PDA

View Full Version : Mac Pro as dedicated PC? Or is OSX+Bootcamp required?




.macstiled
Jul 16, 2010, 12:27 PM
Hopefully that sounds like a strange request, because I couldn't find anything on the web (not without Mac OS being part of the equation). But, as the title suggests, I'd like to use my MacPro3,1 as a dedicated PC. Just don't use Mac OS anymore, and lust for the freedom of slapping any video card I want in there w/o having to perform surgery for OS X compatibility.

Is this possible? And would there be any technical limitations due to Apple's hardware? Was even considering selling it and building my own PC, but the cost to match the performance of my MP would be about the same anyway, so just figured I'd ask first to save me the headache of selling the MP, buying parts, and then building from scratch.



Hellhammer
Jul 16, 2010, 12:41 PM
Do you have both installed already? If so, just delete OS X and format it to NTFS.

What Mac Pro do you have btw? If it's single-CPU (quad core), you can built similar PC for lot less than you can sell the MP for. If it's dual-CPU, it's not that much cheaper to build a PC plus there aren't that many boards with dual sockets. With PC, you have more CPUs to choose and the possibility to overclock.

gnasher729
Jul 16, 2010, 12:43 PM
Hopefully that sounds like a strange request, because I couldn't find anything on the web (not without Mac OS being part of the equation). But, as the title suggests, I'd like to use my MacPro3,1 as a dedicated PC. Just don't use Mac OS anymore, and lust for the freedom of slapping any video card I want in there w/o having to perform surgery for OS X compatibility.

Is this possible? And would there be any technical limitations due to Apple's hardware? Was even considering selling it and building my own PC, but the cost to match the performance of my MP would be about the same anyway, so just figured I'd ask first to save me the headache of selling the MP, buying parts, and then building from scratch.

No problem. Read the Bootcamp instructions carefully. They explain how to install Windows without destroying MacOS X in the process. So you just have to adjust the instructions slightly; no need to create a second partition, no need to be careful to avoid overwriting MacOS X. Bootcamp is needed because it contains all the drivers that are needed for Windows.

xgman
Jul 16, 2010, 12:43 PM
You do not need a osx drive to boot directly to windows. Just a windows install with all the correct drivers.

.macstiled
Jul 16, 2010, 01:32 PM
Wow, thanks for the responses!

Do you have both installed already? If so, just delete OS X and format it to NTFS.

I do, but planned to do a clean install of Win7. But good to know I can just delete the OSX partition, and format NTFS. Can uninstall Bootcamp, too, I presume? Since I won't be switching to Mac OS...

What Mac Pro do you have btw? If it's single-CPU (quad core), you can built similar PC for lot less than you can sell the MP for. If it's dual-CPU, it's not that much cheaper to build a PC plus there aren't that many boards with dual sockets. With PC, you have more CPUs to choose and the possibility to overclock.

It's an 8-core. Yeah, it's nice to have options when building a PC, but if it's going to cost about the same then I'd rather try and make the MP work for me first.


No problem. Read the Bootcamp instructions carefully. They explain how to install Windows without destroying MacOS X in the process. So you just have to adjust the instructions slightly; no need to create a second partition, no need to be careful to avoid overwriting MacOS X. Bootcamp is needed because it contains all the drivers that are needed for Windows.

Interesting... so the drivers on the install DVD are unique to Apple's hardware? Always thought it was just for the convenience :)

How would I get away with installing Windows without first being in Mac OS?


You do not need a osx drive to boot directly to windows. Just a windows install with all the correct drivers.

Nice. Good to know! I'd always assumed that, upon booting into Windows, Mac OS had to do something in the background first to get it all working.

So I guess the only concern I have now is any hardware limitations by going this route. Sounds like I wouldn't have any issues using whatever video card I wanted, but weary of any potential issues down the line. Hopefully the concern is unwarranted :)

xgman
Jul 16, 2010, 01:40 PM
When I installed Windows 7 64 on my 08 Mac pro, I used 99% of the required drivers that I got directly from Intel and other web sites. I think there was maybe one item in device manager that I used a bootcamp 3 dvd for and I think that was bluetooth maybe.

.macstiled
Jul 16, 2010, 01:59 PM
When I installed Windows 7 64 on my 08 Mac pro, I used 99% of the required drivers that I got directly from Intel and other web sites. I think there was maybe one item in device manager that I used a bootcamp 3 dvd for and I think that was bluetooth maybe.

Perfect. What method did you use to install Windows, if I may ask, or was it via the Bootcamp assistant?

Cindori
Jul 16, 2010, 02:10 PM
THERE IS NO TOOL IN OSX TO INSTALL WINDOWS


Why does everyone assume Bootcamp installs Windows for you? It does this:


Help you create a partition on the hard drive
Reboot the mac from a CD


THAT IS ALL BOOTCAMP DOES

A Mac Pro is a COMPUTER and you can just pull a Windows, Linux or whatever - hard drive from any PC in the world and boot off.

Or insert any Windows disk and simply install like you would on a PC

Roman23
Jul 16, 2010, 04:28 PM
seems like bootcamp64.msi is lacking something here... please list the exact locations of all the drivers - intel and other sites..


When I installed Windows 7 64 on my 08 Mac pro, I used 99% of the required drivers that I got directly from Intel and other web sites. I think there was maybe one item in device manager that I used a bootcamp 3 dvd for and I think that was bluetooth maybe.

Cindori
Jul 16, 2010, 04:48 PM
windows 7 has all drivers you need, except sound which you get from realtek

Hellhammer
Jul 16, 2010, 05:04 PM
windows 7 has all drivers you need, except sound which you get from realtek

And you can install them from the OS X disk as well. Even though they are called "Boot Camp drivers", they have nothing to do with Boot Camp, just drivers.

Cindori
Jul 16, 2010, 05:05 PM
you shouldnt because they are old versions

Roman23
Jul 16, 2010, 05:24 PM
Why on the MF Earth would you buy a mac and just use windows on it?? Granted, windows 7 runs excellent on the mac pro, and I notice that at times it runs better even on native PC hardware.. but dude...

You bought a mac and it is designed to run your "Mother" OS.. which is OS X, not windows.. Personally, I like Mac OS X a lot more, but windows 7 is just as powerful and I too like it. But you spent all that expensive money on a mac pro just for windows? Your logic is SERIOUSLY FLAWED... If you want windows only, just go with a PC.. and forget the mac.

Seriously, don't mean to be rude, but you need your head examined - just running windows only and not mac os x which is why you buy a mac.. for os x and os x related applications.. What is your brain tell you about all of this?

I don't mean to be nasty, its your right if you prefer windows only on your mac, but at least keep mac os x on there as you may need it someday.

.macstiled
Jul 16, 2010, 05:25 PM
A Mac Pro is a COMPUTER and you can just pull a Windows, Linux or whatever - hard drive from any PC in the world and boot off.

Or insert any Windows disk and simply install like you would on a PC

Thank you, sir. That's exactly what I wanted to hear.


windows 7 has all drivers you need, except sound which you get from realtek

Figured that wight be the case; thank you for the confirmation.


you shouldnt because they are old versions

This. Old drivers, no bueno. Well, most of the time. Video drivers can be like playing craps sometimes... :)


Thanks everyone for the responses!

Roman23
Jul 16, 2010, 05:25 PM
Dude, is this guy on crack? Why would he spend over 2000 dollars for a mac pro only for windows and ditch mac os x???? What is wrong with this guy's logic?


you shouldnt because they are old versions

Roman23
Jul 16, 2010, 05:27 PM
it ran, but i noticed that device manager had a lot of question marks next to it... I am sure the bootcamp drivers are still needed though. Unless you can point me in the right direction where I can find and download every single driver that way I don't need to use the bootcamp64.msi.



windows 7 has all drivers you need, except sound which you get from realtek

Hellhammer
Jul 16, 2010, 05:31 PM
Dude, is this guy on crack? Why would he spend over 2000 dollars for a mac pro only for windows and ditch mac os x???? What is wrong with this guy's logic?

Possibly because the software he uses is not available for OS X. That could be due his work for example

it ran, but i noticed that device manager had a lot of question marks next to it... I am sure the bootcamp drivers are still needed though. Unless you can point me in the right direction where I can find and download every single driver that way I don't need to use the bootcamp64.msi.

Did you download the latest updates for Windows 7?

Roman23
Jul 16, 2010, 05:33 PM
it was security updates mostly, not hardware updates.. the sata ahci i had to do.. the rest I wound up letting bootcamp64.msi take care of, as windows didn't have the exact matching drivers at all.

bootcamp drivers win again :(


Possibly because the software he uses is not available for OS X. That could be due his work for example



Did you download the latest updates for Windows 7?

Roman23
Jul 16, 2010, 05:34 PM
PC for a hell of a lot cheaper to do what he needs.. Best Buy has some nice powerful acer laptops for like 1599.99 with core i7 and 4 cores..


Possibly because the software he uses is not available for OS X. That could be due his work for example



Did you download the latest updates for Windows 7?

.macstiled
Jul 16, 2010, 05:48 PM
Why on the MF Earth would you buy a mac and just use windows on it??

Trial and Error, Roman23. And please keep in mind, this was 2 years ago when I'd never actually used OSX. Sure, I'd played around with it in stores, but after two years of actual usage... less than 1% of that time was spent in Apple's OS.

I love the aesthetics of OSX, but TBH I felt handicapped in terms of software. Trust me, this decision didn't come lightly, but after long consideration and a frustrating hunt to find any Mac equivalents of all the various software I use, I realized there just isn't nearly enough options. Not to mention, I'm a game developer of 13 years, and all the proprietary software I use to develop is all PC only.

Moreover, I knew about the ability to run Windows under Bootcamp prior to my purchase - just wasn't up to speed on the graphic card limitations in OSX.


Your logic is SERIOUSLY FLAWED... If you want windows only, just go with a PC.. and forget the mac.

That's a little harsh, friend. 8-core 2.8 GHz, 14GB RAM, 3TB storage is nothing to sneeze at. I priced out the parts to build an equivalent PC, but it was just too close for me to just abandon the MP without first seeing if I could use it as a dedicated PC. And if you're curious about all that RAM - I also do lots of intensive HD video editing. Final Cut just wasn't my bag. I do value your feedback, though; just wanted to make it known that this isn't just a knee jerk reaction ;)

D

Roman23
Jul 16, 2010, 05:54 PM
well, a mac mini or maybe if you want mac pro - a 2006 which you can sometimes get for under 1000 depending on configuration.

You know you won't really make use of 8-cores in windows, at least I think most software under windows uses at least 1-2 cores, much less 4. Did you consider the single 2.8 quad-core with 4 cores or was the 8-core a close out deal?



Trial and Error, Roman23. And please keep in mind, this was 2 years ago when I'd never actually used OSX. Sure, I'd played around with it in stores, but after two years of actual usage... less than 1% of that time was spent in Apple's OS.

I love the aesthetics of OSX, but TBH I felt handicapped in terms of software. Trust me, this decision didn't come lightly, but after long consideration and a frustrating hunt to find any Mac equivalents of all the various software I use, I realized there just isn't nearly enough options. Not to mention, I'm a game developer of 13 years, and all the proprietary software I use to develop is all PC only.

Moreover, I knew about the ability to run Windows under Bootcamp prior to my purchase - just wasn't up to speed on the graphic card limitations in OSX.




That's a little harsh, friend. 8-core 2.8 GHz, 14GB RAM, 3TB storage is nothing to sneeze at. I priced out the parts to build an equivalent PC, but it was just too close for me to just abandon the MP without first seeing if I could use it as a dedicated PC. And if you're curious about all that RAM - I also do lots of intensive HD video editing. Final Cut just wasn't my bag. I do value your feedback, though; just wanted to make it known that this isn't just a knee jerk reaction ;)

D

.macstiled
Jul 16, 2010, 06:16 PM
well, a mac mini or maybe if you want mac pro - a 2006 which you can sometimes get for under 1000 depending on configuration.

At this point, already an Early '08 MP owner, I'd be looking back at a PC solution before buying another Apple computer.

You know you won't really make use of 8-cores in windows, at least I think most software under windows uses at least 1-2 cores, much less 4.

Mostly true, but more and more (albeit slowly) high end apps will soon be supporting as many cores as you have - and my system is already prepared for that.


Did you consider the single 2.8 quad-core with 4 cores or was the 8-core a close out deal?

Wasn't a close-out, but it was on sale. Picked it up from Amazon, no tax, free shipping, and a rebate that brought the total price down to $2500. The extra RAM and storage (at the time) only ran me a total of $600 more, so for $3100 I think I got a really nice computer.

And the performance of this beast under Win7 is ridiculous. My only complaint is the limited (plug and play) GFX options.

Lastly, but of course isn't for sure, is that sometime in the future Apple may become a little more lenient with their GFX offerings - so at that point I could re-install OSX if I wanted - just for the option/novelty of having both systems on my computer.

D

Roman23
Jul 16, 2010, 06:25 PM
Should you need more processing power, you can also get the Harpertown x5472 which runs at 3.00 ghz or the x5482 which runs at 3.2 just in case the 2.8 is feeling slow in the tooth.. there is also one final processor, the x5492 3.4ghz, but was told it won't run in any 2008 mac pro - still haven't figured out why though..

As for video cards.. the PC side has more variety with video card options.. with a mac, what you see on the apple store is what you get, unless you want a flashed pc card but still u will need the card flashed with efi firmware.


At this point, already an Early '08 MP owner, I'd be looking back at a PC solution before buying another Apple computer.



Mostly true, but more and more (albeit slowly) high end apps will soon be supporting as many cores as you have - and my system is already prepared for that.




Wasn't a close-out, but it was on sale. Picked it up from Amazon, no tax, free shipping, and a rebate that brought the total price down to $2500. The extra RAM and storage (at the time) only ran me a total of $600 more, so for $3100 I think I got a really nice computer.

And the performance of this beast under Win7 is ridiculous. My only complaint is the limited (plug and play) GFX options.

Lastly, but of course isn't for sure, is that sometime in the future Apple may become a little more lenient with their GFX offerings - so at that point I could re-install OSX if I wanted - just for the option/novelty of having both systems on my computer.

D

szark
Jul 16, 2010, 06:35 PM
You might want to consider keeping a small OS X boot partition in case of any potential firmware updates that are released. Those would need to be installed through OS X.

You can just set your startup disk to load Windows by default.

.macstiled
Jul 16, 2010, 07:26 PM
Should you need more processing power, you can also get the Harpertown x5472 which runs at 3.00 ghz or the x5482 which runs at 3.2 just in case the 2.8 is feeling slow in the tooth..

Awesome! That you for that info. Will check those out.


As for video cards.. the PC side has more variety with video card options.. with a mac, what you see on the apple store is what you get, unless you want a flashed pc card but still u will need the card flashed with efi firmware.

Exactly.


You might want to consider keeping a small OS X boot partition in case of any potential firmware updates that are released. Those would need to be installed through OS X.

You can just set your startup disk to load Windows by default.

Considered this at one point, actually. If I were to do this, would I need to swap my PC video card out with a Mac-compatible one first, or would OSX run in some kind of basic video mode (no hardware acceleration) so that I could do firmware upgrades?

szark
Jul 17, 2010, 07:11 PM
Considered this at one point, actually. If I were to do this, would I need to swap my PC video card out with a Mac-compatible one first, or would OSX run in some kind of basic video mode (no hardware acceleration) so that I could do firmware upgrades?

Hmmm. Good question. My guess would be that it would not boot at all with the PC video card. If you have one of the lower end video cards for the Mac (or could obtain one) you could leave it in one of the other slots and switch to it when necessary.

mjgunn
Jul 18, 2010, 09:11 AM
I just stopped in to say how impressed I am that it took 13 posts for the first person to go on a rant about how stupid you are, I was expecting to come in here and find a load of people blowing their tops like so many threads on this forum about people who dare to do anything unusual with their machines (I'm looking at you thread about the guy who wanted to chop off the handles).

Plus I wanted to put my 2 cents in that like another poster said, you could likely sell the pro for a ton more money than it would take to build a replacement pc that's as good for most tasks, and better for others if all you're planning to do is run windows.

CaptainChunk
Jul 18, 2010, 01:13 PM
Dude, is this guy on crack? Why would he spend over 2000 dollars for a mac pro only for windows and ditch mac os x???? What is wrong with this guy's logic?

Well, considering the OP has an 8-core Mac Pro, his logic isn't as flawed as you might think. Have you ever priced out a professional Xeon workstation with a PC manufacturer? Those aren't cheap, either. Xeon processors and dual-socket motherboards cost an arm and a leg.

My 2-year old MP 8-core 2.8 has processors in it that still cost around $700 EACH to replace without the custom Apple heatsinks. A good a dual-socket Xeon motherboard costs $500+. For these reasons, the Mac Pro is probably Apple's least profitable machine. The only exception to this would probably be the current base quad-core MP. That machine is overpriced by about $500 or so and doesn't really even need to be a Xeon.

kevink2
Jul 18, 2010, 01:17 PM
Well, considering the OP has an 8-core Mac Pro, his logic isn't as flawed as you might think. Have you ever priced out a professional Xeon workstation with a PC manufacturer? Those aren't cheap, either. Xeon processors and dual-socket motherboards cost an arm and a leg.



I know that, 2 years ago, it was that way. To help me convince myself to spend the money on a Mac Pro for my personal use, I priced equivalent Dells (minus OSX), and building one myself. It came out at about the same price or even more buying the parts at retail.

Today I would probably buy a quad core iMac. But back then they were only 2 core, and maxed out at 4GB of RAM.