Using iMac as a Windows Computer - Crazy or Not?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Night Spring, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    We recently got the new 27" iMac, and after spending nearly a month trying to get used to Mac OSX, I installed Windows 7 with Boot Camp, and I'm abslolutely loving it. Other than running into the "black screen" problem during installation, for which a google search quickly turned up a fix, Win7 has been running absolutely smoothly, and I haven't run into any problems that can be traced to the fact that Windows is running on a Mac. And since installing Win7, I've booted into OSX just once, just to make sure it can be done. Other than that, I've been using my iMac with Win7, and am seriously considering making this my main computer.

    So what do you think? Is it crazy to have an iMac just to use it as a Windows machine? If I can't adapt to OSX, should I give up the iMac and go back to Dell or HP? Or is the iMac also the best PC? And is anybody else using a Mac mainly as a Windows machine, or am I in a minority of one?
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    I don't think it's crazy, but you could have gotten a comparable machine for much cheaper if you just wanted to run Windows.
  3. ildondeigiocchi macrumors 6502a


    Dec 30, 2007
    without the gorgeous look of apple products though... I think running it as a windows machine is fine. It'll work great. :D
  4. Night Spring thread starter macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Glad you think so! Yes, apple products are gorgeous, plus I don't know of any other all-in-one PC with a 27" screen. Not that I've looked very hard, but the largest I found was 24".
  5. MaxBuck macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2009
    I use my MacBook Pro primarily as a Windows (Vista) computer. Aside from the fact that Apple provides no support for its hardware if you ever have a problem, it's perfectly fine as a Windows machine using BootCamp. I've had a number of problems with Parallels Desktop; when it works, it's exceptional, but when it doesn't work, good luck getting help from the Parallels people.

    The Mac hardware is so far superior to its competition that I still think it may be worth the price. About 18 hours ago, though, I was singing a very different tune.
  6. lucifiel macrumors 6502a


    Nov 7, 2009
    In your basement
    it is a matter for you.

    One would assume that you could've just gotten a similar Windows based PC for cheaper, but the apple hardware is just gorgeous despite some setbacks...

    My advice, for whatever it is worth, is that since the HDD is so large, why not just keep a small partition for OSX in case you want to use it? You can even specify the machine to boot into Windows by default and only bother with OSX by pressing the Option key during boot up.

    Personally, I find myself using Win 7 a lot too..but I don;t contemplate deleting my OSX partition because it may come to use, and since storage is so damn cheap nowadays, the 20 or 30 gigs that I use for OSX seems to be moot.
  7. Travisimo macrumors 6502a

    Dec 22, 2009
    I use Mac OS most of the time, but I use Windows 7 quite a bit too for gaming. I see nothing wrong with using it mainly as a Windows machine, but I would definitely leave the Mac OS on there as well. I find Mac OS considerably nicer for everyday stuff, so I would definitely attempt to get used to it first before abandoning it. I particularly like the Expose and Spaces features. I dedicated a Space to most of my often-used programs: one for Safari, one for Parallels and Windows 7, one just for iCal, one for iTunes. It's easier to switch between them and it keeps everything neat and tidy (and it's so easy to switch between them). I can keep MANY programs open at all times and it doesn't slow down my computer at all. I know Windows 7 has improved things a lot, but I'm still doubtful that it will be as stable as Mac.
  8. lucifiel macrumors 6502a


    Nov 7, 2009
    In your basement
    I don't know if the assertion that OSX (especially SL) is necessarily more stable than Win 7 is true.

    I've personally had a lot more issues with SL being a prick than Win 7, but I suppose to be fair, nothing major that wasn't fixed by Disk Util/Google. Nevertheless, I think Win 7 deserves a good go, and in fairness, the differences between Win 7 and OSX largely reside in user preference and possibly the age old go to mac 'defence' of 'but macs never get viruses'
  9. Night Spring thread starter macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Thanks for your advice, I certainly don't intend to delete OSX completely, as there are some Mac-only programs I might want to try from time to time. And come to think of it, that would be an argument for keeping the iMac, because this would be probably the best setup for dual-booting OSX and Windows, whichever I use as my main OS. Oh, and I do have my iMac currently set to boot Windows as the default, which is why I haven't booted into OSX since I installed Win7, there's just not been any cause to switch back, at least for now.

    As for Expose and Spaces, I can't say I've given them a full try yet, but it's also true that I don't exactly feel the need for them -- alt+TAB switching between open applications works just fine for me, and I don't feel like I need anything more involved. :D

    I'll probably keep dipping into OSX from time to time, and if for some reason, I didn't have Windows and I *had* to use OSX, I could certainly live with it; but it's really the small keyboard commands, like alt+F4 to close programs and using HOME & END keys to go to the beginning and end of lines, that are ingrained in my muscle memory and makes it much more comfortable to work in Windows.

    But it's great to see that so far most people seem to think that running Win7 on an iMac is a viable setup. Watching the Windows logo float over the Apple logo on the iMac during bootup makes me feel like I have the best of both worlds, and I just wanted to check that I haven't become totally dellusional over this! ;)
  10. Travisimo macrumors 6502a

    Dec 22, 2009
    Elaborating a bit on my setup:

    I leave my Mac on 24/7 and just let it sleep at night. Having 8GB of Ram, I also leave Windows 7 in a Spaces window full-screen at all times so it's there where I need it. It uses very little system resources when it's just idle, so it's easier just leaving it open than shutting it down each time I'm done with it. Having it in a Space of it's own really makes you feel like you have two OS's on one computer without having to reboot. I have a Logitech MX Revolution mouse and have assigned Expose and Spaces to the two side buttons. With one click of a mouse button, I can see all of my windows side by side, and/or I can switch between Spaces and have a completely new desktop for whatever I'm working on. So I get Windows 7 in full resolution running on its own desktop when I need it. And everything on it runs great unless I play a graphics intensive 3D game, which requires me to go to Boot Camp.

    Truly this is the best of both worlds. But I'd rather have the Mac kernel running the show, to be honest. I haven't had to reboot once because of a system problem in the 3 weeks I've had it so far.

    I'm not saying this is necessarily the best setup for everybody, but I would suggest giving it a go. I had a learning curve when I first switched to Mac, but the more time you use, the more things seem to make more sense IMO. There's obviously less to differentiate the two OS's now than there used to be, but I'd still never go back to Windows for my main OS.
  11. Night Spring thread starter macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    I take it you are using Parallels or VMWare to run Win7 in a virtual machine? I tried VMWare before I tried Boot Caamp, and it worked amazingly well, but for me the learning curve for OSX was a bit steep, and at the moment I don't have any reason to put myself through that. There's no program I must have that's Mac-only or where the Mac version is so superior I just have to use Mac. And like you say the two OSs have converged to the point where it's just personal preference. For me the last straw was when I couldn't find a equivalent of "click-lock" on OSX. Yet you have to do much more dragging on OSX than on Windows. I have muscle coordination problems that makes it hard for me to keep the mouse button down while dragging. Windows have had "click-lock" forever -- at least since XP and maybe a few versions before that. I can click to "lock" the mouse button, drag, then click again to release. Another disappointment was not having an option to adjust DPI in OSX. In this case, Win7 is a step back from Vista because Vista had custom DPI, while Win7 only gives you three preset DPI sizes. I hope Microsoft doesn't copy Apple and get rid of DPI adjustment altogether! :(

    So Win7 on iMac or my trusty old Dell with Vista? I continue to dither... :p
  12. pubjoe macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2007
    Everyone's said the imac looks nice etc which of course is true. But you've bought far more than a shiny box with OS X...

    Put it this way, you have a computer with a 27" 2560x1440 LED screen. Not to mention the other very decent hardware tucked tidily inside.

    You simply just can't buy the same thing cheaper anywhere else atm.

    This machine's last selling point to me is the OS and I don't understand why the software it runs would change your choice. I mean, why did you buy the machine in the first place? If the OS is the only thing that matters then yes, you could get a budget dell windows machine, it'd hardly be the same though. But you didn't just buy an OS X box, you bought a sexy all-in-one with a huge professional grade screen, the latest great intel processor, a huge bunch of ram and storage space, a great graphics card (that all but the most anally stretched gamer would adore), and a few functions nicely hidden inside like the webcam and bluetooth.

    Keeping it for windows (or anything else) is just fine. You still have the same machine with the same capabilities either way.

    If you regret purchasing it or have changed your mind, that's fine. But your choice of operating system has nothing to do with that decision imo.

    [edit]P.S. I think I managed to enable 'click lock' on os x in a roundabout way once. I enabled mousekeys and used the "/" key to switch between single click and locked click ...Or am I thinking about windows?
  13. The Man macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2004
    Keeping your iMac as a Windows only machine is better than some people moaning about Apple making overpriced, shiny products. Not to say that Apple hardware is always free from defects (everything is made in China), but their design and attention to detail is always topnotch. That's what I pay for.

    And for me, the Mac OS is just easier to maintain and set up. But that's personal experience, I guess. I always seem to have trouble setting up devices and services on Windows. Oh yes, I eventually get things running, but there's always some deeper knowledge required. Nothing a seasoned Windows user can't figure out, but I'm just not that person who wants to dig into the mechanics of the OS. That's why I'm glad Apple exists. It's for people like me. I have nothing against Windows and Windows user, only those who say that Apple shouldn't exist and that Apple is just all overpriced show and no substance. I think there's a place in the world for Apple, and I don't believe that world domination is key, like some people argue.

    And you'll always have great resale value on that iMac.
  14. Paul B macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2007
    I do it and so do thousands of other Mac users. Nothing wrong with paying a small premium for the best hardware and running your OS of choice on it.
  15. gregorsamsa macrumors 6502a

    Apr 6, 2006
    (Metamorphosing near) Staffs, 51st State.
    IMO, what you're doing is fine & as you can see, quite a few others are doing similar. I wouldn't worry about the extra cost either. Macs offer computing technology engineered to a very high level, generally having an excellent record for longevity compared to many (but not all, of course :)) PC hardware.

    Even if your Mac is being used mainly as a Win 7 machine, the chances are it'll also work out well for you economically in the long run. Plus, you've always got the excellent OS X on a partition to fall back on should you ever fancy exploring that further. ;) - FWIW, I'm looking forward to getting Win 7 for my iMac shortly, be it mostly for gaming.
  16. MythicFrost macrumors 68040


    Mar 11, 2009
    OSX is absolutely fantastic, if you don't like it, then use Windows (on your iMac) - it's certainly not crazy!
    You'd be hard to find a computer with comparable specs with that quality (and size, resolution) of screen for much cheaper, if you could even find it cheaper.
  17. Keleko macrumors 68000

    Mar 26, 2008
    A very good reason for keeping OSX on a partition of the hard drive is that it is the only way to get EFI updates for your Mac. For example, fixing the flickering problems on the very iMac you have was a recent EFI update. Other than that, use Windows all you like. Apple doesn't care, either. They sold you the iMac, so they already have your money. :)
  18. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    You could easily install OS X on an external drive (even a flash drive) for these purposes. Unlike Windows, you don't NEED to have it on the internal drive.


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