Canadian Mac Forums at ehMac banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in need of some practical advice.

I've been a dedicated mac user for over a decade, and suddenly find myself needing to use Windows for the Canadian version of Quickbooks desktop. I don't have the option to use on online version, or another accounting software, as that involves changing accountants, etc. Some problems are just not worth having.

Right now, I mainly use an iMac for work and a little 11" air for casual stuff. I thought of loading windows on the air, but the resolution is just too low to be usable for work as far as I'm concerned. Also, the idea of putting Windows on my iMac makes me cringe.

So I'd like to get another machine to be used primarily for Windows. I've considered some older Thinkpads, but am having too much trouble finding one with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. Even the 1600 x 900 versions have proven difficult to find.
I'm looking at a budget of about $500, as I don't want to invest too much in this Windows project.

Other high resolution laptops seem to exceed my budget. I'm starting to think I'll have to settle for some kind of Windows based desktop. I have a monitor already and can get mouse, keyboard used.

What do you guys do if you need to regularly run Windows? Running Parallels or some kind of VMware on my iMac sounds unappealing. Are there any other good options?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,976 Posts
How about putting Windows on the Air, and buying an external monitor at the resolution you'd like to have?

Like this 24" Dell monitor with 1920 x 1080 for $169? When you're not using it with the Air, you can plug it into your iMac at the office for an extended desktop (once you do this, you'll never go back to a single monitor again) ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your help!

I was worried my Air wouldn't be able to handle Windows very well, and also weighing the cost of buying something like Parallels + Windows against buying a system that already comes ready to use.

My Air is a 2011 model, 1.8 Ghz with the core i7 and 4 GB of ram. It's not bad, but I don't know how much pep it will have with Windows on it.

In similar newbie fashion, I was also under the impression that if I used an external monitor, it would mimic the resolution available on my Air, which is only 1366x768.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,771 Posts
I am running a 1920x1080 NEC monitor mirrored from a 2011 MBP. It runs at the resolution of the monitor. I found the best way to hook it up is from the thunderbolt port via mini-DP to DP cable. Attempting to use a thunderbolt to DVI converter proved very glitchy. Quite honestly my other computer is running a 21 inch monitor at 1344x1008 and is much better for reading text and seeing fine lines in documents.

Pretty sure it is impossible to bump the RAM in a 2011 Air. Non up-gradable RAM is easily Apple's worst idea since the hockey puck mouse. The exec who approved it should be tarred and feathered, as every new OS version needs more RAM than its immediate predecessor.

You should be able to find a used Windozer desktop that will meet your needs with-in your budget, especially as you already have a monitor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, eMacMan - that's good news.

Do you guys have recommendations as to what version of Windows would run best on my little Air? I'm not concerned with the user experience very much. I would rather it run as well as it can.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,749 Posts
Thank you for your help!

I was worried my Air wouldn't be able to handle Windows very well, and also weighing the cost of buying something like Parallels + Windows against buying a system that already comes ready to use.

My Air is a 2011 model, 1.8 Ghz with the core i7 and 4 GB of ram. It's not bad, but I don't know how much pep it will have with Windows on it.

In similar newbie fashion, I was also under the impression that if I used an external monitor, it would mimic the resolution available on my Air, which is only 1366x768.
You would not enjoy Parallels with 4GB of RAM, I wouldn't recommend that route. Dual boot would be a far better experience, but then you need to consider how much drive space you have to accommodate a windows partition.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
See, and this is exactly what I'm afraid of - that I will have to reboot every time I want to make a quick entry in Quickbooks. Which means I will use it as little as possibe ;)

Does anyone actually think it might be worth my money to buy an old Thinkpad for this purpose? The only other alternative is a Windows desktop :(

Damn you, Quickbooks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
613 Posts
I have an older white MacBook lap top and run Windows 7 on it. I tried Parallels but couldn't resolve the direct Ethernet connection to the ECU in my toy car. After talking to the ECUs manufacturer I installed Bootcamp and Windows in the new partition. It works very well, no problems at all. I had installed an SSD in the MacBook prior to running Windows on it so I was never impacted by having to reboot.

I have since purchased a newer MacBook so the old one is set to boot Windows all the time. The only issue I had was the constant updates I received from Windows.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,976 Posts
How about booting off of an external drive with Windows installed, since it's something you only need to do occasionally?
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top