Windows 7 Via Bootcamp: How Good and is it Worth it?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by DavidLeigh, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. DavidLeigh, Aug 21, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012

    DavidLeigh macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    #1
    Hi,

    I have only recently switched to a mac and still getting to grips with OS X. I'm wondering about running Windows 7 mostly via Bootcamp. Don't get me wrong. I'm not one of those who wanted an Apple machine but want to stick to Windows. If i didn't like OS X, i wouldn't have switched. Some of us had in mind the idea of having the best of both worlds with a mac, which is to say that we wanted the flexibility of using both operating systems at will. For me it would mean booting into the OS i want, perhaps 80% of time onto OS X and 20% onto Windows. Is this a viable, reliable and safe thing to do?

    My question is regarding performance in particular. How "refined" is the process of running Windows 7 via Bootcamp. Are there any downsides to it? Will i encounter a lot of bugs, drivers and systems issues? After installing windows, will there be problems with the machine and OS X? The macbook i have is new, so the idea of it blue screening already is a bit jarring to say the least! So far i'm only considering bootcamp as i won't mind doing clean boots into operating systems. Virtualization software can come later. In short, is the process hassle free or problem-ridden?

    Many thanks,
     
  2. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    #2
    The software runs perfectly fine as it's a clean install of windows without any bloatware. For drivers, some people have issues with wifi, and everyone has issues with poor trackpad drivers. But if you have a desktop, there shouldn't be any problems.

    Performance is the same as a PC with the same specs, very good if you have a recent mac.
     
  3. FluffyPop macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
  4. OneEyedJack macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    #4
    My experience - mixed.

    I have run Windows 7 via bootcamp on a 13" mid 2010 MBP for several years without incident. Win7 was used for 100% work. OSx was used primarily for personal use and maybe 10% work. In short Windows runs stable without problems but here is my short personal list of quirks:

    1. Built-in track pad - I hate not having the typical gesture commands available in OSx. Switching between the operating systems left me feeling like I was learning to walk all over again.

    2. Keyboards - As dumb as it sounds......I use Autocad and need the function keys. Macs like to use them for specific OSx convenience commands. I never found a driver for the 13" MBP that allowed the keyboard to work in Windows as a PC expects. Your mileage may vary depending on your personal needs.

    3. Battery life. In windows it sucks. Period. For reasons that appear to forever be shrouded in mystery Windows causes the hardware in any Mac to run in what I describe as "Hummer Mode". The computer will be noticeably hotter and fans will be amped up. In short, your computer will get about 5mpg.


    All three items were "fixed" by putting the laptop on life support - clam shell mode connected to a Dell keyboard, MS mouse, and external monitor. HOWEVER, I am now moving into a 15"rMBP and find that it runs uncomfortably hot. In fact so hot that I abandoned the idea of running Windows on it until I have a better understanding of whats happening. Currently running evaluation copies of Mac versions of critical software and thinking about running a few Windows programs through virtual windows.
     
  5. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    #5
    I find the fan speeds to be exactly the same, 1995-2005 rpm for the same tasks I do in windows and mac. Of course if you are running a game, the processor gets used a lot more and fan speeds will increase to prevent your processor from melting.

    As far as battery life, it's not terrible, I'd say its about 20-30% less than a mac, but it might be that you're running more apps in windows than a mac.
     
  6. OneEyedJack macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    #6
    I suppose I should clarify. My 13"MBP was a typical good bootcamp experience. It just had a few quirks but was great and trustworthy. I would agree about battery life. Windows will burn it quicker but its not a deal breaker. Honestly, the battery life thing only affected me while flying a couple of times.

    That was my experience with a 13"MBP 2010 model. As far as the rMBP is concerned I am of the opinion it is not wise (at least for me) to run Windows at all. People who are very aware (IT people, etc.) please do. Hopefully, a more stable patch will emerge that I can use:) Until then, my bootcamp partition will remain quiet on the rMBP.
     

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