Boot Camp w/ Windows 7 + Parallels 5 w/ Windows XP?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by carpexnoctem13, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. carpexnoctem13 macrumors newbie

    carpexnoctem13

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    #1
    I've been a PowerMac G4 user for years now but I'm finally ready to move on. I'm trying to make preparations for my transition to an Intel Mac to be as painless as possible. I own a lot of games for Mac OS X and on one hand, it doesn't make me thrilled coming to terms with the fact some of my games may no longer work or be as playable under Leopard or Snow Leopard, but I'm also very eager to be able to play all the Windows games I couldn't even consider before so I think it balances out. I'm not really a Windows user, but I want to set up Boot Camp as smoothly as possible to expand my gaming experience.

    What I'm proposing to do is use Boot Camp to install Windows 7 Home Premium (or Professional*) 64-bit on a partition as my primary Windows O/S but then I also want Windows XP Pro SP3 to run games which simply refuse to cooperate with Windows 7 (such as Will Rock). So basically, Windows XP to play earlier games and Windows 7 for newer games and everything else.

    Which setup would be better? 1) Natively run Windows 7 and emulate Windows XP with Parallels Desktop 5 or 2) A dual Boot Camp setup with Windows 7 and Windows XP on their own partitions both running natively?

    I want Windows 7 64-bit since Mac Pro hardware is 64-bit but if I emulate Windows XP, I'll only need 32-bit since virtual software can only do 32-bit. (I don't think I would get much benefit from Windows XP Professional x64 unless I wasn't running it through virtualisation). I know already I'll have to format as NFTS but I think MacFUSE or MacDrive or Paragon can be used to view/read/write my Windows files while back under OS X. Would it be okay to have both Windows partitions existing on a single hard drive or should I move Windows to its own separate hard drive? (Would my FPS and performance from older games take a hit much if played through Parallels Desktop 5? I saw some bench tests running Halo CE and Knights of the Old Republic with both Parallels and VMWare Fusion with Windows XP and the results from Parallels were so good you couldn't even tell it was an emulator. With this logic, I wouldn't think I'd even notice the difference playing older games through it).

    Slightly off-topic but still related or maybe I should have made two topics?: I have an option to get two 1TB Serial ATA hard drives or a single 2TB Serial ATA hard drive. I also need to get over 4 GB of memory to take advantage of the 64-bit capabilities. I'm thinking a Quad-Core 2.8-3.2 GHz model, or would I want to splurge for a 6-Core or 8-Core? I will be doing some photo editing with Photoshop, but nothing studio intensive. I want the best gaming experience possible but have done some research and it doesn't seem throwing more cores at something is always the solution to improve performance. (Not to mention it would be an added expense and I could be using that money to buy more games). Also will I encounter any problems with the graphics card? It looks like it comes with an ATI Radeon HD 5770 but I can upgrade it to 5870 for $200 extra. Also is it better to have a wireless or wired keyboard? I read some posts saying Windows didn't like the wireless keyboard when users had to do reinstallations involving the drivers.

    Since I plan on using both versions of Windows mainly for gaming. I also am undecided as to what sizes I should make my partitions but I definitely will need them larger than the default suggestions. I don't want to discover I need more space and have to go back and resize my partitions if I can help it. I know already just having about 3 or 4 of the newer Windows games installed on a PC can easily take up 80 GB right there. On my Mac I have about 50 GB of games installed right now. I'm also a collector of mods for games so I'm also thinking ahead of needing more space for Unreal Tournament 3 and Half-Life 2 and whatever other games have tons of mods and total conversions. (My Mac Unreal Tournament and Unreal Tournament 2004 folders are already almost 8 GB each just from downloaded mods). (I'm sure I'll need a web browser to more easily download Windows games since whenever I search on my Mac it always finds Mac versions first, plus I'd be able to finally download from FilePlanet without it complaining how I'm not on Windows. I'll need a chat messenger to keep in touch with my friends or else I'll abandon them because I have a feeling I'll be spending quite a bit of time in Windows gaming.)

    *I'm not sure if I'd want just Windows 7 Home Premium or to go with Professional. Windows 7 Professional has "XP Mode" which Microsoft intended for business corporations so they can get older applications to work but I can't get a clear answer whether this would also help to run older games. Games are applications too, right?

    Any advice and suggestions will be greatly appreciated. I haven't bought my new Intel Mac Pro yet because I want to make sure I don't make any mistakes or leave myself with any shortcomings. I plan on keeping this new computer for a long time and want to get as much as I can from it without having to do costly upgrades later on.
     
  2. iMac MaDDoG macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    #2
    Hi there - from what I recall when I had boot camp operating on my MBP I had to reboot to get from Leopard to Windows and same to go back.
    I have iMac 24" now and am running Parallels 5 with Windows 7 Pro 32. It is as simple as selecting the window on the desktop to go from one OS to the other. So basically I start in Snow Leopard and open the Parallels VM for Win 7. They just run side by side. Was very easy to install as well. Bootcamp is free and Parallels extra cost.
    As for the 2Tb HDD v's 2 1Tb HHD's. I am in an iMac so can only fit one, so I have 2Tb. In Mac pro I would go seperate drives so if one dies you don't lose all of your data.
    As for you other questions, I'll let someone else deal with them for you.
     
  3. Winni macrumors 68030

    Winni

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Germany.
    #3
    Windows XP Mode in Win7 is a marketing label for Microsoft's Virtual PC running a virtual machine with a pre-configured Windows XP Professional in it, nothing more and nothing less. It's like running XP in VirtualBox, but not nesrly as good as running XP in Parallels or Fusion, which both have 3D support.

    Anyway, I think you just need a BootCamp partition with 64-Bit Win7 in it. If a game today does not run in Win7, then maybe you should ask yourself if you really want to play it.

    But in all honesty, I wonder why a hardcore game like yourself even bothers with a Mac. Wouldn't you be better off with a PCc and an Xbox 360?
     
  4. carpexnoctem13 thread starter macrumors newbie

    carpexnoctem13

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    #4
    Well, my school trained us on Apple Mac Pluses back in the 80's and Macs are the only computer I have owned (aside from a Commodore 64). I have Windows on my present computer but using Virtual PC - so therefore it's only good to install games but I can't actually play them or very well. I'm also a nostalgic retro gamer and I have an active interest in older games which are now abandonware and freeware. I love playing old school console and arcade games through emulators as well as ported Mac versions of games such as Doom, Quake, Quake II, Hexen II, Rise of the Triad, Aleph One (Marathon), Duke Nukem 3D and so on. I also like Oni Anniversary Edition and the various open source games out there such as Nehahra, OpenArena, Alien Arena, and Nexuiz. I also still enjoy Classic titles such as ZPC (Zero Population Count), Killing Time, Damage Incorporated, Carmageddon 1 & 2, Diablo, Deus Ex, Wolfenstein 3D, Shadow Warrior, Redneck Rampage, etc. (I wish they had OS X ports). I always felt deprived when a game came out without a Mac version - such as Carmageddon: TDR2000, for example. I still am loyal to the Mac operating system, I just always wished it had more games. I know the irony is that I wouldn't be playing most of these games natively in Mac OS X (unless those ports using Cider, CrossoverGames and Wineskin are really all they say they are).

    Call me conflicted if you want, but yes I'm very excited about the potential of playing current games such as Half-Life 2, Crysis, Crysis: Warhead, F.E.A.R., Borderlands, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Watchmen: The End Is Nigh, Unreal II: The Awakening, Unreal Tournament 3, Devil May Cry 4, and Street Fighter IV, Torchlight, Mass Effect 2, as well as Dead Rising 2 (when it comes out) but at the same time I'm also looking forward to finally playing Serious Sam, Will Rock, State of Emergency, Resident Evil series, Silent Hill series, Cold Fear, Tomb Raider games which never had Mac versions, Painkiller (as well as Overdose and Battle out of Hell), PowerSlave, Witchaven 1 & 2, The Suffering (and The Ties That Bind), Manhunt, Halo 2, Wolfenstein, Rogue Trooper, Gears of War, Thief series, Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne, Kingpin: Life of Crime, The Punisher, Doom 3 (with the PC-only Resurrection of Evil expansion), Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, Saints Row 2, Grand Theft Auto series, True Crime: Streets of LA (with the PC-only mod to unlock the closed-off neighborhoods), True Crime: New York City, Hitman series, Clive Barker's Jericho, KISS: Psycho Circus: The Nightmare Child, Messiah, GORE: Special Edition, etc. My reasoning is since Classic is no longer supported on Intel Macs, and it's hit and miss what will run properly under Rosetta, that I would be able to reclaim some or all of my beloved Mac classic titles by installing their PC counterparts as well as exploring the history of PC gaming. You have to consider I've never been able to play those games before and I want to be able to now because I can. :p Since they're older, I'm not expecting cutting edge graphics but they'd still be fun and a lot cheaper to buy. Some games such as the Midway titles even look to be available for free download and I've already scouted out a few on eBay for only a few dollars. I need to know that they're going to work though. Finally, I really haven't paid much attention to what games are presently out for either Intel Macs or Windows (Why disappoint myself further by learning about games not supported by my system?), so I only know the games I wished I could have owned. My favourite genres are first person shooter, beat 'em up, hack 'n' slash, fighting, action/arcade, open-world, and sometimes role-playing/real-time strategy.

    I want these games to perform their best so maybe I really should have Windows XP running natively as well as Windows 7, but my reasoning was if I have to become a Windows user for that amount of time that I'd much rather be using an environment that's up to date as opposed to something several years old. I always dreaded actually having to boot into OS 9 rather than using Classic mode and I was thinking a virtual XP Pro could function much the same as Classic did except it'd be for Windows games (Gaming is all I ever used Classic mode for anyway). I could play older games in virtualisation without having to abandon OS X. A setup such as this would also make me more receptive to trying older games because I wouldn't have to dedicate myself to a complete reboot into Windows just to get a quick gaming fix. I expect I wouldn't have to use Windows XP Pro often since there is "Compatibility Mode" to try under Windows 7 for games, but it'd be nice to have another option available if that doesn't work. Are we all on the same page with my logic now?

    I think I found something that will allow me to boot multiple operating systems here called rEFit: http://refit.sourceforge.net/. Is this something I should look into or would most of those earlier games I listed above be playable just fine through Parallels? I'm not going to attempt running something such as Half-Life 2 or Crysis with Parallels because even if it did run it would be a waste of hardware and the 64-bit DX10 technology.
     
  5. iMac MaDDoG macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    #5
    I am not really playing games much these days. If I was I guess I would keep the Dell XPS quad core dual graphics card PC that I just took off my desk to go back to a Mac. But that's if if I were a gamer which I'm not. I now have the difficult task of trying to sell a 2 year old Dell.....nothig at all wrong with it. In fact it is a fast and reliable machine. I just wanted to get back to Mac. :)
     
  6. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #6
    rEFIt is just a replacement for the standard Apple Boot loader. It loads native installs like Boot Camp.

    Then only way it'll fit in to your situation is that it would allow you to booth both W7 and XP in a triple boot configuration if you so choose.

    B
     
  7. carpexnoctem13 thread starter macrumors newbie

    carpexnoctem13

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    #7
    So if I do decide to go with having a choice of booting Windows 7 or Windows XP, that seems to be a convenient way to do it then. So far I've tried my best to research various sites and forums as to what games have been listed as being compatible with Windows 7 and also what other users have been saying. It would seem that "Compatibility Mode" resolves most of the problems. Maybe I will just stick with Windows 7 for my Boot Camp O/S and try that to get everything else working....

    Should I ever find something that won't cooperate, how much hassle would it be to add a third virtual or bootable partition with Windows XP later? Would I have to start all over, even with re-installation of Windows 7? If it's an easy process I might just wait but not if it would be a tremendous undertaking.

    I have specific games in mind I am counting on "Compatibility Mode" to work for such as Kingpin: Life of Crime, State of Emergency, KISS: Psycho Circus: The Nightmare Child, Messiah and Manhunt. I'm aware these are "older" games and people have mixed opinions about them, but I have always wanted to play them.

    I've also since done some in-depth research as to just how many Windows titles are out there and the results are overwhelming. I knew of most of the big names but more obscure titles from smaller companies are also of interest to me such as El Matador, Torrente, Nexagon: Deathmatch, Hired Team: Trial Gold, Advent Rising, The Devil Inside, Mercenaries: World in Flames, Rogue Warrior, etc. Most of them can be found really cheap but since they're not as popular it's not as easy finding out whether they're Windows 7 compatible.

    Kingpin: Life of Crime (should be okay since there's an active community and KingpinForever.com just had an update of new maps created just a few days ago), not to mention it has Gold medal compatibility status through CrossOver Games so it should work on my Mac without Windows. I want Messiah to run and unfortunately that was a game notorious for coming with bugs and glitches even back when it came out, but there are some patches which hopefully should help. I bought KISS: Psycho Circus: The Nightmare Child (Collector's Edition) online already. (If I can't get it to work, I'm a KISS fan so it's a welcome addition to my collection anyway).

    Again, thanks for the help and advice. I'm going to ask some other questions in other forums since I always seem to make my replies into more than just the subject at hand. I can't help it - there is so much I want to learn and figure out before I even consider buying my Mac Pro and using Windows.
     
  8. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #8
    I missed that you were looking at a Mac Pro.

    Things are actually much easier there. There is no need for partitioning for Boot Camp. Just install each OS to its own HDD and use rEFIt to keep things straight in the boot loader.

    B
     
  9. carpexnoctem13 thread starter macrumors newbie

    carpexnoctem13

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    #9
    Yeah, after having had a G4 for so long a Mac Pro will still be the tower model I am used to and I already have my Apple Studio Display monitor. Not to mention all the options for future expansion which should have my new computer fare better for upgrades than my present one.

    So if I understand right, in order to install each Windows O/S separately I would have to get the 2 separate 1TB drive configuration, correct? Then one drive would have OS X and Windows XP and the other could have Windows 7. I am reasoning I would want to give Windows 7 its own drive and OS X and XP could share a drive since the games should take up less space.

    It looks like I could get away with installing Windows 7 on the second drive for now and if I do decide that I need it, I could add Windows XP alongside OS X later. I'm looking into Mac ports of Windows games and noticing a lot of XP games reported as working. I do wonder how the performance is for CrossOver, Wineskin and Cider ports. Do they have the lag and framerate issues encountered with virtualisation?
     
  10. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #10
    Nah, just add drives yourself. it's super easy in the Mac Pros. You can even add a third party SSD if you'd prefer. Removing drives is easy too, so e.g. if you want to run a Mac Pro as an XP box, just remove the all the other HDDs, install XP and you have a dedicated XP box.

    I don't game much so I can't really comment on the Cider/Crossover vs. a VM issue.

    B
     

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