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Running Windows (or anything else) on your Mac Discussion of Classic or running Windows, Linux and other OSes on the Mac.

Windows - Windows 7 - iMac 24" - definitive answer


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runee

 
Member Since: Oct 05, 2009
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Hi everybody,


Let me start off by saying I'm a windows user - I hope noone will throw hard stuff at me now ;-)

The thing is, I have been offered an iMac 24" at a VERY reasonable price. However, I don't have, at the moment, any intentions of switching my OS to Leopard... for me, this would be buying a really nice piece of hardware - but staying on the Windows platform (since I simply don't have the money to change all my software licenses, nor any inclination to teac my GF a new OS ;-)

I have searched around abit, and I can see it is entirely possible, and rather easy, to run Windows 7 on such an iMac. I do have some questions though, that I am having some problems to find answers to. I guess this is largely because Win7 has not been released yet and Bootcamp 3.0 is not officially supporting it yet. I hope someone here can give me some definitive answers (preferably, without suggestions or flames about reasons for and against one or the other - just looking for hard facts )

I am hardpressed to find any model number for this iMac - but the specs are as follows:
+ Intel Core Duo 2 - 3.06GHz
+ 6 MB L2-buffer / 1066 MHz frontside-bus
+ NVIDIA GeForce GT 130
+ 4 GB 1.066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM
+ 1 TB HDD


Here goes:

- How's the performance? Since the Win7 will be running natively, and have exclusive access to the hardware, will it perform just as well as a similar equipped PC ?

- As far as I can tell, only driver issues I may come accross is sound support, which is solved easily - all other drivers will work and perform well ?

- Will the "PC" be supporting DirectX 10 fully ?

- How much Ram is on that GPU ?

- I do game alot besides my normal work (Photographer), how will this graphics adapter perform in 3D games, like Everquest and the likes ?

- I am assuming all my USB hardware will just work (Digitizers, keyboard etc.) Correct?

- I am assuming this iMac, once booted into Windows 7, will be a fullblooded PC in every imaginable way - except for looking just plain awesome of course Correct ?

- I am assuming I am cutting myself off from any hardware upgrades, like a better Graphics card or CPU in 1 year when it's too old from my taste - Correct ?

- Will this iMac be able to run Windows 7 64bit and obtain the advantages from that ?

- Any compability / performance issues in general I will/may stumble upon ?


I hope there's a few patient and tech savy guys inhere, that can answer my questions - thanks alot in advance!

/Rune
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Kash

 
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An iMac's hardware is exactly like other PC hardware, so running Windows on it natively will give you exactly the same features you'll get on any PC. All you need to do is use the recovery discs/Leopard discs to install the drivers once you've finished installing Windows and you'll be set.


June 2007
July 2009
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runee

 
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Well...if the answer is that simple, I am a happy camper.

That answers alot of my above questions, except a few that still remains:

- 64 bit possible?
- Performance of the graphics... any idea which NVidia PC card model that can be compared to ?
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Kash

 
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Your hardware is certainly capable of 64-bit. However, I'm not sure how well developed the 64-bit Boot Camp drivers are for the iMac. I know that 64-bit support for the Macbooks and the Mac Pro is well established. Since the iMac uses laptop components, I don't see why you couldn't get a 64-bit version of Windows to work.

As for the graphics, the GT130 doesn't exactly scream performance, but it's supposed to be nVidia's best mobile card. You'll get decent gaming performance out of it, perhaps Medium to High settings with no AA or AF. However, I'm not sure what you mean by which nVidia PC card model it can be compared to. You stated that it's an nVidia GT130. If you want to compare it to previous nVidia models I'd put it at somewhere a little slower than an 8800GS or about the equivalent of a 9600GT.


June 2007
July 2009
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runee

 
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Yep, that's excactly the kind of comparison I was looking for - thank you

ATM I am running an older Nvidia AGP card; so either way I guess I will see a performance boost.

I've scourged the apple site abit - they list is as having 512mb ddr3 ram on it - so I guess that will be just fine for my needs.
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Kash

 
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You'll see a huge boost coming from an AGP card. Man, I haven't used AGP in ages

Yea, for integrated 512MB is just overkill.


June 2007
July 2009
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runee

 
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So, I guess that settles it.

The other option I have, would be a standard PC - the benefit there would be that the configuration I can choose there, would be a quad core CPU and the option to upgrade later on. However, I would loose the amazing design - since as far as I can see, I cannot connect an Apple LED Cinema 24" to a standard PC with DVI, since it uses that propreitary mac mini display port thingie

(Can you tell I am pretty hooked on the apple design for my desktop? )
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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runee View Post
So, I guess that settles it.

The other option I have, would be a standard PC - the benefit there would be that the configuration I can choose there, would be a quad core CPU and the option to upgrade later on. However, I would loose the amazing design - since as far as I can see, I cannot connect an Apple LED Cinema 24" to a standard PC with DVI, since it uses that propreitary mac mini display port thingie

(Can you tell I am pretty hooked on the apple design for my desktop? )
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe there are Mini Displayport to Displayport/HDMI/DVI adapters. The port is really just a derivative of Displayport, with a smaller connector.

But honestly, unless you're getting an unreal deal on that iMac, I would advise against this. You can build a much nicer PC for that price and be able to easily upgrade it later. The iMac is a nightmare to do just about any upgrade on (aside from upgrading memory).

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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runee

 
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As far as I know, only a 199$ box can do that conversion? If someone knows elsewise, I am very interested Is it possible to connect a standard DVI to the new Cinema 24" LED displays ?

As far as the buying the apple or not - you hit the nail. The biggest problem against it, is excactly the non-option to upgrade later on. Which is why I would prefer the PC / Cinema24" combo if that could work. (Bear in mind, I want a digital signal all the way - I am a photographer, and cannot afford some halfhearted analog conversion with colors I cannot trust).

Regarding the price; the deal I am getting is from work since we got some new tax-laws. This means I end up paying about 35-40% of the retail price for it - which is what made me even consider it in the first place
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Any particular reason you're dead set on the Apple Cinema Display? It's a good display, don't get me wrong, but there are other non-proprietary displays that are just as good, if not better.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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runee

 
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Same reason I am interested in the iMac - it comes at a great price. This is also on my list of "Things I can get for 40% of retail price".

ATM I am looking at either an iMac, with the option of the Cinema Display, or a PC with the option of a HP monitor.
The monitor is very important to me, and I have had so much bad experience with the HP's that I am not going to consider that.

This leaves me with the iMac... or if I could get the Cinema display working properly on the PC, that would be an option as well.

Because you are right, the Cinema displays are not perfect and there are similar quality monitors in the same pricerange. But not if you cut off 60% of the price
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runee View Post
Same reason I am interested in the iMac - it comes at a great price. This is also on my list of "Things I can get for 40% of retail price".

ATM I am looking at either an iMac, with the option of the Cinema Display, or a PC with the option of a HP monitor.
The monitor is very important to me, and I have had so much bad experience with the HP's that I am not going to consider that.

This leaves me with the iMac... or if I could get the Cinema display working properly on the PC, that would be an option as well.

Because you are right, the Cinema displays are not perfect and there are similar quality monitors in the same pricerange. But not if you cut off 60% of the price
OK, I might regret this, but I have to ask... how are you getting 60% off the retail price, but only as it pertains to Apple products?

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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runee

 
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Company offer. New tax rules here allow us to buy certain items from our salary, before tax is deduced

So, the company are getting some good deals and can "re-sell" them to us, from our salary. Since I pay a whooping 60% tax of my salary (yay government!) the math ends up like that

These good deals, include the Mac products
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Are they hiring?? :lol:

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Coolknight

 
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Apple just calls it a GT130... in fact it is a Nvidia 9800m GTS. A very good card for Windows XP, Vista and 7. It has 64 Cuda cores and the 9400m chipset has 16, so you get 80 Cuda cores, which is nice for games, doing math and video... in fact there is more and more software that can make use of these 80 Cuda cores, such software will give you some serious speed, more then even the best Intel 4 Core can give you for some math.

As to the 24'' I-MAC, it is sort of a Mobile / Desktop hybrid, which is great cause it consumes less power, makes less noise and is very close to a Power Notebook... but with much better cooling and screen, and performance.

I would not hesitate to buy that machine if it is in good working order, myself I have a 24'' I-Mac with 4GB the GT130, XP Pro 3 and the current Nvidia drivers (which you will need to install yourself after you installed the Bootcamp drivers). I am very happy with my purchase.

I would not buy one with an ATI GPU as then you have ZERO Cuda cores, Nvidia disables those on the 9400m is it detects a non Nvidia GPU. Also most Windows games are Nvidia optimized, so having an ATI makes no sense at all.

Regards,
Coolknight
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