Macbook Pro or rMBP for Work (Bootcamp)

Bmf79

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 21, 2011
32
5
Hello all. My employer has decided that I need to have a laptop to work remotely. I have the option of choosing any laptop I wish for the most part and it will be paid for by the company and I will retain ownership if I leave. As such, I have decided to get a MBP.

The programs I need for work are only Windows based so I have to use Bootcamp, no choice. I have read quite a bit on this site and others regarding bootcamp and it's installation, use and effect on the MBP.

What I need help with is deciding which one to get. My setup will include hardline to the router and an hdmi to the hdtv. I can't seem to confirm that the thunderbolt to ethernet adapter works in Windows via bootcamp and that the hdmi will work as well. I have read so many articles regarding the rMBP and bootcamp but none seem to confirm. Any information the experts could provide would be great.

My stake in it is that it's mine to use personally as well, so I want the best that I can get. The only caveat is that it must work via bootcamp so I can RDP into my work desktop PC running windows 7. Thank you all in advance for your help.
 

geoffreak

macrumors 68020
Feb 8, 2008
2,193
2
What kind of Windows applications are you running? The current generation of (r)MBP devices are more than powerful enough to virtualize Windows and most applications without breaking a sweat (provided you have enough memory).

If you haven't looked into virtualization, look into VMWare Fusion and Parallels Desktop for Mac. I'm a VMWare Fusion user myself and even my 4.5 year old MBP can handle virtualization of Windows 7 and run most applications at or near native speeds.

PS: I've run RDP for OS X and it works great.
 

ixodes

macrumors 601
Jan 11, 2012
4,430
2
Pacific Coast, USA
I'm a VMWare Fusion user myself and even my 4.5 year old MBP can handle virtualization of Windows 7 and run most applications at or near native speeds.

PS: I've run RDP for OS X and it works great.
I also use VMware Fusion and RDP for OS X, it's a very good, solid, stable solution. I've got a lot of time on mine, no problems. A conventional MBP or a retina MBP will be just fine for you. I would be sure to have 8GB ram.
 

AzN1337c0d3r

macrumors 6502
Sep 13, 2010
448
1
I'd shy away from bootcamp'd Macbook Pro for professional work, unless your laptop actually involves dealing with Mac clients.

Things I've discovered that are annoying with my Macbook Pro:

1. The lack of BIOS/EFI options.
2. You cannot USB boot anything but Mac OS X.
3. The fact that I cannot access the integrated GPU on any OS other than Mac OS X. That means no Quick Sync. Come on Apple, NVIDIA released Optimus back in early 2010!
4. The NVIDIA drivers are specific to this Apple model and you cannot use the ones you can download from NVIDIA.
5. You cannot connect at 300 or 450 Mbps over wifi in the 2.4 GHz band.

There's several other gripes I have with the system, but these are the main ones.
 

Bmf79

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 21, 2011
32
5
I'd shy away from bootcamp'd Macbook Pro for professional work, unless your laptop actually involves dealing with Mac clients.

Things I've discovered that are annoying with my Macbook Pro:

1. The lack of BIOS/EFI options.
2. You cannot USB boot anything but Mac OS X.
3. The fact that I cannot access the integrated GPU on any OS other than Mac OS X. That means no Quick Sync. Come on Apple, NVIDIA released Optimus back in early 2010!
4. The NVIDIA drivers are specific to this Apple model and you cannot use the ones you can download from NVIDIA.
5. You cannot connect at 300 or 450 Mbps over wifi in the 2.4 GHz band.

There's several other gripes I have with the system, but these are the main ones.
1. I'm not sure why you would need it for simple usage of windows programs.
2. I personally will not be booting from usb.
3. While the loss of the integrated GPU stinks, the other items are nice perks but I'm ok without them.
4. That's not a problem.
5. I thought you need to be on the 5ghz band to get 300/450Mbps.

I would love to hear from some folks using their MBP's for this purpose. I have a dedicated desktop PC but would love to utilize both systems. I would rather have an apple laptop using bootcamp than an additional PC laptop laying around.
 

AzN1337c0d3r

macrumors 6502
Sep 13, 2010
448
1
1. I'm not sure why you would need it for simple usage of windows programs.
Although Apple did enable VT-x in their EFI, if they hadn't and you did not have a BIOS, you would not be able to run certain VMs for example. Also this is conjecture, but I believe that there is something with Apple's implementation of the boot process that prevents my rMBP from booting Windows from an external Thunderbolt drive.

2. I personally will not be booting from usb.
I dont know what your use-case is, but I find that this feature is useful if I run have to run a live USB (running a partition editor for example).


4. That's not a problem.
This maybe a bigger problem than you think. For example, Diablo 3 will give a warning about unsupported driver. While it runs fine, there maybe future games or 3D productivity applications that require a drive update to work properly and you'll be stuck until Apple releases an official package.

5. I thought you need to be on the 5ghz band to get 300/450Mbps.
Only with Apple products. There is an arbitrary Apple policy that I'm too lazy to dig up now that 300/450 causes too much crowding on the 2.4 GHz channel. No other vendor restricts their product as such.

I would love to hear from some folks using their MBP's for this purpose. I have a dedicated desktop PC but would love to utilize both systems. I would rather have an apple laptop using bootcamp than an additional PC laptop laying around.
I spend 50% of my time booted into Windows to use Visual Studio 2010. If any other notebook had a Retina display, I would have bought that one in a heartbeat.

I just noticed I missed answering your question wrt HDMI and Ethernet under Bootcamp. The Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter will work after you install the Bootcamp drivers and HDMI apparently works up to 2560x1440 in Bootcamp (although 2560x1600 should be supported too)
 

stevelam

macrumors 65816
Nov 4, 2010
1,215
3
sorry but i'd never get the RMBP if i mainly had to run windows. even if you did go the parallels/VM route, windows looks awful in it due to the retina display.
 

AzN1337c0d3r

macrumors 6502
Sep 13, 2010
448
1
sorry but i'd never get the RMBP if i mainly had to run windows. even if you did go the parallels/VM route, windows looks awful in it due to the retina display.
It looks ok to me, but then again I have pretty much perfect eyesight. 20/15 in both eyes according to my last optometrist visit.
 

Bmf79

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 21, 2011
32
5
Windows would only be run for me through the hdtv @ 1920x1080 in either MBP. I haven't heard much with regard to the cMBP from members.
 
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AZREOSpecialist

macrumors 68020
Mar 15, 2009
2,117
925
Bootcamp is unnecessary for what you are trying to do. A virtualized solution such as Parallels will work much better for you. This will also allow you to run your Windows programs right along side your Mac programs, cut and paste between them, etc. It's a very elegant solution that works great except for gaming.

I, too, have the need to run Windows on my Mac. I use the Mac for 90% of my work - email, photo and video editing, etc. The rest of the time I use Windows under Parallels to access certain web sites and web applications that will only work under Windows Internet Explorer.

This is a "best of both worlds" solution that doesn't require you to reboot your machine into a different OS. You have both right there on your desktop together.
 

Bmf79

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 21, 2011
32
5
interesting you say that. A few months ago I purchased a 13" MBP for my wife and she loves it. We also purchased MS Office 2011 for Mac. The RDP for that suite would not connect to my work desktop. My IT manager sent me a clickable RDP file with all info that brings up my work desktop and when in windows I can click on it, login and I'm there. He spent several hours with my trying to connect via the office RDP and it wouldn't connect. That is why I'm concerned about getting the RDP to work via a virtualized windows.

I purchased the MBP and just received it but I think I would love to have the rMBP from a personal standpoint. I just have to KNOW it works for my job or I'm screwed.

Also, the MBP screen hinge on the one received seems quite a bit more loose than my wifes and it's about 6 months old. If I hold it perpendicular to the ground it almost closes.
 
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AZREOSpecialist

macrumors 68020
Mar 15, 2009
2,117
925
interesting you say that. A few months ago I purchased a 13" MBP for my wife and she loves it. We also purchased MS Office 2011 for Mac. The RDP for that suite would not connect to my work desktop. My IT manager sent me a clickable RDP file with all info that brings up my work desktop and when in windows I can click on it, login and I'm there. He spent several hours with my trying to connect via the office RDP and it wouldn't connect. That is why I'm concerned about getting the RDP to work via a virtualized windows.

I purchased the MBP and just received it but I think I would love to have the rMBP from a personal standpoint. I just have to KNOW it works for my job or I'm screwed.
I use remote desktop as well, but in a different way than you probably. I have a Mac Pro at work which runs Windows in a Parallels virtualized environment. From home, I can start a VPN tunnel to work and remote desktop into my Mac Pro at the office. Once there, I launch Parallels/Windows on my work Mac and access Windows that way on the handful of occasions I need Windows from home. I don't think this is what you need, but I thought I'd share in case this functionality was useful to you.

I don't have any personal experience with a Windows-to-Windows RDP connection, however I can't think of a reason as to why it wouldn't work in Parallels. Failing that, it should definitely work in Bootcamp.

Apple's laptops come with a 14-day return window. If you go to the Parallels web site, you can download a trial version. You will still need an authentic Windows installation CD/DVD so you can actually install Windows - Parallels is just the virtualization software, it doesn't actually come with Windows pre-installed.

My suggestion would be to try Parallels and see if that works for your needs. If it doesn't, try doing the same thing in Bootcamp. Do all of this within your 14-day trial period. You can try Parallels for free and Bootcamp is built-in and doesn't cost you anything except obtaining a Windows installation disk. I would also recommend the Retina MacBook Pro - it's simply stunning. And I'm not just talking about the display! :)
 

Bmf79

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 21, 2011
32
5
Nice. I really appreciate all of the help from everyone. I'm definitely leaning toward the rMBP. I just didn't want to have additional hiccups due to the Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter and the HDMI out with regard to work.

I have to return the MBP I'm on now anyway b/c the hinge is loose and I'm not scheduling a genius appt for a MBP that I've had for less than 24 hours.
 

fryrice

macrumors member
Apr 20, 2012
49
10
Boston, MA
im running VMware fusion with Windows 7 loaded on and i installed my works VPN software on it. Then i just RDP to the servers/desktop at work.

The best thing is while i set the NIC to be bridged i can still do other things on the MAC side like browse websites that is blocked for work. :D
 

Bmf79

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 21, 2011
32
5
Sounds interesting although I have no idea how to do it or if I would have access. Mine use is a straight RDP, no VPN.
 

AZREOSpecialist

macrumors 68020
Mar 15, 2009
2,117
925
Sounds interesting although I have no idea how to do it or if I would have access. Mine use is a straight RDP, no VPN.
A VPN is just an added level of security, however if you have the proper ports forwarded in your router you should be able to RDP to an IP address or domain without needing to establish a VPN tunnel. I use a VPN because it simplifies things - everything just works.
 

Bmf79

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 21, 2011
32
5
Poor rMBP would mostly be in clamshell mode unless using for personal use. For work it would mostly be connected to HDTV @ 1080p and sometimes be used in the field for work. Other than that, always connected to hdmi at my house. Really want it but hard to justify the extra cost to a degree if it's mostly closed.

I love the additional thinness of the unit, the ssd and the built in HDMI.

Does anyone know if InCase will be making a case similar to those for the cMBP for the rMBP. I checked their site and couldn't find any info. Specifically I'm talking about the plastic clip on cases to the unibody.
 

gentlefury

macrumors 68030
Jul 21, 2011
2,848
0
Los Angeles, CA
1. The lack of BIOS/EFI options.
Ummm, welcome to the future of computers! Hope you aren't planning on using Windows 8!

2. You cannot USB boot anything but Mac OS X.
And you would do this why? USB3 is the only one that comes close to fast enough to doing this...but not stable enough

3. The fact that I cannot access the integrated GPU on any OS other than Mac OS X. That means no Quick Sync. Come on Apple, NVIDIA released Optimus back in early 2010!
Why would you need to use the integrated gpu for anything in windows?

4. The NVIDIA drivers are specific to this Apple model and you cannot use the ones you can download from NVIDIA.
Not true, a simple ini edit allows you to install the latest drivers. I am running 304.79 on my rMBP

5. You cannot connect at 300 or 450 Mbps over wifi in the 2.4 GHz band.
good thing you can get a thunderbolt to ethernet adapter then.
 

AzN1337c0d3r

macrumors 6502
Sep 13, 2010
448
1
Ummm, welcome to the future of computers! Hope you aren't planning on using Windows 8!
Metro is a piece of crap, I'm not going to use Windows 8. Also, I have a UEFI computer thank you very much They have a setup menu similar to the traditional BIOS options, unlike a restricted system like the Macs. But I'm sure a Mac fanboy like yourself wouldnt know that.

And you would do this why? USB3 is the only one that comes close to fast enough to doing this...but not stable enough
I didnt say to boot for long-term use did I? It is very helpful to boot any of the live linux distros if you want to do something that Windows/OSX doesn't offer. Like gparted.


Why would you need to use the integrated gpu for anything in windows?
Uhh I dont know, maybe to make my battery last longer while I'm programming away in Visual Studio?

Also, Quick Sync


Not true, a simple ini edit allows you to install the latest drivers. I am running 304.79 on my rMBP.
There's a reason why the new drivers are specific to the Macbook Pro. Apple specifically asked NVIDIA to modify their hardware. It may work fine for what you do, but it hasn't been tested against all other use-cases.

good thing you can get a thunderbolt to ethernet adapter then.
That's not the point. I'm not always in a place where I have access to wire. Nor do I want to carry an ethernet dongle around.

Thanks for playing though.

----------

Tried that. Either it doesn't like my USB stick or the new EFI firmware available in rMBP doesn't work with it.
 
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Bmf79

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 21, 2011
32
5
So which is more reliable from a Bootcamp standpoint the cMBP or the rMBP or are they equal? Obviously I know the retina is newer and some of the drivers are different but I need it to work.
 

geoffreak

macrumors 68020
Feb 8, 2008
2,193
2
If your #1 priority is having it work, you shouldn't go with the rMBP. Windows and most other software have yet to be updated to support the device, which may cause issues (especially with Windows). While these sorts of issues should resolve over time, right now there could still be problems, so keep that in mind.
 

AZREOSpecialist

macrumors 68020
Mar 15, 2009
2,117
925
If your #1 priority is having it work, you shouldn't go with the rMBP. Windows and most other software have yet to be updated to support the device, which may cause issues (especially with Windows). While these sorts of issues should resolve over time, right now there could still be problems, so keep that in mind.
What is your evidence for this?