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Windows On MacBook Pro for Development

Posted on 2006-07-10
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I use a mac (g4 ti powerbook) for personal use but I develop software exclusively for Windows platform. If BootCamp dual boots and so there should be no performance hits, what would you choose: a ThinkPad T60P (top-of-the-line model) or a MacBook pro (top-of-the-line model) for developing on windows?

I have to run SQL server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 Professional, Adobe Acrobat Professional, and Photoshop for development purposes. That means at least 2GB of RAM (more is better); also, does mac have the option to upgrade the hardrive to 7200 rpm?

Thanks.

I am not really interested in virtualization: tried it a while ago and the performance was dismal; if I am using SQL Server and Visual Studio 2005, they will REALLY need to run native.
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Question by:shaileshmark
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slyong earned 400 total points
ID: 17078425
> what would you choose: a ThinkPad T60P (top-of-the-line model) or a MacBook pro (top-of-the-line model) for developing on windows?
Depending on your requirement, if you use MacBook Pro the benefit is that you will be able to develop for Mac / Unix platform too.  My preference is to get a MacBook Pro

> does mac have the option to upgrade the hardrive to 7200 rpm?
Yes it does

I think you are right about virtualization.  SQL Server and Visual Studio will be a bit slow on virtualization.  However, when you get your shiny new Mac, you may want to try Parallels (http://www.parallels.com/).  The performance is pretty good compared to VirtualPC, etc.
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by:ParadiseITS
ParadiseITS earned 800 total points
ID: 17082874
If you are going to develop for Windows, you are going to want to make sure your application performs as expected on the most common hardware platform you can.  You can develop on whatever you wish really, but to adequately test your app you should be on the Thinkpad not the MacBook.  I;m not knocking the MacBook, however what you should ask yourself is how many people will be running your app on an Apple running Windows versus a Thinkpad running Windows?


I'm not saying it can't be done or that your app will be terrible, I'm simply saying that proper development lifecycle would suggest a Thinkpad over a MacBook.
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by:ParadiseITS
ID: 17082917
... and PS:  We have a Thinkpad T60P that the owner of our company uses and it is a great laptop!
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by:Silly_Burrito
Silly_Burrito earned 800 total points
ID: 17095046
--I have to run SQL server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 Professional, Adobe Acrobat Professional, and Photoshop for development purposes. That means at least 2GB of RAM (more is better); also, does mac have the option to upgrade the hardrive to 7200 rpm?

If you're strictly developing on Windows, and you never plan to use any of the Mac features, well I'd say get a Thinkpad. However, you can get Adobe and Photoshop in Apple versions (albeit PPC versions at this time) if you'd like.

If you ever plan on developing for the Mac or Linux and would like the best of both worlds, then I'd suggest picking up the Macbook Pro and using Bootcamp. Although, as slyong mentioned, Parallels has a great program that uses the virtual PC. I use it on my Macbook w/2GB of RAM, and it works great. Bootcamp would give you the proper drivers and proper USB support, which Parallels is still working on. However, virtualization is a LOT better than previous attempts, which had to emulate the processor as well.

And yes, you can upgrade the hard drive to 7200RPM. Just keep in mind that the Mac is a little toaster at times (at least, mine is), and increasing the HD speed probably won't help a bit. It's not as bad as everyone says, but the laptop DOES get warm at times.

If you're near an Apple store, or COMPUSA, you can check out the Macbook Pro for a bit. Our local CompUSA has BootCamp installed on its machines so that you can test its performance. Ultimately, I'd make the choice for the Macbook Pro, only because you can use Windows when you need to for work purposes, but enjoy OS X for the rest of the time!
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by:shaileshmark
ID: 17170648
Thanks all. I wd. like to distribute points: Slyong - 100; Silly_Burrito: 200; ParadiseITS: 200.
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