE, might be avoided.
    While you guys read, I'm off to upgrade my mini Cooper to a Venom GT. I heard it's owners manual has a special section on partitioning hard drives
  12. krazzix macrumors member


    Jun 15, 2010
    For the best experience, get an iMac with the SSD.

    Install both OS X and Windows on the SSD.

    If you reboot into OS X and Windows alot you'll want to have the fast boot times an SSD gives (ofcourse along with the program startup speed boost)

    The Apple SSD vs any other SSD doesn't matter much since it will both be blazingly fast compared to a HDD.
  13. dfine1966 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2011
    I guess you guys misunderstood my question.

    I was always going to buy the top of the line iMac. I wasn't sure if SSD was needed. The price for the SSD was too expensive. But, I read something about the iMac having the Intel Z68 chipset which would allow SSD and HD to act as one drive, sort of how you can put two Sata drives together to make one drive. The question was, if this is correct, how would it be handled if you also installed Windows 7 in this configuration, either with bootcamp or VMWare fusion? For me, I get a good discount from Apple, and I know as soon as I buy the iMac, it will become outdated, with newer ones coming out. I want something that will hold it own for a few years. I learned back in the 80's, buy the best machine out there for what you can afford now. In an iMac, the only thing you can really upgrade yourself easily is the memory. If I don't get the higher video card, processor, bigger hard drive or SSD now, it will be very difficult for me to upgrade this later. That is why I want to make the proper decision before I buy. I don't want a MacPro, because add in a 27 or 30 inch screen will add another 1000, and make the computer more like 5000. I am through with big desktop machines that are taking up way too much space. Also, I don't play game on my computer, that is what XBOX 360, PS3 and Wii's are for, which I have all three. When you have a kid, you have these things.

    So do I get it with SSD or not? Is the SSD really worth the price and speed? Or should I just get an external SSD down the road when Thunderbolt is working the way it is intended to be.

    My other question was about an external hard drive that would be used as a backup for both the Mac and Windows side (time machine for mac and oops backup for Windows), not a boot drive. Can I partition that external hard drive to be half for mac and half for windows?

    Thanks for the help.
  14. jduffy macrumors member

    May 1, 2011
    My Suggestion

    I would not use Bootcamp. Use VMware Fusion and create a virtual windows machine on OSX. That way you can run Windows and OSX at the same time and share files between them if necessary. My son-in-law was using bootcamp and had to reboot every time he wanted to go from one OS to the other. That's crazy in my opinion.

    BTW, buy VMware Fusion directly from the VMware website. There is an educational discount available (my wife is a school employee) which takes the price to like $39.95 as I recall.

    When using virtual machines, memory is important. While I can run XP and Win7 very well on this new 2011 iMac with 4GBs, more memory is really nice and I have 8GBs of memory on its way from Crucial for under $90 with discount that I found doing a Google search. I have always used Crucial and the memory is great and available on the Crucial website for the new 2011 iMacs. Never, ever had an issue with Crucial.
  15. Herdfan macrumors 6502

    Apr 11, 2011
    I am going to say to do both. Do a small partion, maybe 50Gb and load Win7 on it. Then install Fusion and have it pull the bootcamp install over as your virtual machine. Best of all 3 worlds.

    My reasoning for this is that while Fusion runs 90%+, that is not 100. I can't get DVDFab to work properly under it, so it is on the boot camp machine. So once a month or so when I want to use it, I reboot over. Quicken on the other hand runs great and I have a link in the dock for it and it just opens and runs like any native Mac program.
  16. CHSeifert, May 5, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2011

    CHSeifert macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2010
    Copenhagen, Denmark - Scandinavia
    Definitely get it with SSD - especially since you will run both OSx and win7

    SSD is the best upgrade to a computer you can do currently.

    Apple SSD is not the fastest but difference is minute compared to difference between HDD and any 2. Gen or newer SSD.

    Get what I'll order - 27" ultimate with i7 2600 3.4 ghz CPU, SSD and 2 tb HDD and maxed out GPU plus an extra ACD 27 for extra screen estate.

    Upgrade to 16 gb ram afterwards to save a bit.

    This machine will serve you well for at least 2 years.
  17. MacAndMic macrumors 6502

    Jun 4, 2009
    This is my Windows Experience with Windows 7 Pro on a 10 i7 2.93 with 12gb Ram running bootcamp. Look at your current experience and compare. Any current i7 will score as good or higher. As you will notice, the HD is the weak point so an SSD would be nice.


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