Win 7 - A Mac owner's perspective

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by elgrecomac, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. elgrecomac

    elgrecomac New Member

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    I own and really like my MacBook Pro 17" laptop / cooktop*. I have, for professional reasons, need to use Windows-only apps like MS Project and Visio. I use VMWare's Fusion product to install Win 7/64 on my Mac so I can run the two OS' concurrently without having to reboot... and so, because Apple OSX allows it, I allocate 1.8gb of ram for Win 7/64 and the remainder ( 2.2 gb) is use by OSX.

    After using older versions of the beta for several months and now RC1 I think that Microsoft finally got their shiit together. Win 7 is feature rich, stable, fast and easy to install. I have had virtually no significant problems with the OS and it recognizes all of my blue-tooth hardware and network devices. There is a sizable contingent of Mac users who use windows for professional reasons,like me, and the general consensus of opinion is a big thumbs up re: Win 7 RC1.

    As for the whole look and feel issues compared to OSX, well, RC1 is not there yet but is MUCH MUCH closer. So close, in fact, that I believe Apple is worried. They just announced their upgrade pricing to Snow Leopard OSX 10.6 for $30: almost a free upgrade. And Apple announced a decrease in price on many of their computers 2 months earlier than they usually do because of #1- the economy and #2 - the pending Win 7 juggernaut.

    My big complaint is Win 7's inability to address and utilize all the memory installed on the computer. The 3gb limit seems silly in the year 2009. Most of my friends who use macs have AT LEAST 4gb of ram and on the desktop 'pro' units have 8, 16 and even 32 gb of ram...all accessible by the OS.

    My other complaint is Not an OS issue but, rather, a browser issue: IE 8 is awful and slow compared to its competitors. I use Firefox on my Mac. It stuns me that Microsoft makes such great strides with the OS and belly flops on the browser. Very disappointing when compared to Firefox or Safari. Fortunately for you Windows only users, you can use Safari and Firefox as well.

    BTW, I also installed RC1 on my 3 year old Sony Vaio with 1gb of ram...again, easy to install, Fast and STABLE. I did a test to see how my graduate school, macophile daughter would like Win 7 and here is her response: "it was not very intuitive". I asked her why and she said 'In Word, it was not very obvious where many of the features are located ...such as 'save as'". I chuckled and told her I totally agreed with her and I said it was a stylistic flaw in MS Office 2007 on PCs and that many IT managers around the world shared her complaint. ...but it was not Win 7 flaw. She then went through several areas in the OS and said the OS was easy to get used to and the apps ran fast on it.:cool:

    So cudos to Microsoft re: Win 7.
    ==============
    * The 17" macbook pros run hot....real hot. So hot, in fact, that Apple doesn't market them as laptops but rather a notebook computer because, well...its too damned hot. So I have relabeled mine a cooktop because I think I can cook breakfast on it. If the CPU and the GPU are really working, the temp of the cooktop reaches over 140 deg on the outside of the case and 180 at the GPU and CPU inside and the dual fans are screaming.:eek:
     
  2. kojo87

    kojo87 New Member

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    glad to see a Mac owner with a relatively open perspective. most of my Mac friends are too hypnotized by their glowing Apple logo to even look at a Windows OS

    regarding the RAM limit. ANY 32 bit OS will limit the RAM at 4GB (not 3 as you stated) 64 bit will allow for more RAM. i believe 64 bit is only limited by the motherboard. im running Vista Ultimate x64 with 8GB of RAM and it is all recognized.

    regarding Internet Explorer 8. duh. IE sucks. thats old news. anyone who knows anything about anything knows to use Firefox or Chrome. you even said that you use Firefox and not Safari. bundled web browsers are pretty lame.

    just curious. in what ways would you say Windows 7 is lacking compared to OSX? i've heard many people say it is but nobody has given me a good reason why.

    regarding the Macbook heat. why on earth does it run so freaking hot!? that seems borderline dangerous to me! 180F is way hotter than any processor should run. my desktop's Phenom II stays under 125F under load. sure its a desktop with way more cooling but its OCed from 3.0 to 3.5 at 1.38v

    on a side note i find it humorous that Apple claims their price drops are due to the economy. don't they realize there is a HUGE market out there for sub $1000 computers? none of the 7 prefab computers in my house cost more than $500. and all are pretty comparable to Macs spec wise.
     
  3. elgrecomac

    elgrecomac New Member

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    Well, here goes...and no flames please.


    One man's opinion of Win 7 vs OSX
    1. From a system configuration standpoint, the System Preferences on a Mac makes much more sense and is easier to navigate than the Control Panel. Still not even close with Win 7.
    2. The BSOD and system hangs. Win 7 seems to have addressed a lot of this but it is a big sore spot none the less...maybe just baggage. My 1 1/2 year old mac has NEVER froze. Never. Yes, I have had apps hang but not the OS. There is a 'force quit' option on every app on my system dock (task bar) to shut down an unresponsive app. I have NEVER had to do the Apple version of the three fingered tango (cntl/alt/ del).
    3. Home networking. On my Mac, an 8 year old can figure out how to connect 3 macs and share a printer. MS has made progress with Win 7 but it is still more complicated...and it really shouldn't be.
    4. Deleting apps: for most apps, on a mac, you go to the app folder and drag the app to the trash can. That's it. No registry to worry about. No lingering DLLs. There are some exceptions but for 90% of the apps that's how you uninstall them.
    5. Time machine: a built in backup system that works with my 2TB external drive seamlessly. It is really quite good and if, as I type this response, I want to get a file I deleted 3 months ago, it will take me less than a minute to find and retrieve it.
    6. Spaces: built in to OSX are virtual desktops...up to 16 them. I have a 'space' for may apps so as not to have a cluttered desktop. VMware fusion, of course, has its own space.
    7. Firewire 800. The only way to connect external drives with a laptop. Fast backups. Fast copies. MUCH faster than USB. I know this is not an OS issue but its a big deal for someone accessing and reteiving large files on a external drive from a laptop/cooktop.
    8. Spotlight is a better AND faster searching tool than that found on Win 7. Searches apps, docs, emails...everything, easily. It can also search content on other computers on the network or even over the Internet, using the Back to My Mac feature. Spotlight also allows advanced Boolean searches; Smart search folders that automatically updates as the content changes.
    9. Finder. It just cleaner from my perspective than Explorer. Always has been.
    10. Apple is a closed system. They make the hardware and the OS so the chance of conflicts is less. Of course this is a disadvantage as well due to price fixing of Apple with regards to their hardware. I really have not tested SW/HW conflicts on Win 7 but it is inherent in a OS sold by multiple hardware providers.

    Again, just one man's opinion.


    As for the heat issue, Apple really pushes the GPU for many things and Win 7 doesn't seem to do this to anywhere close to the extent that Apple does. This is just a different approach to OS development.

    As for 32 bit OS' accessing ram, I think you may need to do a fact check. I had 4 gb of ram on my system at work but Vista could only 'see' and 'use' about 3.2gb. I think I am right about this.

    I agree about the pricing but, at $140 a share and rising, they seem to have their shiit together when it comes to customer loyalty, customer satisfaction and innovation. And no company in the world knows how to market to consumers better than Apple. Where Apple lacks in marketing skill is at the corporation level. The glass ceiling for Apple is big corporations who buy thousands of computers at a time. And with Win 7 I feel Apples 8% market share worldwide will be hard pressed to keep from dropping lower.
     
  4. volkerd

    volkerd Senior Member

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    Interesting... I was really tempted to buy a Mac, but I decided to go for a Thinkpad instead, running 7232X64. Although i love Apples design, I couldn't live with the glossy screen, the non user-changeable battery, the heat, and the fact that it is a closed system.
     
  5. omnivious

    omnivious New Member

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    I believe that the ram limit on the 64 bit windows 7 is set at 192 gb, if you have that much, more power to ya but from my understanding the 32 bit shouldn't have any problems with 4 gb of ram, that is usually the 32 bit limit... win7 will be coming in both 32 and 64 bit in one and will choose optimal settings for you according to the people I've spoken to from microsoft and the reviews, why you would run a 32 bit on a system that's carrying more then 4 gb of ram, I don't have a clue but the 63 is not gonna cost more and it will be coming on one disc... I am currently running 8 gigs on my system with win7 and it runs beautifully...
     
  6. elgrecomac

    elgrecomac New Member

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    An update.

    My MacBook Pro has a matted screen, not glossy. It is a configuration option when you buy it.
     
  7. elgrecomac

    elgrecomac New Member

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    Point taken.

    But my issue is with 32 bit windows. I DO use 4gb of RAM all the time and have multiple apps open accessing large files. It is interesting that when I switched to a Mac I used to close apps all the time...my windows training to preserve ram....but now, like most mac owners, I just open apps up and leave them open and really never worry about memory management. Of course, with Win 7/64 and OSX Leopard and Snow Leopard this is not an issue.
     
  8. elgrecomac

    elgrecomac New Member

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    BTW, I appreciate the civil dialogue. Not like Foxnews, a mac forum or other windows forums. Good Q&A and opinions.
     
  9. kojo87

    kojo87 New Member

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    why bother with 32 bit?

    ever since i installed Vista 64 bit on my desktop i don't see any reason to go back to 32 bit. is there any point at all? all my 32 bit apps run fine in 64 bit. Windows even designates two separate Program File folders: "Program Files" and "Program Files (x86)" i'll admit i don't know much of anything about running a 64 bit OS on Intel processors. the Intel Atom N280 is really the only Intel processor i've ever used. i've only run 64 bit OSes on the AMD Athlon 64 X2 and Phenom II X4. is there a limitation to which processors are capable of running 64 bit? (to be honest i just figured because my Athlon had 64 in the name it was capable :p ) is there any advantage to a 32 bit OS?

    regarding your 3.2GB of RAM limit. im curious to why it won't recognize all 4GB. it reminds me of an issue i had long ago on an old HP desktop running XP. i upgraded to 1GB RAM but the OS only recognized about 700MB or so. still no idea why. maybe its just a fluke
     
  10. omnivious

    omnivious New Member

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    the 64 bit os requires a 64 bit processor, most new processors will support 64 bit, the only advantage that I see in 32 bit is that it just takes up less space, if you're limited in your hdd space then you could save some space with the 32... the ram limitation is also a 32 bit issue, 32 bit windows weren't able to use more then the limitation of ram
     
  11. kojo87

    kojo87 New Member

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    i suppose if HDD space is an issue for you then you probably aren't running over 4GB of RAM so 32 bit would be your flavor of choice.
     
  12. Camride

    Camride New Member

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    I feel like I should clear up a few things about 32bit vs 64bit.

    Windows XP/Vista/7 all have a 4GB memory limit for 32bit. In order for the user to use all 4GB of the RAM Physical Address Extension (PAE) needs to be enabled. Normally on a 32bit system with 4GB of RAM the OS holds a certain amount of memory to itself for I/O operations as well as gpu memory mapping. With PAE and 4GB of RAM the OS will not hold that memory back and will allow the user to use most of it for program use. There will still be a small amount that will not be usable, but it's not much IIRC. This is also how 32bit Server OS's get around the 4GB memory limit, as Server 2003/2008 32bit can use up to 32GB of RAM (again, IIRC). I think Datacenter 2003/2008 32bit actually ups the limit to 64GB. Oh, and 64bit Windows Vista/7 Ultimate can use up to 128GB RAM, I believe that Home Premium is limited to 16GB.

    The other thing to take into consideration is that running a 32bit program in a 64bit OS does use more RAM than if you ran the same program in a 32bit OS. It gets a little complicated to explain (and I wouldn't be the best one to explain it) but it has to do with the memory management of the OS. Most of the time it's not a huge difference, but the bigger the program you're using the more "overhead" there is running a 32bit app on a 64bis OS. If you have 4GB+ it's not likely anything you'll need to worry about. Honestly, unless you're dead set on using some older program that just *won't* work on a 64bit OS I see no reason to continue to use 32bit. Memory is dirt cheap, there's no reason not to have 4GB in most systems unless you're on an extremely tight budget. 64bit versions of Vista and Win 7 run faster and more stable from my experience as well, so that's another reason to stick with 64bit.


    As far as everything elgrecomac mentioned in post #3, there are alot of things that are just personal preferences. I have very little experience on a Mac, but from what I have I felt much more comfortable on a PC. But then again, I've been using PC's for about 15 years and have spent very little time on Mac's. I honestly don't even like the idea of virtual desktops personally, I'd rather have everything on one screen so I know what's running. Win 7 has great memory management, but I still don't like leaving things running when I don't need to. As far as BSOD's, I've yet to have a single one. I have been running Win 7 since build 6801 on two machines and have never had the OS hang on either my laptop or desktop. Apps yes, OS no. I had the same experience with Vista (I did get one BSOD but that's because I OC'd the memory too high), the OS never froze or BSOD'd on me. As far as making networking easier, it's all about what you're used to. For me it's ridiculously easy to network a few home computers together and share printers. If I tried it on a Mac I'd probably get frustrated, since I have never done it before.

    I personally have nothing against Mac's, I think Apple makes a good OS. It's just not what I would prefer to use. Plus there's the whole gaming part.

    Ok, I seriously have to get back to work now. :)
     
  13. stevae

    stevae New Member

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    excellent post camride, sorry to rain on mac boy's parade, but the mac op sys isn't a better choice for nav, and isn't a very sensible setup. i do have experience on mac's, and i find them very inconvenient to navigate. actually there are several features of the mac os, that i find annoying. the only feature on a mac that i prefer over a pc, is the mouse. the one, two or three finger functions are cool, and i get very frustrated with the sensitivity of my pc mouse, moving my cursor all over the place when i try to type, and my hand accidentally touches it. also, i have several friends with very nice, new mac's, and we sit side by side, and complete task's just to see which computer and op sys is faster and easier to use, and i have yet to see a mac perform as well as my hp pavilion dv9700. i navigate faster, the computer loads apps faster, and my screen looks much nicer than theirs do. and my pc, was cheaper than their mac's, although not by much, it is still cheaper. you sound very arrogant coming on here and trying to disguising your arrogance with a slightly benevolent review of 7. if you learn how to use 7, you might have a different perspective. you can type almost anything into the start menu and get it quickly. so as far as you or your daughter's comments about navigating 7, it sounds more like lack of knowledge and operator error to me.
     
  14. fjgold

    fjgold New Member

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    Ha Ha, Mac Cookbook!!

    It is my opinion that the notebook manufacturers have done the computer buying public a disservice
    by calling notebook computers "laptops".

    It could and probably lead some users to believe that a notebook computer can and maybe even should be used in the lap. With some/most models this can be disastrous. Block the airflow of any computer and component temps will skyrocket. I've seen TV shows where someone uses a notebook while it is resting on a bed, sofa or on a carpet, another sure recipe for disaster.

    A "laptop" is a portable computer and should be used on a flat, hard surface that doesn't block airflow.

    I'd hate to think what would happen to the Mac the OP is talking about if it were used on a soft surface like a bed etc.

    I know a some folks would disagree, including some folks here, but I won't subject my notebook computer to such abuse.

    Since mine is being used as a "desktop replacement", I have mine sitting on an aluminum stand (designed for the Mac but works well with my Acer) that raises it above the desktop a couple of inches and angles it upward slightly from the back.

    This promotes better airflow and the aluminum material works as a heatsink.

    Using an app called "core temp" I can monitor my CPU and HDD temps and the hottest I've ever seen my CPU is 188 degrees F (this while doing full screen video) and HDD temps top out at 136 degrees F.
    Intel says 212 degrees F is max for the Core 2 Duo (merom).

    The outside of the case gets warm but not hot.

    I live in Nevada in a small apartment that gets sun all day so my apartment's ambient temps are on the warm side
    in the late afternoon. Running a floor fan helps but the high ambient temps make it more difficult to keep my machine "cool".

    I'm getting a 5000 BTU A\C unit installed Monday that will likely reduce operating temps greatly.

    Heat is a computer killer.
     
  15. omnivious

    omnivious New Member

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    I use my laptop on my bed and on the floor(carpeted) just use my fanned cooler, you could use it as a LAPtop if you just invest in one, totally worth it because it lengthens the life of your laptop overall.
     
  16. kojo87

    kojo87 New Member

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    this is why my desktop has four 120mm Thermaltake fans (two as intake on the front, one exhaust on back and side) and two 140mm Apevia fans on top (one intake one exhaust) keeps my Phenom II 940 under 90F and my case at about 80F at idle. goes up to about 130F/95F max load.

    wish i could say the same for my Asus EeePC 1008HA....
     
  17. fjgold

    fjgold New Member

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    Nope I don't need a fanned cooler. I just don't use my notebook in my lap, on the bed/sofa or on a carpet.
    My notebook is a desktop replacement and stays cool enough using the passive aluminum stand I purchased and resting on my desk.
     

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