Performance better using Boot Camp partition in VMWare Fusion or not?

USDAARSCSRL-IT used Ask the Experts™
I'm not sure if the title really says it all, but here's my question.

We have quite a few users who have a Macbook Pro with Cinedisplay setup for BCC purposes and also to allow having virtualization of XP on OS X. We've done things, since the beginning of this program, by installing XP via a Boot Camp partition first then having VMWare sniff it out and run Windows XP off the prior installed partition.

My question is this: Performance wise is it better to run things this way or just to make a "pure" virtual system. My users don't really do anything other than your standard office work. A lot of Microsoft Office(Outlook and Excel in particular), Adobe Acrobat and Federal web apps.

I like that while running things in a "pure" virtualized state(not off the Boot Camp partition) I have options like snapshots and things of that nature I can take. Plus I can back everything up via Time Machine to our local MAC servers as well as our other means of backing up via Backup Exec.

So, right, all you knowledgeable people.. in a typical office environment using the applications everyday..all day that they use(MS Office, web-based apps in IE, Adobe) would there be a noticeable difference in performance in a strictly "pure" virtualized instance of XP versus using the Boot Camp partition as the base?

All these systems have 4 gigs of RAM, at least, and have pretty good dual-core processors so we can allocate 2 gigs of memory and at least one of the cores to the virtualized session as necessary.
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
Top Expert 2009
Anything that talks directly to the hardware with no middle man is always the best solution
But it does not mean virtualization solution like vmware server 2.0 or ms virtual server their performance is bad
I've seen many customers actually running production servers on these solutions
It depends on your hardware specs, what are the VMs for, and ofcoz you need to consider the load to the overall hardware
In my opinion looking at your system specs, if users normally run office applications, this should be just fine
For example, i have my wife login to virtual windows xp on my pc to browse internet and do normal office stuffs, she never complains :)
And you right, it is easier to manage virtual rather than physical


Yeah I guess I just wanted some feedback on whether it would be worth it to, for the ease of management anyway. Thank you for the input!

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial