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macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 8, 2008
296
59
Canada
I have a relatively long post but I'm getting ready for my next MBP purchase, since selling my 2015 15" a few months back. I will be using this primarily for 3d content creation-specifically, game art and animated shorts. I need a mobile workstation. Regardless if I go with a 13" MBP or 15" I will be using an eGPU for desktop work sessions. Currently I have a GTX 1080 and will be getting a new RTX 2080 TI.

I have a few questions that I hope this wonderful community could answer for me. Currently I work on Windows 10. Essentially all the software I use in my workflow runs on OS X, except for one caveat. Tessellation. Allegorithmic does not support this on OS X due to lack of OpenGL support from Apple, (or something to that effect). They are working on a Metal implementation but this won't happen anytime soon.

1. I keep hearing that the new Parallels Desktop offers superior gaming performance compared to the old days. Since most of the software I run basically requires "gaming" hardware, can I now run a Windows 10 VM with Parallels and work in programs such as Substance Designer where tessellation is required?

2. Is BootCamp support up to date? I have no issues using my MBP with Windows installed. Basically, can I just reformat like the old days, run all my updates, plug and play? Is throttling in BootCamp a massive issue still?

3. What is the least bloated install I can expect to see with BootCamp and Windows 10? How many GBs should I be looking at a minimum for OS install? Can I install Windows 10 with BootCamp through an external SSD, ie, Samsung T5?

When texturing at 4k, my project files can exceed 5/10GBS (depending on the project). I ask this because I would like to keep costs down, and someone suggested getting an external Samsung T5 as they are affordable and fast. BUT, if I will see noticeable gains from these new SSDs, I would prefer to bump my size up a bit in my internal SSD.

4. I have not used these new M2 SSDs yet, in any capacity. I would be coming from Samsung 850 EVOs with roughly 400/500mbs read/write. Will I notice a huge performance increase?

For a 15" I will go with the 2.2ghz i7, to keep thermals down, equipped with 32 GB of RAM. Yes, I need it. SSD I am undecided until I hear some responses from experienced community members. I do not think I will bother upgrading the GPU as the external will be ready to go whenever needed.

Lastly, the only reason I even consider a 13" is portability. However, I'm not sure I can justify paying $3k + tax for a specced out model (shy of top tier ssds), when compared to the base 15". I will be going to look at these new laptops very soon but since I have not seen a MBP newer than 2015 I will ask. It might sound ironic to those reading this but, form factor is really important to me and I would safely say I'd sacrifice performance for day to day comfort. Think leisure usage.

5. Is there a noticeable difference in size/weight when comparing a 2015 15" MBP to a 2018 15" MBP?

Many of you reading this may be thinking, why don't you just get a Windows laptop? Well, I went down that path with MSI and the experience was not great. Performance is good but the build quality and trackpad is terrible. I've actually been shopping out Windows laptops but I am not entirely sold on the idea. Since the early 2000s I've had a wonderful experience with Apple products, and their support. This is keeping me from further exploring other manufacturers.

I've looked at products from Dell, Razer, HP and Microsoft that all look great and I could probably work with through an eGPU for desktop replacement - but I am unsure as I have heard horror stories about their support and had terrible personal experience with Dell in the early 2000s. Whenever I've had issues with a MBP, whether it was logic board failure, to a key being stuck, they've replaced my machines on several occasions with no questions asked. I know others have had bad experiences but I've never experienced it.

I really hope to get these questions answered as they will surely help me narrow what I will purchase. Thanks to anyone who reads and contributes to this.
 

leman

macrumors Core
Oct 14, 2008
19,351
19,403
Given your use case, I strongly suggest that you get a windows machine. It’s not clear if and how well the new NVIDIA cards will be supported, I am not aware of any emulator/hyper visor that could translate GL/DX trsselation calls into Metal and Bootcamp drivers are still outdated, plus I hear that setting an eGPU there is hit and miss.
 

1096bimu

macrumors 6502
Nov 7, 2017
437
537
  1. That sounds like a terrible idea, not only will you take performance hits from virtual machines, AMD graphics is terrible for tessellation because of weak geometry performance.
  2. Yes, but I heard there are some small issues. It's not quite as issue-free as before.
  3. don't know
  4. Most likely not, unless you are moving very large files.
  5. Yes, but I think the most obvious problem is that the 2018 MBP is so much faster it wouldn't make sense to get the 2015 model anyway.
 

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macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 8, 2008
296
59
Canada
Thank you both for your responses.

Given your use case, I strongly suggest that you get a windows machine. It’s not clear if and how well the new NVIDIA cards will be supported, I am not aware of any emulator/hyper visor that could translate GL/DX trsselation calls into Metal and Bootcamp drivers are still outdated, plus I hear that setting an eGPU there is hit and miss.

I hear you. Can you recommend any manufacturers that have best in class support similar to Apple? How far behind are BootCamp drivers? What is lacking with a current BootCamp installation?

  1. That sounds like a terrible idea, not only will you take performance hits from virtual machines, AMD graphics is terrible for tessellation because of weak geometry performance.
  2. Yes, but I heard there are some small issues. It's not quite as issue-free as before.
  3. don't know
  4. Most likely not, unless you are moving very large files.
  5. Yes, but I think the most obvious problem is that the 2018 MBP is so much faster it wouldn't make sense to get the 2015 model anyway.

I figured as much, but I haven't used Parallels since probably version 4 or something like that. I thought it was too good to be true for 3d capability.

What kind of issues are prevalent today with BootCamp and Win10?

Wouldn't read/writing to large files be the same as "moving" them? I'm editing at 4k in realtime viewports with files > 5GB.

To clarify I wasn't interested in purchasing a 2015. I just wanted to know if the new 2018 15" were noticeably lighter/portable than my old 2015 MBP.
 

leman

macrumors Core
Oct 14, 2008
19,351
19,403
I hear you. Can you recommend any manufacturers that have best in class support similar to Apple?

I think if you buy a workstation machine from Dell or HP with on-site support, you should get fairly good service. Our experiences with Dell and Lenovo have been rather terrible, but I guess it depends on where you buy from. If you have a reputable retailer who also takes over support in your area, it could be a good choice.
 

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macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 8, 2008
296
59
Canada
I think if you buy a workstation machine from Dell or HP with on-site support, you should get fairly good service. Our experiences with Dell and Lenovo have been rather terrible, but I guess it depends on where you buy from. If you have a reputable retailer who also takes over support in your area, it could be a good choice.

This is why I'm not tempted to jump ship so fast.

Hopefully people can chime in on the BootCamp issues. If they are minor things I'm sure I'd be more than willing to compromise.

I'll have to dig into the eGPU forums and research on MBP + BootCamp for eGPU.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,613
12,738
I see too many problems from folks using bootcamp.
If one needs Windows, seems like an "emulated environment" is the better way to go.

If you're going to be heavily into Windows apps and gaming, leman probably "said it best" above:
Perhaps you ought to consider a Windows machine.

Buy a Mac to do "Mac stuff" with it... ;)

Actually, I would have kept the 2015 -- too many problems with the later-design MacBook Pros for me... (but that's just me)
 

leman

macrumors Core
Oct 14, 2008
19,351
19,403
How far behind are BootCamp drivers? What is lacking with a current BootCamp installation?

In my opinion, the issue is that BootCamp exist in this weird grey area. The UEFI provided by Apple is sufficient to boot and run Windows, but many things are lacking or provided just as an afterthought (e.g. lack of GPU switching or simplified power management). Much of Mac's hardware uses exclusive chips (e.g. WiFi), and you have to rely on Apple for drivers. GPU driver situation is particularly sad since AMD is very bad at keeping BootCamp drivers up to date. Some things just don't work or are weird (I had issue with Logitech bluetooth mouse for instance) and you can't get any support because the moment they hear you are running Windows on a Mac they just drop the call.

All in all, Bootcamp is great to run that odd legacy Windows software that you need occasionally or to play games (using modded GPU drivers), but I don't think its a good idea to use it as your primary workhorse. If most of your work relies on Windows software, do yourself a favour and get a proper Windows machine.
 

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macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 8, 2008
296
59
Canada
I see too many problems from folks using bootcamp.
If one needs Windows, seems like an "emulated environment" is the better way to go.

If you're going to be heavily into Windows apps and gaming, leman probably "said it best" above:
Perhaps you ought to consider a Windows machine.

Buy a Mac to do "Mac stuff" with it... ;)

Actually, I would have kept the 2015 -- too many problems with the later-design MacBook Pros for me... (but that's just me)

Thanks for your reply! What kind of problems have you seen with Bootcamp? Do you have experience running graphical intensive programs in an emulated environment?

BTW, all of my software runs on OS X, so I don't think it's necessarily accurate to say "Mac Stuff" xD -- even the software in question that I was specifically asking about runs well, it just has one feature unavailable currently.

In my opinion, the issue is that BootCamp exist in this weird grey area. The UEFI provided by Apple is sufficient to boot and run Windows, but many things are lacking or provided just as an afterthought (e.g. lack of GPU switching or simplified power management). Much of Mac's hardware uses exclusive chips (e.g. WiFi), and you have to rely on Apple for drivers. GPU driver situation is particularly sad since AMD is very bad at keeping BootCamp drivers up to date. Some things just don't work or are weird (I had issue with Logitech bluetooth mouse for instance) and you can't get any support because the moment they hear you are running Windows on a Mac they just drop the call.

All in all, Bootcamp is great to run that odd legacy Windows software that you need occasionally or to play games (using modded GPU drivers), but I don't think its a good idea to use it as your primary workhorse. If most of your work relies on Windows software, do yourself a favour and get a proper Windows machine.

Wow, thanks for the insight! I was trying to search up on Bootcamp issues after your first post. This helps clarify things for me, and aids in future decisions. By simplified power management, are you talking about how OSX will just decide when to use more horsepower on the machine -- but in Bootcamp it can't do this on it's own? Perhaps the user must manually change the settings in the Windows Power Management settings? Or, it's not available at all.

Understood about the odd quirks. I assume if you had a dock or directly plugged into the MBP, a USB mouse should theoretically work? Haha.

I understand where you are coming from, and thanks for your advice, it's greatly appreciated. As it stands though, all of my software runs on OS X - and quite well, just one feature is not supported on OS X for one program, tessellation. So that will leave me with creating parallax occlusion textures in OS X or just running BootCamp to use Open GL and Tessellation.

I haven't used Bootcamp in years but, from the sound of what you are saying it leads me to my next question. Does it appear that Apple is abandoning Bootcamp? Can we expect updates after Mojave drops?
 

leman

macrumors Core
Oct 14, 2008
19,351
19,403
By simplified power management, are you talking about how OSX will just decide when to use more horsepower on the machine -- but in Bootcamp it can't do this on it's own?

I think that Apple only provides Windows with rudimentary power management drivers, the main effect being that battery drains ridiculously fast.

I haven't used Bootcamp in years but, from the sound of what you are saying it leads me to my next question. Does it appear that Apple is abandoning Bootcamp? Can we expect updates after Mojave drops?

I don't notice any difference in their attitude towards BootCamp over the years. It has always been a bit basic. One could maybe argue that Bootcamp is getting less support these days, but that most likely has to do with the fact that Apple's hardware becomes more and more exclusive (custom WiFi chips, Touch Bar, custom controllers, custom GPUs, custom everything). Writing drivers for it is a troublesome affair and is probably not too high on Apple's list of things to refine.
 

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macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 8, 2008
296
59
Canada
I think that Apple only provides Windows with rudimentary power management drivers, the main effect being that battery drains ridiculously fast.



I don't notice any difference in their attitude towards BootCamp over the years. It has always been a bit basic. One could maybe argue that Bootcamp is getting less support these days, but that most likely has to do with the fact that Apple's hardware becomes more and more exclusive (custom WiFi chips, Touch Bar, custom controllers, custom GPUs, custom everything). Writing drivers for it is a troublesome affair and is probably not too high on Apple's list of things to refine.

Thanks for clarifying the power management issues. Shouldn't be a problem if I'm not on battery, I guess.

Ah, I see what you mean. Makes sense. When Apple first switched to Intel chips, we didn't have the hi-tech features of today, ie, touchbar and what have you.

I'm doing some research on the eGPU scenario with this machine. I'll report my findings from experienced eGPU users once I know more.

Do you think the new SSD's will be of a large benefit when working with large files in realtime?

Does anyone have experience with 3d driven programs in Parallels? Just wondering what your experience has been.
 

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macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 8, 2008
296
59
Canada
Went to the Apple Store to view the new MBP's and also the MS store to look at Windows machines. Definitely going with the 15" MBP. I was absolutely blown away with the form factor, never have I seen the new MBP's in person. I was completely shocked! Thought the 15" was the 13" at first glance.

Can anyone recommend a good combo of wireless keyboards/mice that is compatible for both OSX and Bootcamp?
 

deeddawg

macrumors G5
Jun 14, 2010
12,258
6,411
US
Don't know about bootcamp, but I've been very happy with the Apple Magic Keyboard 2 and Magic Trackpad 2.
 

happyslayer

macrumors 65816
Feb 3, 2008
1,027
578
Glendale, AZ
From what you're asking, I think your best choice would be to purchase the 15" MacBook Pro per your specs, then test everything over the 14 days you have for the return window. (At least I think you get 14 days with build-to-order machines; if somebody knows different please correct me.) Install bootcamp Windows 10 and see how everything works. If you already have a 1080TI card, you will just need an appropriate external USB3/Thunderbolt3 cage and try it out. (Maybe order on Amazon, if possible, because they also usually have pretty good return policies.) This way you can answer your own questions. While I totally agree that it's good to get others opinions, unless they are doing the same tasks and running exactly the same hardware and software you are considering, it's hard to get a good answer as to whether it will work the way you want.
 

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macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 8, 2008
296
59
Canada
Don't know about bootcamp, but I've been very happy with the Apple Magic Keyboard 2 and Magic Trackpad 2.

Thanks! Been looking at reviews. I think I will go with the Apple Magic Keyboard and probably a Logitech Mouse.

From what you're asking, I think your best choice would be to purchase the 15" MacBook Pro per your specs, then test everything over the 14 days you have for the return window. (At least I think you get 14 days with build-to-order machines; if somebody knows different please correct me.) Install bootcamp Windows 10 and see how everything works. If you already have a 1080TI card, you will just need an appropriate external USB3/Thunderbolt3 cage and try it out. (Maybe order on Amazon, if possible, because they also usually have pretty good return policies.) This way you can answer your own questions. While I totally agree that it's good to get others opinions, unless they are doing the same tasks and running exactly the same hardware and software you are considering, it's hard to get a good answer as to whether it will work the way you want.

Aye, thanks. It appears this way. I will be getting my MBP in a few weeks. Might go with the Sonnet Breakaway or Razer enclosures.
 

maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,682
43,709
1. I keep hearing that the new Parallels Desktop offers superior gaming performance
If there's a need for direct-x or hardware access, boot camp is still the best choice. No matter how you slice it, you're running a virtualized environment and running windows natively is always going to be faster.

2. Is BootCamp support up to date? I have no issues using my MBP with Windows installed.
Yes, it seems to work for me. You need to be sure you have the latest windows build, my initial mistake was an old windows 10 ISO which wouldn't load. You can always download the latest ISO from MS.

3. What is the least bloated install I can expect to see with BootCamp and Windows 10? How many GBs should I be looking at a minimum for OS install?
I like at least 60gb, at work we have 100GB for the c drive. Like macOS, you cannot pick and choose what features to install during the install but you certainly can remove some after the fact.

4. I have not used these new M2 SSDs yet, in any capacity. I would be coming from Samsung 850 EVOs with roughly 400/500mbs read/write. Will I notice a huge performance increase?
Speed is relative, and the speed difference may not be that noticeable unless you're moving large files.

5. Is there a noticeable difference in size/weight when comparing a 2015 15" MBP to a 2018 15" MBP?
2015 MBP 4.49 pounds (2.04 kg)
2018 MBP 4.02 pounds (1.83 kg)
 

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macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 8, 2008
296
59
Canada
If there's a need for direct-x or hardware access, boot camp is still the best choice. No matter how you slice it, you're running a virtualized environment and running windows natively is always going to be faster.


Yes, it seems to work for me. You need to be sure you have the latest windows build, my initial mistake was an old windows 10 ISO which wouldn't load. You can always download the latest ISO from MS.


I like at least 60gb, at work we have 100GB for the c drive. Like macOS, you cannot pick and choose what features to install during the install but you certainly can remove some after the fact.


Speed is relative, and the speed difference may not be that noticeable unless you're moving large files.


2015 MBP 4.49 pounds (2.04 kg)
2018 MBP 4.02 pounds (1.83 kg)

Hey Mike, thanks for your input. Greatly appreciated. I've been researching with the eGPU community and it appears that Bootcamp and Nvidia is definitely the way to go. I'll be posting a build thread on here and benchmarks with my workflow for anyone trying to replicate a similar setup, once I acquire everything.

Good to know about the Bootcamp tips, version and storage thanks. I think I will opt for the 512 SSD in the new MBP. As for storage that is good to know. I'm not sure how much of a difference I will find between 5-30GB files in realtime..guess I will know soon enough.

I was shocked by the size and weight of the new MBP! Looking to add a new monitor with my MBP purchase. Hoping to get some input from the community. Currently I am using dual Samsung 28" UHD 4k Monitors.

So I am looking to increase my monitor size and remain at 4k. Features I am looking for:
  • Trying to stick very close to $1000 CAD for top end budget
  • Reasonable color accuracy for graphic and video work
  • High resolution, (preferably 4k)
  • Greater than 30"
  • Suitable for casual gaming
I have found two monitors that perhaps fit the bill. Which monitor is better do you think and why? Also, if you have any alternatives -- please suggest!

LG 43UD79-B 42.5"
https://www.amazon.ca/LG-43UD79-B-S...ords=lg+43ud79-b+42.5"+screen+led-lit+monitor

ViewSonic 43" 4K
https://www.amazon.ca/ViewSonic-Frameless-Monitor-DisplayPort-VX4380-4K/dp/B06XYTHP1M

I am tending to go with the ViewSonic - but there are very few reviews online about it. What do you guys think? Also, can you speak to quality of both brands?

Thanks!
 
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