Boot Camp boots Vista on Intel-based iMac

— 12:00 PM on April 10, 2006

A user at the OSx86 Project forums has successfully installed a beta release of Windows Vista on his Intel-powered iMac using Apple's recently-released Boot Camp. While the user had to wipe his entire hard drive—including the MacOS X partition—it is apparently possible to dual-boot Vista with OS X. This seems to require deleting the Mac's extensible firmware interface partition first, however, which complicates the process of restoring the Mac to its initial state. Driver support is also far from optimal, and the driver CD generated by Boot Camp is no help. Another user was nonetheless able to install ATI's Beta Catalyst drivers for Vista and enable the hardware-accelerated Aero Glass interface. Vista seems to run successfully, and a number of screenshots are available in the forum thread. Let's hope this is the sign of eventual Vista support in Boot Camp, since Microsoft has explicitly stated that the upcoming operating system wouldn't boot on current Intel-based Macs.

In related news, Ars Technica has posted an article investigating Boot Camp. Ars covers the installation of Windows XP and XP Media Center Edition, file system choice—FAT32 is unfortunately a must to write to the Windows partition from OS X—and actual usage. The MacBook Pro's lack of a right mouse button proves to be a handicap, although a third-party utility can allow CTRL-clicking in Windows to circumvent this. Support for some other features, such as the iMac's built-in iSight camera, and the MacBook Pro's backlit keyboard and touchpad scrolling, is also missing. Despite this missing functionality, Ars decided run some benchmarks pitting an XP-powered MacBook Pro against a Lenovo ThinkPad X60. The results go back and forth, but the MacBook Pro's integrated ATI Radeon Mobility X1600 does give it an edge in Cinebench's OpenGL shading test. We imagine gaming would work quite well on the MacBook, too, but no game tests were run.

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