OnMac.net: Windows XP on Intel Macs

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  #1  
Old 3rd September 2007, 06:40 AM
5447tina 5447tina is offline
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Default speed of MSExcel in windows on mac

i think i posted this question in the wrong sub-forum so repeating it here...

i am considering buying a mac pro and running windowsXP on it- i have very large excel and access files and work with large amounts of interactive data. the plan is to duplicate my current pc with 4 hard drives and a raid card.
has anyone used ms excel and access in windows on an intel mac and can tell me how the speed compares to , say, a comparable dell
thank you
  #2  
Old 4th September 2007, 04:25 PM
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zarmanto zarmanto is offline
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The short answer is: Hide a new IntelMac running Windows and a new Dell under a desk, connect them both to identical keyboards, mouses and monitors, and you probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the two.

And if you're interested in my own rambling speculations and pontifications... here is the long answer: Today, any new Macintosh computer that you buy comes with the exact same processors that you would expect to find in a comparable Dell PC -- and yet, your query seems to be a very common one among potential switchers. I'd have to speculate that Apple hasn't been doing a very good job of explaining what their switch to Intel processors actually means to consumers. (I'm guessing this might well change with the release of Leopard, and with it, the final version of Boot Camp.)

The history behind the current state of affairs at Apple looks something like this: When Steve Jobs came back to Apple, (through their acquisition of NeXT Software Inc.) he brought with him a Unix based operating system called "NeXTStep", which ultimately became Apple's "MacOS X". MacOS X quickly became a source of constant speculation in the media, blogs and forums. Since it's based upon a Unix foundation (and since it's predecessor, NeXTStep, had been compiled to run on Intel processors previously) there were quite a few people who were completely certain that Apple would eventually release an "Intel-compatible" version of MacOS X, and perhaps even give up the hardware business altogether. Well, in time, some of those speculations were proven true -- though, not exactly in a fashion which anyone could have anticipated. Apple did not give up the hardware business at all; rather, they converted their entire Macintosh product line over to Intel based processors, and Steve told the world that Apple had been running internal builds of MacOS X on Intel since its inception... just in case.

Needless to say, this immediately spawned a totally new series of speculations: Is it possible to run Windows directly on these new IntelMacs? Could IntelMac owners potentially find a way to bypass MacOS X altogether, and actually achieve full native speed under Windows? Could it be possible that all of us Mac-owning gamers could finally proudly display a sweet gaming box with an Apple logo at LAN parties?? Alas, Apple was entirely mum on the topic.

This is the point at which the OnMac.net website and forum came into the picture. A monumental effort by programmers all around suddenly came about; Mac owners weren't going to wait for Apple to give the go-ahead to run Windows on their new Macs. Within a few short months of the release of the first IntelMac, Mac owners had figured out how to convince their new machines to boot into Windows. Then, with the Mac community still all a buzz over the accomplishment, Apple suddenly released their own solution for the same task!

Personally, I would speculate that perhaps Apple had intended to only release this software for the first time with Leopard... but they had to do a double-take when the Mac community figured out how to do it on their own so quickly. Thus, the BootCamp beta was born, which is Apple's own software and the drivers necessary to run Windows natively on an IntelMac. Not emulation or virtualization or any other kind of a "second-class" status for your Windows software... You can completely bypass MacOS X at boot up, and load Windows in its place. (Of course, there are also several third party solutions for running Windows in a virtualization box... which has both pros and cons, but you can read a bit about that at the link above.)

Which pretty much brings us to today. Apple has released iterative improvements on the BootCamp beta, to the point where almost all major concerns and needs are addressed, and they're preparing for the release of Leopard in October. Suffice it to say, Macintosh computers run Windows exactly as well as any other standard PC... and they just happen to run the best Unix based OS on the market as well.

Last edited by zarmanto : 4th September 2007 at 04:41 PM.
  #3  
Old 5th September 2007, 02:23 AM
5447tina 5447tina is offline
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Default thank you and also...

thank you for all that info -

can you also vouch for the stability of the intel mac regarding crashes and confllicts when running windows?
  #4  
Old 5th September 2007, 02:47 AM
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zarmanto zarmanto is offline
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I hope you don't mind, but for that answer I'm just going to have to copy-and-paste a portion of an answer I recently gave to another potential switcher: To be quite frank, it's been my experience that Windows never runs the same on any two PCs, even if they're the same model from the same vendor. But, in as much as Windows permits... yes, it runs just as (stably as) it would on any other Intel based system.

I'm not trying to belittle your question or anything, mind you... it's just that IntelMacs are genuinely the same hardware that you'd find in any other Intel-based computer. Most people speculate that Apple chose to go with Intel CPUs (instead of AMD) specifically to assuage any potential compatibility concerns, such as your own.
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Old 5th September 2007, 03:08 AM
5447tina 5447tina is offline
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thanks again
 


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