Serious Boot Camp usage

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by beneventi, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. beneventi macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2006
    Dear Forum users, I'm writing to you because I would like to switch to the Apple + Intel world from the PPC World. My problem is that I am an IT Manager and Developer in both Apple and Windows worlds. I am forced to use programs and languages that force me to work under Windows for development (Microsoft SQL Server + Visual Studio .Net 2005).

    Up to now I am forced to carry two laptops, a Mac and a PC, when I travel. Now, since Boot Camp has been relesed I've started thinking about buying a MacBook or a MacBook Pro with a lot of hard drive and ram to enjoy dual boot and only one computer in my bag. I know that I should not use unsupported hardware + beta version software in a production environment but I am a backup maniac. Moreover, it is part of my work to test new software that may be adopted in the company and so I am used to reinstall my PC often to wipe out incompatibilities that occur. But before I purchase a new Mac I would like to share my questions with you. Here we go:

    In a "production environment" (as described before) as I need, can I trust Boot Camp and dual boot to work seriously without Windows XP hanging because of Apple hardware or Apple drivers for XP (of course XP will keep crashing because of Microsoft problems...)? I mean, has Boot Camp reached an acceptable level of stability?

    When booting in XP can I work with the laptop lid closed and an external display + keyboard + mouse? When I am in office I would like to have a bigger display then the one offered with a MacBook. Of course, when booting in OS X there are no problems but I need to be certain about that even when booting windows.

    As far as the noise is regarded, which is the MacBook noise level when used with normal operations? I've read of complaints about that.

    Has anyone of you had experience in usage of IntelliJ IDEA 5.1 under and Intel Core Duo that powers the new MacBooks. This is a pure Java application I use a lot and under my 1.5 GHz PowerBook is very slow.

    Thank you so much for your suggestions.

  2. blackout8 macrumors member

    May 24, 2006

    So i'm no expert, but i'd figure that i'd get the ball rolling here for ya.
    DISCLAIMER: Seriously, i'm not an expert!

    1. Bootcamp is only used to install windows, once it's there it's there, and as far aw the windows os 'knows' it could be running on a dell etc. So you should be fine. It IS still a BETA version tho, so if thats really important you could wait untill a true version is released i.e. with leopard. Anyone please correct me :eek:

    2. I believe so, but I don't have my MacBook yet so I couldn't tell you for sure.

    3. All of the MacBook's that I have seen / used since the release (5) have had exactly zero problems with heat and/or noise. It seems to me that these are non-issues and it really depends on the user's opinnion rather than the computer that you get (albeit with some faulty exceptions).

    4. Sorry, all I could do is speculate here, but i can say for certain that it will run faster.

    Sorry i'm not more help

  3. yellowmunky macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2006
    I am in a similar situation to the OP!

    "1. In a "production environment" (as described before) as I need, can I trust Boot Camp and dual boot to work seriously without Windows XP hanging because of Apple hardware or Apple drivers for XP (of course XP will keep crashing because of Microsoft problems...)? I mean, has Boot Camp reached an acceptable level of stability?"

    I am also interested in the answers given to the above question

  4. treblah macrumors 65816


    Oct 28, 2003
    1. The only 2 problems I've ever experienced with my MBP and Windows is what I believe to be X1600 driver issue where every 4-5 boots the video signal stops when going from the 256 color 'Windows loading' screen to the full resolution/color 'select user' screen. A hard reboot always fixes it though. And the 'close the lid and go to standby' power management is very very flakey with the provided Intel drivers. There is a discussion at that has newer drivers that fixed the problem for a lot of folks.

    2. No idea, sorry.

    3. I only have a MBP but Windows is actually perfect sound wise compared to OSX. I usually have the whine that is stopped by running PhotoBooth in OSX but completely silent in Windows. The fans do seem to turn on quicker under Windows but that could be attributed to me mostly playing 3D games.

    4. Sorry again.
  5. 2ndPath macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2006
    I used a MacBook Pro on Windows and with the lid closed it did not wake up from sleep. And when closing the lid it would go to sleep. However it was possible to use only the external screen as long as the lid was not closed (but the internal display was not used).
  6. skipsandwichdx macrumors regular

    May 23, 2006
    I had a few stutters/lockups the first few times booting into Windows, but it seems to be working fine now- better than my PC desktop.
  7. ilkevinli macrumors 6502


    Apr 8, 2006
    The program Bootcamp is ONLY used to partition the hard drive and make the driver CD. Thats it. The firmware is what emulated the BIOS and allows you to boot from a CD. You will not have any problems using Windows on a MAC.
  8. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Our developers love the heck out of VMWare. It lets them run multiple OSs at the same time, in a confined environment, without having to dual-boot.

    If you haven't read about "Parallels Workstation" for OS X, you might consider it. You could run XP in an OS X window. The only performance hit is when accelerated graphics is required. Otherwise XP (in Parallels) benchmarks as fast -- sometimes a wee bit faster -- than XP via "Boot Camp".

    With Parallels, your XP env. would be contained in one OS X file, which makes it easy to backup. Our developers here installed XP once, backed up that file, so now anytime they need to "start fresh", they just copy that one file back over into Parallels. Takes like 2-3 minutes to get a freshly installed XP vs. 30-45 to do the setup manually, do the service pack/critical updates, reinstall the development tools, etc. They love it.

    Parallels also does a great job of running XP "full-screen". The transition effect that it shows when it flips from OS X to full-screen XP (and vice-versa) is really cool. When you're full-screen in XP, it's very hard to tell that you're not actually dual-booted, other than the fact that if you hit CMD-H, it hides Parallels and you're instantly back to your OS X desktop. I've had no problems using my MacBook with the lid closed, hooked up to the monitor, with both OS X and XP running.

    Virtualization is hit or miss for some developers, depending on what they're doing. Just thought I'd mention Parallels if you weren't familiar with it. :)
  9. Abulia macrumors 68000


    Jun 22, 2004
    Kushiel's Scion
    I've not had any problems running XP on my MB or drive issues. My MB will even go into sleep mode and wake up just fine. I've never had the video problem mentioned above; sounds like its limited to the MBP.

    In short, aside from iSight not working (yet), my MB behaves just like any other Windows laptop I've ever used. It's really pretty amazing. Sure, dual booting could be a pain, but I don't do it that often and its the perfect solution for me. You might want to look into virtualization.

    Not sure about the clamshell mode, though.

    I think the noise problems are overstated, however. The machine only gets noisy if you place the unit under a sustained, FULL load, for a period of time. The fans can get loud, but no more so than any other laptop I own. In 90%+ of the time the machine is whisper quiet.

    I did my Masters thesis Monday in front of the TV, on battery power, and got over 4 hours out of the unit. I've never had a laptop with that kind of stamina! :eek: Unit was midly warm.
  10. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    I haven't run IntelliJ IDEA, (I've just downloaded and I'll try it out - I'll update with my impressions) but I have used NetBeans. NetBeans flies on the Intel Macs compared to PPC Macs and appears to be at least as fast as running under Windows (I would say faster). The Intel Mac Java implementation has improved enormously and appears to be 3-4x faster at compiling and running than with PPC.

    As a comparison, doing a simple compile on my 17" iMac (which taxes one only of the 1.83GHz CPU cores) it is 50% faster than compiling on my 2.26GHz Pentium-M laptop in Windows (due to the spyware and virus checkers I'm required to run by my work's IT dept), and is the same speed as compiling on the same laptop in Linux. I haven't done any runtime benchmarking, mainly because all my Java code is to run in Linux.

    Edit: IntelliJ seems ok, from my first impressions I prefer Eclipse or NetBeans, but it isn't painfully slow. I don't have anything to compare with though. Compilation is fast though.

    Edit2: And I agree with aristobrat ... check out Parallels. It will be GA before Boot Camp comes out of Beta so will have be supported. If you're not playing games, it's more than good enough.
  11. beneventi thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2006
    First of all, as the starter of this thread, I would like to thank all of you for your answers and suggestions.

    Here are my thoughts:

    1. IntelliJ IDEA
    I've been working with IntelliJ IDEA under windows for the last six years and I've always found it slower that Eclipse but I will never change it since I find that it is a milion of years ahead of Eclipse in terms of productivity (in my opinion). I know a lot of people (that started their Java experience using Eclipse) who found IDEA tricky because it uses a different approach compared to Eclipse. But when I showed them the real power in terms of productivity they immediately let their credit card being charged for an IDEA license.
    Since it is a pure Java application it runs very slowly on my PowerBook G4: I'm very glad to hear from you that Java on the new MacBooks has made giant leaps... very glad.

    2. Parallels
    Of course I've read about Parallels. When I work under Windows I use Microsoft SQL 2000 Server and Visual Studio .Net 2005 at the same time. They are HEAVY applications, especially Visual Studio, that run "slowly" even on recent PC machines. I thought that running them inside a virtual machine would make them even slower. But I am impressed about your comments regarding Parallels speed so, as soon as a new MacBook arrive, I will try it immediately. You are right when you say that it will be the most practice solution (Thanks aristobrat for all your precious suggestions).

    3. Windows
    Finally I'm happy to hear that Windows runs fine when natively booted, with lid open or closed. This will be my second scenario if I will find Parallels not fast enough.

    Please do not stop to share your precious thoughts with me: I would be glad to hear different perspectives from people that do the same job that I do.

    Thanks to all of you...



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