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#2116 - 08/26/09 03:03 PM How robust is Windows on a Mac?
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
I am facing the possibility of a new project that would involve running substantial Windows software on my Mac Pro. ArcInfo is a possibility. It is a geographic information system that uses images, points, lines and polygons to map the surface of the earth and superimpose text, icons, colors and shading to customize the screen presentation to meet the needs of the user. In the past, I have used PC workstations connected to a server that accessed a SAN containing about 10TB of images and data managed by an Oracle DB. I used Nvidia Quadro FX graphics cards in the workstations.

In the possible project I am now contemplating, I would love to be able to run ArcInfo on a souped up Mac Pro using Windows on Boot Camp, a VMware product, or Parallels. I don't yet know the data requirements of this project, but I need to have room for growth in case the project became as large as the last one.

With that lengthy intro, my question is: How robust are those three methods of running Windows on a Mac? I'd prefer to be able to use VMware or Parallels because they do not require rebooting for access and their disk images are treated like any other data by SuperDuper! My main concern is whether any of the "Windows on a Mac" solutions are as capable as a Windows-only workstation.
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Mac Pro dual Quad-Core Intel Xeons Early 2008; 16GB RAM; MacOS X 10.11.6, iOS 9.3.5

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#2122 - 08/26/09 05:06 PM Re: How robust is Windows on a Mac? [Re: JoBoy]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Choosing between VM and dual boot is a lot like choosing between wireless and wired. One will always work better, and the other is just a matter of whether or not it works acceptably well.

You will need to gather feedback from specific users that are using the apps you need in vm, or give it a go on your own to see if they perform acceptably (or are even compatible) with vm. Parallels and crossover both have web pages that list compatibility levels for common apps, yours may or may not be listed. You can always call them and ask.
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I work for the Department of Redundancy Department

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#2125 - 08/26/09 05:13 PM Re: How robust is Windows on a Mac? [Re: Virtual1]
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Thank you. Very helpful.
_________________________
Mac Pro dual Quad-Core Intel Xeons Early 2008; 16GB RAM; MacOS X 10.11.6, iOS 9.3.5

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#2172 - 08/27/09 10:31 AM Re: How robust is Windows on a Mac? [Re: JoBoy]
joemikeb Online

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Having zero experience with or knowledge of your specific software applications I cannot comment on them. I do however run Parallels Desktop and I have had only a few minor problems with it or with Windows application compatibility. (Admittedly it drives me crazy every time I boot Windows but that has nothing to do with Parallels it is just the nature or Windows.) Neither Parallels nor VMFusion offer full hardware graphics acceleration regardless of what video card you have installed but otherwise the screen display still goes through OS X's video drivers so there is no compatibility issue there. In Parallel Desktop's "coherence" mode the integration is seamless to the point the only clue to whether you are in an OS X or Windows app is the app's "look and feel" and I have every reason to believe the same is true with VMFusion. Running under Parallels or VMFusion will not be as fast as running under Boot Camp but for most purposes the speed differential is inconsequential.

As to the choice between Parallels Desktop and VMFusion, each has its own cadre of loyal users willing to swear their chosen app is the best. Each takes a different approach to virtualization so it is entirely possible one may be superior to the other in a specific application. I use Parallels because it was out first and that is what I got started with and I have had no reason to change. At the moment tests tend to indicate Parallels is the faster of the two but that is subject to change at any time.

I don't know if that helps you make your decision or not, but both virtualizer apps offer free trials so it won't cost anything except some of your time to see if there are any compatibility issues. Regardless of your choice I would recommend putting the Windows installation on a separate hard drive in the Mac Pro for speed and to assure sufficient expansion as your data grows. Windows will need its own anti-malware software and you should provide separate Windows backup applications rather than attempting to use Time Machine.
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joemikeb • moderator

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#2176 - 08/27/09 11:11 AM Re: How robust is Windows on a Mac? [Re: joemikeb]
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Thank you for the outstanding reply. I've had enough experience with Time Machine to know that it would not do the job on the project I'm contemplating. Currently, Acronis Backup and Recovery 10 Workstation is on my Dell XPS. I've done a lot of backups, but, thankfully, no recovery. I hope it works when needed.
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Mac Pro dual Quad-Core Intel Xeons Early 2008; 16GB RAM; MacOS X 10.11.6, iOS 9.3.5

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#2191 - 08/27/09 03:12 PM Re: How robust is Windows on a Mac? [Re: JoBoy]
joemikeb Online

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: joboy
I hope it works when needed.

I always make it a practice to test recover a file or files just to be sure the backup is working properly. Without that assurance I get nervous.
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joemikeb • moderator

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#2294 - 08/28/09 10:13 AM Re: How robust is Windows on a Mac? [Re: joemikeb]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
I always make it a practice to test recover a file or files just to be sure the backup is working properly. Without that assurance I get nervous.

I somehow manage to delete somethingorother that I need back a week later from time to time so I get to dig into my backups periodically.

That and it emails me daily and I can look in the folder they go to and see that everything is running fine.
_________________________
I work for the Department of Redundancy Department

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#2314 - 08/28/09 12:54 PM Re: How robust is Windows on a Mac? [Re: Virtual1]
Sturner Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Cyber Space
I run Norton Ghost to backup my Boot Camp and Fusion installations.
_________________________
There are 3 kinds of people, those who can count, and those who can't.

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#2534 - 08/31/09 07:51 AM Re: How robust is Windows on a Mac? [Re: JoBoy]
satcomer Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: In Geostationary Orbit
Well there is the free WinClone option.
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Mac Pro Dual 2.8 Quad (1st gen), 6G Ram, Two DVD-RW Drives, OS X 10.5.8
Mac Book Pro Core 2 Duo 2.16Ghz, 2GB RAM, OS X 10.5.8
2TB Time Capsule
32G iPhone 3GS Black
5G iPod 30Gig White

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#4530 - 09/30/09 09:54 AM Re: How robust is Windows on a Mac? [Re: JoBoy]
spb Offline


Registered: 09/02/09
I've used VM Fusion for a year now to run a complex Windows app that requires IE because it was written with a number of ActiveX routines.

From my long, but not broad, experience, VMware Fusion has been completely bulletproof on an iMac with 2G of memory.

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Moderator:  joemikeb, MacManiac