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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jan 21, 2009
    Posts
    37
    Windows on a Mac - is it worth it?
    Hi Folks,

    My eight year old son is a huge fan of Rome Total War, but can only play it on my wife's laptop. Unfortunately, she has to use it too, sometimes! I'd love to let him play on my machine but it's a Macbook...

    I know I can install Windows on my Macbook, but I've shied away from the idea as I read it really needs about 10gigs of space to run properly. Plus ( from reading the forum ) it seems people can have installation problems. Seems a lot to give up for one game ( especially since I only have around 27 gigs free space at the moment).

    Do I really need to sacrifice this much disk space in a HD partition to run one PC game such as RTW? I know a Mac version of the game has just come out but it's pretty pricey considering we already bought the game in PC version.

    My Mac specs are:

    Model Name: MacBook
    Model Identifier: MacBook4,1
    Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
    Processor Speed: 2.4 GHz
    Number Of Processors: 1
    Total Number Of Cores: 2
    L2 Cache: 3 MB
    Memory: 2 GB
    Bus Speed: 800 MHz
    Boot ROM Version: MB41.00C1.B00
    SMC Version: 1.31f0

    Any advice most gratefully received....
    Michael

  2. #2

    vansmith's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 19, 2008
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    19,782
    Specs:
    2012 13" MBP (2.5 i5, 8GB)
    You shouldn't have too many problems installing Windows. If you are installing XP, install it with SP2 first then install the 2.1 update (required for SP3) and then install SP3.

    The decision comes down to whether it is worth installing Windows for the game. This is purely a decision you will have to make. If you are concerned about space, you could consider moving some things to an external drive.
    Important Links: Community Guidelines : Use the reputation system if you've been helped.
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  3. #3

    mdfuller's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 01, 2007
    Location
    Sconie
    Posts
    1,217
    Specs:
    15-inch MacBook Pro
    I personally would buy the kid a cheap PC and let them game on that. The OS is going to cost you over a third of the cost of a new cheaper machine.

  4. #4

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location
    Nambucca Heads Australia
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    22,113
    Specs:
    Imac 27" Retina 5K, 512GB flash memory, 3.3GHz, 16GB memory, macOS Sierra beta.
    Agree with mdfuller and suggest a cheap P4 laptop with specs to run his game. A basic model should do the trick and they are cheap as chips.

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Jan 21, 2009
    Posts
    37
    Thanks for the helpful advice folks.

    "....The OS is going to cost you over a third of the cost of a new cheaper machine...."

    We already have a legitimate copy of Windows XP, so I was going to use that..

    "...cheap P4 laptop with specs to run his game. A basic model should do the trick and they are cheap as chips.."

    Our finances are pretty tight with the world collapsing around our ears! We were baulking at the idea of spending $30ish on a MAC copy of the game, so several hundred dollars for a P4 ( is that what they cost..?) would certainly be way beyond our budget. Would also send the other kids in the house into revolt over one child getting their own PC, so why not them!!

    My question was really whether Windows needs to use 10gigs of space on my HD to run one PC game. I can't really offload any more stuff to my external HD as I need what I have on the machine for business etc.

    Thanks again, and apologies if this sounds ungrateful in any way
    M.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Feb 12, 2008
    Posts
    937
    For Boot Camp, you need to use a retail or OEM copy of XP SP2/3. You can't use the disc that came with another system, or a restore disk, or a branded (e.g., Dell) system disk. If you do, chances are it won't work, and in any case will violate the EULA. Just FYI.

    As far as space goes, XP is fairly compact, so 10 might work. There are some 3d party programs that can resize BC partitions after they are created but it's a bit of a hassle. I'd give it as much space as you can and try it out. You can always restore the partition and start over, if need be.

    One caution: you didn't tell us what kind of graphics your MacBook has - if this is a newer version with the NVidia 9400 series chips, you'll probably be ok. If it's an older version (e.g., a blackbook or whitebook rather than aluminum), you will have the Intel integrated graphics chipset, which is pretty lame for gaming by all accounts. In short, on those machines the game might not run so well even if you get the whole windows thing going fine.

    Good luck.

  7. #7

    mdfuller's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 01, 2007
    Location
    Sconie
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    1,217
    Specs:
    15-inch MacBook Pro
    Quote Originally Posted by varney View Post
    We were baulking at the idea of spending $30ish on a MAC copy of the game..
    That is why the economy is hurting! Go buy him one of these and do your part:

    Eazo desktops offer ultra-luxe style at merely super-luxe prices

    THAT my friends is nuts.

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Feb 25, 2009
    Posts
    2,112
    Specs:
    Late 2013 rMBP, i7, 750m gpu, OSX versions 10.9.3, 10.10
    I wouldn't just give 10 gig to windows. The base install of windows, with no service packs added, no updates, etc. requires 1.5 gigs of storage.

    The game requires 2.9gigs of storage (from the wikipedia Rome: Total War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

    Swap space used can change, but figure between a 512m and 4 gigs will get absorbed for swap usage. On the comp I'm on right now, it's got 2 gigs ram, 2 gig swap.

    Then there's antivirus, anti spyware, etc.

    In a perfect world, you'd only need between say 5 and 6 gigs of ram.

    Then there's the windows world.

    Things that will dramatically affect space will include patches, surfing the net, game updates, etc.

    It's very easy for windows to absorb a lot of space as you start to install updates, service packs, etc. Even if I took out the temp folder in my windows install at work (I haven't removed any old update install files, etc.) my windows folder ALONE is 4gig.

    10 gigs is just a very small drive for XP and games. It'll probably work, and as long as you don't need to install a ton of other stuff, and make sure to clean up whatever you can from updates. but if you need more games installed, or plan to install other software, or allow surfing of the net (ies default cache can absorb a lot of space surfing) you might need to add more space.

    Another option would be too look into getting a bigger HD for your laptop...
    My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m, 16Gig ram; 2013 Mac Pro 6 core w/ D700, 16Gig Ram; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Linux; Apple TV (1080p version)

  9. #9

    vansmith's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 19, 2008
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    19,782
    Specs:
    2012 13" MBP (2.5 i5, 8GB)
    Quote Originally Posted by mdfuller View Post
    For that price, that machine better write my papers and somehow do what I want it to before I even know what I want it to do.
    Important Links: Community Guidelines : Use the reputation system if you've been helped.
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  10. #10


    Member Since
    Feb 25, 2009
    Posts
    2,112
    Specs:
    Late 2013 rMBP, i7, 750m gpu, OSX versions 10.9.3, 10.10
    Quote Originally Posted by vansmith View Post
    For that price, that machine better write my papers and somehow do what I want it to before I even know what I want it to do.
    Oh my freakin god. I didn't follow that link earlier - I should have. Considering the company is obviously still in existence, there must be SOME people out there with WAY too much money, and too little sense.
    My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m, 16Gig ram; 2013 Mac Pro 6 core w/ D700, 16Gig Ram; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Linux; Apple TV (1080p version)

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