windows on MP, questions

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by fluidedge, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. fluidedge macrumors 65816

    fluidedge

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    #1
    Hi i've got some questions to ask about moving over to Windows on a more permanent basis. I use Maya daily and am fed up with the Mac version of maya (buggyness getting too much to bare!) so am moving up to maya 2009 and moving over to Windows. I posted this on the other board but thought i might get a better response here!

    i) Is it advisable to install windows on a separate drive for both performance and "virus" issues (jumping partitions etc)? Is this easy to do through the boot-camp wizard? What size HDD is needed for day to day running of windows? I plan to have a 250GB drive as my daily work drive (a scratch if you will) would an 80GB drive be big enough for the OS and all applications or i suppose these days HDD space is so cheap should i just stick a 250GB for the OS and another 250GB for my scratch even if it's a waste of space?

    I have a 320GB that came with my mac pro. Would i be better to split this in two thus having 160GB for each OS (i still intend on using Mac OS X for video editing and iLife stuff) but then what are the downsides of using a partitioned drive for two OSs that get used intensively?

    ii) Perhaps not the best question to ask on here and i know it's a boring one to answer but honestly - which version of windows should i plump for? I'm thinking XP with SP3 as it's apparently rock solid although i have used Vista Enterprise version and it is fantastic (i suppose a properly SysAd managed enterprise network should run well!) Are the vista home/business versions a chore to run day to day? I'm leaning more towards XP as i know it's a pretty damn good OS.

    iii) Graphics Card. I'm looking forward to breaking free from the shackles of my ATi 2600 Mac Pro card, but don't know what to install instead. I think i have a couple of options: Stick with the 2600 and install something like a 4870 to blast through computer games and maya comfortably, or buy the 3870 and get rid of the 2600 so i can run one card in OS X and Windows without a second thought - bit cheaper too. Is it still a pretty good card for games? I'm not a big player but i do a bit. I'm not even looking at nVidia cards - i've had too many headaches with them in maya before. Which option would you suggest?

    iv) Blu-Ray. I have a 1900x1200 monitor that is HDCP whatever. Can i install a blu-ray drive and watch blu-ray movies easily? I connect to my monitor through DVI do i need HDMI?

    Any advice on any of the above much appreciated!
     
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #2
    A Mac Pro, right? You'll need to attach the Blu-ray drive via an IDE-SATA adapter board. You can't run a SATA Blu-ray drive down to the open SATA ports on the Mac Pro motherboard because those ports aren't recognized in Windows, which is dumb.
     
  3. fluidedge thread starter macrumors 65816

    fluidedge

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    #3
    I've never heard of any problems like that before?
     
  4. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #4
    Hmm... I remember reading about them not being recognized (someone tested a drive), but if you can find something somewhere that says they are, well, there you go. :D I'd love it if they were for the sake of those with Mac Pros now, but I'm glad that I won't have to worry about it (I'm pretty sure the ODD bays in the Nehalem Mac Pro will be SATA... pretty sure...).
     
  5. Tom Sawyer macrumors 6502a

    Tom Sawyer

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    #5

    Based on my experiences, here are a couple things to consider on this:

    While you can certainly use bootcamp to split up your 320gb stock drive, I think a cleaner setup is to dedicate a whole drive to your windows setup. As cheap as SATA drives are these days (I picked up a 1TB Western Digital Black - pretty much the fastest 7200rpm drive you can get) for 130 bucks. (and they are even cheaper now: WD 1tb Black). I split that drive up into an OS X System partition and a Data partition, entire drive dedicated to Mac OS. I then used the stock 320gb WD drive fully for windows. A quick edit of /etc/fstab keeps the windows drive from mounting in OS X and it's a very clean setup.

    Naturally space needed for the windows setup will completely depend on what you intend to do with it. Since you are going to be primarily in windows now for Maya etc, I would dedicate the largest fastest drive you can afford to the Windows setup. You actually do not have to use the bootcamp assistant at all... you can simply put in the windows install disc (XP, vista whatever) hold down C and it will boot right off the CD. Then just a typical windows install, easy as pie. IIRC, there are service pack level requirements on the install CD itself (I believe the install CD must have SP2 at least) and I know my XP 64 needed SP2 install as it came with SP1 and I had to slipstream the install CD to SP2 to get it to boot to install. Once windows is installed you can of course hold down option when the machine powers on and select which drive/OS to boot.

    As far as which version of windows, I ended up going with XP 64 bit for the main reason that XP Home, Pro and MCE etc will only see 2gb of ram regardless of how much ram is in your machine (there is an edit you can perform on the boot.ini in XP Pro to show 3gb but that's as far as it can go). If you want to use more ram than that, you have to move to either XP 64 bit or Vista 64 bit (bleah). I'm not a fan of Vista at all, in fact a purchase of a 17" inspiron a year an a half ago that came with Vista inspired my move to the Mac permanently. I've used every flavor of windows since the DOS and 3.1 days and I agree, XP is a pretty good solid OS, and it has great stability on good hardware.

    Can't speak to the video card question.... I have an 8800GT and it's fantastic for my needs/usage. I have heard the same as Tallest concerning the Blu-Ray questions.

    Hope that helps....
     
  6. rtrt, Jan 6, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  7. tbny65 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #7
    Does the MP have 4 harddrive bays total? So if one used 1 for osx and 1 for win that would leave 2 for expansion? danka

    ps thanks for the above replies. I have a similar situation..
     
  8. fluidedge thread starter macrumors 65816

    fluidedge

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    #8
    yes 4 drive bays. I think i will split the 320 into two. as 160GB is plenty for an OS and Applications.

    I will then install a 250 scratch for Windows and have a 750GB for OS X movies/photos etc that is formatted to NTFS so can be read in both OS's.

    Thanks.

    I need to know now whether it's worth installing XP 64bit or 32bit. 64 would be nice as maya is a 64 bit app. But 32bit should be OK i guess.
     

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