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Use your Mac as Mac

Posted by GNC at 7:36 AM on May 23, 2009

Just because a Mac can run Windows doesn’t mean you should.  Yes I know that many tests revealed that the fastest PC on the market was a Mac running Windows on Boot Camp. I know that the virtualization software has made incredible progress.  If I buy a Mac it should be so that I can use the OS for what it is.  So why this blatant opinion piece?  Well, as a mac fan, I hear many complaints.

mac-os-x-v1056-leopard-apple-store-us “My Mac slows down and doesn’t run that fast.” Uh, well are you running OS X and Windows at the same time with several applications in each?  OS X does phenomenal at managing memory.  I often am running 10 applications at the same time and have no idea.  However, think about what you are doing in when running Windows at the same time.  You are running OS X, virtualization software, and monster Windows.  Windows Vista is so bloated that it barely runs itself without lots of ram.  Really, OS X does incredibly well at running both at the same time with all things considered.  If you insist on running Windows applications on a Mac and need super performance, then at least run Windows in boot camp and not virtualization.

“There are not as many applications out for the Mac so I need to use Windows.” That is so 90′s.  The Mac developer community is growing much faster than the Windows world in percentage.  I have yet to receive this complaint where I could not respond with multiple, great options of software on a Mac (and cheaper I might add).  If I must admit some ignorance, it would be in the world of enterprise.

The goal of this article is not intended to be a Mac vs. PC article, just a bit of balance on the issue of running Windows on a Mac.   If you love Windows then buy a PC and run Windows.  If you need to run both then a Mac is your only option.  Run Windows in Boot Camp or expect a slight performance ding in virtualization.  As a Mac man I stand by my title and opening statements.  Just because a Mac can run Windows doesn’t mean you should.  Use your Mac as a Mac.  It’s where I am happiest.

5 Comments

  1. From Leo at 1:19 pm on May 23, 2009

    Why are you so concerned what OS people run on their computer? The decision on buying hardware has, since the early days of the PC, been what hardware do I need to purchase for the software that I intend to run. For example, I do residential kitchen design. All currently available Pro kitchen design software runs on Windows only. The only program that ever ran on the Mac switched over to PC only about 12 years ago. My wife works in the insurance industry and once again, every major quoting software is Windows only. If we want to work at home, guess what – we need Windows. Quit trying to convince others what they should be doing and just buy the system the fits YOUR needs.

  2. From Gary K at 3:42 pm on May 23, 2009

    Nice article. I agree, I too am happiest using my Mac as a Mac. Unfortunately when I switched a year ago, I already had a Zune as well as my ipod. This of course created a need for me to run Windows, since Microsoft has not smartened up and created a OS X version of the Zune Marketplace. This however is the ONLY program I run in Window as my Mac came with everything else that I need.

  3. From Mark at 6:02 pm on May 23, 2009

    “You are running OS X, virtualization software, and monster Windows. Windows Vista is so bloated that it barely runs itself without lots of ram”

    The guest OS runs in as much memory as you assign it in your virtualization software. There’s no need to add extra to pad your list.

    Otherwise good article.

  4. From Nolan at 9:31 pm on May 23, 2009

    Leo – I’m not trying to convince anyone to switch to a Mac. You perhaps make the point better than I. If you need windows buy a PC and use windows. Just don’t buy a Mac and then complain if it doesn’t run windows fast enough. Your business applications certainly are Windows dominated so you would need a PC. Sorry if you misunderstood my intent. Not trying to convince anyone to buy a Mac, just to buy what they need and use it for its best purpose. Thanks for the comment.

    Mark – Thanks for the clarification. Yes you can limit the ram use but it does slow down the machine as it’s ram is shared. I used to run my Adobe suite in Parallels while running multiple OS X applications. It worked the machine (and fan) hard. Once I upgraded to Adobe for Mac I think my machine smiled. Thankfully the last of my PC applications were ported over to Mac and now I only boot windows to update and test browser compatibility for sites.

  5. From KenC at 10:59 am on May 27, 2009

    @Nolan

    Question though your telling him he should get a PC since he mostly needs PC applications correct?

    And if so why should he? What if he likes using Mac and it’s Unix background but does find the need that occasionally when he has to do business on said laptop that he loads windows.

    I don’t have a Intel mac (yet) but when I do I plan to run windows in bootcamp and/or parallels, Why? Cause occasionally I will need to run windows and if I can install it why by a PC laptop/desktop? There is still groups of us that still have to run windows

    (I for one own my own IT service for helping people out it’s easier to troubleshoot issues if I have both OS’s on one laptop) The great thing about the intel mac’s and Leopard is that we can do what we want Since you only wanna run Mac then do that and those of us who want mac’s and windows will do that.

    I hope that you don’t think that someone would by a mac and never use OS X.