Thinking about 17" MBP, for WINDOWS ONLY.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by level5music, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. level5music macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    #1
    Ok... new guy obviously, and I'm thinking about getting a 17" Macbook Pro based on just the hardware. It will run Windows Vista ONLY. I've used OSX, and I don't care for it, I'm a Windows guy (and Linux to a lesser extent), and I love the hardware on this notebook, but since it's an Apple machine, I figure I'd ask about it.

    I want this over any other brand laptop because of the following:

    - 1920x1200 display
    - Slot loading optical drive
    - Magnetic anti-trip power plug (dumbfounded why all notebooks don't have this)
    - DVI port (as well as the gfx hardware to actually use a high-res 2nd display)
    - backlit keyboard
    - Drop sensor that turns the hard drive off when dropped (again, why does any laptop lack this?)

    There's more.. but those are the main points. Again, please spare me the whole Windows vs OSX debate, that's not why I'm here. This machine would run Windows and Windows only.

    I understand the following problems may be in place:

    - I'd need to use OSX to install Bootcamp to get Windows on this machine
    - I understand I would need to keep OS X Leopard on this machine, to maintain Bootcamp.
    - I understand not all hardware works with the Bootcamp drivers in Vista, I just don't remember which ones.
    - No 2nd button, and if I remember right, OSX Tiger Bootcamp drivers for Vista/XP didn't support 2 finger right clicks (big fan of trackpad clicking anyway... would love this on my existing windows laptop)
    - I understand HFS and NTFS are incompatible and that transferring files back and forth between OSX and Vista should I need to, might be a pain in the ass.

    That's all I can think of for now. If you have experience running Vista on an MBP and can advise someone who wishes to do the same, any feedback is wonderfully appriciated.
     
  2. MacDuck macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #2
    I run Vista Ultimate (32-bit) on my MBP SR 2.4 with 4GB of ram since last July. I have not had any problems with it so far...it does great. I mainly use it for windows only apps (access) or for playing games. I run it with Office 2007 enterprise.


    Everything works seemlessly (at least for being windows). It drives a second monitor fine, although bluetooth does have the occasional hiccup. If you are going to run windows exclusively on the MBP, that is fine, but I would jump onto OSX occasionally to do updates, as they sometimes include hardware specific ones.

    If however, you run into compatibility problems, I would go with XP for your work.

    Those are my two cents....:) (My sig says that I have 2 GB of ram, but upgraded recently)
     
  3. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #3
    You actually do not need to install Bootcamp to get windows / Linux to work on the MBP. Under Leopard, Bootcamp application's only purpose is to partitions the drive, and allow you to choose windows as a start up drive. That's it. Bootcamp is installed along with Leopard.

    For example, when you boot, hold down OPTION key, and MBP will recognize any bootable OSX, XP, Vista, Linux, on either CD, Harddrive, or USB drive. So this is vastly superior than any wintel machines.

    You do need to install Bootcamp Drivers in windows. Bootcamp windows drivers are updated in windows. You don't need OS X.
    However, for rare firmware updates, it probably has to be done through OS X, so you should keep a partition of OS X install.

    2nd button: once bootcamp drivers are install in windows, you can do the same thing you do in OS X. Put 2 fingers on trackpad + click = right click
    (You might have to turn it on).

    Two finger scroll also works.

    To transfer files between OS X and Windows, you can use

    Windows use app: Mac Drive
    Mac: there are NTFS drivers but they are not that fast, good for reading, slow writing.

    Or make a FAT partition (as long as your fils are not over a certain size).
     
  4. level5music thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    #4
    Thanks everyone! You've all been a great help. Stupid question, do MBP's come with a Leopard DVD? Just in case I botch something? I'd probably keep as small of an Leopard install as possible (probably about 20GB or less, for updates and in case I occasionally wanna play with it or use it to test web sites in Safari and OSX Firefox, etc).

    I do have some new questions.

    - I've read in Parallels/VM Fusion, you can natively boot virtual machines like XP/Vista in addition to running them virtually within OSX? How well does this work?

    - Is there any way to map Apple specific keys to Windows? IE - make the Apple/Cloverleaf/Option keys assignable? I don't wanna give up the Start key.

    - If I could reinstall OSX, how small of a partition could I have comfortably? I would shoot for 20GB or less or whatever, but if I can have even less if I don't need OSX, how much is the minimum to have it function and do basic things, should I need to fix/tweak/update/repair Bootcamp?

    - When installing Boot Camp, what's the max size you can allocate to the Windows partition?

    - Triple Booting? I love me some Linux :)
     
  5. dvince2 macrumors 6502

    dvince2

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    It should come with the recovery disks, assuming you're buying it new (ie not e-bay)

    I did this with parallels, and it works just as well as you expect it to. Bootcamp runs at full speed as per normal, and parallels runs at the same speed as just a disk image would. You have to check into how to activate windows though. If I remember correctly, you have to activate it from the parallels portion in order to use it both ways, but I could be wrong

    Bootcamp doesnt come with the ability for users to map keys (to my knowledge), but it does automatically map command to the "windows" key, and option to alt.

    It should come with the recovery disks, assuming you're buying it new (ie not e-bay)

    I did this with parallels, and it works just as well as you expect it to. Bootcamp runs at full speed as per normal, and parallels runs at the same speed as just a disk image would. You have to check into how to activate windows though. If I remember correctly, you have to activate it from the parallels portion in order to use it both ways, but I could be wrong

    The minimum size bootcamp allows for OS X or windows is 5GB. There hasn't been any bootcamp upgrades since 10.5.0, so I dont know how big of an upgrade there may be at some point. Apart from the 5GB minimum for OS X, windows can have the remainder of the hard drive.


    The bootcamp app in OS X is basically just a partitioner. However, I don't think it can make more than 2 partitions (ie OSX and ______). You would have to make a partition in the disk utility for this to work, I believe.
     
  6. McGiord, Feb 29, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011

    McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2003
    Location:
    Dark Castle
    #6
    I use Parallels and after the last update it works great, I can access all my MacOSX files from the virtual machine, also by double clicking a file that you want to launch in a Windows app your MacOSX can direct it.

    The :apple: key will act as the Windows Start Key.

    You can do a custom install of MacOSX so you don't install languages you don't need.

    I believe you only had a min requirement, the max will depend on the format you I use though, not sure.

    Many MR members have done it.

    ________
    S1
     
  7. Acuity Mac Guru macrumors newbie

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    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa Bay Area
    #7
    Running Vista with VMWare Fusion and it works great. I have been able to completely get rid of traditional Wintel (IBM & HP) computers in my house, and I am not running only Apple.

    Still have a business need for Windows applications, but Windows running in VMWare has been VERY stable and fast.

    I use OS X for everything except my few Windows based apps and I am actively working to roll out web-based version of these apps, so that I can go pure OS X

    I see no reason why anyone buying a new computer today would buy a Dell, HP, or IBM

    The VMWare deployment is nice also because it keeps all of your work related stuff in one place, and allows for an easy backup
     
  8. WannaGoMac macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    #8
    Cost. Macs are more expensive if you just want a cheap computer. I don't have a problem paying for it as I think they are worth the extra cost for many people.

    Recently, I tried to convince two additional friends to go with Macs (I have converted 2 others who love their Macs) and I couldn't argue well enough against the $599 deal their office discount gave them on a fairly close to Macbook specked Dell laptop. It had all the stuff they needed to do their very basic tasks (photos, web surfing, email, and Skype) and was about $400 less than the refurbed Macbook (had webcam, etc etc)
     
  9. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    #9
    What if you don't think OS X is worth paying extra for? If you don't care whether you run Vista or Leopard, the computer with Vista will almost always be cheaper than its similarly-specced Mac counterpart. Or what if you want a customizable machine you can take apart, put together, and constantly upgrade? You can't do that with any Mac besides the Mac Pro, and that's ridiculously overpriced for the average computer buyer. Then there's the issue of someone who wants a machine to run neither OS X nor Windows but a variant of Linux. Why would that person pay extra for a machine they plan to wipe and install their own OS on from the start?

    In any of the above three scenarios, it makes much more sense to buy a random PC than it does to buy a Mac. In fact, my school has hundreds of Dell/Sun PCs; almost all of them run Red Hat. It's cheaper than buying Apple hardware (much cheaper), and it's cheaper than licensing Windows software (much cheaper). On a large or on a small scale, this is the most efficient combination for people looking for reliable and affordable hardware and software.
     
  10. McGiord, Mar 1, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011

    McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

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    #10
     
  11. heatmiser macrumors 68020

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    Dec 6, 2007
    #11
    HP, Dell, and Sun make their hardware in China and south-east Asia along with 99% of other computer manufacturers. You aren't paying a premium by buying their computers.
     
  12. Freyqq macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    #12
    there is no trackpad clicking in bootcamp..drivers don't support it. You have to click the button with no fingers on the trackpad for leftclick and 2 finger on the trackpad + button click is a right click. It also supports the 2 finger up/down for scrolling.
     
  13. McGiord, Mar 1, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011

    McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

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    #13
    I mean a chinese brand.
    ________
    hemp marijuana
     
  14. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    #14
    I see. The problem there is that you'd either have to find someone in China willing to ship the computers overseas to the US, or buy them in China and bring them over yourself. Much easier to go with companies already based in the US.
     
  15. Solesk macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #15
    i'm not sure about the mb pro, but i own a normal white macbook and tried to use it soley as a windows machine. what i ended up hating was a lack of copy and paste keyboard functionality and no delete key.

    and for the price i ended up getting an hp buisness class notebook instead. buy it from a reseller and you'll spend $400 less for more hardware. like a hdmi port, blue ray writer, more usb ports, and a card reader. it's a very slick machine. not like the crap hp puts in retail stores. it even plays video games great. i'm very happy i bought this instead of the mb pro. and i'm not here trolling, just in this price range, and the fact you'll never use osx, i recommend one of these instead.

    http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/e...5-321838-3329741-3355679-3355689-3453385.html

    slower processor speed on the prebuilt models is really the only drawback. but i have not missed it. i upgraded it to 3gb of ram (windows max) and it's ran great. and using hdmi to my 50" dlp tv works great. once you figure out how to switch the audio output in windows options.

    edit: also, with the mbp being the lightest and slimest, this is the second most light and slim 17" i could find. and the numberpad comes in very handy.
     

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