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  1. #1
    Performance issues with XP in Boot Camp
    Stefan's Avatar
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    Question Performance issues with XP in Boot Camp
    Ok I know this question has probably been put forward in some shape or form previously but i think mine is a little more specific. Stay with me on this one...

    I have a MacBook Pro and am looking to do a lot of Windows based work which I have neglected since moving to OS X. I am looking at doing C# programming, games design with Microsoft XNA and lots of level design work with games engines such as the Unreal Engine and FarCry Engine. My big dilemma is whether to opt for Boot Camp on my MBP or to go for a totally new laptop dedicated to Windows based work...

    I am running 10.4 so I would need to get 10.5 or a boot camp beta. Secondly, I would need to purchase XP. I would then need to partition my drive to accomodate XP (and my drive has roughly 80Gig space left). And this is the main problem - is partitioning my drive going to have a significant effect on the performance of both OS's? There would be very little space on both partitions as a result and as I will be doing quite graphically, CPU intensive work will a boot camped MBP running XP be able to keep up?

    Perhaps my understanding of how Boot Camp utilises the CPU, RAM, hard drive and GPU when in XP is somewhat incorrect or misinformed? If so please show me the light!

    The alternative I am looking at is purchasing a Dell XPS M1530 or a Dell Studio.

    Any help is always appreciated.
    "Id rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy"

  2. #2
    Performance issues with XP in Boot Camp

    Member Since
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    Well, it sounds like you need a lot of hard drive space and overall performance, as well as full driver compatibility, so I'd go with a dedicated Windows laptop in your case, just to be sure everything worked.
    I don't think a partition itself will affect OS performance, though, just the size of it.
    Hope that helped a bit.

  3. #3
    Performance issues with XP in Boot Camp
    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan View Post
    Ok I know this question has probably been put forward in some shape or form previously but i think mine is a little more specific. Stay with me on this one...

    I have a MacBook Pro and am looking to do a lot of Windows based work which I have neglected since moving to OS X. I am looking at doing C# programming, games design with Microsoft XNA and lots of level design work with games engines such as the Unreal Engine and FarCry Engine. My big dilemma is whether to opt for Boot Camp on my MBP or to go for a totally new laptop dedicated to Windows based work...

    I am running 10.4 so I would need to get 10.5 or a boot camp beta. Secondly, I would need to purchase XP. I would then need to partition my drive to accomodate XP (and my drive has roughly 80Gig space left). And this is the main problem - is partitioning my drive going to have a significant effect on the performance of both OS's? There would be very little space on both partitions as a result and as I will be doing quite graphically, CPU intensive work will a boot camped MBP running XP be able to keep up?

    Perhaps my understanding of how Boot Camp utilises the CPU, RAM, hard drive and GPU when in XP is somewhat incorrect or misinformed? If so please show me the light!
    All Boot Camp does is set up the Mac to allow you to install Windows, as well as provide drivers. Once Windows is installed, running Windows is exactly like running Windows on ANY OTHER COMPUTER. All you are doing is dual-booting, like people have done for ages on any other PC. You don't even have to stick to the Boot Camp drivers once up and running... you can upgrade to the latest graphics drivers, audio, etc from the maker of that component if need be.

    Since the Boot Camp beta is expired, your only choice is to go with OS 10.5. Your only other concern is disk space. Partitioning a drive in and of itself has no impact on performance. What you have to determine for yourself is how much to allocate to each partiton, and whether overall you have enough to support each OS and the apps for each. Of course you need a bit of a buffer for the swap file and to avoid excessive fragmentation. If 20% of the partition space is still free after all is installed, you should be in good shape. Less than 10%... and I'd say things are a bit tight.

  4. #4
    Performance issues with XP in Boot Camp
    Stefan's Avatar
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    Well i've been doing some research and it seems Boot Camp is an execellent alternative to a new laptop. It seems many people use Macs for Windows development and work well.

    Boot Camp differes from Parallels in that it only runs one OS at a time (as opposed to Parallels which essentially has both OS's running at the same time). Is that correct? I'm assuming Boot Camp would allow optimum perfromance when running one particular OS, as that OS is not sharing RAM and other processing power with the unused OS. I.e. when in Windows im not sharing processing power with OS X?

    I think I can free up some space on my drive and XP doesn't seem to take up a great deal of space (1.5 Gig). I'll just pack my MBP full of RAM!

    Don't suppose anyone knows what video card is in a 15" MBP purchased May last year?! I need to check the support of shader models and other gubbinz before I take the plunge.

    Thanks for all your help
    "Id rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy"

  5. #5
    Performance issues with XP in Boot Camp
    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan View Post
    Boot Camp differes from Parallels in that it only runs one OS at a time (as opposed to Parallels which essentially has both OS's running at the same time). Is that correct? I'm assuming Boot Camp would allow optimum perfromance when running one particular OS, as that OS is not sharing RAM and other processing power with the unused OS. I.e. when in Windows im not sharing processing power with OS X?
    Correct. All Boot Camp does is set up the system to let you start an install of Windows as a dual-boot solution. When people say they are running Windows under Boot Camp, they technically are being misleading. There is no program called "Boot Camp" that is running once Windows is installed, nor while Windows is running. When you start up the computer, you either boot into OS X or into Windows.

    With Parallels or Fusion, you are running Windows "in a window" while logged into OS X. This works well for many people. Most 3D games and apps that require the most out of a computer don't work so well though.

    Don't suppose anyone knows what video card is in a 15" MBP purchased May last year?! I need to check the support of shader models and other gubbinz before I take the plunge.
    I assume you have this MBP in front of you? Just go to the Apple menu and select "About This Mac". From there you'll have access to all the system specs.

  6. #6
    Performance issues with XP in Boot Camp
    NPuter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan View Post
    Don't suppose anyone knows what video card is in a 15" MBP purchased May last year?!
    It is more than likely that you have a ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 video card with 128MB VRAM...

    "The forums are not only a place to have questions answered, they are a place to be part of a community..."

  7. #7
    Performance issues with XP in Boot Camp
    Stefan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NPuter View Post
    It is more than likely that you have a ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 video card with 128MB VRAM...
    Thanks NPuter. I guess the card is integrated and cannot be removed and upgraded?

    lifeisabeach - thanks for your reply. It's cleared everything up nicely!

    I will look at getting 10.5 soon so fingers crossed it all goes painlessly!
    "Id rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy"

  8. #8
    Performance issues with XP in Boot Camp
    NPuter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan View Post
    Thanks NPuter. I guess the card is integrated and cannot be removed and upgraded?

    lifeisabeach - thanks for your reply. It's cleared everything up nicely!

    I will look at getting 10.5 soon so fingers crossed it all goes painlessly!
    It is a dedicated graphics card, but unfortunately, its not replaceable.

    "The forums are not only a place to have questions answered, they are a place to be part of a community..."

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