A few days ago, I broke down and committed blasphemy: I installed Boot Camp and Windows XP on my MacBook Pro. I was originally going to wait until OSX 10.5 / Leopard comes out, but since I am planning to do a fresh install with Leopard anyway, I figured I’d give Boot Camp a shot to see if I like it, and so I can wipe it out when I install Leopard in case I don’t.

But I have to say it works just great! The installation was very smooth, and now I have a nice dual boot system. The only thing I changed after the installation was to replace the stock ATI driver with the Omega Drivers. These are supposed to offer more opportunities for performance tweaks, but the main reason I installed them was to provide better controls for my external 22” monitor (the stock drivers would not allow me to set this as my primary display, whereas the Omega drivers do). I was originally concerned about hard drive space, but I recently picked up a portable external, USB powered hard drive. Boot Camp won’t let you install Windows on an external drive (although there are a few hacks to get around this…), but I only reserved a relatively modest 15GB on my internal hard drive for Windows and a few important applications or games, and I am installing all large applications (and particularly the recent crop of 5+ GB sized games…) on the external drive.

Now I can play many games (including BioShock, Oblivion, and the Half Life Orange Box with Portal and Team Fortress 2) in much better quality and with better frame rates than on my (admittedly somewhat outdated) desktop PC. Very nice!

I am especially curious how Boot Camp will perform with Leopard (only 4 more days!), as it is supposed to include some sort of fast reboot mechanism that should make the switch from OSX to Windows a bit more seamless.