Windows Users: what can't an Intel Mac do?

We’re due to have the computers in our lab refreshed this year, and with Gateway being split and sold, we’re not yet sure who will be supplying our campus’s PCs for next academic year and beyond.

One idea for how to avoid the whole PC / Mac issue that we had is to simply have a lab full of Mac hardware, and simply set half the machines to boot into Windows. Easy peasy! But, I’ve not used Windows on an Intel Mac very extensively. Is there anybody out there who has done so, and can comment on why this might -NOT- be a good idea?

Thanks in advance!

Ryan has been proudly maintaining and contributing to Language Lab Unleashed since 2005, and is the current President of SWALLT. Since the summer of 2013 he's been causing trouble with his all-star colleagues in the UMW DTLT; when not wrangling websites Ryan can be found doing strange things with heavy objects.

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  1. Robert Summers · November 13, 2007 Reply

    We are creating a dual boot lab here at UAlbany and there is only one problem that I have run into so far. Something about bootcamp limits the amount of video memory. This is only a problem when we want to play FL video games that require large amount of video memory.

    This may be fixed with leopard, but even though I received leopard a couple of weeks ago, I haven’t had time to do a new install.

    I’ll let you know as things progress.


  2. Ryan · November 14, 2007 Reply

    Hi Robert!

    I would -love- to hear how playing with Leopard goes. One question: I’ve heard from others that finding a keyboard to work with both Windows and OS X can be difficult (one that replicates all of the “special” keys, that is). What’s your experience with that?


  3. itsalljustaride · November 19, 2007 Reply

    I’ve used dual boot Macs a bit, and use Parallels quite a bit more.

    Boot Camp is a pretty smooth operator, and our IT department didn’t seem to have too much trouble putting the standard office image on a dual boot machine. Initially there were some issues with some of the standard iMac hardware not working (the iSight for example) and the mouse would get wonky and not want to register. I havn’t used it in months, though, so the drivers may have evolved.

    However, I highly recommend using Parallels (or VMWare, which I hear is actually better) if you can swing the cost. The upshot of using virtual machines is that you can deploy a new one simply by copying the files over, instead of doing separate images. If your Windows VM gets corrupt you simply overwrite it with a saved backup. No muss, no fuss, and you don’t have to deal with separate partitions.

    Apple’s ASR imaging software is really slick, worlds better than Norton Ghost, and so using VMs you just bring Windows right along for the ride.

    I suggest browsing the Bombich forums on this subject.

  4. Robert Summers · November 30, 2007 Reply

    Well you will be happy to know that the shared memory issue has been solved with the non-beta version of bootcamp that comes with leopard. However, the GPU in the machines that we bought are somewhat slow with the more demanding games.

    I think that you’ll also be pleased to know that the driver issues that I had with the beta bootcamp have been resolved. No more problems with the mice or the cams.

    I haven’t had an issue with keyboards. I just change in the system preferences and also include a picture of the keyboard map on the desktop.


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