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Wich Computer to use

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hi all ,

i currently use a macbook pro from 2011 , this thing works as it should.

however most ecu's and car-like system use windows .

anyone in here who uses a mac with windows in parallel setup ? or should i be better off buying a windows computer ?

I use a macbook pro for a lot of my tuning and I run the VM Ware Fusion software. It's pretty good but not perfect and some software packages don't work well with the high resolution retina display. There is also the issue of the macbook not having certain keys that a PC keyboard does. There are ways around everything though if you're committed to using a mac. For me, I ended up with a PC notebook as well as my mac. I also hate my PC notebook with a passion after using a mac for the last 5 years :)

I have a Panasonic Toughbook CF-29 for my tuning. I have 2 hard drives 1 for older software that works in DOS and another for software that works in NT based Windows (Windows NT, 2000, XP, etc). Swapping hard drives is a 10 second job and your ready to go. It's rugged, designed for military use (many OEM workshops also use them), and while its power usage isn't as good as a modern Windows laptop (or a Mac) the touchscreen and other features put it ahead of its time.

i've been trying to set up the VM virtualbox so i'll go on with that :) thanks for your replies all

One more thought if you're looking at laptop options - I'm a big fan of using a solid state hard drive for any tuning laptop (PC or mac).

With the rough treatment that the tuning industry dishes out to a laptop, this can take its toll on a conventional hard drive and I've lost important data in the past.

I have the vm box setup on the macbook , first with windows xp and now windows 7 , everything works like it should

Indeed andre i've heard the harddrive stall a few times allready so i might look at buying a ssd in the near future

I havent worked with windows for 7 years , but i havent missed it at all , what a disaster


I'm new to all this and I was also wanting to know what laptops are people using and recommend or what to look for when buying a laptop for tuning?


Hi Dandan,

I ended up still using my macbook with vmbox running windows , works better then an original windows laptop :)

however when you dont own a laptop allready you could buy a simple windows laptop for 1/3 of the price of an apple macbook.

most tuning programs arent heavy to run at all :)

so everything works great , minimum you need is a usb port :) and i would recommend a 12v car charger for it to

I used a Asus 15,6" NON-Busissness Laptop for the last 6 years. I have to say Asus makes rock solid products. I used the Laptop the first 4 years for street tuning, because I haven't own a dyno until than. The laptop jumped for days around on my legs during tuning on the streets and surprisingly the hard disc or anything other hasn't failed until today.

What I'm aware Asus Laptops have a protection function, that stops the hardrive as soon there are shocks detected. Im the meantime the Laptop is much to slow. But I don't want to clear and re-install Windows to get it fast again. There is a too big chance that I'm loosing Layouts or something else on all the software that is installed on it.

According tho the laptop manufacturer Bussines laptop are more solid and tested for more cycle of use (hinges, case etc.), so i would look for a bussines Laptop for tuning.

I just bought a new one, wanted to go again with Asus, but havent found a Asus Bussines serie with enough big SSD.

... Yesterday I received a new Dell Bussiness laptop with solid state dive, docking station and some other goodies. Looks like good quality and a robust case (carbon-composite). We will see how it works in the long term.

I use Toshiba Satellite laptops, you can pick them up for £250GBP brand new, batteries last all day trackside, really robust for such a small price. Just back everything up as you go and you'll be fine, I've only ever lost one laptop and that was due to my old boss dropping it of a bench.

I have everything running fine on windows10 it's worth noting, it has no issues with sub to serial convertors, Ethernet or USB com's.

I use my laptop so many hours a day, that I personally made the decision to spent a bit more into a new one.

Anyway a cheap one can do the job too, because tuning software doesn't need fast hardware to run properly.

Good to hear that most Software runs fine with Windows 10. I ordered my new one with Windows 8, because i was skepticaly if old Software does run on 10. If you feel no restriction with software I will upgrade too.

I've not found any restriction at all, softwares I currently am running include:

Omex, Megasquirt, PC Link, Syvecs, FC Datalogit, MoTeC M4 software, AEM tuner suites, Evoscan, ECUEdit, ECUFlash, ROM Raider, Race Technology and a fair few more, plus my diagnostic softwares too, there were a few that I couldn't get running on my old Vista computer ran flawlessly on the win10 laptop which I was most shocked at

Hi Chris,

What are you using for emulation software for the MoTeC M4 software? I have been using DosBOX, but it can be a bit temperamental when it comes to recognising the COM ports.

I'm sure it was DOSBOX I used too, was last year for one job, if there's one thing I've learned with all the years of using USB-Serial convertor is to use the same convertor and the same USB port all the time

I use a 2014 MacBook Pro, I used boot camp to set up a windows 8/OSX dual boot.

It's the nicest laptop solution I've ever worked with, zooming around the web, watching HPA videos on OSX is super nice, then when I need to do some real work with a windows app, I just reboot into windows, which takes all of 15 seconds?

Boot camp is free, but you need to pay for a windows license (or acquire it). I've had very little trouble with applications not working. The only down side is that windows and apple use different buttons for ctrl + v etc, and Microsoft don't handle mouse gestures as nicely as Apple do.

I've just upgraded my old hard disc drive to a solid sate and it's like I've got a new laptop again!

Out of all the laptops I've got it was the slowest one I chose to test the cloning software that came with it and the new SSD, it all worked as per instructions and as it should and to put the cherry one the top that battery life has extended as well. The battery in the Toshiba has always been good but I'm now 6 hours of constant use and still have 38% battery life left, the only down side is I have halved my storage space but since I was hardly using much it's not really a loss.


I have always been told that cloning a standard drive to a SSD is a bit problematic.... I was not sure why. I did a clone myself and was having a lot of little errors here and there with odd processes bogging the system down (to normal plate type hard drive performance levels, LOL) but you could notice it.

A clean install of windows and reloading the programs/files to the SSD that I needed was a much more stable computing experience... but a much longer conversion process than cloning across to the new drive.

Im not a computer tech or into that stuff anymore so it could be different if that's a hobby/profession of yours and you follow tech more closely than I do.


I recommend basically any laptop with an SSD. They are far more durable .

I personally use my school laptop, a Microsoft Surface Pro 3. There was a new windows 10 update recently that allowed you to enable a setting to really fix display scaling on many applications .

For any software that isn't windows 7,8,10 compatible, I used VMware with an XP install.

Any updates on the newer apple silicon computers for tuning looking at a new macbook air for school, work and tuning.

I've been running a Lenovo laptop based on Ryzen2 architecture, upgraded to a bigger SSD nvme and to 16gb of RAM and it just flies.

I have an older Honda diag machine that I simply can't connect to it. I ended buying an old Toshiba laptop with win98 for 10€ off a garage sale, it's slow but does the job

I had an M1 MacbookPro, now have an M2 Macbook Air and the new Mac Air is absolutely incredible for the money, but VM with Mac silicon has not met my expectations for performance and behavior, so I still carry a Dell XPS 15 for tuning and do all my non tuning work on the Mac.

I tested I believe 5 pc laptops before arriving at the Dell XPS15 and found it the best compromise of performance, battery life, screen resolution, keyboard/touchpad quality, durability. I don't suggest spending extra on a badass processor, it only crushes battery life and isn't needed. I got one with an i9 that would die in 40-45 minutes, but the same thing with i7 2.6 GHz lasts 3-4 hours tuning.

Dell also has their badass 4 year international warranty where they'll basically do whatever it takes to solve your issue in a day, which is a huge selling point for me as a single day of work lost costs me a great deal.

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