Which Version of Windows 7 for Parallels


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 21, 2009
I just bought my first Mac and am planning to run Windows using Parallels 5.0. I purchased the new 27" base iMac (3.06 Dual Core). I'm thinking I might as well go with Windows 7, but am not sure which one.
  1. I assume I need a full version (upgrade versions won't work if on a different machine I assume).
  2. I have no idea if I should run the 32-bit or 64-bit version on the iMac. Also, is there any reason to go w/ Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate or is Home Premium sufficient?[/B] The only feature that seems particularly worthwhile to me is XP Mode. Will Windows 7 really not support older basic Windows programs (like $15 kids games from 2000 or so?)
  3. In terms of performance/resource utilization when using Parallels (Windows will definitely be the secondary OS), is there a benefit to one version vs. another?


macrumors 68000
Mar 23, 2009
I use VMWare, not Parallels, so YMMV. But for VMWare (assuming VMWare 3.0/Snow Leopard) I'd definately go 64-bit. It will run much faster than 32-bit, because VMWare can use the VT Extensions, which it can't when running a 32-bit OS.

For the average user, there is no reason to get Ultimate. There is NO fundamental difference between Home Professional and Ultimate. The installation media is identical. The license keys for higher versions simply unlock feaures - feature that you almost certainly don't need.

If you are going to use it in an office setting, then you do need Professional (not Home Professional) if your office uses Windows Domains.

Ultimate doesn't add much. Bitlocker, for instance. If you need to encrypt a drive, there are god free solutions available.


macrumors member
Sep 11, 2009
Notts, UK / Alex, Egypt
I'll say that Home Premium is the one to get as there is no need to go fuether up then that.

Professional Adds XP Mode (Which will only work reliably in Bootcamp anyway) and Remote Desktop. Ultimate just adds Bitlocker over that.

If your planning to install Win7 on a bootcamp partion then Use it with parallels, the Professional may be worth considering, otherwise there is no need to pay more for features your not going to use. If in the future you feel that you need the advanced features you can always go for Anytime upgrade.


macrumors 6502
Dec 6, 2008
Space: The Final Frontier
i use win 7 pro and it serves all my needs from gaming to joining networks. you seriously dont need the extra ultimate features ;) oh and 32 bit is better as you have more compatible software unless you really need the extra performance and ram gains ;)
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