Just wanted to consolidate my experiences when dealing with Boot Camp on these new generation MBPs (2017 model to be precise), as it has been a pain just to get the settings to a point where I am comfortable with the machine and the overall experience.
This list is just because I typically run Windows, and I was able to buy this machine at a reasonable price – I do use macOS for certain things, but I love Windows/Linux all in all. There are a lot of things that I can take a look at to optimize the machine further (I'm reviewing some power-saving settings for specific pieces of hardware, and considering moving to drivers from other manufacturers that have been optimized for windows). I will update these once to this list once I complete some testing on these.
I would like to hear your opinions! (Beyond the "why would you run Windows on a Mac". Think we're all grown-ups here )
- Initial setup and blue screens
When setting up Windows for the first time, make sure you disconnect all peripherals from your MBP. If Windows + Boot Camp doesn't like that particular device, it will catastrophically fail into a blue screen
- Boot Camp drivers and major updates
If you're using an older Windows installer (not the latest one available), make sure you update Windows to the latest version before installing the complete suite of Boot Camp drivers. If you install the drivers, you will not be able to update, as the Updater will crash at 30%~40% and will revert to the previous Windows version. This behavior was observed when updating from 1709 to 1803/1809. I'm thinking it may be exclusive to 1709.
- BootCampDrivers.com and thermal concerns
While people complain about the drivers used by Apple and them not being up to date - the use of BCD.com drivers increase the thermals of the GPU + CPU a lot, and in my case, they were around 80 C and 95 C respectively reaching around 100 C at times. I do have to admit that Apple drivers may keep the performance down, but there is a thermal trade-off that needs to be considered.
- BootCampDrivers.com work!
I was having previous problems with thermals, but it may have been done due to a weird version of BCD.com where the installer was updated and the drivers needed to be installed manually, now it works like a charm!
- Intel Extreme Tuning Utility (XTU) + SpeedShift gone
This took me a bit to figure out, and a second MBP to validate (same specs/processor): an MBPs processor will Turbo Boost under Windows, even if it shows that SpeedShift (SST) is disabled. If you use Intel's XTU, and try to modify any settings, you will end up losing this configuration unless you enable it through ThrottleStop or any other separate means. XTU will set up your processor the way it was designed by Intel. With this being said, running ThrottleStop will not make these changes permanent like XTU will (from what I've seen)
- Missing keyboard shortcuts
Previously you were able to get some keys to work by pressing a convoluted keyboard combination (i.e. fn+alt+f# to get print screen). However, with the Touch Bar, this is completely gone, and Apple is recommending the new snipping tool. Some other keyboard combinations may have shared the same fate, but this is the one that hurts me the most. (As I am a fan of alt+print screen)
- Windows precision drivers for the MBP Trackpad
Previous generations of MBP can rejoice of full Windows precision drivers support by using a custom driver from imbushuo (https://github.com/imbushuo/mac-precision-touchpad) I reviewed the code a while back, and I was satisfied with it (I.e. non malicious in my perspective). However, support for 2016+ MBPs is still pending. If you have an older version of MBP, I would recommend to use it! (There is a driver package that has been signed already and does not require to accept a custom certificate)
- And just a general concern: Dust buildup
I opened up my MBP a while back just to dust it off and found that there was a lot of dust buildup (dust bunnies) between the fans and the heatsinks. Removing these and just dusting the machine a bit with compressed air reduced the temperatures by 8C~10C in average.