MBP 13.3 Ultimate Win7 Notebook

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by noespam, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. noespam macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2008
    I'm probably one of the few people who buy Macbooks to run Windows. A few reasons why: better window management (resize from any border, use keyboard to move windows, resize windows, menus stay with application on multiple monitors, min/max/close more consistent ...)

    I decided I wanted something more portable than my MBP 17" so I purchased the MBP 13.3 only to have secound thoughts after reading its limited SATA I interface coupled with the glossy screen. The notebook sat on my hutch for 3 days. I opted for the upgraded 2.53 model. It had more memory, slightly larger hard disk and a bump in CPU.

    I finally opened it. I quickly installed Windows 7 64-bit and it went without a hitch. Win 7 is gorgeous on this thing. Fonts are crystal clear. (i don't like OSX's font rendering). Here are the experience index scores:

    Process: 6.2
    Memory: 5.9
    Graphics: 5.1
    Gaming Graphics: 4.2
    Hard Disk!: 5.8

    This is the 5400 RPM stock drive and it gets a 5.8! I would not worry too much about the SATA I interface.

    As a reference, my overclocked quad-core 3.0 Ghz Q6600, Seagate 1.5 TB 7200RPM, 9600GTX+:

    Processor: 7.3
    Memory: 7.3
    Graphics: 6.1
    Gaming Graphics: 6.1
    Primary Hard Disk: 5.9

    General impressions.

    Screen. I hate glossy screens, but this changed my perception. The colors are beautiful and blacks are blacks. It's almost as good as my high end NEC IPS panel. 9/10

    The keyboard feels looser than my thin aluminum Apple desktop keyboards. Not sure why. The delete (backspace) key feels looser than other keys. Since the keyboard is so important to me, I give it a 8/10.

    Warmth. It feels warmer than my old MBP 17". That could be a good thing since aluminum dissipates heat quicker. 8.5/10

    Silence is golden :) 10/10

    Performance. Look at the numbers above. This is no slouch and Flash CS3 and Visual Studio 2008 are fairly speedy even on this slow drive. 10/10

    Value. I know I can better PC components, but it would not look this good. You get what you pay for. 9/10

    Aesthetics. Do I need to say anything. It's Macbook Pro with Windows 7! 11/10

    If you want the best portable Win7 machine, forget the Dells, HPs, etc. This is the machine to get!
  2. y2flyy macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Great Thread!
    I was wondering if anyone else felt the same way. I purchased my first MacBook Pro last weekend with the full intent on installing and using Windows 7 full-time. I figured it was crazy but said what the hell

    HOWEVER after using Leopard for a couple of days....I am IN LOVE!

    I cannot believe I even considered using any versions of windows over using leopard.

    I had used Leopard for awhile during my hackintosh days (I can admit it now only after completing a hackintosh autonomous program, sad I know lol)
    Anyways I enjoyed Leopard then....I liked it way way better than Windows Vista. But after running Windows 7 since Beta, I loved it too much....after wanting to buy a MAC I didn't think I could give up Windows7.

    But like I said now using a real Mac, Leopard is so much better than Windows 7 , it is astonishing to me how I could have possibly used any other OS before....
    My point is give Leopard a week and I doubt you even remember how to spell Windows 7....Leopard is THAT good!

    Windows 7 is Jennifer Aniston
    Apple Leopard is Angelina Jolie AND Halle Berry!
    No comparison....
  3. watergun macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2007
    LOL. Yes for the OS and No for the actress. I honestly like Jennifer Aniston better than Angelina Jolie :D
  4. JamesGorman macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008

    First off, I'd like to say that windows 7 ran amazing on my macbook(see sig), but after a cpl weeks I removed it, because I cant stand windows. Prior to the install of Windows 7, i had just converted to mac by about 7 months. I never thought id use windows again, but for some reason I decided to give windows 7 a shot. Although it ran good, and I believe it is an improvement over vista, I just cant see myself going back. I used to hate mac with a passion for some odd reason, but since I converted, there's no way in hell that ill be back on a windows OS.
  5. Feng Shui macrumors regular

    Apr 9, 2008
    MBP + Snow Leopard >> MBP + Windoze 7
    Snow Leopard >> Windoze 7

    MBP + Leopard > MBP + Windoze 7
    Leopard > Windoze 7

    For you math nerds out there :p
  6. gødspeed macrumors regular


    Jun 11, 2009
  7. buckeye17 macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Does it get too hot? Also, does the trackpad work well?

    I like Windows more than I do OSX, but I can't find any Windows-based laptops with as good a screen as the MBP 13 in that size and price.
  8. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

    Jan 8, 2009
    I actually thought of using my whitebook for a windows machine. But I miss the freaking ALT key where it's supposed to be and can't get my big-assed thumb to move that far over to hit the mac equivalent with comfort.

    Doesn't matter... like others I've gotten so used to OSX I'm staying with it.
  9. zsnow macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2009
    After apple fix the stupid sata issue. it will be really a ultimate machine.
  10. noespam thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2008
    No, not hot at all. Lukewarm at best, but I do feel it under my left palm. This is the notebook to get in this size factor. You'll end up paying the same or more to get this kind of quality and components.

    I understand everyone's fondness for OSX, but I've been using Windows for far too long. I use OSX at work. Both OS's have their pluses and minuses. I love OSX for the Unix shell when I do ruby development, but for other things I just find Windows more agreeable. OSX is very single document interface oriented. I like that most modern Win apps have MDI or tabbed interfaces. Just easier to manage windows. I'm a heavy multitasker and too many times I"m fighting the floating documents of OSX apps or wasting time moving windows just to resize them.

    In any case, I'm not saying Windows 7 is neither better nor worse. I wish Win 7 had stacks in the 'superbar', spotlight, adium, things, textmate and a real unix shell ...
  11. buckeye17 macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Cool, thanks for the info. The MBP 13 is superior in hardware for sure, I was just holding back because I like Windows 7 better :).

    Can you tell me if the trackpad is glitchy though?
  12. noespam thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2008
    I haven't noticed it getting in the way. I'll reserve judgement for a couple of days until I get used to it. It tracks well, the only issue so far is getting rightclick working consistently on the superbar (usig two fingers with click). It's just me I think.
  13. noespam thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2008
    I found a 'glitch' in trackpad usage. If you prefer tapping and enable dragging, the pointer pauses 1/3 of a second before a window/dialog can be dragged. Tapping works. Click and drag works. The cursor and pointer behaves when typing.

    Brightness keys do not work nor do the brightness settings inside the bootcamp control panel. Contrast keys are disabled. Seems stuck at full brightness which quickly drains a battery. This could be a huge issue considering I bought this for portability. I hope it is user error or an updated driver exists somewhere.

    Speaker volume is barely audible. I use headphones anyway which is plenty loud.

    I'm using Win 7 RC 64-bit.
  14. bugout macrumors 6502a

    May 11, 2008
    is everything!
    Odd, i'm using build 7231 and everything works , brightness, contrast control panel settings.. The only issue I have is the trackpad is super sensitive and makes it practically unusable. Also, no multi-finger isn't enabled which keeps bringing me back to OS X. I've really grown accustomed to the 3 finger swipe for forward and back in firefox. Its just not available yet in windows.
  15. noespam thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2008
    I'm on build 7100, maybe the newer builds are more compatible with the bootcamp driver set. The brightness visual indicator appears but has no effect when changed. I have no issues with the trackpad other than the dragging.

    Did you download/update any drivers manually? I installed directly from the Apple DVD. Are you also running 64-bit?
  16. aleksandra. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2008
    Warsaw, Poland
    I have Windows 7 RC on my MacBook Air and brightness keys work. Keyboard backlighting regulation keys do as well, but even at lowest possible settings it seems more sensitive than under OS X (it's illuminated when I don't really need it). However during login screen is still set at full brightness. I remember it was so all the time at first, but I don't know if it was the drivers from DVD or update via BootCamp that helped.

    Windows 7, when idle, uses less RAM than OS X and has less processes running. It's a pity it uses more CPU and keeps computer 10-15° C hotter. I suppose it's because of this that battery life is poor... even if you can regulate all settings, all tests I've seen show under Vista it's about 20% less. At least there's two-finger scroll that works properly.
  17. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    Nice thread. I much prefer OS X's font rendering, menu handling etc. but I understand we can't all be pleased with the same thing. You made an excellent purchase, I only hope that you will pay the $9.95 upgrade fee for Snow Leopard and give it a test.

    Many people wrongly assume that people only buy Macs because of OS X, yet Apple's hardware sales and OS X userbase do not match. Apple's hardware can stand on its own.
  18. unagimiyagi macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2009
    This is why I sold my 15" unibody. The keyboard is very important to me as well and they are very cheap feeling. Some keys are great, but my space bar was quite loose. It just made the experience poor. There is some variation in the quality of the keyboards, b/c I saw some macbook airs that were nice. The Sony keyboards are how it's done, but the classic mbp that I'm typing on now is just much, much more satisfying.
  19. drake macrumors 6502a


    Jul 5, 2005
    Glad you printed that. My year and a half Acer Aspire 5100 (paid $340 for it at the time) does nearly that. Makes me feel good about my purchase. :p
  20. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    Function keys should work. Using 64-bit 7 as well with no problems. Everything should work fine off the installation DVD but you would want to update the drivers for the 9400M to 64-bit drivers as well as for the audio drivers from the nVidia and RealTek sites respectively.

    (NOTE: Windows 7 64-bit is flawless with my MacBook Pro so results might differ, though I don't see why...)
  21. noespam thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2008

    Updated drivers for Nvidia and Realtek fixed the issues with brightness not working and low volume through the speakers :)

    One thing that I have not been impressed with is the battery life. I have yet to get over 3 hours on this battery.That's nowhere near the claimed 7 or so hours.
  22. mikethebigo macrumors 68000

    May 25, 2009
    I installed the latest realtek drivers and was still not able to get decent speaker volume. Also, the digital audio out infrared thing is always on.
  23. noespam thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2008
    I wouldn't call it decent neither. It was barely audible before, at least now I can hear it. The headphones are the way to go.
  24. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    You have a problem with the driver (conflict?). I have no problem with volume in 7, it's the same with OS X. As for battery life, I'm definitely surprised you haven't been able to get more than 2 hours. My MacBook Pro won't last more than 2 hours. With the new battery, I'm not expecting it to run close to advertised life since battery life isn't good to begin with in Windows (due to lack of proper/optimized driver support) but surely it should run longer than what you're experiencing.
  25. phrozen209 macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2009
    Waterford; Turlock, CA
    I'm having a weird problem with Win7 and the built-in microphone; In the Sound properties in Windows, the microphone is detected and I can see the green bar move as I make noise, but in Skype, it does not work at all. It shows up as a microphone device, but the green bar doesn't move and the test call doesn't pick up anything. Any help?

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