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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.

Macbook - Newbie questions - Vista and memory


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binom_nom

 
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I'm a high school senior going off to college in a few months and I have begun searching for a laptop. For most of my life I have only worked with PCs and it's come to the point where I'm at a crossroads. Do I defect from Windows? Or do I stick with them? I have done some searching and I really like the MacBook. I am a bit weary with software compatibility at school. I know I'll receive iWork and all that jazz. However, my intended course of study may require me to use software that may not be written for Apple. Question 1 is this, if I get Windows Vista Ultimate (I can imagine the groans now) pre-installed on my machine, how does running a program in Vista work? Is the HD partitioned or am I running it on an "imaginary" OS? When running a program in Vista on the Apple, will the OS be slower than an actual PC with vista as the main OS? With the resource hog, vista, on the machine, should I opt to get the 2 gig of ram? That should be it for now. THANKS!
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hagios1972

 
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I would suggest that you inquire from your intended course what software they would be requiring you to use so you can make a decision. having said that, I would recommend that you get a MacBook black, 120GB HD and 1 GB RAM. With Mac you can also install XP OS so you can also install PC softwares. You can ask your Mac vendor on how to go about this.
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binom_nom

 
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Thanks; As for how quick Vista will be in parallels, any idea?
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knightlie

 
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Personally I'd go for Windows XP in Parallels, you'd spend less time getting all sorts of Vista-hassles sorted out, and I'd imagine you can pick up a license prety cheaply at the moment. For studying my Java course I'm actually using Windows 2000, which is more than enough and the only version of Windows I really like.
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kgeier82

 
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another vote for xp in parallels.

vista is just not ready in my eyes.

its nice looking, but doesnt offfer most people anything currently

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jaster

 
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Vista is a memory hog!!!! My wife has it on a windows based machine and it is slow, slow, slow, slow. Go with xp.
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Yes I agree go with XP Pro, my experience with VISTA has not impressed me, very slow and it's still not fully tested, even BECTA have said not to use for at least 2years in education circles.

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binom_nom

 
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Is XP pro pretty quick in parallels? I'm not too picky about what version of Windows I go with, the main thing I care about is how well it will preform.
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knightlie

 
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XP runs fine in Parallels, faster if you turn off Themes, which I do anyway. It needs 1GB RAM ideally though.
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Village Idiot

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaster View Post
Vista is a memory hog!!!! My wife has it on a windows based machine and it is slow, slow, slow, slow. Go with xp.
It's not. Does she have a decent video card, or is she trying to run something crappy with aero turned on?

I installed vista on a dell laptop with 2gb of memory and a 256mb nvidia go 7900gs, which is a really good gpu, and it's running at about 2-3% more core memory use than with xp. In fact, it rarely goes over 50% unless I start running games and stuff. I do all my editing in Photoshop CS2, and have had 10-15 photos open at once with no slow down.

Most of the people that complain about Vista being slow are trying to run the Aero engine with a crappy card.

Which is why I would suggest to the OP to not try and run Vista on a Macbook unless he's atleast tech savvy enough to turn of the Aero engine and adjust any other settings needed to get it to run smoothly. Also, you can run into a fair amount of software problems in Vista if you don't run them as admin and/or setup the compatibility options to run as XP SP2.

I personally wouldn't try and run Vista unless I was using a MBP or something with a GPU that has it's own dedicated memory.
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Originally Posted by Village Idiot View Post
It's not. Does she have a decent video card, or is she trying to run something crappy with aero turned on?
My wife is running an hp media laptop specifically made for vista. We paid a pretty penny for it, upgrading everything so that Vista would run well. We even waited to buy it until the new vista models, came out so that she would get the max performance out of it. Let me tell you, next to my macbook, her vista notebook is SLOW. Vista is a memry hog. Windows users tell me that all the time, and I see it on her laptop. Unless you have maxed out ram, Vista is going to drag. Windows Vista even comes with some rating system is runs on your computer and tells you how to get more performance. It will tell you to MAX out the ram.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaster View Post
My wife is running an hp media laptop specifically made for vista. We paid a pretty penny for it, upgrading everything so that Vista would run well. We even waited to buy it until the new vista models, came out so that she would get the max performance out of it. Let me tell you, next to my macbook, her vista notebook is SLOW. Vista is a memry hog. Windows users tell me that all the time, and I see it on her laptop. Unless you have maxed out ram, Vista is going to drag. Windows Vista even comes with some rating system is runs on your computer and tells you how to get more performance. It will tell you to MAX out the ram.
If you haven't, try doing a clean install and see how it runs. Mine's running fine and I have 2g in the notebook out af a potential 4gb's, and as I said before, it runs fast and runs with about 31% memory usage when I'm not doing anything and have my gadgets going, where as XP was running at 29%. Vista will even drop down to 21% with nothing going on. Sounds like there's a problem.

And just because a computer has one of those shiny Vista compatible stickers on it, doesn't mean it'll run fast.
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binom_nom

 
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I'm going with a MacBook pro instead. The dedicated memory for the video card sort of made the deal. I probably won't be running it but <10% of the time. I'm guessing 2 gigs of ram with 2.16 ghz C2D processor will be sufficient for it. Switching from a PC to Apple I'm just a bit weary of how the two will mesh. Thanks for all the input.
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The debate about Vista's memory needs is all very well, but in context of the original question, it is fair to say Vista is memory hungry and will probably run slowly if used within Parallels. Most people running Parallels are not going to give up 2GB of RAM for the guest operating system.

XP requires less memory, end of story. If your XP installation used 30% of a 2GB install, that's a lot. A clean XP installation with no themes, should use less around 100MB idle - I run my parallels install with 300MB of RAM dedicated to the guest OS. There is no way I could do that with Vista.

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fleurya

 
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I would go with XP also. If you need to later on (probably much, much later) you'll probably be able to pick a copy of Vista cheap as most colleges have student licenses.

I personally had to major slowdown using XP with 1 gig of RAM, but I allocated 512 just to Parallels, so maybe that's why. Anyway, I got a second gig and now everything runs smooth. If you can, I'd recommend getting 2 gigs, but buy it and put it in after you get your Mac because it's cheaper that way and won't void your contract or anything weird.
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