Decided on a new Mac,now have a quick question about boot camp on external drive

Discussion in 'iMac' started by igilphoto, Mar 31, 2019.

  1. igilphoto macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2018
    Hi good afternoon,
    So I’ve been thinking about what iMac to order and decided to get the 27 i9 with 580.
    I don’t need the vega gpu and prefer to save the money,I was scared that it will run too hot and loud but honestly after reading a lot of threads here I just can’t justify spending the extra money as I doubt there will be huge difference regarding the noise and heat.
    Anybody here got the same spec ?What do you think about it?

    With the new Mac I want to use windows for light gaming sometimes.
    Is it possible/good to use an external hard drive for bootcamp ?Maybe even ssd so it can run better.
    If yes,can someone with experience tell me how to do it?
    Thank you in advance
  2. igilphoto thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2018
  3. Cayenne1 macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2016
    Knoxville, TN
    I have an iMac 5K, 27-inch, 2017, 4.2 GHz Intel Core i7, 24 GB 2400 MHz DDR4, Radeon Pro 580 8192 MB, 1 TB Internal SSD.

    I initially setup boot camp with Win10 surmising that it would perform better than a virtual Windows via Parallels. I have licensed copies of Visio 2007 and Photoshop CS6 that I had been running on an XP laptop. I was able to run Visio ok but CS 6 was an issue. I also found it a pain to boot into one OS or the other. So, I thought I'd give Parallels a try.

    After a slug out with Microsoft over Win10, I ended up dumping Bootcamp and its partition for running both WinXP and Win10 via Parallels. I now can have all three OS's running at the same time. I was amazed at the performance. For instance, I'm going to boot WinXP and Win10 just now and here are the times:

    WinXp boot up to desktop: 16 sec
    CS6 startup time: 3 sec
    Visio startup time: 2 sec
    Win10 Boot up to desktop: 17 sec

    These times are with everything running just now including Firefox, Plex Media Server, Activity Monitor and Textedit. I still have 7.5GB of physical memory free.

    I was amazed at the performance and you will have an even faster CPU. Note the SSD is key as well. Parallels might be worth a try vs an external Bootcamp. I think they have a free trial.

    However CAUTION: If you set up a Bootcamp partition and authenticate Win10 on it, you CANNOT run a Win10 virtual machine without a new license. I had to grovel with Microsoft to convince them I had "moved" my Win10 license to a new (virtual) machine on the same physical iMac.

    Finally, I heard Apple is looking to replace iMac Intel CPUs with their own A chip in the future. No idea how that will impact running Intel based Windows on a Mac. But, that's in the future.
  4. igilphoto thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2018
    Thank you !
    I’m honestly not familiar with the different options to run windows on Mac so need to learn more about your suggestion.
    I was just thinking that it will be better keeping them on separate drives and not waste internal storage.
  5. Colonel Blimp macrumors regular

    Colonel Blimp

    Dec 1, 2016
    For gaming, Boot Camp will give better performance and much better compatibility than any virtual machine. No VM (whether Parallels Desktop, or VMware Fusion, or VirtualBox) supports Direct3D 11, Direct3D 12, or Vulkan.
  6. igilphoto thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2018
    Thanks for the input !
    Sorry for my ignorance ,what are Direct3D 11, Direct3D 12, or Vulkan?
  7. Colonel Blimp, Apr 2, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019

    Colonel Blimp macrumors regular

    Colonel Blimp

    Dec 1, 2016
    Direct3D and Vulkan are 3D graphics APIs, like OpenGL and Metal.

    A great many games use a 3D graphics API to draw 3D objects (and increasingly even 2D scenes) that can be accelerated by 3D graphics hardware. This requires driver support for the 3D API from the OS vendor or the GPU manufacturer.

    Direct3D is proprietary to Microsoft and available only on Windows and Xbox (as far as I know); Metal is proprietary to Apple and available only on macOS, iOS, and tvOS; OpenGL is cross-platform but long in the tooth; and Vulkan was meant to be cross-platform, but Apple have shown no interest in it (Metal was released one year before Vulkan was even announced)—nor for that matter have Microsoft—and the GPU vendors have shown no interest in developing Vulkan for the Mac (if that’s even possible, which no one here seems actually to know).

    Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion can translate Windows Direct3D 9 and 10 calls into macOS OpenGL calls, allowing games written to those APIs to run in a Windows virtual machine on macOS. (VirtualBox has some support for Direct3D 9 as well, possibly still experimental. Their support is not as mature as the Direct3D support in Parallels and VMware Fusion.) They can also translate most Windows OpenGL calls into macOS OpenGL calls (but not all, since Apple stopped updating OpenGL several years ago).

    To make a long story short, if you want to play a Windows game that requires Direct3D 11, 12, or Vulkan, you can’t use a virtual machine; you have to boot natively into Windows. (Wine is just starting to introduce limited, experimental support for translating Vulkan and Direct 3D 12 calls on Windows to Metal calls on macOS, but that’s a whole other can of worms, which I mention only for the sake of completeness.)

    If you’re still curious, Wikipedia can tell you far more than you ever wanted to know about all these subjects. ;-)
  8. cuppino macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2018
    I have an imac 5k 2017 and I installed windows 10 on external ssd usb 3.0.
    It works great and I can also use an egpu.
  9. Colonel Blimp macrumors regular

    Colonel Blimp

    Dec 1, 2016
    And it took you only a week to get it working! :p

    Thanks very much for making and sharing that very informative video. It’s good to know that we have an option for gaming in Boot Camp that doesn’t require paying Apple’s premium internal SSD prices.

    But yikes! All those installation steps! And then a week of troubleshooting! It reminds me of a T-shirt that MacGamer (one of the two leading Mac gaming web sites back in the day, now sadly defunct) produced:

    You fix PC driver conflicts,
    I’ll play Mac games.​
  10. cuppino macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2018
    in reality it is very simple and fast once you understand all the steps to follow.
    I recreated the same setup to 2 of my friends without any difficulty. (on an imac and a macbook pro 2018).
    The difficulty was that I wanted to use the second thunderbolt 3 port for the external SDD, but it was in conflict with the egpu which absorbs all the pci line resources (on imac pro or macbook with 4 thunderbolt you can do).
    Moving the SDD to USB 3.0 everything worked.
    I apologize for the bad English, but I'm using google translator.
  11. fathergll macrumors 65816

    Sep 3, 2014

    My experience with getting bootcamp to an external was very difficult. I would gladly pay the money for a larger internal SSD and just run it there.
  12. cuppino macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2018
    you can also do this (as I did): install windows 10 with bootcamp on your internal hdd, after installing the various drivers, use wintousb with the official 1803 iso (which you will also use to install windows with bootcamp) from the windows system you have installed and the game is done.
    All you have to do is remove the bootcamp partition and start from the ssd, install the drivers and enjoy windows as well.
    It's very easy.
  13. igilphoto thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2018
    So I just finished installing windows on an external drive using the "9to5mac" video and with the help of the updated comments there .
    At first my mack got stuck on installing the drives in windows and i had to shut it down manually .
    After that and after restoring the drivers installation all went pretty good except a big problem -
    I have no sound ):

    Tried to update windows and re installing the apple drivers but nothing helps .
    Does anybody encountered this and can help me out ?
  14. TheyCallMeBT macrumors regular


    Jan 9, 2013
    Thinking more on this, I think I'm just going to do a normal Bootcamp with a 60 GB partition of the internal SSD for Win10. Then install games on the external SSD.

    Can that external SSD be exFAT or does it have to be NTFS to run programs from?
  15. cuppino macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2018
    I'm using google translator ... forgive bad english
    The same thing happened to me. I solved that. After installing the drivers I went into device management. You'll find a device with an exclamation point (but it's related to the thunderbolt) and in audio and game controllers there are 2 audio devices. One amd and one from another name.
    You must manually update the device drivers with an exclamation mark and the NO AMD audio driver.
    The drivers download them from bootcamp assistant.
    I solved it this way and everything works great on my 5k 2019.
  16. IngerMan macrumors 65816


    Feb 21, 2011

    Yes, I have Bootcamp and a external Samsung T5 500GB formate in ExFat. I have my games loaded on the T5 to run in windows 10Pro. Works like a charm.

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