How should Windows fit into an iMac?

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How should Windows fit into an iMac?

Postposted on Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:55 am

If I were to get an iMac, I would need Windows (presumably 7) for a few Windows-only applications. I have heard nothing but conflicting information as to whether I should use a virtual machine or Boot Camp. Currently, Win7 would be used for MS Office 2007 and some professional tax software that has NO Mac equivalent. So I am asking you for your experiences in determining whether to use VM Ware, Parallels, or Boot Camp to boot into Windows 7.

Thank you for your assistance.
Laptop: HP Pavilion 17-e016dx. AMD A8-5550M, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 8550G integrated video, 17.3" display, 1600*900 (HD+) resolution, SD card reader, Windows 8.1 (DL Classic Shell)
riviera74
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Re: How should Windows fit into an iMac?

Postposted on Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:13 am

If you're not using intensive softwares in Windows, a virtual machine is sufficient. And I wouldn't bother paying for VMWare or Parallels, either: I'd start with Sun's VirtualBox. Give Windows 7 "enough" RAM, probably 3-4GB is plenty, and use Windows and your tax software blissfully with no extra outlay.

If you need a GPU or some sort of timing-sensitive software or want to play recent games, go Boot Camp.
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Re: How should Windows fit into an iMac?

Postposted on Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:11 am

riviera74 wrote:If I were to get an iMac, I would need Windows (presumably 7) for a few Windows-only applications. I have heard nothing but conflicting information as to whether I should use a virtual machine or Boot Camp. Currently, Win7 would be used for MS Office 2007 and some professional tax software that has NO Mac equivalent. So I am asking you for your experiences in determining whether to use VM Ware, Parallels, or Boot Camp to boot into Windows 7.

Thank you for your assistance.


You do not need Bootcamp. As derFunkenstein says, Bootcamp is only needed if you're going to play games or do stuff that needs direct access to the GPU.

For your needs, all you need is a virtual machine. The free Virtualbox isn't bad, but both VMware and Parallels are significantly faster and easier to use. Personally, I'd buy either of the two. They're not that expensive. Of course, value is in the eye of the beholder, so that's up to you.

But you certainly don't need Bootcamp.
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Re: How should Windows fit into an iMac?

Postposted on Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:45 am

I use VMware fusion on a 2011 iMac. Unity mode is great as you can mix the windows application on the osx desktop with mac apps. Performance is good as long as you have 8gb of ram or more. I transferred the windows image from my PC and no problems. If you play games then you will have to bootcamp it.
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Re: How should Windows fit into an iMac?

Postposted on Sat Jun 15, 2013 2:02 pm

I've used all three pretty extensively in a professional environment. While they all work great (seriously, all of them = great, this stuff has come a long ways), I would definitely give the nod to Parallels. While vmware fusion was good, I remember it being overall not quite as polished as Parallels and having a few quirks, while Parallels was an entirely flawless experience. Bootcamp, I might add, is also flawless, but it'll take you longer to get setup and you'll have to reboot and go through all that garbage every time you want to use it. As others have mentioned it's very unnecessary for you, and almost certainly going to waste your time. Parallels is really the gold standard imo.
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