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Windows on Mac Q&A - Updated February 20, 2011

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Which Intel Macs are capable of booting the 32-Bit and 64-Bit versions of Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7? Which are supported by Apple's Boot Camp?

Apple's Boot Camp software provided with Mac OS X 10.5 and Mac OS X 10.6.5 (and earlier) offers 32-bit support for Windows XP Service Pack 2 and later on all non-server Intel Macs with the exception of the "Late 2010" MacBook Air models -- the MacBook Air "Core 2 Duo" 1.4 11" (Late 2010) and "Core 2 Duo" 1.86 13" (Late 2010) -- which only formally support Windows 7. The version of Boot Camp provided with Mac OS X 10.6.6 and later no longer support Windows XP. Macs running MacOS X Server are not supported by Boot Camp at all. Apple does not provide support for the 64-bit version of Windows XP on any Macs at all either.

Officially, Apple supports Windows 7 -- at least the 32-bit version -- on all Intel-based Macs with the exception of the following:

Upon first releasing MacOS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard," Apple originally formally supported the 64-bit versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7 on many Macs available at the time but retroactively dropped "support" for the 64-bit version of Windows Vista and instead just noted that these Macs "can use" the 64-bit version of Windows Vista.

Consequently, officially, Apple supports only the 64-bit version of Windows 7 just on the following Macs and these Macs likewise "can use" the 64-bit version of Windows Vista:

However, based on reader reports via e-mail, Twitter, and Facebook, as well as hands-on observation, models officially unable to boot even the 32-bit version of Windows 7 via Boot Camp are capable of doing so with appropriate drivers. Furthermore, some Intel-based Macs that only are officially supported booting the 32-bit version of Windows 7 actually are capable of booting the 64-bit version of Windows 7, again, with proper drivers.

Additionally, regardless of official support from Apple, as shipped, some Intel-based Macs fall short of the required 1 GB memory minimum that Microsoft recommends for the 32-bit version of Windows 7. All Intel-based Macs meet Microsoft's minimum requirements for Windows XP as well as Windows Vista.

It can be challenging to sort out the official and unofficial 32-bit and 64-bit Windows Vista and Windows 7 capabilities for different Intel-based Macs, but EveryMac.com has endeavored to do so with the below. This chart is believed to be accurate, however, it should be considered subject to further revision. Should you have additional or contradictory information, particularly regarding unofficial capability based on your hands-on experience, please share.

Mac

Vista

7

iMac "Core Duo" 1.83 17-Inch

32*

32*

iMac "Core Duo" 2.0 20-Inch

32*

32*

iMac "Core Duo" 1.83 17-Inch (IG)

32*

32*

iMac "Core 2 Duo" 1.83 17-Inch (IG)

32*

32*

iMac "Core 2 Duo" 2.0 17-Inch

32*

32*

iMac "Core 2 Duo" 2.16 20-Inch

32*

32*

iMac "Core 2 Duo" 2.16 24-Inch

32**

32**

iMac "Core 2 Duo" 2.0 20-Inch (Al)

32/64††

32/64††

iMac "Core 2 Duo" 2.4 20-Inch (Al)

32/64††

32/64††

iMac "Core 2 Duo" 2.4 24-Inch (Al)

32/64††

32/64††

iMac "Core 2 Extreme" 2.8 24-Inch (Al)

32/64††

32/64††

iMac "Core 2 Duo" 2.4 20" (Early 2008)

32/64††

32/64††

iMac "Core 2 Duo" 2.66 20" (Early 2008)

32/64††

32/64††

iMac "Core 2 Duo" 2.8 24" (Early 2008)

32/64††

32/64††

iMac "Core 2 Duo" 3.06 24" (Early 2008)

32/64††

32/64††

iMac "Core 2 Duo" 2.66 20" (Early 2009)

32/64††

32/64††

iMac "Core 2 Duo" 2.66 24" (Early 2009)

32/64††

32/64††

iMac "Core 2 Duo" 2.93 24" (Early 2009)

32/64††

32/64††

iMac "Core 2 Duo" 3.06 24" (Early 2009)

32/64††

32/64††

iMac "Core 2 Duo" 2.0 20" (Early 2009)

32/64††

32/64††

iMac "Core 2 Duo" 3.06 21.5" (Late 2009)

32/64†

32/64†

iMac "Core 2 Duo" 3.06 27" (Late 2009)

32/64†

32/64†

iMac "Core i5" 2.66 27" (Late 2009)

32/64†

32/64†

iMac "Core i3" 3.06 21.5" (Mid-2010)

32/64‡

32/64‡

iMac "Core i3" 3.2 21.5" (Mid-2010)

32/64‡

32/64‡

iMac "Core i3" 3.2 27" (Mid-2010)

32/64‡

32/64‡

iMac "Core i5" 2.8 27" (Mid-2010)

32/64‡

32/64‡

MacBook "Core Duo" 1.83 13"

32**

32**

MacBook "Core Duo" 2.0 13" (White)

32**

32**

MacBook "Core Duo" 2.0 13" (Black)

32**

32**

MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 1.83 13"

32**

32**

MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2.0 13" (White/06)

32**

32**

MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2.0 13" (Black)

32**

32**

MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2.0 13" (White/07)

32/64††

32/64††

MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2.16 13" (White)

32/64††

32/64††

MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2.16 13" (Black)

32/64††

32/64††

MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2.0 13" (White-SR)

32/64††

32/64††

MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2.2 13" (White-SR)

32/64††

32/64††

MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2.2 13" (Black-SR)

32/64††

32/64††

MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2.1 13" (White-08)

32/64††

32/64††

MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2.4 13" (White-08)

32/64††

32/64††

MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2.4 13" (Black-08)

32/64††

32/64††

MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2.0 13" (Unibody)

32/64††

32/64††

MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2.4 13" (Unibody)

32/64††

32/64††

MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2.0 13" (Wh-09)

32/64††

32/64††

MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2.13 13" (Wh-09)

32/64††

32/64††

MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2.26 13" (Uni-09)

32/64†

32/64†

MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2.4 13" (Mid-2010)

32/64†

32/64†

MacBook Air "Core 2 Duo" 1.6 13" (Orig)

32**

32**

MacBook Air "Core 2 Duo" 1.6 13" (NVI)

32/64††

32/64††

MacBook Air "Core 2 Duo" 1.86 13" (NVI)

32/64††

32/64††

MacBook Air "Core 2 Duo" 1.86 13" (09)

32/64††

32/64††

MacBook Air "Core 2 Duo" 2.13 13" (09)

32/64††

32/64††

MacBook Air "Core 2 Duo" 1.4 11" (10)

None

32/64

MacBook Air "Core 2 Duo" 1.86 13" (10)

None

32/64

MacBook Pro "Core Duo" 1.83 15"

32*

32*

MacBook Pro "Core Duo" 2.0 15"

32*

32*

MacBook Pro "Core Duo" 2.16 15"

32*

32*

MacBook Pro "Core Duo" 2.16 17"

32*

32*

MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.16 15"

32*

32*

MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.33 15"

32*

32*

MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.33 17"

32*

32*

MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.2 15" (SR)

32/64††

32/64††

MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.4 15" (SR)

32/64††

32/64††

MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.4 17" (SR)

32/64††

32/64††

MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.4 15" (08)

32/64†

32/64†

MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.5 15" (08)

32/64†

32/64†

MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.5 17" (08)

32/64†

32/64†

MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.4 15" (Uni)

32/64†

32/64†

MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.53 15" (Uni)

32/64†

32/64†

MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.66 17" (Uni)

32/64†

32/64†

MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.66 15" (Uni)

32/64†

32/64†

MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.26 13" (SD)

32/64†

32/64†

MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.53 13" (SD)

32/64†

32/64†

MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.53 15" (SD)

32/64†

32/64†

MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.66 15" (SD)

32/64†

32/64†

MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.8 15" (SD)

32/64†

32/64†

MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.8 17" (09)

32/64†

32/64†

MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.4 13" (10)

32/64†

32/64†

MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.66 13" (10)

32/64†

32/64†

MacBook Pro "Core i5" 2.4 15" (10)

32/64†

32/64†

MacBook Pro "Core i5" 2.53 15" (10)

32/64†

32/64†

MacBook Pro "Core i7" 2.66 15" (10)

32/64†

32/64†

MacBook Pro "Core i5" 2.63 17" (10)

32/64†

32/64†

Mac mini "Core Solo" 1.5

32**

32**

Mac mini "Core Duo" 1.66

32**

32**

Mac mini "Core Duo" 1.83

32**

32**

Mac mini "Core 2 Duo" 1.83

32/64††

32/64††

Mac mini "Core 2 Duo" 2.0

32/64††

32/64††

Mac mini "Core 2 Duo" 2.0 (Early 2009)

32/64††

32/64††

Mac mini "Core 2 Duo" 2.26 (Late 2009)

32/64††

32/64††

Mac mini "Core 2 Duo" 2.53 (Late 2009)

32/64††

32/64††

Mac mini "Core 2 Duo" 2.53 (Server)

None

None

Mac mini "Core 2 Duo" 2.4 (Mid-2010)

32/64†

32/64†

Mac mini "Core 2 Duo" 2.66 (Server)

None

None

Mac Pro "Quad Core" 2.66 (Original)

32*

32*

Mac Pro "Eight Core" 2.8 (2008)

32/64†

32/64†

Mac Pro "Quad Core" 2.66 (2009)

32/64†

32/64†

Mac Pro "Eight Core" 2.26 (2009)

32/64†

32/64†

Mac Pro "Quad Core" 2.8 (2010)

32/64†

32/64†

Mac Pro "Six Core" 3.33 (2010)

32/64†

32/64†

Mac Pro "Eight Core" 2.4 (2010)

32/64†

32/64†

Mac Pro "Twelve Core" 2.66 (2010)

32/64†

32/64†

Mac Pro "Quad Core" 2.8 (Server)

None

None

Mac Pro "Six Core" 3.33 (Server)

None

None

Xserve Xeon 2.0 "Quad Core"

None

None

Xserve Xeon 2.8 "Quad Core"

None

None

Xserve Xeon Nehalem 2.26 "Quad Core"

None

None


* Apple officially supports a maximum of the 32-bit version of Windows Vista on these models. However, if equipped with at least 1 GB of RAM, these models also meet the minimum requirements for Windows 7 and readers have reported successfully running the 32-bit version of the operating system with appropriate drivers.

** Apple officially supports the 32-bit version of Windows Vista and Windows 7 on these models. Microsoft also requires these models to be equipped with at least 1 GB of RAM, which some were not as originally shipped.

† Apple originally officially supported both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7 on these models. However, the company retroactively modified documentation to note that these models "can use" the 64-bit of Windows Vista, but only the 32-bit version is supported.

†† Apple officially supports a maximum of the 32-bit version of Windows 7 on these models. However, these models also meet the minimum requirements for the 64-bit version of Windows 7 and readers have reported successfully running the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of both Vista and 7 with appropriate drivers.

‡ Apple does not officially support Windows on the "Mid-2010" iMac models. However, these models meet the minimum requirements for the 64-bit version of Windows 7 and readers have reported successfully running the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 with appropriate drivers. They are believed to run Windows Vista as well, although no one has reported bothering to do so.

Site sponsors PowerMax and Other World Computing both sell a variety of solutions for running Windows on Intel-based Macs, including virtualization solutions from Parallels and VMWare as well as Apple's Boot Camp, which is provided with MacOS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard".

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