How useable is Windows on the new Macbook Pro? (+Folidng @ Home +Games)

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Wolfpup, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

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    Sep 7, 2006
    #1
    The new Macbook Pro is one of the laptops I'm currently considering as it more or less meets my needs-except I'll have to add an external Blu Ray drive, but I guess that's okay for watching movies.

    I just want to double check if it runs Windows flawlessly. I've heard there are issues with the track pad under Windows, and I'm also not sure how well the new Nvidia chipset (err...chip) works under Windows.

    Also, does anyone Fold on these? How does it stand up to being pushed at 100% whenever it's plugged in? Same question for gaming...does this seem to hold up okay to having the CPU pegged at 100% all the time?

    EDIT: I suppose I should mention that I plan on using Vista pretty much full time on it (at least for now). I may use OS X for trying to finally burn some shows I've taped, but other than that I'd be in Vista. (At least until OS X supports Blu Ray.)
     
  2. Wolfpup thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #2
    No takers? I guess I'm sort of deciding between the Macbook Pro and Sony's VGN-AW.

    About the same price, about the same hardware.

    Macbook Pro:
    +U.S. company, U.S. tech support that's supposed to be the best in the business
    +includes drivers for Vista and XP. With my own copies of the OSes, should be easy to reinstall when needed, have a second partition for games, etc.
    +Comes with OS X, which might come in handy at some point.
    -Possibly runs worse under Windows with non-Intel chipset
    -no hardware Wifi switch

    Vaio AW:
    +Uses an Intel chipset which should be rock solid (and right now supports more RAM)
    +includes a Blu Ray drive, which sidesteps any possible USB protected path nonesense down the line (and means I don't have to haul around a Blu Ray drive)
    +Better keyboard, bigger screen (might make it usable by itself at home)
    -larger-should fit on my work desk, but will certainly take up more space
    +includes a TV tuner...which isn't really one of my mandatory things, but it'll let me maybe record stuff that overlaps with my Tivo
    +physical wifi on/off switch, so I can be sure the radio is powered down (will basically never use it)
    -Doesn't come with restore discs, or to my knowledge any easy way to do a clean install (although it doesn't sound TOO bloatwared). You can burn your own restore DVDs from it, which supposedly are bootable and will let you reinstall it to the factory state...actually I'm not real clear on this, it may also have the option to reinstall without additional programs, but not sure if it lets you select which programs, as some are actually useful.

    So...I don't know. I guess I'm ruling out this cheap Asus with similar hardware, just because I'm iffy on buying whole systems from them, have heard they come installed with Chinese character sets, etc., not 100% trusting they conform to lead levels, really use an LED backlight, etc.
     
  3. cg165 macrumors regular

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    Jun 24, 2008
    #3
    The MBP is a great machine, but why get it if you don't plan on running OSX most of the time? If you haven't used OSX, it's great (coming from a dos/windows user my whole life). I only use windows for gaming now. If you plan on being in vista most of the time, and you really like that sony then get that. Vista isn't bad, and you can always upgrade it to windows 7 next year when it comes out.

    The trackpad is bad under windows (right clicking at least) and takes 3 fingers to right click. I use "tap to click" in osx/windows which I used to hate on my old laptop, but it's good on this one. If you are running windows I recommend an external mouse for it.
     
  4. Wolfpup thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #4
    No crashes or anything though with the Nvidia chipset? Nothing weird?

    I've been OS X only in the past, and tried again last year, but I just like Windows better. And then when I'd have to reboot to play most games (sort of...) and watch movies, it's just easier to stick in Windows for now. (Plus I *HATE* OS X's font rendering, particularly on my monitor at work.)

    Still, I wouldn't mind having OS X on there, and the hardware and price seem comparable-and even for Windows it has some advantages over the Sony (mostly to do with being able to install a second OS if needed, and being able to do a completely clean install).
     
  5. drichards macrumors 6502a

    drichards

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    Nov 30, 2008
    #5
    The new MBP's display is HDCP-enabled and bluray software is expected shortly, should play it fine under Windows-bootcamp, might work right now under Parallels or VMware. Bluray read-write works fine in leopard, there just isn't playback software yet, for whatever reason. There is a folding@home client that works just fine. Windows works fine on the new MBP, the 9600 card is only supported.

    The Sony you're looking at is great. Its screen is gorgeous (adobe rgb managed) it has everything you're looking for and you're obviously more comfortable with windows than leopard. It has a crappy feeling keyboard, like a poor copy of the mac desktop keyboard, but it is what it is. The Sony is on sale now too.

    Get a Mac because you're ready to get a Mac. Whatever work you do on a windows computer, you can do that on a Mac easier and with less annoyance. For the limited time you actually do need windows, you can run it right inside leopard. My personal opinion, keep the bluray's in the home theatre and use netflix on demand and hulu hd in whatever laptop you want.

    When I got my MBP, I compared it to Sony just the same as you. I had prioritized playing games and using windows-only software that I was comfortable with, like Autocad 2008. I got the MBP because it felt like a higher quality machine and I appreciated that the people at the Apple store took care of me in a fashion that Best Buy never could. They know what they're doing and they actually care about the customer, and they don't get paid on commission. There is no ******** with an Apple.

    If you really feel a need for bluray (I did too, I got over it. I have a home theatre for that.) there are internal options available from fastmac and other companies, and an LG model is supposed to work for significantly less cost. External options too, are alot cheaper, but external stinks on ice.

    Games are as simple as installing bootcamp and windows. Games in leopard aren't always so simple, but there are many many games that work spot on. Not knowing what sort of games you play, I'll just tell you that I play many halflife 2 source based games on my mac, without bootcamp, thru Crossover. Its a Wine based loader, pretty slick. But anyway...

    I hope you enjoy your new computer, whichever you get.
     
  6. Wolfpup thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #6
    Regarding HDCP, I'm worried that USB isn't considered an HDCP protected path or whatever. I've heard really conflicting things...but it sounds like if I don't have Blu Ray built in, future discs may not play on an external drive?

    So there's that, and then just general stability issues under Windows. I keep hearing that this Nvidia chipset isn't as stable as Intel's stuff (and I do like Intel...)

    Sony's AW is kind of huge, which is one of the knocks against it (although I think I could actually use it's screen as my primary display at home). But even the last gen Macbook seemed sort of large when I had it on my desk at work. I kind of think the Sony will seem ginormous if it's actually here!

    I'd be Folding in Windows (at least unless I switched to OS X as my primary OS). I was just wondering if the hardware seemed to hold up okay to being pushed at 100% all the time. Seemed like a couple of generations back (65nm Conroe based) it got really noisy, and I wasn't sure it was really up to being pushed.

    *******The Sony you're looking at is great. Its screen is gorgeous (adobe rgb managed) it has everything you're looking for and you're obviously more comfortable with windows than leopard. It has a crappy feeling keyboard, like a poor copy of the mac desktop keyboard, but it is what it is. The Sony is on sale now too.********

    I actually prefer the AW's keyboard. I went back and forth between the new Macbook Pro and Sony's AW. They LOOK really similar, but for some reason it feels closer to a real keyboard to me. I hate Apple's new desktop keyboards. (I like them less than the new Macbook keyboards for some reason.) I mean I'll still take a real keyboard any day, but the

    *****Get a Mac because you're ready to get a Mac. Whatever work you do on a windows computer, you can do that on a Mac easier and with less annoyance.********

    For me it's the exact opposite. I like some things really well in OS X, but in generally I prefer Windows quite a bit.

    ******My personal opinion, keep the bluray's in the home theatre and use netflix on demand and hulu hd in whatever laptop you want.******

    Won't work for me, though they're neat services! Besides looking a lot better than DVD (let alone streaming services), I don't want to have to have separate sets of discs, etc.

    And that's really cool Half Life 2 runs under that Codeweavers thing! I think I got a free copy (if that was the program that got given away free recently for some promo.
     
  7. PintoZ macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    #7
    Windows runs great on the new MBP.
    I use Vista for gaming and I don't have any problem, once the bootcamp drivers are installed, everything works just great!

    You have to consider that battery life on windows is nothing compared to battery life on Mac.

    I was a Vaio + Vista user, I can just tell you that anything works better on mac, if there's a software you can't use on mac, there's parallels.

    I just switch to bootcamp (vista) for gaming, nothing more.

    But if you plan to get a notebook just for gaming/watching movies... I would not get a notebook, a normal computer is just better for that.
     
  8. Wolfpup thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #8
    Yeah, I wish I could keep doing desktops, but I really need to switch :(

    That's great it works for games though! I mean if it works for games, it should work for anything.

    Does it get loud? Seem like it's straining? (It would probably be similar in a game as to when it's Folding, which I'll be doing whenever it's plugged in.)

    And no crashes in Windows, nothing weird, even with that Nvidia chipset? Darn...I'm a little paranoid about all this. Nvidia chipset, not hardware wifi button, etc...but I wouldn't mind having OS X on there too, and I need 32-bit Windows (the Vaio AWs just ship with 64-bit)...but 32-bit will work find on the Macbook Pro! :)
     
  9. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

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    Jan 23, 2005
    #9
    I've been using Windows on my MacBook for a while now and I think that when I get a new laptop this June, it will be a MacBook Pro.

    I love OS X, but I love Windows a lot more. I think that OS X's features on paper are much better than Windows, but the Office Suite for Windows (particularly OneNote) and Explorer is so much better than Office:mac and Finder. Plus, I game and most of my friends use Xfire, two things the Mac can't handle.

    I find that the trackpad is kind of annoying but some features, like two-finger scrolling, work as advertised and are great. Tap to click in the new revision is also great as mine doesn't have that feature and it would make everything easier. Right clicking is a non-issue - two-finger right clicks, and use a mouse for anything more complicated.

    The only thing I'm worried about is OS X has 4 hours of battery life whereas Windows has 2 on the exact same machine. And the fans seem to go on a lot more in Windows. And the most annoying thing - I heard the backlight on the keys never goes off in Windows, it just goes to really dim.

    Apple has the best customer service and I like how I can run any OS I throw at it on the computer. Plus, if theres any Mac-specific program I want (like iChat AV) I know it's only a reboot away.

    I'd say get the MacBook Pro.
     
  10. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Singapore
    #10
    OP: in regards to folding and other heat-strenuous issues...

    will you be using an external monitor in 'clamshell' mode?? if so, then it wont be that good. the MBP isnt really designed for 100%CPU usages in clamshell mode. it will heat up to 85°C-95°C with the fans on full-blast.

    gaming wise it will be fine, folding wise it will be ok, when i fold i only use my older MBP on 50%, the heat isnt bad at all at that usage.

    under windows the computer will feel a LOT hotter, i am not sure why..the OS just doesnt seem able to control the fans as easily as OSX. (i know fans are controlled by hardware, but it just seems like it).

    besides these small thngs, you should definetely get the MBP. what do you want, a computer that lasts 6 years, or a computer that lasts 2 years?? i know what i would pick..
     
  11. Wolfpup thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #11
    EDIT: This was in response to Dotdotdot, reading the new message now.

    Thanks! See I keep getting confused by all the different things people say. A lot of people say stuff like you that it works fine in Windows only and everything. But then there are people who claim it just doesn't work right, etc. So...oh well. I need to order something! If I finally go through with this I'll just cross my fingers that Apple doesn't release a significantly better 17 or 18.4" model! :D
     
  12. Wolfpup thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #12
    It just occurred to me that I may be repeating stuff I've already said in this thread...so if so, sorry...

    That's good to know it seems to handle heat okay. I'll pretty skeptical about any of these even lasting a year, honestly. Just given how hard the fans seem to have to work, and all the horror stories...but I'll definitely get Apple Care! Hopefully they'll take care of me. If I can use it a few years and pass it on to my mom....

    I do plan on using it full blast all the time, but never in clamshell mode. I'd be using an external monitor at work, and either just shut off the internal or leave it as a secondary monitor. I've always been leary of operating a notebook closed, given heat dissipation plus just the possibility of the screen getting wrecked.

    I don't know...I do worry more just because like on this one Dell notebook I was borrowing, Folding had no visible effect. I left that sucker Folding for several days straight, and it never altered the fans, never did anything unexpected, just seemed like a desktop, how it's irrelevant basically. But the Macbook Pro I played with last year, in both OS X and Windows had to go from basically dead silent to super loud when running the CPUs at full blast from either Folding or running a game, and I will be running it that way the entire time I use the computer (hopefully for years). So...it just made me nervous. Plus the lack of hardware wifi control also makes me nervous in Windows at least.

    But...I'll be getting a second drive, and if something goes wrong, I'll just swap in the original drive and ship it off to Apple, and hope for the best, I guess.

    I do wonder too...the shorter run time also makes me think maybe Wifi doesn't get shut off in Windows ever. Like "off" just has Windows ignoring it, but the hardware never powers down. I'll hardly ever use Wifi so I'd really like to get it powered completely off :-/
     
  13. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    #13
    OS X actually renders font. Windows so-called font render is garbage. Again, chill. The reason you hear all those horror stories is because only people with defects post here. The ones that have no defects don't go around bragging about it. Say Apple sold 100K MBP units. 100 people have problems and/or defects. Only those 100 people will bother posting on forums like this one. Not many other people without defects will post about how they got a perfect Mac.

    You can permanently disable features using the Device Manager and right-click Disable. Remember, that is only through Windows and not OS X. I wish you Happy Holidays!
     
  14. Wolfpup thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #14
    Well, I personally can't stand OS X's font rendering, and I know I'm not alone as there are a lot of complaints out there when I was searching in disbelief about it. That alone prevents me from using it as a main OS.

    Disabling stuff in device manager doesn't mean the hardware is actually turned off though, which was kind of one of my concerns about Wifi.
     
  15. Mackan macrumors 65816

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    Sep 16, 2007
    #15
    Agree about the font rendering in OS X. Even XP's font rendering with the old ClearType technique is much better for my eyes. I guess one will get used to it after a longer time, though.

    I did some tests, and if I for example disable BlueTooth in the device manager, the power consumption of the machine decreased. Probably the same if you disable wifi. However, the notebook will still draw around twice as much power on battery as in OS X, for some undocumented and very unclear reason.
     
  16. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    #16
    Not for some "undocumented and very unclear reason". OS X has a built-in power management tool. XP by itself does not; not even if you install the BC drivers.
     
  17. Wolfpup thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #17
    Oh cool, so Blutooth of in Windows was actually drawing less power...that's promising! I'd assume Wifi would be the same.
     
  18. neonblue2 macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    I'm not really sure but I reckon there is a utility app out there that can turn off OS X's font smoothing. At the very least it allows you to set minimum font to be smoothed to 144pt.
     
  19. Wolfpup thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #19
    Yeah, I was able to get it disabled, but then that looks bad too. I like Window's "standard" font anti aliasing which looks like there's no anti aliasing at all...unless you switch it off. But I mean like it's just subtle and doesn't look all blurry.

    There are some articles out there about the differences, but the OS X way kind of hurts my eyes.
     
  20. Mackan macrumors 65816

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    Sep 16, 2007
    #20
    Check out my other thread:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=612255

    Other PC notebooks can have excellent power management under Windows and Linux. But for Apple's notebooks, it's impossible. I am curious about the real reason for that, since it seems kept in the dark.
     
  21. Wolfpup thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #21
    Well, as long as Wifi and Bluetooth are actually getting powered down, I don't really care all the much. I'll just use it plugged in all the time, so...
     
  22. neonblue2 macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Sounds like OS X keeps sub-pixel rendering on at all times.

    Personally the way Windows renders it's fonts feels like it's trying to poke my eyes out. They're so sharp. But I have been using Macs for 13 years, one year greater than Windows.

    Actually, have you tried changing the gamma from the default 1.8 to the standard 2.2 for PCs?
     
  23. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #23
    yes i agree, i cant stand the font rendering on a PC!
     

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