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qmacpoint
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Experiences with Boot Camp

Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:54 pm

Hey guys!

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.
Last edited by qmacpoint on Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Buub
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Re: Experiences with Boot Camp

Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:09 pm

Personally, I prefer to run Windows in a VM (VMware Fusion being my preferred solution, but there are several options). It allows both OS' to run at the same time, and also gives you the option of doing snapshots and things like that. I think it's the better solution for most people.

That said, I understand it sounds like you run Windows primarily. Also, for Windows gamers bootcamp might be a better solution. Just throwing it out there for others, like me, who use Windows as an accessory OS rather than the main one.
 
qmacpoint
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Re: Experiences with Boot Camp

Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:23 pm

That is one side of it, and the other one is the sheer frustration at the driver optimization that Apple has done on Windows: I understand that they want you to use their ecosystem, including macOS... but my drive is part of sticking it up to Apple, and part curiosity to see how much these things can be optimized for Windows - the biggest challenge will be trying to use the iGPU instead of the AMD one I reckon...
 
just brew it!
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Re: Experiences with Boot Camp

Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:31 pm

You paid for their hardware, and are jumping through hoops to avoid using the OS they give away for free. How in the world is that "sticking it to Apple"?
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derFunkenstein
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Re: Experiences with Boot Camp

Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:29 pm

just brew it! wrote:
You paid for their hardware, and are jumping through hoops to avoid using the OS they give away for free. How in the world is that "sticking it to Apple"?


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qmacpoint
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Re: Experiences with Boot Camp

Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:52 pm

just brew it! wrote:
You paid for their hardware, and are jumping through hoops to avoid using the OS they give away for free. How in the world is that "sticking it to Apple"?

Yeah, not really... just trying to sound cool :D

With that being said, I paid a decent amount of money (not Apple levels of money) for this setup, I could've gone with a Razer machine equally equipped for the same price (and should have, based on the problems I've had). But whatever, it's a personal challenge for me to make this a decent Windows laptop.

Also, as my history teacher used to tell me in high school: "Nothing is for free."
 
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Re: Experiences with Boot Camp

Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:55 pm

qmacpoint wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
You paid for their hardware, and are jumping through hoops to avoid using the OS they give away for free. How in the world is that "sticking it to Apple"?

Yeah, not really... just trying to sound cool :D

With that being said, I paid a decent amount of money (not Apple levels of money) for this setup, I could've gone with a Razer machine equally equipped for the same price (and should have, based on the problems I've had). But whatever, it's a personal challenge for me to make this a decent Windows laptop.

Also, as my history teacher used to tell me in high school: "Nothing is for free."

Personally, I prefer to buy stuff that works and spend my energies elsewhere. But to each his own... :)
 
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Re: Experiences with Boot Camp

Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:35 am

I use Boot Camp on my mac as well :wink:
 
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Re: Experiences with Boot Camp

Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:22 am

This is how I’d do it, too: superior Apple hardware with the superior (to me) Windows OS. I was all ready to do this with a MacBook Pro before the keyboard debacle. Very cool to read your thoughts on this, though I don’t have much to add.
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qmacpoint
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Re: Experiences with Boot Camp

Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:33 pm

Not gonna lie, it is not the best hardware anymore, it's pretty... but it's full of bugs and it's not very agreeable - specially when you're trying to use an eGPU and how Apple decided to wire the display adapters... It is so painful to set anything up in there, not your plug and play experience!

I do have an update regarding BootCampDrivers.com tho!
 
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Re: Experiences with Boot Camp

Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:58 pm

qmacpoint wrote:
[*]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)



The correct shortcut to snip part of the screen is Cmd + Opt + 4, and Cmd + Opt + 3 captures the whole screen. Not F3 or F4. Been like that for as long as I've had a Mac, which goes back to 2004-ish.
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qmacpoint
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Re: Experiences with Boot Camp

Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:35 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
The correct shortcut to snip part of the screen is Cmd + Opt + 4, and Cmd + Opt + 3 captures the whole screen. Not F3 or F4. Been like that for as long as I've had a Mac, which goes back to 2004-ish.

Isn't that for macOS? I was referring to Boot Camp/Windows. You cannot longer do that with the new keyboards: https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT202676
 
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Re: Experiences with Boot Camp

Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:04 pm

Ah ok. I misunderstood.
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qmacpoint
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Re: Experiences with Boot Camp

Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:13 pm

Just another update: with a bit of work and patience, I managed to get this setup the way I wanted it with a catch. Under Windows I can get 4 hours on battery, going back to early 2010s haha! But that's ok for me. Your mileage may vary!

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