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Old May 21st, 2009, 02:20 PM   #1
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Boot Camp: XP vs. Vista64 vs. Win 7 RC

Seems everyone is asking the question recently of which version of Windows is best suited to Boot Camp. The quick answer: Pick one.

I've recently tested XP SP3, Vista Business 64-bit and Windows 7 RC (build 7100) on an Intel MBP. They all work with Boot Camp just fine with the exception of Win7RC which has some issues with the "Startup Disk" selection in Preferences not seeing the installation and some initial sound-driver problems both of which had to be corrected manually. These minor issues are to be expected with an experimental, non-gold release of an OS package.

They all run quite well in the hybrid environment however Vista64 was the clear winner with speed, stability and memory allocation since the 64-bit versions can address all the RAM installed and not limited to 2GB as in XP.

Windows 7 RC is in point of fact a tweaked Vista (Only RC 32-bit will work in Boot Camp) and other than some UI changes I didn't notice any specific boost in stability or usability compared to Vista. Win7RC also comes with IE8 pre-installed and it too is mostly a feature and UI update and no more stable than IE7.

The only thing I use Windows for is to test how finished movies look on IE7/8 and play Flight Simulator so I can't attest to how editing packages will perform however as mentioned earlier any 64-bit version of Vista will have a very nice performance advantage over XP; even simple QT file playback with H.264, MPEG2 or even RAW DVCPRO-HD was far smoother in Vista than XP. Win7RC was also noticeably faster loading with clips and playback.

Will Win7 be worth upgrading to past Vista? If you're running a 64-bit version of Vista I'd say not but if you're going from XP to Win7 hold onto your hats, you'll enjoy it immensely.
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 10:34 PM   #2
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Sounds like you would be the person to ask this. Will Windows 7 work on a pre January 2008 Mac Pro? I tried to install it when Windows 7 first went public with no success and was wondering if a work solution had presented itself.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 02:47 PM   #3
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I don't have a definitive answer. If your system has the Woodcrest CPU it may not as I've heard problems coming from those machines. However I've heard of installation issues with even the latest '09 versions.

I think the core issue with installations not working properly is that the DVD creation wasn't done properly. I used Disk Utility to create the ISO image of Win7 and it ran flawlessly. Interestingly when I tried to create a disk image using a Windows app Boot Camp couldn't find the disk.

Download the latest build of RC 7 to your Mac desktop and use D.U. to burn the ISO/DMG file to a DVD then see if you can install.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 04:30 PM   #4
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It goes Woodcreast, Yorkfield, then Nehalem right? If so I'm Woodcrest. I'll the burning technique you said today. I can't even remember what I did last time but I've wanted Windows 7 since.
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Old May 24th, 2009, 09:58 AM   #5
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Just keep in mind this is an "evaluation" version of the OS, some things aren't 100% yet like audio codecs. Also, you'll have to manually switch between Mac and Win OS because Boot Camp doesn't see the Windows partition in the "startup disk" preferences.

And, only the 32-bit version of Win7RC will run in Boot Camp, the 64-bit isn't compatible.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 06:18 AM   #6
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Thanks for the recommend on Vista64 vs XP
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