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Dual Boot vs virtual desktop

  1. Mar 12, 2018 #1
    I need windows on my mac to run some modeling programs, but I'm not sure whether go for dual boot or virtual desktop. I have all my programs already installed and I fear that dual boot + installing all the programs again will suck too much memory space... on the other hand I have never enjoyed the idea of virtual machines.

    Any suggestion?

    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 12, 2018 #2


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    Ram space would be unaffected by dual boot. Can you buy and install a second hard drive into the Mac and install windows on the second drive?
  4. Mar 12, 2018 #3
    Thanks, but I've never done that, I'm going to look it up on google.

    Otherwise I could sell my mac and buy a new pc... :olduhh:
  5. Mar 13, 2018 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    You’re better off having separate machines running in parallel instead of dual booting especially between Mac and windows. Filesharing becomes an issue with respect to text files the lf vs crlf line termination as well as other things.
  6. Mar 13, 2018 #5
    Well I'd like not to buy an other computer. If that is the case, then I'll probably have to sell my mac
  7. Mar 13, 2018 #6


    Staff: Mentor

    Windows machines are pretty cheap relative to what you paid for the Mac. Also the Mac has a unix-based OS and in the ling run for software development, its a better platform especially if you also need to develop for Linux too.
  8. Mar 13, 2018 #7
    That's way I saved up money and I bought one... and it took me quite a long time too. Plus I had like 200 Euros of discount. If I buy a windows pc only to run this program it will be, to me, just a waste of money, and I can't afford to spend 700/800E for a windows pc with very high specs.

    I'll see what I can do
  9. Mar 13, 2018 #8
    What modeling program are you using? Blender and Maya both run on Mac, I do plenty of 3D modeling and it's all done on my Mac. Even if it's Windows-only, it's entirely possible you could simply run it as-is through Darwine. I have many Windows-only programs running on my Mac through Darwine wrappers.
  10. Mar 13, 2018 #9


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    I have used Parallels on my Mac with good results (but only with Windows XP inside).
  11. Mar 13, 2018 #10
    I use Virtualbox on my Mac with a Windows 10 VM. It works very well but needs quite a lot of RAM for the VM not to impact on Mac OS X too much. I wouldn't use the Windows VM for doing much modelling work though. If I need to do that I use a Windows box and use remote desktop to it.

  12. Mar 13, 2018 #11
    Hi, I think modeling is the wrong word (I apologize). Basically I have to run this program, written in c++, to simulate the behavior of a flame. It's just lots of calculations, nothing special. I'd like to use matlab and excel too (that i've installed on my mac). It's written by my professor and I think it is windows only since it runs a .bat file and use the command prompt as main window.

    I've a macbook air
  13. Mar 13, 2018 #12


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    Is it all DOS? you can look at the .bat file with a text editor, to see what it does.
  14. Mar 13, 2018 #13
    The program is actually very easy. I've to write some text files with all the properties I want and the right algorithms and then give them to it. It's like a compiler
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  15. Mar 13, 2018 #14
    Running the program under a virtual Windows is probably the best approach, unless the program is very resource intensive.
    If it is very resource intensive, it could be still better to increase memory on your one machine.
    A second PC to run one program is a technically more efficient solution, but could be unnecessarily more expensive .
    Dual boot is a possibility, but freqently rebooting could get painful.
  16. Mar 13, 2018 #15


    Staff: Mentor

    If it’s written in c/c++ then you might be able to recompile and run it on your Mac. The gotcha would be if your prof used windows specific apis or windows GUI.

    However, if it simply computes and writes to the screen or a file then there’s a good chance it can easily be rebuilt on Mac.
  17. Mar 13, 2018 #16
    it depends on what I have to do. For now it seems a light program, but maybe next year things will get harder. I think I'm going to go for virtual windows and see how it handles it. By the way I have one more question about virtual machines. I really need to copy the output files of this program in matlab and excel so I was wondering: is file sharing easy on virtual machines?

    Unfortunately I think so, because when I tried it on a friend pc I had to change some Windows Environment Variables
  18. Mar 13, 2018 #17
    You can make a partition on your hard disk which is there for shared data.
    Not what I would call easy, but doable.
  19. Mar 13, 2018 #18
    You mean a real partition? Or a virtual one? This is not a good news... :(
  20. Mar 13, 2018 #19
    An actual disk partition on your hard drive which physically exists and is accessible from whatever OS is looking.
  21. Mar 13, 2018 #20
    Why life has to be so complicated?:frown:
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