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OK... so... my girlfriend wants to play a few games with me that require a Windows OS (looked into WINE/Crossover and VMs already).

I'm a creative professional and need access to Adobe CS, however my computer is set up.

I have a OS X (10.5) Macbook aluminum (2008) with Intel core duo (2.1ghz), 2GB of RAM, Nvidia 9400m, and 150GB of hard drive space.

So, the options

  • Windows 7 only - since most apps in OS X have an alternative in Windows, I could just try to run Windows only.
  • Windows 7 & Linux - Truth is, I'm a Linux and OS X nut and really dislike Windows' interface and software management. So, I could dual boot with Linux for daily use and boot to Windows for games. Since Linux can read/write NTSF the two OSes can work together decently.
  • Windows 7 & OS X - Am I missing something here... or is this completely redundant and useless? Each OS can run Adobe CS and both have comparable software libraries. Neither can effectively communicate on the others chose Filesystem (NTFS and HFS+). And while this seems like the logical choice from the outset, I fail to see why I should keep OS X on my Mac if Windows 7 is present.

Input greatly appreciated! I'll be reformatting tonight!

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Have you considered running Linux in a virtual machine with Windows as the host? (Personally I would find that annoying because I use Linux almost exclusively, but it's something to consider) – David Z Jul 12 '10 at 21:36
What games does your girlfriend want to play? Have you looked into OS X ports/equivalents? – ChrisF Jul 12 '10 at 21:39
@David - Yes, I tried that. I was unhappy since my full system resources were not available for Linux. I spend maybe, 80% of my time in Linux or OS X. @ChrisF - She wants to play a variety of games, some of which require Xtrap which is confirmed not working on OS X or Linux with any setup. – user42686 Jul 12 '10 at 22:07
Think you meant "NTFS" instead of "NTSF" under "Windows 7 & Linux". – Hello71 Jul 13 '10 at 22:43
What game is it? – Keltari Aug 16 '11 at 20:11

I am of the Linux persuasion too. But frankly, if you need games, than you should have Windows, as in a "real" install. Games are very choosy software, and Wine just isn't that good. A VM has its limitations too. The only reason to play Windows games through Wine or a VM is to be trying to prove a point. It can be done, but it is just too damned uncomfortable. You could think about some other way to get the gaming you want, by either staying with games which can be installed on Linux (I went this way, but then I don't play much), or getting a console. If you decide that you still want your Windows games, make yourself a favour and make a real Windows install.

Windows & OS X on the same PC? I don't see any need for that when you have your Macbook. You should be able to transfer data between them, e.g. by using a FAT pen drive. Besides, I don't think you can do it at all - you can make a Hackintosh, but I vaguely remember that you cannot dual boot it.

So you have your Windows. Should your Linux stay on it as a main OS? This depends entirely on you, specifically 1. How much do you want to use Linux and 2. How much time you spend on your PC playing games vs. doing other things. If you're only practically playing and do everything else on the laptop, there is no need to install a Linux.

If you are still unsure, just test it. Install both, install something which logs online time for each OS, run for a month or two. If you're not using the Linux, you can still ditch it. But if you're like me, you'll curse at every little ineptitude Windows 7 shows while the endless hunting for the elusive X configuration which finally makes everything right won't even register as a burden ;)

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Well, actually, I only have ONE computer. My Macbook. I'm thinking about not running OS X on it though, if Win 7 is present. It seems redundant. Thanks for the feedback though! – user42686 Jul 12 '10 at 22:04
Sorry for misunderstanding, "need access to Adobe CS, however my computer is set up" sounded like you already have all you need on another system. But if you have a reason to do anything beside gaming on the machine, win+OS X is by no means redundant. Windows just fails in basic usability, and if you have to work on it, you'll be constantly reminded of that. You should be comfortable and efficient while working, and this is worth the trouble of maintaining two OS. – rumtscho Jul 12 '10 at 22:38

Why not Mac OS X as native install and Windows on a VM ? VMware's Fusion also supports 3D Acceleration, so most games should run fine. Unity mode makes it almost indisguishable, I guess. If you don't want to go for a commercial product, VirtualBox is a great alternative.

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Unless you have a seriously kick-ass machine, VM gaming is too slow to be worth it. I've already attempted VMware Fusion for this purpose. – user42686 Jul 12 '10 at 22:05

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