Thinking of getting a Mac Book Pro Retina - Coming from Windows.

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Zapages, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. Zapages, Jul 8, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012

    Zapages macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2012
    Hey guys,

    I am new here. I apologize if some of my question seem very repetitive. I am coming from using Windows nearly all my life. Although I did use the old Macs back in middle school to program some simple games using Microworld, if anyone remembers that application. Anyway, I am thinking of buying a Mac Book Retina for school. I do Molecular and Bio-informatics research and I am basically looking at large sequences or doing 3D protein modeling. The data sets are in range of 7 to 15 GB at a time. My mentor (professor) recommended that I looking into and seriously consider buying the new Mac Book Pro with Retina display to help me better aid my research needs.

    My current laptop's resolution is 1650x1050 is about 4 years old: Windows 7 Pro Intel Core 2 Duo P8400(2.26GHz) 15.4", Wide XGA 4GB Memory 250GB HDD (with only 30 GBs free) 5400rpm DVD Super Multi NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GS...

    It'll be nice as some applications that I could use are Mac only. While some of them are really old and not supported by Apple (ie. can only run in snow leopard or older). I was wondering with some finagling will they be able to run on the latest Apple OS Version?

    This is all good and all. The problem is that I use tools that very Windows centric, which are dependent on Dos. It runs in the background of a real good Windows GUI. If I buy a MBPR, would it be able to run dos applications that run fine on my home Windows 7 Desktop.

    Aside from this, the main question, is will I be able to install Windows 7 Pro 64 bit on the laptop with just the Windows 8 upgrade DVD through the Apple Super Drive. If so is it possible to have Parallel and bootcamp. Also how does right click work on Apple that running bootcamp or parallel. I am considering buying the following:

    MBPR with
    2.6GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
    16GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
    768GB Flash Storage
    Apple USB SuperDrive
    AppleCare Protection Plan for MacBook Pro
    Apple Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
    Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter

    It'll be about 400 dollars.

    Thank you in advance.

  2. jcpb macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2012
    Skipping to the meat of the post:
    Windows 7 on your desktop = Windows 7 on the MBPR via Bootcamp. The only difference is going to be performance related.
    I strongly doubt it. It's possible to do with Windows 7 upgrade disks. Any external optical drive will work, the Apple SuperDrive is not explicitly required.
    Under Parallels. For Bootcamp, I'd highly recommend a two-button mouse.
    $400 total? I must be living in 2020.

    Replace the "Apple USB SuperDrive" with another brand's external slim ODDs e.g. ASUS and Samsung. They are a lot cheaper.

    Buy the mini-DP to VGA adapter from monoprice, a lot cheaper than from Apple.

    If you can live with externally attached storage, you might not need the 768GB option.
  3. Zapages thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2012
    How's the performance of Windows 7 on a Macbook Pro usually like? Battery life and the processing power/ram usage like?

    Great, I have Windows 7 upgrade DVDs. Are there any steps that I should follow? I goofed up with the windows 8 disk thing.

    How should I go about it? Make three partitions or should the two just work?

    Is it possible to do the right click with the trackpad?

    I meant 4000 dollars. Forgot the extra 0. Is the superdrive by apple USB 3.0 device or USB 2.0?

    Thank you in advance. :)
  4. bitfidelity macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2012
    I have no idea why your professor would recommend a MacBook when you rely so heavily on Windows software.
  5. dkred macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2011
    How old are the apps? As of Lion, Apple dropped support for Rosetta (PPC - Power PC - Emulation Layer). If the Apps you plan on running are PPC only, then you will not be able to (easily) do this on newer Macs.

    as said earlier you can run Windows 7 on Macs, however, Windows 7 doesn't support retina display the same way OS X does so you will be using it a just super large resolution display under windows, or running it a much lower resolution.


    While Apple's hardware is very good, i don't know if i would spend $4000 on a Retina MBP, when you can get a standard MBP 15" or even a comparable PC laptop that might better suit your needs for half (if not less) the cost of the Retina MBP.
  6. Zapages, Jul 10, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012

    Zapages thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2012
    Our collaborator recommended using: , , and

    The reasons why my professor recommended me to buy MacBook Pro with Retina:

    1) The Retina display - being able to go to 2800x1600 through SwitchResX that will be very beneficial when looking at 3D protein molecules. There are Mac versions of the same application.
    2) There are a lot of Bio-informatic tools that are Mac or Unix only. There are no Windows versions, which my professor uses to do some of the work. If I get Mac, I would be able to do those analysis myself.
    3) Dual booting or parallel windows 7 - being able to work with both type of software at the same time. Will make my work easier.
    4) The applications to view large sequences that are about a couple GBs to 20 GBs will be made easier on the eyes when going through them.
    5) There is one windows application that crashes on my laptop no matter what I do. It needs more RAM to run. It runs perfectly on my home i5 desktop (windows computer) with 560Ti and 12 GB of ram.

    Basically I need super high resolution screen for the work I am working on and Retina display with its 650m will makes things a bit easier.

    I am mostly going to be using Windows with a dab of OSX, but the internal hardware is so awesome and the size/weight factor is making me consider the Mac Book Pro with Retina as I have yet to see an equivalent windows laptop with better features. On top of this the size, battery life and weight are another issue. I am sick and tired of carrying my 7lb old laptop that gives about 10 minutes of battery life. When my laptop was under warranty, my laptop's recharger died and it took my laptop's company took 3 months to send me a new recharger. Regardless, I've had to replace my charger about 4 times in the past 2 years... Now the recharger is starting to act up again. So I am sick and tired of all those issues. Hence, I am looking into getting MacBook Pro with Retina.

    Is there a guide on how to install Windows 7 through its upgrade Disc through Bootcamp?

    Thank you in advance. :)
  7. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    You should have fewer issues if you use Parallels rather than Bootcamp. I do some software development as well as run EE CAD software in Windows and Linux using virtual machines on my Macs. Parallels for Windows and Virtual Box for Linux (I find that it's kept more up to date for Linux). I've got Windows 7 and 8 installed (as well as XP and 2000) and several Linux distributions.
  8. NAYo2002 macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2011
    Yes you click/tap with two fingers
  9. Renzatic Suspended


    Aug 3, 2011
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    Are you talking about DOS, or some application called Dos I've never heard about before (not being sarcastic here, I'm actually wondering)? If it's DOS, I'm surprised you were able to run it on Win7 at all.

    The only thing you can use to run DOS based applications on any modern Windows desktop would be DOSBox, which is readily available for OSX.

    Now if you're talking about some random program that uses a custom made DOS emulator with a Windows GUI overlay, you could easily run that under a VM, since I doubt it'd be an application that requires vast amounts of power to run.

    At native scaling, Windows 7 would look horrible at 2880x1800. But you can up the DPI scaling quite easily by rightclicking on the desktop, selecting "screen resolution", selecting "make text and other items larger or smaller", and upping the DPI scale to 150% (or 200% if you go into custom sizing options). From what I've heard, Windows 7 looks great on a retina Mac at native res when set up properly.
  10. JacaByte macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Unibody 15" MBP sounds like a much more economical laptop to me, since it comes with a 750 GB HDD stock, eliminating the greatest factor contributing to the cost of your rMBP. (The 768 GB SSD) It also has the same graphics card, comes with an optical drive stock, has a hardrive and RAM that can be upgraded at any time, and can be ordered with a 1680x1050 screen like the one your laptop has now.

    Even with Apple's mDP to VGA adaptor such a setup comes in at $2677, with the same processor, graphics card, hard disk space and optical drive as your configuration. The only thing it doesn't have is 16 GB of RAM and the Hi-DPI display in the rMBP. The former is easily upgradeable in the Unibody MBP. This RAM from Corsair costs $120. Now we're up to $2800 for a laptop that doesn't have a Hi-DPI display. $1200 will get you said Hi-DPI display. If it were me, I would invest in a larger, external display rather than a smaller, higher resolution display. I would imagine that an external display would give you more visual real-estate for this application, (protein viewing) but I could be wrong.

    Windows 7 and 8 RC both will run on all the computers Apple currently sells.
  11. adildacoolset macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2011
    Lusaka, Zambia(If you know where it is)
    The thing is that he's a student and would probably find it impractical for moving around with displays. Sometimes, there's no real choice and you gotta invest.
  12. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    I'm an ex-Windows user running exactly the same spec you've described (2.6/16/768). I have happily transferred to OSX, running a virtual XP machine in VMWare Fusion for a couple of really badly behaved old apps that I must use. It works perfectly. Transferring everything over was no problem, an opportunity to sort stuff out and rearrange documents a bit. Thunderbird email just took everything over, as did most programs. Haven't found any issues yet.

    However, today I installed Windows 7 professional 64-bit on Bootcamp, and finally understood why they say that the best Windows machine is a Macbook pro. Windows runs perfectly and very fast indeed (the same apps under Windows are several times faster than their equivalents on OSX for those that I have -- e.g. video conversions in 1 minute each instead of 6-8 minutes on the same program's OSX version). This might not be common, but I don't have an issue as I can now choose.

    VMWare can run the bootcamp partition virtually within OSX if you choose (which is fine for everything except gaming), if you want to run 3-d games then you just reboot into Windows and go for it. Windows can read-only the OSX partition, OSX can read and write the Windows partition.

    Windows 7 of course doesn't run Retina, but it's perfect (in fact excellent) running at 2880x1800 with the text size bumped up a bit, the default is 150% which is a bit too big, but 125% is fine.

    I know this information is all sitting there on the forum and the apple sites. I just wanted to say that it works much better than you expect it will. You'll end up with a superb windows machine and a macbook too. Don't muck about, just get it.


    I can't believe you'd say that "Windows 7 would look horrible" without having seen one. Windows 7 looks absolutely fantastic at default 2880x1800, particularly to a resolution freak like myself. It is so much better than 1920x1200 it's not funny, especially if you're used to 2560x1600 desktops.

    If you find the text a little small, just bump up the scaling as you say, to 125% is plenty. At 150% it goes a bit "Fisher Price My First Computer", and many programs' UI's go a bit weird.

    Typing this now in Windows 7 bootcamp, Chrome at 2880x1800...
  13. Renzatic Suspended


    Aug 3, 2011
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    I'm only saying it'd look bad without DPI scaling, because all your UI elements would be way too small at 2880x1800 on a 15" screen.

    I thought the same thing about OSX using that native resolution desktop hack that came out shortly after the rMBP released.

Share This Page