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Topic # 66255 16-Aug-2010 09:35
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My current development laptop is showing signs of HDD failure, so I've bit the bullet and ordered a Macbook Pro as a replacement. My work consists of Windows development using a combination of Delphi and Visual Studio, so I'll be running Windows on the Macbook, and am looking for advice on the best way to do this. I intend to use OSX for as much functionality as possible, and hope to only fall back to Windows where necessary.

I have a copy of VMWare Fusion already, and my initial thought is to create a Bootcamp partition for the Windows install, and mount this as a VM using Fusion. I've never used Fusion in this way before, so I'm not sure how well it works. I've only ever used it to run actual virtual machine images.

Also, is there any recommendation for the best Windows version to run on a Macbook Pro. I'm getting the 15" model with the 500GB HDD and 2.53 GHz Intel Core i5 processor. I have a MSDN subscription I can utilize to get whatever version would make best use of this hardware.

Finally, I have an existing 19" Dell monitor I would like to be able to utilise as a secondary monitor (approx 6 years old). Should this be possible if I purchase a Mini DisplayPort to VGA adapter, and are there any gotchas I should be aware of?

Any other hints/tips/tricks also gratefully received.

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  Reply # 376780 5-Sep-2010 09:20
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I'd definitely go with Windows 7 with that spec though more memory never hurts as you want to dedicate a few GB to the VM. If Fusion is fast enough for your dev work then great, but wonder whether Fusion off Bootcamp is the best idea as you will presumably want to make regular snapshots or backups of your work -- not sure that feature works nice with Bootcamp and Fusion?

Using the 19" in dual monitor mode should be trivial with the ext adaptor and ought to be recognized by Fusion too (believe this was supported recently) and in any case Mac OS X will recognize so you can have a fullscreen Windows screen ad the other for OS X. I do this on my MBP under Virtualbox and it is both convenient and somewhat 'magical'!

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  Reply # 376791 5-Sep-2010 10:05
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As a new MBP owner I went through installing bootcamp and vmfusion for the first time just recently. I'm running vm off the bootcamp partition. Pretty happy with the performance on my pretty low spec mbp but i only really use it to check ms office document formatting.



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  Reply # 376848 5-Sep-2010 12:13
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minofgeek: I'd definitely go with Windows 7 with that spec though more memory never hurts as you want to dedicate a few GB to the VM. If Fusion is fast enough for your dev work then great, but wonder whether Fusion off Bootcamp is the best idea as you will presumably want to make regular snapshots or backups of your work -- not sure that feature works nice with Bootcamp and Fusion?


I decided to go the Fusion VM image rather than mount a Bootcamp partition. I do a lot of beta testing of pre-release development tools, so require the ability to rollback to a nice stable OS, and I'd have lost that going the Bootcamp route. I'm using Win7 and performance seems OK so far, although thanks to a couple of SNAFUs with defective laptops, I've not had a lot of time with this setup yet.


Using the 19" in dual monitor mode should be trivial with the ext adaptor and ought to be recognized by Fusion


Yeah, this all worked as expected, and I'm loving the way OSX handles having a second monitor attached (e.g Expose showing open windows as separate previews on each monitor). Fusion support shouldn't be a big concern, as I generally run that in Unison mode anyway. 

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  Reply # 376862 5-Sep-2010 13:36
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That's great...sounds like you got the best bits of everything working. The Bootcamp feature is enticing, but I think it's also fraught with problems and I never wanted to take the chance of stuffing up that partition.

Performance might also be limited by how much memory you're able to dedicate to the VM...if I recall Fusion is a thirsty beast for memory, CPU cycles less so.

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