Is 64-bit Win7/BootCamp worth some effort?
October 29, 2009 8:25 AM   Subscribe

Is 64-bit Win7 possible/worth the hassle on a somewhat elderly Macbook Pro?

My late '06 Macbook Pro (version 2,2) won't boot the 64-bit Windows 7 installer (it hangs at "Select CD-Rom Boot Type"), but the 32-bit version installs fine through Boot Camp. It looks like there's a hack (here) that would allow me to boot the 64-bit version by burning it to DVD in a slightly different way.

Is the 64-bit version worth the effort? Is there a significant difference in compatibility with Parallels Desktop between the 32- and 64-bit versions? Any other considerations I should have in mind?
posted by Zonker to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You probably have the same yonah chip I do we can't do 64 bit were too old.
posted by Rubbstone at 8:32 AM on October 29, 2009

Response by poster: I've got the Core 2 Duo, which would be Merom, I think -- should be ok for 64 on that count.
posted by Zonker at 8:37 AM on October 29, 2009

> Any other considerations I should have in mind?

64-bit OSes require 64-bit drivers, so you want to make sure there are compatible 64-bit drivers for your MBP's hardware. I'd ask this question on the Parallels forum and see what the users there think.
posted by mosk at 8:40 AM on October 29, 2009

How much RAM do you have? If you have 4GB or more, you'll need a 64 bit version of Windows to use all of it. If you don't, there's not much of an advantage.
posted by zsazsa at 8:41 AM on October 29, 2009

If you’re running a Mac powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo processor or an Intel Xeon processor, your Mac is 64-bit capable.

Is it "worth the effort"? Probably not. At this point with the majority of applications, without a specific need, 64bits is just an added complication for everyday computer usage.
posted by limited slip at 8:46 AM on October 29, 2009

FWIW, Windows 7 will not be supported by Apple via Boot Camp on your (and my) MacBook Pro, so getting the proper 64-bit drivers may prove difficult.

Of course, the max amount of RAM the motherboard supports is 3 GB--you can install more but neither Mac OS X nor Windows will recognize it--so that's one of the major benefits of 64-bit gone.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:17 AM on October 29, 2009

Response by poster: Sounds like there's a consensus on "not worth it" then. Thanks everyone.
posted by Zonker at 12:22 PM on October 29, 2009

Just to play devil's advocate, I bought a copy of Windows 7 64-bit by accident as opposed to the 32-bit version. I got everything working great - sound, trackpad, multiple monitors - the works.
posted by AsRuinsAreToRome at 2:18 PM on October 29, 2009

FWIW, I bought my Macbook Pro C2D in February of 07.
posted by AsRuinsAreToRome at 2:19 PM on October 29, 2009

I believe I had the MBP just after yours, Win7 64 runs fine with some basic Vista drivers, not much in the way of hacks.

This ars thread helped a lot.

As for the hang on boot that's not just your MBP. You do need to use a tool like oscdimg to burn the ISO

With those steps in mind, I'd say "worth it" since my two year old MBP still rates a higher "experience index" than a brand new Dell E6400.
posted by abulafa at 4:00 PM on October 29, 2009

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