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Best Vers. of Windows for Boot Camp / Virtual Machines?

Future BluesFuture Blues Registered User regular
I'm back in the states long enough to order some software and I want to set up a boot camp / fusion partition on my MBP but I'm wondering what version I should purchase.

On one hand I'm looking at the 64bit version of Vista ultimate because I've heard its incredibly stable and that sounds like a good deal to me. But does this version run in a virtual machine like Fusion and in that situation will the stability even matter all that much? Contrasting this, I also heard that a lot of programs don't install or work correctly under the 64bit version of Vista. If that's the case, then I'm not sure it will really work out. I'd like to be able to do myriad things with this install and don't want to feel burdened by compatibility issues. Is anybody running this using boot camp or Fusion? Any horror stories? What, if anything, should I assume not to work. Primarily this partition is going to be used to play games and run misc. programs. Should I not go 64bit if I want to game on it?

If I don't go 64bit, I guess the choice is between Vista and XP SP3. I know that the vista install is a lot more streamlined (I couldn't even get XP to install the last time I tried it, but it may not have been an SP2 disc...) but XP3 has that tried and true everything works vibe to it.

Finally, anyone running an OEM version of windows run into licensing trouble when trying to use it with Boot Camp and/or a virtual machine? I'm working in Japan right now and I don't have the time or the money to be ringing up MS every week when windows thinks I'm trying to pirate it because I'm running in a VM or switching back and forth between a VM/boot camp partition.

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    AyulinAyulin Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Regarding 64-bit Vista, I've only come across a single program which couldn't run, and that was because it was a really old 16-bit one (there's no support for 16-bit emulation under 64-bit Vista.) I can't really say how well it'd run in Boot Camp (not a Mac owner myself), but I just thought I'd throw that out there: 64-bit Vista can run pretty much anything you'd want, and driver support isn't as bad as it's made out to be.

    (If you have any doubts regarding specific games, though, check out this site.)

    I don't think you'd have any issues regarding activation, since it only checks that your hardware is kept the same; being in a VM or running it from Boot Camp shouldn't make a difference (disclaimer: I'm not sure how hardware will appear when running in Fusion, but I don't think it'd be a major problem.)

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    LaCabraLaCabra MelbourneRegistered User regular
    edited July 2008
    For Boot Camp, any version of windows should work fine, so that narrows your question down to "Is Vista 64 okay" to which the answer is yes. Runs everything you'd expect it to run. As the man says you'll have trouble with versions of programs that're like ten years out of date. I'd go Vista 64.

    Do not, however, use XP 64, because there's a bunch of shit that won't run on that.

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    GrimReaperGrimReaper Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Here's my advice, if you want to play games then use bootcamp with Windows XP. (32bit)

    If you want to just use some applications then use VMWare Fusion (or parallels, fusion is the better vm software) with Windows XP. This way you can run them under OSX with unity/coherence without having to reboot.

    The reason why I say Windows XP instead of Vista for gaming is pretty simple, you won't get any kind of performance boost from using DX10 because the typical DX10 hardware on macs is more lower end therefore the kind of settings you'll be running them at won't be their high setting DX10 levels. Ergo you'll get better performance running them with XP.

    With a virtual machine however you're running an entire OS on top of OSX, therefore memory considerations come into play. Vista is a massive memory hog in comparison to XP, therefore XP is recommended. That way you can run windows apps without a VM taking up half of your memory.

    Also, there is a third way. Darwine, it's WINE built for OSX. The official Darwine died long ago, however a few people have picked up the flag and are running with it.

    It runs a surprising amount of stuff and it's stable with a 1.0 release. It is recommended to run the trix app to get some extras installed like MS fonts etc. Also, as mentioned here OpenGL is now working with Darwine which is major news. (requires Leopard though)

    And if you'll excuse me i'm off to cry in a corner because I can't test that OpenGL with Darwine because my Macbook Pro is in the hands of Apple as they repair my display wiring.

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    DritzDritz CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Darwine is so much better now because it's just a port of Wine now. Before they messed with running it on top of an emulator and all that jazz because the original was designed for Power-PC. Anyways.... I want to continue on this discussion.

    I'm also looking into getting XP or Vista. A few months ago when I first thought of duel booting my Macbook (not pro) I thought XP was the only decent choice since most people seem dissatisfied with Vista. However I've come to the realization that XP is pretty much dead and buried. Sure it'll get security updates for a year (I think) but other than that it seems as though I should be leaning for Vista.

    Currently my Macbook's only got 1 GB of memory but I'll be bumping that up to 4GB (only 3.3 usuable unfortunately). I probably won't be using a virtual machine although I do fool around with Ubuntu (what I run on my desktop) in Virtualbox. I'll be trying to run OSX most of the time as well.

    Dritz on
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    PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Dritz wrote: »
    Darwine is so much better now because it's just a port of Wine now. Before they messed with running it on top of an emulator and all that jazz because the original was designed for Power-PC. Anyways.... I want to continue on this discussion.

    I'm also looking into getting XP or Vista. A few months ago when I first thought of duel booting my Macbook (not pro) I thought XP was the only decent choice since most people seem dissatisfied with Vista. However I've come to the realization that XP is pretty much dead and buried. Sure it'll get security updates for a year (I think) but other than that it seems as though I should be leaning for Vista.

    Currently my Macbook's only got 1 GB of memory but I'll be bumping that up to 4GB (only 3.3 usuable unfortunately). I probably won't be using a virtual machine although I do fool around with Ubuntu (what I run on my desktop) in Virtualbox. I'll be trying to run OSX most of the time as well.

    What? Doesn't Leopard speak x64?

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    GrimReaperGrimReaper Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Dritz wrote: »
    Darwine is so much better now because it's just a port of Wine now. Before they messed with running it on top of an emulator and all that jazz because the original was designed for Power-PC. Anyways.... I want to continue on this discussion.

    I'm also looking into getting XP or Vista. A few months ago when I first thought of duel booting my Macbook (not pro) I thought XP was the only decent choice since most people seem dissatisfied with Vista. However I've come to the realization that XP is pretty much dead and buried. Sure it'll get security updates for a year (I think) but other than that it seems as though I should be leaning for Vista.

    Currently my Macbook's only got 1 GB of memory but I'll be bumping that up to 4GB (only 3.3 usuable unfortunately). I probably won't be using a virtual machine although I do fool around with Ubuntu (what I run on my desktop) in Virtualbox. I'll be trying to run OSX most of the time as well.

    What? Doesn't Leopard speak x64?

    In certain Macbooks you can't up the memory beyond a certain level I believe. It's a chipset limitation. Newer models you can though. (working from memory here)

    EDIT: Just checked, the early Core Duo versions the max is 2GB. Core 2 Duo versions however support 4GB.

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    DritzDritz CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2008
    All you'll ever need to know about Intel Mac RAM. I'm still not completely sure if I should go duel channel (2x2 with a waste of 700mb) or mismatched (1x1, 1x2 without reaching my limit :(). Kinda stupid how the whole ram thing fell into place.

    Dritz on
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