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  #11  
Old 07-20-2011, 10:54 PM
Deslock
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humayunl View Post
I was looking to get the new 13" with a 256GB SSD and install parallels on it to use Win7 on it alongside OSX. I know 8 GB would be ideal but is 4GB really a bad idea? My uses are simple just outlook and office mostly.
Where I work, we run VMs (VMWare, VirtualBox) for Ubuntu and XP with 4GB on the OSX host and it's fine. Obviously Win7 needs more than XP, but for things like Outlook and Office, you should be OK (if you had a large MS SQL Server DB running on a VM, then having only 4GB could be more of a constraint).

On a side note, FYI you can get Outlook and Office for OSX, though some of the apps don't exist (MS Access, for instance).

I definitely would not get 13" MBPs because the screen resolution sucks. IMHO, if you're looking at Apple laptops, the 13" MBA or 15" MBP with the 1680x1050 option are the ones to get (EDIT: On second thought, the 11" MBA is worth considering too).

Either way, I dunno if Parallels allows this, but FYI VMWare ($39 at my local university store) recognizes and loads Boot Camp partitions virtualized. That way you can run the OSes concurrently, or for those times that you only need Windows and want to maximize performance, you can boot it up natively. It provides the best of both worlds.
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Last edited by Deslock; 07-23-2011 at 02:47 AM..
 
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  #12  
Old 07-20-2011, 10:57 PM
humayunl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyvim View Post
For sure Parallels will work under 4 GB.

But will it be fast enough for you? That's a more personal question, which I can't answer.

Certainly Parallels would run faster on a comparably equipped 8 GB machine. But then you'd lose out on the light weight and small footprint (if you were considering the 11") of the Air.
Good points. I would still want reasonably high performance i.e. if I get a brand new MBA i wouldn't want to sit there waiting listening to it crunch while i wait for a context menu to pop up in windows.

I am considering hte 13" not the 11" but I think they're both restricted to 4GB.
 
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  #13  
Old 07-20-2011, 11:04 PM
Dyvim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deslock View Post
I definitely would not get 13" MBPs because the screen resolution sucks. IMHO, if you're looking at Apple laptops, the 13" MBA or 15" MBP with the 1680x1050 option are the ones to get.
Interesting perspective because for me it's between the 11" Air or the 13" MBP. I don't really consider the 13" Air because for approx. the same footprint the MBP is more powerful for your money. I guess I don't care about screen resolution or trackpad size because those would only affect me while on the road. Otherwise I'm always using an external display, keyboard, and mouse/trackpad.

The 11" Air might be worth it though because it has a much smaller footprint while also being dramatically lighter.

And the 15" MBP (I have a 2008 model still) is just too big for travel for me. (I had a 17" HP monster laptop for a couple years and don't care to move back in that direction even though I know the 15" isn't nearly that big/heavy.)
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  #14  
Old 07-20-2011, 11:06 PM
Dyvim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deslock View Post
I dunno if Parallels allows this, but FYI VMWare ($39 at my local university store) recognizes and loads Boot Camp partitions virtualized. That way you can run the OSes concurrently, or for those times that you only need Windows and want to maximize performance, you can boot it up natively.
Parallels allows this.
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  #15  
Old 07-21-2011, 01:27 AM
Deslock
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyvim View Post
Interesting perspective because for me it's between the 11" Air or the 13" MBP. I don't really consider the 13" Air because for approx. the same footprint the MBP is more powerful for your money. I guess I don't care about screen resolution or trackpad size because those would only affect me while on the road. Otherwise I'm always using an external display, keyboard, and mouse/trackpad.

The 11" Air might be worth it though because it has a much smaller footprint while also being dramatically lighter.

And the 15" MBP (I have a 2008 model still) is just too big for travel for me. (I had a 17" HP monster laptop for a couple years and don't care to move back in that direction even though I know the 15" isn't nearly that big/heavy.)
It obviously depends on how you user your computer. For my needs the extra resolution, SSD (which ought to make everything zippy), and instant resume make the MBA more of a MBP than the MBP. If you need more local storage or more RAM, use an optical drive often, or don't mind a heavier laptop, then the MBA isn't a good choice.
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  #16  
Old 07-21-2011, 02:48 AM
humayunl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deslock View Post
Either way, I dunno if Parallels allows this, but FYI VMWare ($39 at my local university store) recognizes and loads Boot Camp partitions virtualized. That way you can run the OSes concurrently, or for those times that you only need Windows and want to maximize performance, you can boot it up natively. It provides the best of both worlds.
Wow, this is a lot of useful information. Thanks a lot everyone. So if I'm understanding this right, then I think I'm hearing that even if I want to run both OSs in parallel, installing Windows via bootcamp is a better option compared to installing it from within parallels? I didn't know of this option before. I didn't consider it before because I thought if I installed is via bootcamp i'd be 'wasting' that space permanently from my HD and installing it via Parallels i'd only be using up that space when i actually booted up windows within OSX-Parallels. But now that I think about it, even when not using windows, it would still be using that space because it would be installed somewhere right?

I'm sorry if this is all too noob for you guys but i'm new to virtualization.

So any best practices or recommended settings or tweaks when setting up a disk partition for Win7 in bootcamp? disk space, ram allocation etc. To have the best performance balance. Like I said I will be installing very light Win7 installation. Only Office and Zune. Maybe not even office if I can use the OSX version.

thanks a lot. I think i'm gonna order the MBA after the next response...
 
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  #17  
Old 07-21-2011, 06:40 AM
Deslock
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humayunl View Post
Wow, this is a lot of useful information. Thanks a lot everyone. So if I'm understanding this right, then I think I'm hearing that even if I want to run both OSs in parallel, installing Windows via bootcamp is a better option compared to installing it from within parallels
Actually not necessarily. I wrote it was the best of both worlds, but only in the context of it letting you run Windows natively (in case you need the extra RAM/performance). There are downsides to pointing VMWare/Parallels to a boot camp partition:
  • A VM image size is dynamic while a boot camp partition is static. Both take up space, but a VM image will take up less.
  • Supposedly, resizing an NTFS boot camp partition isn't a simple process (I haven't done it... That's just what I've heard and read).
  • A boot camp partition isn't as portable as a VM image.
  • Can't take snapshots of a boot camp partition.
When my MBA comes in, I intend to stick with a Win7 VM image rather than boot camp, despite having only 4GB.

As far as tweaks go, I haven't used Parallels in years but there wasn't much to it. If you go with boot camp, 20GB would be the absolute minimum for the Win7 partition, and 40-60GB is probably more realistic (and that's assuming you do not put on many apps/media files).
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Last edited by Deslock; 07-21-2011 at 01:36 PM..
 
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  #18  
Old 07-21-2011, 01:04 PM
Deslock
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyvim View Post
Parallels allows this.
Thanks. And color me slightly embarrassed because I now see you had already mentioned that, as well as Outlook/Office being available for the Mac.
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  #19  
Old 07-21-2011, 09:33 PM
Dyvim
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One thing I just realized about the new MacBook Airs: The 11" and 13" models max out at the same processors and hard-drive space. With the previous generation, if you wanted the fastest processor and/or the largest SSD you had to go with the 13" version. That's no longer the case- and somewhat uncharacteristic for Apple.

Prices are similar- a maxed out 11" Air is $1649 while a maxed out 13" Air is $1699. For $50 you get a larger battery and a higher resolution screen but of course more weight and a larger footprint. But I like the idea that you can get a computer that's just as powerful from a computational point of view in a smaller package.
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  #20  
Old 07-23-2011, 12:31 AM
Menneisyys
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyvim View Post
Agree with Jason about the RAM. Why not offer 8 GB as BTO option?
I could probably get by with the top-end 11" Air as a dev machine if it had 8 GB. 4 GB is not a lot for the max on a brand new machine with a brand new OS.
Agreed. It's a huge omission on Apple's part. I think I'll wait for the next Air (or Apple's introduction of GB BTO configs) as there is some definite differences between a 4GB and 8GB desktop if you run several apps at the same time. I wouldn't return to 4GB on my late 2009 MBP 17".
 
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