Windows users on MBP: your specs and performance feedback, please?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by UESyorkie, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. UESyorkie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    #1
    Hi everyone! My Acer laptop just died and I'm extremely p*ssed that $600 worth of PC is down the drain after only two years. I'm finally considering going back to a Mac (I do have fond memories of those Apple IICs back in elementary school!) and would like to get some feedback from MBP users who are running Windows either via Bootcamp or VMware.

    Is a 2.26GHz CPU, 160GB HD, and 2GB RAM sufficient to run XP (mainly for Office 2003 and IE to log onto a corporate network) and use OS X for everything else (particularly photo and movie editing, iTunes, torrent movie downloading)? It's hard to imagine it even possible (even if much of my data is stored on external drives) considering the choppy playback of my 720p .mov clips from my Powershot on my Acer with a 1.9GHz CPU, 160GB HD and 3GB of RAM, but of course it was a PC and the GPU was crap. Editing .AVI files from a MiniDV camcorder and creating movies using Windows Movie Maker was fine but the HD clips are a whole different ballgame. I was planning to upgrade the MBP ram to 4GB anyways, but if a larger hard drive is needed should I just bite the bullet and get the next MBP up and save myself the tinkering?

    Also I'd like to get a Kanex iAdapt 51 so I can hook up the MBP to my home theater system... the HDMI connection on the HP laptop I'm temporarily using looks great (my old s-video hookup pales in comparison, obvs) but there is a slight background hum which is just awful.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!!

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Dontdothat317 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2007
    #2
    I'm running Windows 7 Professional 64-bit OEM version on a late '08 MBP, with the 8600m GT 512mb card and the 2.5ghz penryn Core 2 Duo. Ram was upgraded to 4-4-4-12 latency 4GB ddr2-667mhz. Hard drive was upgraded to a 320GB 7200RPM drive. I have had ZERO issues with Win7 Pro, and in fact I am using that pretty exclusively over OSX snow leopard now. Games run well on it (COD4-MW), Matlab and various CAD software packages run great.

    Parallels 5 works nicely with Windows 7 Pro, but one major issue is stuttering audio playback in the VM. I use Napster which is Windows only, so this kind of defeated the purpose of using a VM for me.

    If you're going to be connecting a unibody MBP to an HDMI connection, I believe you're going to need two different adaptors, to convert mini-display to DVI, then DVI to HDMI or something like that.

    RAM install for the late '08 MBP is a piece of cake so i imagine it to be the same with the unibody. The amount that you will pay for the next model up MBP with increased ram and hard drive is going to be rather significant compared to if you just purchase some high quality, low latency RAM from newegg and put it in yourself. As far as HDs go, 160GB should be OK for applications. You should be backing stuff up anyways on an external (or multiple external) hard drives. I watch movies direct from a 5400RPM Segate FreeAgent GO portable USB drive, and they play fine. Of course they aren't blue-ray or HD of any sort.
     
  3. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #3
    I have W764 Ulitmate on my late '09 MBP, used primarily for engineering software like MATLAB and Visual Studio 2008. Works well.

    The problems I've had are the typical Windows nonsense. Most recently yesterday it decided that it needed to "starup repair" (because I interrupted a boot in VMWare) and it took 45 minutes to decide it didn't need to do anything. Then Office 2007, working for over six months, decided that it needed to be "configured" for my user even though it has been working fine for over 6 months. I ended up with a bunch of cryptic errors and a "must reboot to complete the installation" endless loop until I finally reinstalled Office and finally said no to the "must" reboot. :rolleyes:

    Monoprice, Kanex and others make single adapters from miniDisplayPort to HDMI with or without audio. Compatibility under Windows may be questionable though.

    B
     
  4. UESyorkie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    #4
    Thanks for the replies!

    Dontdothat317, I'll definitely be storing most (if not all) of my data on external drives, which saved me when my Acer kicked the bucket. I was planning to bump up the RAM to 4GB but I'm concermed that a 160GB HD isn't large enough to temporarily store those videos clips and photos when I'm working on combining them into a movie considering that I'm going to have Windows, Office, and then OS X and its programs on the HD already. I guess plopping in a larger hard drive myself wouldn't be a problem consideirng I already have to upgrade the RAM anyways.

    balamw, what kind of processor, HD, and RAM do you have on your MBP? Dealing with the Windows crazy is a pain, which, along with my recent PC laptop's untimely death was the impetus for me to seriously consider switching to the MBP. As for the HDTV output, have you had any experience with Kanex or any of the other "solutions"? I'm not so concerned about it workiing with Windows but just on picutre quality and sound coming from the MBP off of OS X. Is the output from the miniDisplayPort a pure digital signal that retains the HD resolution of the original content? The hdmi output on PCs is nice and high res stuff really shines on an HDTV.

    Thanks again for your feedback!
     
  5. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #5
    Stock 2.8 GHz/500 GB@5400/4 GB configuration. I also have a 2008 2.4 GHz unibody MacBook.

    I have one of the monoprice HDMI with USB audio units, but have only used it once or twice with OS X. I tend to use the analog Apple miniDP to VGA + 3.5 mm audio to go to my HDTV since the HDMI inputs are taken by the TiVo and BluRay player. I also use a monoprice miniDP-DVI cable for a monitor at my desk and prefer it to the Apple one since the "fat" end stays hidden behind the monitor.

    B
     
  6. Demigod Mac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    #6
    Performance is excellent on my late 08 MBP.

    The only caveat about running Windows on it is that it generates a lot more heat and eats up the battery life like nobody's business, even when idle.
     
  7. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    Just a thought to consider OP:

    Do you really want to buy a copy of Windows and use all that HD just for IE and Office? I would personally recommend using an emulator.

    Both Crossover and WINE are Windows Emulators that can run them programs. Not at the best performance, but can still do it.

    Crossover: http://www.codeweavers.com/products/ - £25.99.
    WINE: http://winebottler.kronenberg.org/ - Free, although, not as finely tuned as Crossover.
     
  8. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #8
    Especially true on the 9400+9600 models like my MBP. A bit less so on the 9400 only models like my MB or the 13" MBP the OP has his eye on.

    B
     
  9. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #9
    I uninstalled Windows on my late 06 Macbook Pro because the performance was just so horrible. Windows XP would chew through my battery in an hour. Vista was better, but still bad. Windows 7 worked best, but the trackpad still didn't work 100%, and the battery life was still poor.

    Wednesday I'm expecting delivery of a 2nd laptop, which runs Windows 7 natively, because I got so fed up with Windows on my mac.

    Specs: MBP 15", 2.16 Core 2 Duo CPU, ATI x1600 GPU, 3gb of RAM, 120gb HDD, and a trackpad with a real button :D
     
  10. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #10
    After close to a year of being "native" PC-free. I too am expecting delivery of a separate Windows laptop (Dell 13" i5) for work, and I also recently added a PC desktop and HP MediaSmart server to the home network.

    The desktop was inevitable as it was a hardware issue. I couldn't use some desktop hardware with any of the Macs, but I really wish Apple offered something like the MediaSmart. The HP is nice, but a bit rough around the edges. No, the Time Capsule doesn't do it. Great for backups, not so great as a general NAS.

    B
     
  11. UESyorkie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    #11
    Thanks for the additional replies!!

    It sounds like everyone who's has Windows up and running decently on their Mac has specs better than the 13" 160GB HD/2GB RAM entry-level MBP, so with the RAM and HD upgrade I'm looking at roughly $1400. I'd like to be able to wait and see if the new MBPs come out with better specs and maybe at a better price-point, but I need something now!!

    I think I'm going to go with either a Sony VAIO from Best Buy for $899 with an i5-520M CPU and a GeForce GT 330M GPU or an HP from Costco for $749 with and i5-430M CPU and Intel's onboard graphics (all other specs are comparable).

    I'm not a gamer (or a guy, balamw :p ), so maybe I don't need the discreet GPU? I'm more concerned about being able to easily edit my HD video clips and photos and throw them into a home movie to burn on a DVD than anything else. And while the Firewire on the VAIO is convenient for pulling in video, I can always get a Firewire Expresscard for the HP.

    If the new MBPs come out within 90 days and I get the HP from Costco, I can always return it and head to the Mac store... kinda smarmy, I know.

    Thanks so much for all your help and feedback!!
     

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