Using the Mac as a Windows machine.

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by snes, Sep 29, 2007.

  1. snes macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2007
    I'm moving toward replacing my Shuttle XPC with a more up to date machine - the equivalent Shuttle would be about £1000, which seems a lot for just a box, no monitor. It would, however, have a powerful gpu at that price.
    As part of the buying process, I'm looking around at alternatives. HP do a lovely little Pavilion, small box, smart looking - but a pants gpu. Seems to be the way with all these front room type pcs.

    I dont want to return to a big box type pc, but I would like a machine that can play 3d games such as Call of Duty etc should the need arise.
    As far as I can see, the imac is the only machine that comes near to being pretty and fairly powerful (correct me if wrong). The only thing wrong with it is OS X - a fine OS - but initially useless to me as I would be using the imac as a Windows machine.

    I cant decide whether to run XP under Boot camp or Parallels, or both. But what I need to know is this - will it be screamingly obvious that Windows is running on a non host machine. Will it be slow to open or run programs? Or will it run as a perfectly normal Windows machine?

    While I can go to the Apple store in London to feel and touch the machines, obviously the genius guys there will not wish to show or advise about a foreign OS on their machines.

    But you guys are experts here!

    Dont get me wrong, I don't wish to dis the iMac - its a fine machine - but after owning the lamentable 5400 model, I'm in no rush to get back into full scale Mac land quite yet.
  2. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
    If you're not going to run OS X, don't get a mac. If you are going to game on a mac, you need to do it in boot camp. Parallels or vmware are virtualization. Sounds like you don't even need a mac though, are you trying to get flammed?
  3. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Bootcamp is a partitioning tool (OSX-based) and a set of drivers. When you run Windows "under" bootcamp you are simply running Windows, natively, on PC hardware.

    Parallels let's you run Windows from within OSX within a virtual environment.

    For 3D gaming, bootcamp is the way to go. No speed diff whatsoever from an equivalent PC.

    The reason GPUs in front room type PCs are so bad is that decent ones are very hot and require lots of noisy fan cooling. The iMac gets around this by using a laptop chipset in its GPU. Its not the best one out there but will do a good job of most games.
  4. portent macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2004
    There really is no reason to buy a Mac if you're not going to run Mac OS X. Support for Windows is there, but it's definitely a second-class citizen on Apple hardware.
    Judging the iMac based on your past experiences with a 5400 is like judging XP based on your experience with Microsoft Bob. Or judging BMW based on the Isetta.
  5. ghall macrumors 68040


    Jun 27, 2006
    Rhode Island
    2 words: bad idea.

    Mac hardware was designed to use Mac OS.

    But in the end it's up to you.
  6. AutumnSkyline macrumors regular


    Oct 5, 2006
    If you are indeed talking about the Power Macintosh 5400 and comparing it to todays machine, you are completely mistaken.

    First of all, OS X is completely and utterly different from whatever was on those machines at the time (7? 8?), and The Steve made certain to discontinue that line once he was re-instated into the company.

    Some basic elements are the same, but the experience, and usability are absolutely unmatched.

    Go to an apple store, reseller, or order a stock config model, and if you don't like the OS, return it, but please don't buy it just to run windows, I consider that insulting.

    --> Don't Knock it, until you have tried it.

    The Mac Pro would be a ton more faster than the iMac, but many are holding out for updates.

    Let the Apple techs explain their OS, not a foreign one to you instead.

    Don't be afraid to step out of the box.

    Be afraid to get back in. I am every time I have to use a PC.
  7. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Once you install Windows via Boot Camp it is a perfectly normal Windows machine. A very quiet, good looking, Windows box.

    As long as the specs of the iMac you are considering are good enough for what you want to do, you'll be fine. As some of the others have said, it may not make sense from a purely economical perspective, but you already seem to value small size given your Shuttle experience.

  8. snes thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2007
    Thanks for your many thoughtful, helpful replies. I am pleased that all read my post fully and understood that I was in no way winding up Mac owners or dissing their machines.

    Isnt it ironic that currently the best value sff style windows pc available at the moment is a Mac!

    I'm going to wait until January before I have to decide - maybe some better Wintel sffs will appear by then. If not, then the iMac will be running a more mature Leopard on a Penhryn chip, with hopefully optimised ATI drivers.

    Thanks again!
  9. chaosbunny macrumors 68000


    Mar 11, 2005
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    If this helps, I only have windows (xp) on my 2,8 ghz iMac to play Bioshock, and it plays really well. 1920x1200 with all settings turned on and its still smooth.

    I guess if the style of the machine is important to you there is nothing wrong with the iMac, really beautiful machine.

    And if you want to run windows on it most of the time for playing games, well it's your money and your machine. ;)

    But anyway if you get it, I'd at least give Mac OS X a try, maybe you'll enjoy it and maybe you'll decide to do certain things with it.
  10. Matek macrumors 6502a

    Jun 6, 2007
    Is building a box yourself not an option? Although I know some people who run WinXP-only macs, I think it's a waste of money. Besides the design, I think the biggest advantage of Macs actually worth the price difference is OS X. Don't get me wrong, I bought a Mac and I'm a happy user, but I could have gotten a better PC box for the same amount of money (and I would if Macs ran only windows).

    I understand other finished boxes cost more, but as I said, i think you would be off best by building your own machine. Small barebone and mini-ATX cases are available everywhere.
  11. raysmd macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2007
    hey, I've been a windows user after Apple couldn't make any decent PowerBooks after the Pismo/Lombard series (got a Thinkpad, built my own PCs, etc).

    Anyway, after a long hiatus. I'm back. Guess what? I got the iMac to test out OSX and mainly use it as a windows machine. Bootcamp works fine. I have winxp installed and it's the best of both worlds. I find myself booting up osx more often than winxp though. So, I got the iMac to be a PC and figure you're thinking about the same thing.
  12. snes thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2007
    And I guess that I'll also eventually swing over to MacOS if I get the iMac - just initially, it'll be a Windows machine as that, at the mo, is what I'm used to.

    Interestingly, when I had the awful 5400 PowerMac, my son was pressurizing me to get rid of it and get a Windows machine. Now, as I am considering a new sff Wintel box, it is he (with his ipod lifestyle) who is now putting the pressure on to get the iMac!

    Thanks once again to all the patient, considerate posters who took my original post at face value and gave freely of their time and advice. I am sure that I am not the only possible convert who is considering buying the iMac as a Windows machine initially. Your guidance, comments and support will, no doubt, encourage them as it did me.

Share This Page