Thanks to all those who responded to my benchmarking thread.
Since then I have been doing some further investigation, and rather than building a new PC as mentioned in that thread, after years of using PC's I am now seriously considering taking the plunge and getting a MAC.
In the past, because all my work (professionally and otherwise) has been PC based, it was not an option, but these days with the advent of OS X Lion, Intel based MACs, there seems to be a better chance of making the switch without losing the years of investment in the PC space.
There are a number of ways to run Windows 7 on a MAC.
- Firstly, there is Bootcamp, which is basically the MAC equivalent of a dual-boot partition on a PC. This requires the OS (MAC or WINDOWS) to be chosen at startup, and therefore I assume it will be running Windows natively, so hopefully there shouldn't be too many issues with this approach. (Presumedly, it would also be possible to have a third boot partition with Linux installed).
Secondly, there are a number of virtualization products available at extra cost, which allow you to switch between OS's at any time, and/or run WINDOWS apps directly from within the MAC environment. -- The products I'm aware of are "Parallels" (from Apple) and "Fusion" from VMWARE.
Personally, I like the idea of being able to switch between the two OS's instantly, and a MAC salesman assured me that running Windows with "Parallels" was "identical" to running it on a PC. However, you can never trust a salesman to tell you the downside, and I'm sure there must be a downside in the "virtualization" approach, either in performance, or compatibility with drivers, printers, USB drives formatted with NTFS, etc.
So I was wondering if anyone here runs WINDOWS on a MAC in conjunction with OS X Lion, in any of these configurations, either bootcamp or with "Parallels" or "Fusion".
If so, would you please describe your experiences regarding performance, compatibility, and any other issues you might have encountered.
The issues that might be deal-breakers for me would be:
- 1. If performance (particularly 3D graphics framerates) is significantly compromised,
2. If some legacy windows apps cannot be run,
3. or if legacy data or peripherals (ie. NTFS format drives, network printers, etc) cannot be accessed
The options for me are probably:
- MacBook PRO - portable, but may not perform well in terms of 3D graphics
iMAC - Nice (although very glossy) 27" screen, but the graphics performance may be compromised wrt. 3D stuff, when compared to the PC spec I detailed in the benchmarking thread.
-- The iMAC uses a Radeon mobile chipset (HD 6970M), which, according to Passmark is not at all bad as far as mobile chipsets go, but is still down on the Nvidea GTX 560 Ti. (score of 2,616 marks vs 2983)
A MAC Pro is the other option (and will certainly have the best graphics performance), but probably a bit expensive for me.
Any descriptions of your experiences regarding any of the above would be appreciated.
PS. Please, no fanboy style "just get a MAC, they're superior" type comments.
I'm only interested in open-minded objective advice based on actual experience if possible. If I'm to fork out $thousands on a platform I've never used before (and risk losing previous work), I'd rather any advice received was based on fact, or at least a considered opinion, rather than emotion.