Apple Boot Camp Public Beta
- Easy installation, Excellent Performance, ground-breaking
- Nothing to speak of
If you have an Intel-based Mac and feel the need to run Windows XP, this program will perform brilliantly
It works. Impressively well. With games, even. That's our first impression of Windows XP running under Apple's Boot Camp on our 20-inch iMac. And that's more than we could say about the promising-but-hacked-together WinXPonMac effort. (You can download Boot Camp from here.)
Eager to get our hands on a real, dual-booting Apple/Windows hybrid, we ran the Boot Camp installer on a 20-inch iMac and found the process amazingly smooth. It took about an hour. Graphics drivers -- the major remaining performance hurdle under WinXPonMac -- were solid and responsive under limited testing on our iMac.
Booting with Boot Camp
Boot Camp requires the latest version of Mac OS X (version 10.4.6) and a firmware update (a very loud, un-Mac-like system beep is normal at the start of this process). Once you've properly updated your system, you can download, install, and run Boot Camp Assistant, which burns a CD of Windows drivers for you and walks you through the process of repartitioning your Mac and installing Windows XP.
We chose to give XP a 100GB partition and inserted our XP Service Pack 2 CD to begin the installation process. XP's familiar, pixelated installation process went normally, and the Boot Camp manual provided intelligent directions about how to tell XP which partition to use and how to format that partition. (If you choose FAT instead of NTFS, you'll be able to write files to the XP volume while you're running Mac OS.)
On our iMac test machine, Boot Camp was endearingly smart about automating the series of required reboots to get you set up in XP. Once XP was set up to our satisfaction, we held down the Option key while rebooting and used the boot loader to hop back into OS X.
Once there, I used the Startup Disk preferences page that Boot Camp installs to ensure that XP was set as the default OS. Boot Camp installs a corresponding Control Panel app in Windows so you can change this setting in either OS.
Back in Windows, we got right down to business and installed a few games to put the graphics and sound support to the test. The quick and dirty verdict on performance? Most impressive. Doom 3 and Far Cry both ran smoothly with high-end graphics options turned on.
In both cases, we had to tweak visual settings manually, since the games automatically set themselves to very low settings. Far Cry, for example, auto detected very low settings, but it ran without a hitch when I bumped the resolution up to 1280 by 720, with all visual quality options set to "High."
Our 20-inch iMac came with a 2.0-GHz Core Duo processor, 1GB of RAM, and an ATI Radeon X1600 graphics card with 128MB of GDDR3 memory. That's roughly equivalent to a high-end laptop machine, and anecdotally the performance we obtained was about what we'd have expected from that type of PC.
No hitches so far
So far, working in Windows on the Intel-based iMac has come off without a hitch: If not for the slicker-looking hardware, we'd think we were working on a standard Windows PC with a wide-screen monitor. And that's exactly what you'd want from a usable dual-boot system.
Firefox downloaded and installed flawlessly, and iTunes streamed songs easily from other PCs on the network. Both wired and wireless networking seemed fine. Little things, like the eject key on the Mac's keyboard worked without a hiccup. Even automatic driver updates downloaded and installed easily.
All in all, Boot Camp looks like an impressive effort from Apple.
Join the PC World newsletter!
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Google Daydream VR headset
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Acer Swift 7
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® Portable SSD
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Huawei Mate 9
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft delays tools for third-party Cortana integrations
- Samsung unveils Bixby voice assistant for upcoming Galaxy S8
- Pwn2Own hacking contest ends with two virtual machine escapes
- It's time to turn on HTTPS: the benefits are well worth the effort
- HBO brought its best shows to life at SXSW with an awesome escape room
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- LG G6: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- CCChange AnalystQLD
- CCICT ManagerNSW
- FTC# / ASP.NET DeveloperSA
- CCSofware Developer/Architect - Media and telco Network Operations - MelbourneVIC
- CCMicrostrategy DeveloperVIC
- FTDesign Specialist - TelecomNSW
- FTSenior Infrastructure Business AnalystVIC
- CCPerformance AnalystQLD
- FTBusiness Change Lead, OrganisationalNSW
- FTMultiple Infrastructure ArchitectsWA
- FTSOE EngineerQLD
- FTSecurity EngineerACT
- FTBusiness Development Manager -Wealth/Funds Management SoftwareVIC
- FTApplication Support Consultant (Oracle SQL, Unix scripting)NSW
- FTFull Stack .Net Developer Developer (Front and Back end)QLD
- TPAutomation TesterQLD
- CCHyperion SpecialistQLD
- FTIT Business Process Analyst x 3 - (government background)NSW
- FTC# (Full Stack) DeveloperNSW
- FTApplication Services Administrator (Linux)NSW
- FTKey Account ManagerVIC
- CCInfrastructure Test Lead - Contract 6-8 wks initially - IT Services - North RydeNSW
- FTField Deployment EngineerNSW
- CCData AnalystNSW