Does Windows 7 run better on Mac hardware?

SRLMJ23

Contributor
Original poster
Jul 11, 2008
2,048
1,002
Central New York
I'm thinking about installing Windows 7 Professional on my MacBook Air via BootCamp, I'm just curious if it runs better on Mac hardware versus say Dell. Thanks in advance!
 

Grannyville7989

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2010
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0
I've been running Windows 7 (and Windows 8 Consumer Preview) on my MacBook Pro since its release. In my experience I have found that, in some cases, that the performance of Windows is not as good compared to running it on a Dell PC (such as running a antivirus scan or starting up from a cold boot with barely any startup programs running). I've always suspected that it has been the Boot Camp drivers, but I'm just speculating.

Overall, I've been very happy with running Windows on my MacBook Pro and probably will continue to run Windows on Apple's hardware, when it comes to laptops.
 

vistadude

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2010
1,423
1
No, it runs worse than a PC because the trackpad drivers are absolutely terrible and unuseable.

But typically macs are quieter than typical "Dells" and reasonably fast, so in that aspect, it runs as expected.
 

whiteonline

macrumors 6502
Aug 19, 2011
492
195
California, USA
If you need to use it, install it. You never specified what your need or why you are considering installing Windows.
Macbook Air is basically the original Ultrabook. Performance will generally be in line with other equivalently equipped machines.
 

Grannyville7989

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2010
549
0
No, it runs worse than a PC because the trackpad drivers are absolutely terrible and unuseable.
I found the tap to click setting for the trackpad setting somewhat of a pain to use, but that was before they released Boot Camp drivers that were Windows 7 compliant. However, if you just turn tap to click off and use it so that you have to click the trackpad to select things, it works absoltely fine.
 

roadbloc

macrumors G3
Aug 24, 2009
8,779
211
UK
The Windows drivers for Macs are either rubbish or dated. The Mouse drivers are always a mess and the video drivers are always outdated.

If you're looking for a solid Windows Laptop, go for a ThinkPad or something built by Levono.
 

Wardenski

macrumors 6502
Jan 22, 2012
464
4
I do not see any reason why Windows 7 would run worse on a Mac than on a PC with the same specs.

I got a 5-10fps FPS boost in some games when I used to use my 8800GT in Windows when I updated the default drivers to the latest ones available from Nvidia. As long as you update your drivers to the latest and greatest all should be good.

I use a Logitech mouse in windows with the drivers provided with the mouse, runs better than it does on the OSX side.

I can't comment on the Apple drivers in Windows for Macbook trackpads etc though since I do not have a laptop.
 

SRLMJ23

Contributor
Original poster
Jul 11, 2008
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Central New York
Well I have an AlienWare Laptop, and a Dell Desktop with 2monitors, so I was just more curious if maybe Windows ran better on a Mac.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
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Well I have an AlienWare Laptop, and a Dell Desktop with 2monitors, so I was just more curious if maybe Windows ran better on a Mac.
Why would Windows be better on a Mac? You put up with some driver bugs using Windows on a Mac under bootcamp, but it's not too bad. I'm just not sure I'd buy one for that purpose. You said better. What problems are you having with your current machines? Also are they older models?
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
17,265
16,955
The Misty Mountains
No, it runs worse than a PC because the trackpad drivers are absolutely terrible and unuseable.

But typically macs are quieter than typical "Dells" and reasonably fast, so in that aspect, it runs as expected.
I disagree that the bootcamp trackpad drivers are unusable. They might not function as well as they do in something like a Dell, but I don't have anything to compare with. I'm using W7 on a 2011 MBP.

As far as overall Windows functionality on a Mac, I only use Windows when I'm forced to. This means mostly I play games on it and sometimes use a Windows based company program. Overall I have no real issues playing games. Most programs seem to run without issue, surfing the net, utilities, playing DVDs, running a variety of .exes, it mostly works. However recently I've had issues with another Window program, but again for this specific circumstance, I have nothing to compare it too. The Windows tech guy I've been working with is not surprised at Windows issues in general. It pays the rent/mortgage. ;)
 
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chrono1081

macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2008
7,455
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Isla Nublar
Windows 7 runs just fine on Mac. No offense but I never see people who claim otherwise able to back up their claims with substantial proof. I've been running Windows on Macs since Leopard, and I have access to a TON of different Windows machines with tons of hardware configurations at work. I see no difference running Windows on a Mac vs a traditional PC except for added stability since some companies *cough* HP *cough* Dell use crap components in their machines.

As for trackpad drivers? They work fine. I'm using Windows on my Air as we speak and I have no problem with the trackpad.

I think most people repeat what they hear not what they experience.
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,075
963
New England
I have used W7 on an MBP as my main work computer for two separate jobs each lasting about a year.

The MBP is a solid hardware platform to run W7 on, but as others have mentioned it is not without minor issues like the trackpad drivers.

For me, the glass trackpads of recent Macs are what make them superb under Mac OS X, but only average under Windows. However, no worse than the built in pointing devices I have had under any "PC" notebook.

So, I'd answer no. W7 does not run better on Macs, but Macs still make solid Windows 7 boxes. Comparable to equally specced PCs.

And, they run OS X out of the box as well.

B
 

kkrull

macrumors regular
Dec 19, 2006
111
0
I have run Windows on two generations of macbook pro and two generations of macbook air notebooks. I find that getting current functional drivers for the hardware is a bit more trouble. Also learning to adapt to the mac method of "right click" takes some time, although no more than switching from a trackpad to an eraser mouse or back for example. If you are not wanting to multiboot OSX on occasion, the biggest reason to buy a mac has been for the hardware. I find that the aluminum Mac notebooks last me three years and still make good hand me downs. I rarely make it 9 months with a plastic HP.

Some of the features on Macs and non-macs are obviously very different. The audio quality on the macbook pro machines is excellent. Firewire and thunderbolt ports are rare on PCs. The magnet attached power supply is unique to apple and because it hasn't changed since released means your adapters work on all your machines. Macbooks were also more progressive about backlit keyboards, SATA, UEFI implementations and expresscard, although their dedication to the last two is arguable.

As a drawback I don't like that mac notebooks use screen dimensions that are less than ideal - many of them are 16:10 rather than 16:9 and most are not exact 720p or 1080p resolutions.
 

tmagman

macrumors 6502
Nov 7, 2010
413
1
Calgary AB
I find my windows 7 install is better on my 2010 MBP than other machines I've used with Windows 7 (my Asus in my signature being a tie honestly). The thing i really notice compared to other machines, is how few processes and the lower idle memory usage the MBP has compared to the PC. On PCs i normally see between 80-100 processes at startup (even when i've removed bloatware and other non-essentials), whereas the MBP is less than 20. Computers like Dells and HPs have so much running that is pretty much brand specific its ridiculous. Sure the MBP rolls some of those processes into the one because of the bootcamp driver (thus lack of individual drivers), but overall the memory usage of this is much less than the cumulative of other systems of the same sort of things. I'd say from my experience, Windows runs better on my mac than most PCs.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,673
1,765
I find my windows 7 install is better on my 2010 MBP than other machines I've used with Windows 7 (my Asus in my signature being a tie honestly). The thing i really notice compared to other machines, is how few processes and the lower idle memory usage the MBP has compared to the PC. On PCs i normally see between 80-100 processes at startup (even when i've removed bloatware and other non-essentials), whereas the MBP is less than 20. Computers like Dells and HPs have so much running that is pretty much brand specific its ridiculous. Sure the MBP rolls some of those processes into the one because of the bootcamp driver (thus lack of individual drivers), but overall the memory usage of this is much less than the cumulative of other systems of the same sort of things. I'd say from my experience, Windows runs better on my mac than most PCs.
Well with a Mac you'd have to buy a retail installation of Windows 7. Either hunt down and get rid of the bloatware or do the same (retail install) on the Windows box, and you'll have a similar experience in that regard. You really shouldn't worry about how many drivers pop up in your task manager. That's just a weird perception thing.
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
8,001
544
Pennsylvania
No. What makes the mac a fantastic Windows machine is that you get a brand new, fresh install, with no bloatware. You can do the same by buying a $300 Dell, wiping it, and re-installing Windows. As an added bonus, you'll have drivers that aren't a million years old and work perfectly.

Having said that, using an iMac to run a finance program under Windows wouldn't give you any problems as you're not worried about the graphics card drivers or using a touchpad.