We, at X-bit labs, are trying to keep in touch with everything computer-related, yet some things are still left unnoticed by us. Today, I’m going to discuss one such trend we have neglected before.
The long-time adversaries, the PC and the Mac, have been moving closer towards each other for the last two years. In early 2006 there appeared first computers from Apple whose architecture was similar to the classic PC and whose processors were Intel’s CPUs. Intel’s highly successful Core Duo and, later, Core 2 Duo series must have been one of the reasons for such changes. Today, Apple’s range of products with the x86 architecture is so extensive that it just cannot be unnoticed especially as Mac OS, the last stronghold of Apple who is proposing it as an alternative to the Wintel platform, feels all right in the x86 infrastructure and develops successfully notwithstanding the tough competition. In October 2007 Apple introduced its new Mac OS called Leopard. This OS has become a bestseller among all the flavors of Mac OS X.
Well, in this article I won’t focus on the advantages provided by Mac OS X. Instead, I’m going to discuss the possibility of using the environment you may be more familiar with on the new computers from Apple. Soon after the transition of the hardware to Intel’s platform, Apple officially allowed to run operating systems of the Windows family on Apple’s computers. You can use a special tool called Boot Camp for that. This program can create a second partition on the hard disk and install Microsoft’s OS into it. After that you can select the OS you want to boot during the start-up procedure. By the way, virtual machine software such as VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop provide another opportunity to use both Mac OS X and Windows on the same computer. In this case you can enjoy the exciting ability to work in two different OSes in parallel.
But all these tricks are only useful if the user has the desire to enter the “alternative” Mac world. With all the good points of Mac OS X – it’s got an army of followers because of them – there are not so many people who are willing to give Windows up in favor of Mac OS. They’ve got the habit of using Windows, that’s all. Such users won’t even consider an Apple as their next desktop PC or notebook, fearing that they would have to work in the strange interface of Mac OS X. In fact, Windows can be installed on new Apple computers quite easily, and the design of the case with the Apple logo will remain the only thing to betray the origin of the alternative platform.
So, that’s what this review is about. I’m going to check out the opportunity of running Windows Vista on an Apple computer. I won’t use Boot Camp to install Windows together with Mac OS Leopard. I’m going to install Windows all alone, without any alternatives. Most people from the Mac camp will surely call this idea stupid but there is a real interest to it on the PC user’s side.
This experiment will be performed with a new notebook from Apple: a MacBook Pro revision C with a 15” display. Based on the Intel Santa Rosa platform that features a number of innovations, it is not just a notebook from Apple. It is one of the most advanced and high-performance mobile computers of today. It is certainly competitive against top models of notebooks with the software and hardware that most of us consider classic.
So, besides checking out the specifics of operation of Apple computers in Microsoft’s OS, we’ll see how the MacBook Pro compares with other top-end notebooks based on Intel’s new mobile platform called Santa Rosa. In the second part of this review I will test the MacBook Pro in comparison with an ASUS Lamborghini VX2S, which is one of the most expensive and advanced notebooks offered currently by ASUS.