Thinking about making the switch...back!

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by macDonalds, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. macDonalds macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    #1
    Oh boy, I'm getting Mac fever...again. Here's the deal:

    I run a small Web Development business. I use Microsoft tools: Visual Studio and SQL Server (mostly), so the logical choice is to stay on Windows. But I'm not a logical guy. I actually was on the Mac bus not long ago... went through an iMac and then the 13" Macbook. I loved them to pieces, really.

    After a while, I grew a bit tired of the really small form factor and having to launch a noticeably slower virtual machine to use Windows (I used VMware at the time). I went back to Windows pretty much for business reasons.

    Now I'm getting the itch to go back to Apple. Why? Their design, look, and feel is a big reason. I also did more exploring when I was on Mac; researching stuff in my field away from the MS world that did open my eyes to new ways of handling development with my business. In a perfect world I would get the 24" iMac but since I run my own business I should stay mobile. Therefore I'm looking at the low-end Macbook Pro. Here are a couple of questions I have:

    1.) How is Windows in Bootcamp? If I were to go back, I think I would go that route to have as much speed as possible. Especially since the low-end starts with 2 gig ram (grrr)

    2.) I do play games. I don't think it's a make-or-break deal, but how would Call of Duty:WaW, TF2, and L4D run on the low-end Macbook Pro?

    Any other suggestions or advice for me would be great. Thanks.
     
  2. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #2
    I can't answer gaming questions, because I don't game myself... however, running through BootCamp is native, and you should be well pleased with that performance. Even VMWare has improved and is a great option for most tasks.

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
     
  3. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #3
    Games run great in MBP. Upgrading ram yourself is cheap.

    MBP 15" can take 6gb of RAM, so plenty of power for virtual machines.

    Bootcamp is good if you want to run games or demanding programs.
    VMWare works fine for other uses.
     
  4. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #4

    1. Bootcamp is 100% perfect! No difference from running windows on a PC.

    2. Depends on what display card you have of course. And last I checked you can even have a separate display card just for windows - that's dead to Mac OS X.

    PS: Mac versions of many 3D games are available and they're fast!
     
  5. desiringGod macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    #5
    I am searching for a similar situation and found this article.

    http://www.mactech.com/articles/mactech/Vol.24/24.02/VirtualizationBenchmark/

    I think I will be forced into using BootCamp because of licensing issues with my engineering design software (Hysys).
     
  6. fibrizo macrumors 6502

    fibrizo

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    #6
    Running in bootcamp it should run as well as any similarly spec'd notebook windows wise. The only thing I don't like is the trackpad drivers for windows are still not good. It works, and you can get used to it, but not the same as on the mac side. Also batterylife is short in windows. I get maybe 2.5 hours in windows, but ymmv. If you are doing windows stuff for work alot and want to not be plugged in, this may not be for you. There are alot of other laptops that would run windows and last longer. But if you stay plugged in most of the time, it should be ok.
     
  7. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #7
    I concur with the above poster. I have one of the first C2D MBP models and I can't run XP on it, because the drivers are that bad. Vista's slightly better, but it's vista. Windows 7 is actually the best version of Windows on it, but the track-pad drivers do suck, and battery life isn't all that great.

    If you want to run Windows, just get a PC. Apple makes some of the worst windows drivers I've ever seen.
     
  8. Eric S. macrumors 68040

    Eric S.

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    #8
    I have a unibody MB and run XP under Boot Camp. Previously I did the same on a Blackbook. The only problems I have are:

    - as already mentioned, the trackpad driver sucks. It was completely unusable at first; since then a driver update has made it merely annoying but usable.
    - I get an occasional unexplained BSoD; unexplained because the blue screen only displays for a fraction of a second before the system reboots, not long enough to even read any of the information.

    Neither of these were an issue with the Blackbook.
     
  9. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #9
    Yeah, I didn't actually realize that I was posting in the Notebooks section. Sorry about that - I'll do better from now. :)

    Notebooks are kinda weird like that and might be an exception to my blanket statement. But still maybe not either as trying to install vanilla Windows on just any odd notebook (where you don't have the drivers especially created for that specific model) will very often yield the same results and problems.

    It sounds like someone with more talent should tackle some driver sets. ;)
     
  10. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #10
    No, desktops are too. I've never seen Vista BSOD's recently on anything other than my Pros.

    To the OP, I'd suggest trying your environment in VMWare, etc before making the decision for the move. If the reason for the move is that you like the OS X environment, it really doesn't make that much sense to keep booting between it and a Windows environment that isn't actually 'quite there', despite anything the fanboys say. Reserve it for cooking your testicles - I mean playing games.

    Virtualisation of Windows is pretty stable on a Mac (at least when the inferior hardware isn't overheating, or the noise when it has overheated and is frantically trying to cool itself isn't distracting you), and while it doesn't provide native application speed it may be the most viable bridging method to move to a fully OS X development environment - God help you.
     
  11. asphyxiafeeling macrumors regular

    asphyxiafeeling

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Location:
    Cali baby!
    #11
    answer to gaming questions

    yes, yes, yes.

    the low end MBP (all the MBPs for that matter) use a Nvidia Geforce 9600M GT. it's a midrange/lower high end card, but it's pretty good. i have a HP with one, and-

    COD4 runs on max, great FPS.


    any of the games you just listed would DEFINITELY be able to run on high settings with decent performance, and *perfect* performance on mid/high/ graphics or a lower resolution (but ew on that). (this all applies to DX9)

    If you wanted to know the "Limit" of what the 9600M GT is capable of, on Fallout 3 i had to turn down some of the settings to medium to get 50-60 FPS.

    as a matter of fact, i run COD4 on my alu macbook (which runs on the significantly [40%ish] weaker integrated 9400M), and while performance wasn't impressive normally (20 fps) with some console tweaks (turning off shadows, etc) i easily get 40-60 FPS.

    More info on the 9600M GT (and ALL notebook cards for that matter, this site is a wonderful shopping tool)

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-9600M-GT.9449.0.html

    A few more popular games (like COD4) have been ported to mac, but bootcamp would really not be a problem (probably better for your use, since you need it for business anyway) don't worry about video drivers, as Nvidia recently started offering new drivers to a majority (including the 9600M) of their 9XXX cards on their site. i've downloaded them for the 9600M GT and other cards myself, worked perfectly.
     
  12. bluesTank macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #12
    If you want a gaming machine, do not get a mac

    Period.
     
  13. Mpulsive81 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    #13
    Good thing he doesn't want a gaming machine...

    I work from home with my Macbook. I run XP in VM Fusion, VPN into my work's network, then remote into my work machine via RDC. All the while, my machine is powering a 20" in dual monitor mode. So i've got 3 OS desktops running at the same time. I've even got safari up to browse and iTunes up as well. With 4gigs of memory i've got no lag. My fans aren't working overtime and my cpu is currently sitting at 57 degrees. Things have definitely improved, i'm not sure where all these driver issues are coming from but, then again, i've never had any interest in running boot camp.

    Memory is stupid cheap these days, you can never have too much. Throw 4-6gb of memory in there and you'll be kosher.
     
  14. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #14
    And I sincerely contest bluesTank's premiss! Maybe if the modifier "bleeding edge" were used I could get around it.

    I love games! Q3A, Quake4, Unreal Tournament, Spore, and on and on. The Mac Pro at ≥2.66 with 8 cores and ≥4GB RAM ROCKS! pretty hard as client and server for those and a multitude of others.

    Maybe back in the Power PC days or for the 1st ≤year of the Mac Intels this might have been true. It sure doesn't seem to be true these days. At least not in my experience!

    And as long as I'm popping bubbles here let me add that I've never seen a MacPro BSOD in BootCamp. Ever. I don't run BC personally myself but we do on 40 classroom machines at Kyoto University where I lecture and run a lab.

    Of course if you install it wrong it might but then so will it on PC hardware.
     
  15. Ekos macrumors newbie

    Ekos

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    #15
    I am running Parallels on my stock black MacBook, and AutoCad runs fine for what I need it to do. I haven't really had have any problems.
     

Share This Page