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Author Topic: Use Mac Pro as WINDOWS machine?  (Read 8138 times)
Paul Sumi
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« on: February 01, 2008, 01:16:36 PM »
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I'm a Windows desktop PC user with a G4 Powerbook and in the market for a new desktop PC.

The recent price drop for the 8 core Mac Pro makes switching entirely to Apple vey tempting.  I spec'd out a Dell workstation and a Mac Pro as comparably as possible and the Mac Pro was literally $1500 less expensive.  What Dell wants for the second quad core processor is obscene.

I'm wondering, has anyone bought a Mac Pro to use primarily as a WINDOWS machine?  I like the Mac Pro hardware but have Windows-only software that I am not willing to do without.  Yes, I've seen and demo'd Parallels but it appears to still not support Firewire and this is a deal-breaker for me.

Has anyone bought a Mac Pro to use as a Windows machine and are there any issues doing this?  Or am I crazy to consider this?

Thanks,

Paul
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peteh
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2008, 03:15:59 PM »
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I'm a Windows desktop PC user with a G4 Powerbook and in the market for a new desktop PC.

The recent price drop for the 8 core Mac Pro makes switching entirely to Apple vey tempting.  I spec'd out a Dell workstation and a Mac Pro as comparably as possible and the Mac Pro was literally $1500 less expensive.  What Dell wants for the second quad core processor is obscene.

I'm wondering, has anyone bought a Mac Pro to use primarily as a WINDOWS machine?  I like the Mac Pro hardware but have Windows-only software that I am not willing to do without.  Yes, I've seen and demo'd Parallels but it appears to still not support Firewire and this is a deal-breaker for me.

Has anyone bought a Mac Pro to use as a Windows machine and are there any issues doing this?  Or am I crazy to consider this?

Thanks,

Paul
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=171581\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I'm using a one right now .Mine is an older Mac Pro.4 2.66 processors and 3 750 gig drives and a 250 gig drive. 7 gigs RAM and running XP Pro in one of the 750 drives.I'm using Bootcamp.I have Vmware Fusion but have not installed it yet.Also have 20 in.Apple Cinema display.It's fast and the thing is BUILT NICE !
« Last Edit: February 01, 2008, 03:22:11 PM by peteh » Logged
Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2008, 04:12:27 PM »
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I'm using a one right now .Mine is an older Mac Pro.4 2.66 processors and 3 750 gig drives and a 250 gig drive. 7 gigs RAM and running XP Pro in one of the 750 drives.I'm using Bootcamp.I have Vmware Fusion but have not installed it yet.Also have 20 in.Apple Cinema display.It's fast and the thing is BUILT NICE !
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=171616\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

FWIW, For software availability issues, I set up my MacBook Pro with Parallels and XP. I found Parallels to be very buggy, requiring frequent reinstalls, and finally gave up on it. I can't recommend it as a solution.
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Kirk

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GregW
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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2008, 04:57:59 PM »
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As a 20 plus year Mac user your proposal seemed to me at least a little odd.  That was until I read the following blog which argues your point very well and implies it's perfectly feasible to do as you propose.

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/?p=979
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kaelaria
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« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2008, 05:07:18 PM »
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Why in the world you would do so is beyond me.  You still can't take advantage of the Mac's features such as extended ram.  It would cost a lot more than buying a comparible windows machine in performance.

Macs only have an advantage while running OSX.
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Paul Sumi
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« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2008, 08:24:50 PM »
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Thanks to all for your replies so far.  The article that GregW references is one that I had read and that sparked my interest.  I went on both Apple's and Dell's websites and spec'd out 8 core workstations as closely as I could (only approximately, as some components were not the same).  

FROM A PURE HARDWARE POINT OF VIEW, the Mac Pro machine costs $1500 less than a Dell workstation Precision 690 with similar specifications.  So there is a definite cost benefit to the Mac Pro.

Obviously, this does not take into account any relative benefit the Mac Pro or Dell 690 has running the OS for which it is designed.  If Leopard runs better than Windows on a Mac Pro, so be it.  But I have yet to see any specific reasons why Windows shouldn't run at least as well on an Intel Mac as on a comparable Dell, HP or other Windows box.   Any direct experience definitely appreciated.

Best,

Paul
« Last Edit: February 01, 2008, 08:39:27 PM by PaulS » Logged

tomrock
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« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2008, 06:45:15 AM »
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I have a friend who does this -- he runs Vista 95% of the time on a Mac Pro. He's happy as could be.

It's a great computer for running Windows. The silence of the machine is worth it.
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peteh
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« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2008, 03:25:05 PM »
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I have a friend who does this -- he runs Vista 95% of the time on a Mac Pro. He's happy as could be.

It's a great computer for running Windows. The silence of the machine is worth it.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=171741\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Until the fan on the Mac Pro kicks in. Blow everything off my desk and sounds like a 747 taking off !  
It only goes on every 6-8 hours though and only for a few mins.
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Fred Ragland
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« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2008, 03:43:19 PM »
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I have a friend who does this -- he runs Vista 95% of the time on a Mac Pro. He's happy as could be...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=171741\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Using which emulator?

Thanks,

Fred
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digitaldog
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« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2008, 03:45:06 PM »
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Doesn't sound weird to me at all. The Hardware is beautifully designed and built. And, should you want to run OS X at some point you can (but not with the Dell). Also, look at Consumer Reports year after year with respect to hardware support, Apple is tops. And it cost less? What's NOT wrong with this picture?
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Andrew Rodney
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GregW
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« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2008, 04:00:35 PM »
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Using which emulator?

Thanks,

Fred
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From the quote, I suggest that he is doing so natively and without an emulator.  All of the required drivers etc are available officially so there is no need to jerry rig a solution.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2008, 04:03:30 PM by GregW » Logged
jjj
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« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2008, 05:35:43 PM »
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PC Pro [UK] magazine usually test Macs when they come out and they have proved to be very capable Windows machines, since the switch to Intel. 18months back, a MP was the fastest PC they'd ever tested. A month later a PC was just as fast but 50% of the cost [it wasn't a Dell!] Though with the current price drop of the MP they are currently a very good deal.
And you have the bonus option of using OSX as well as XP or Vista.
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budjames
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« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2008, 05:38:43 PM »
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Since last Feb 2007, I have been running Windows XP Pro SP2 on my MacBook Pro 15" using Parallels. It's true that Parallels had some issues early on, but I still found it to be reliable than my several Dell laptops and workstation.

In March 07, I received my MacPro 8-Core. I run WinXP on this machine too using Parallels. 95% of my use on the MacPro is for Mac programs like Lightroom, iWorks, iLife, Mac Office and Photoshop.

However, on my MacBook Pro, I use it for my financial planning business where Windows is running 8 hours a day in order to run ACT! 2008 Premium (CRM), MS Office 2007 and Internet Explorer 6 for financial web sites that can only be accessed using IE. I have an external 27" LCD wide monitor so that I usually have the external monitor for Windows and the laptop display for Mac OS pgms.

All of the unit work very well even after the Leopard upgrades. I have to use Windows pgms, but I will never go back to using a PC. The latest version of Parallels runs great. I highly recommend it.

Bud James
North Wales, PA
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Bud James
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nemophoto
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« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2008, 05:47:34 PM »
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I don't think your idea is out of line. I've considered doing the same myself and almost did just that with a Mac Book Pro. (I ended up buying an Asus notebook because it did what I wanted and was $600 cheaper.) On the desktop end, the 8-core Mac is a great buy, unlike Apple's pricing in the past.

For those who don't understand, Windows Vista isn't the crap many have made it out to be. I can use both platform systems, but prefer many aspects of the way Windows operates (not the least of which is that I loathe Finder).

And, as digitaldog said, you can always make use of OS X if the desire hits you.
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jjj
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« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2008, 06:49:25 PM »
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Finder, urgh!   Weakest part of OSX
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tomrock
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« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2008, 07:44:17 AM »
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Using which emulator?

Thanks,

Fred
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He uses Bootcamp and just boots the machine into Vista.
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Andy M
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« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2008, 02:36:14 PM »
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Installing Windows on a Mac roughly equates to buying a new Rolls Royce and filling it with cow dung IMO.

I shudder at the mere thought...
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jjj
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« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2008, 02:41:40 PM »
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There are brilliant programmes that are PC only.
And if you want to talk about excremental junk. Finder!  
Or did I already mention that PoS?  
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Andy M
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« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2008, 03:29:19 PM »
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There are brilliant programmes that are PC only.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=172042\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'm sure there is excellent quality cow dung too...
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jjj
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« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2008, 05:30:02 PM »
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I'm sure there is excellent quality cow dung too...
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Like the BS in your posts?  

More seriously, both are good OSes and high end PCs are available too. I had a beautiful Aluminium case for my PC when Apple were still casing their kit is plastic.
Thinking one or the other is waaaaaay better than the other is just a bit fanboyish.
I have both here. There's not much in it. Quite literally in the case of a Mac Pro. I have a PC with 8 hard drives in it plus the OS drive + Swap drive. Getting that into a Mac is impossible. Before you mention external HDs I already have 12 ext large drives and I'd like to reduce clutter, not increase it.
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