Mac Pro dual boot, multiple graphics cards

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Olivier L., Apr 28, 2009.

  1. macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2009

    I have several questions on the new Mac Pro 2009:

    1) Multiboot

    In my understanding it is possible to have OS X on one drive, and Windows on another drive.
    (for example: )

    1.1 Is any additional "boot loader" needed? How can we choose the OS at boot? How can we define the default boot disk/partition?
    1.2 Even if this setup is NOT using bootcamp, can VMware or Parallels run this Windows partition from OS X? (would be nice for quick access when rebooting not necessary from performance point of view)

    2) Multiple graphics cards

    Assuming the 4870 is installed, and is used in both OS X and Windows for the next year or two,

    2.1 Is it possible to add a newer graphics card in two years, for Windows only?
    2.2 Can we foresee issues with power connectors (usually solvable?), protrusion, .. ?
    2.3 Will OS X simply ignore this new card?
    2.4 Will Windows see both cards?
    2.5 Is it possible to have windows mainly use the new one, even ignore totally the "old 4870"?

    2.6 bonus question for my understanding: any good link on how BIOS works in these cases? in Mac Pro?

    Thanks a lot already for help in finding these answers!
  2. macrumors 6502

    Jan 17, 2009
    First of all, I will say that I don't own a Mac Pro or have any experience with them. I am going to attempt to answer these questions just with information I have gathered.

    1.1 To choose what OS to boot into, just hold the Option (Alt) key when you hear the startup chime.

    1.2 I don't know about that. I don't know how VMWare looks for Windows partitions.

    2.1 Yes

    2.2 I think so yes

    2.3 If it isn't supported by OS X it will just simply ignore the card

    2.4 Yes, if you have all the drivers for both cards, they will both be seen.

    2.5 Umm, I think so yes

    2.6 All Intel Macs use EFI, the successor to BIOS
  3. macrumors 68040


    Jan 17, 2008
    macuser154 is right, but I want to add this:

    Bootcamp is only a tool to help you install Windows on a disk, nothing else. You can do it other ways if you like.

    1.1 No. It will look like this, if you do as macuser154 described:

    Default boot drive is set at System Preferences.

    1.2 Yes.

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