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Best Boot Camp solution?

NewUsername

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 20, 2019
233
390
I have a 2017 4K iMac with a 1TB Fusion Drive that I want to keep using as a Windows PC for occasional gaming after I get an ARM iMac in the future.

Now I was wondering, what's the best way to do this?

A) Right now, I have Windows on the HDD part, but I run all games on an external SSD. Gaming is fine, apart from that it's slooooow. It's doable but sometimes a bit irritating.
B) I could also defuse the Fusion Drive, and install Windows on the 32GB internal SSD. This should improve performance, but 32GB is the bare minimum to run Windows… In fact, right now I have absolutely nothing installed on the Boot Camp partition and it's already 37GB (I'm not sure how that's possible but that's what it is).
C) I could try to figure out how to install Windows on my external SSD, so I don't use the Fusion Drive at all. Though unlike macOS I would need to do some tricks to do that.
D) I could sell the iMac altogether and get a Windows PC, though I'm not sure if I could get the same performance and display for that amount of money. (I basically know nothing about Windows PCs, only used Boot Camp for years). I got my iMac second hand for 900 USD and I should be able to sell it for that (if not more). Don't know if that's enough for a new gaming pc with screen (with at least the performance of a three-year old iMac)?
 

Yebubbleman

macrumors 68040
May 20, 2010
3,675
806
Los Angeles, CA
I would do one of the following things:

(a) look into upgrading the drive on your iMac; there will certainly be kits so that you can replace both the SSD and the HDD with two larger SSDs (one using Apple's proprietary form factor and/or via an NVMe M.2 adapter, and a 2.5" one using SATA III) and you can outfit however large you want the drives to be (the drive replacing your existing SSD will undoubtedly be notably more expensive than a SATA III 2.5" SSD, so I might go with a 256-512GB SSD to replace Apple's and then a 1-2TB 2.5" SATA III SSD to replace the HDD). The process is not for the faint of hard when it comes to computer repairs. I have my ACMT and used to work at Apple Authorized Service providers and I would always avoid iMac repairs like the plague. But it's a lot less hostile now than it was then (the 2009-11 models were the worst).

(b) Sell off that iMac once you've acquired your Apple Silicon iMac and build yourself a PC with a decent motherboard (preferably one with at least one NVMe M.2 slot). You'll have to get another monitor, but if your desk can accommodate both an Apple Silicon iMac and a PC, then that's your best bet. The only thing you'd lose out on is the ability to boot or virtualize an Intel macOS release (which likely won't matter to you).
 
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satcomer

macrumors 604
Feb 19, 2008
7,075
1,203
The Finger Lakes Region
Once Mac OS goes to own processor again you have to have a PCI Mac and have a daughter board with an Intel chip! Of course this will only work in current version of Mac OS!

So it means that clones are on their way out and in next two years it will be a dead habit!
 
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