Graphically lobotomize a MBPr 15 for battery life :)

FlotationDevice

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 21, 2012
21
0
I care about battery life, not a gamer, and might have to use BootCamp/Windows frequently to comply with some corporate security measures.

So it occurred to me: would it be possible to remove the dedicated graphics card and force the computer to use the HD4000 in bootcamp? I realize it's probably soldered on so I don't assume you could just tug it out, but couldn't an expert solder apart the connection or something?

Again, I'm not a gamer (I do a lot of spreadsheet work) so I doubt I'd miss it either in Bootcamp or when using OS X.
 

old-wiz

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2008
8,320
221
West Suburban Boston Ma
you do know that even if you somehow manage to somehow kill the discrete graphics chip your warranty will be gone.gone.

You are willing to possibly get a better battery life in exchange for no warranty?
 

Stetrain

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2009
3,548
17
As far as I know that isn't really possible. You could move to a 13" rMBP if you don't want the discrete graphics.
 

FlotationDevice

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 21, 2012
21
0
Definitely realize that you are voiding the warranty with a lobotomy :)

Bought my MPBr before changes happened in our corporate device policies and would rather not return it.

And in fairness I'll admit I'm in part curious about is it possible--both the hardware aspect and whether the 15" would somehow not boot via Bootcamp (perhaps it would keep requiring trying to use the dead card)--on the other hand a 13" does this.
 

swerve147

macrumors 6502a
Jan 12, 2013
791
53
Have you tried forcing Integrated Graphics mode with gfxCardStatus and running a VM of your Boot Camp partition in Parallels? Just a thought.
 

MUBiomed

macrumors 6502
Apr 24, 2010
358
32
Have you tried forcing Integrated Graphics mode with gfxCardStatus and running a VM of your Boot Camp partition in Parallels? Just a thought.
I came to suggest gfx as well. Why try a small (and free) app when you could take the case apart and yank out the dedicated GPU though?
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,290
4,816
You can do that but the computer won't even boot :) The MBP uses a hardware switch between GPU framebuffers, its very different from software solution like Optimus. This is also the reason why GPU switching is not supported in Windows - official Nvidia drivers do not support Apple's unique hardware and Apple obviously cannot provide their own version of the driver.
 

ScholarsInk

macrumors regular
Apr 3, 2010
203
98
I care about battery life, not a gamer, and might have to use BootCamp/Windows frequently to comply with some corporate security measures.

So it occurred to me: would it be possible to remove the dedicated graphics card and force the computer to use the HD4000 in bootcamp? I realize it's probably soldered on so I don't assume you could just tug it out, but couldn't an expert solder apart the connection or something?

Again, I'm not a gamer (I do a lot of spreadsheet work) so I doubt I'd miss it either in Bootcamp or when using OS X.
Given the nature of your Windows usage, you should actually be fine virtualizing it while forcing Intel via gfxCardStatus.
 

Queen6

macrumors 604
Given the nature of your Windows usage, you should actually be fine virtualizing it while forcing Intel via gfxCardStatus.
Problem is he/she may not be able to virtualise the OS as part of the security restrictions. Personally I have one contract that stipulates explicitly "all work submitted, must be completed on a PC; Microsoft Windows 7/8 Operating System, not an Apple Mac."
 

ScholarsInk

macrumors regular
Apr 3, 2010
203
98
Problem is he/she may not be able to virtualise the OS as part of the security restrictions. Personally I have one contract that stipulates explicitly "all work submitted, must be completed on a PC; Microsoft Windows 7/8 Operating System, not an Apple Mac."
Yes, but a VM can be run as essentially a computer within a computer.
 
Nov 28, 2010
22,684
27
located
Problem is he/she may not be able to virtualise the OS as part of the security restrictions. Personally I have one contract that stipulates explicitly "all work submitted, must be completed on a PC; Microsoft Windows 7/8 Operating System, not an Apple Mac."
How could they even check or enforce using a Mac with either Windows installed in Boot Camp or using a VM? And do you know why they put on such restrictions?
 

dusk007

macrumors 68040
Dec 5, 2009
3,386
61
You can do that but the computer won't even boot :) The MBP uses a hardware switch between GPU framebuffers, its very different from software solution like Optimus. This is also the reason why GPU switching is not supported in Windows - official Nvidia drivers do not support Apple's unique hardware and Apple obviously cannot provide their own version of the driver.
That is not true. If Apple simple hard set the display output to go of the Intel GPU Nvidia Optimus would only be a driver install away.
Nvidia drivers would support it just fine. Apple allows switching display outputs but for optimus to work the 650M wouldn't need a display output. The driver simple moves the Framebuffer output over PCIe to the IGP which uses its own display output.
They don't do it because they are lazy and don't care about the Windows experience or admitting how crappy their autoswitching actually is.

Afaik if you install Windows 8 in UEFI mode you can use both GPUs. Bootcamp is a layer that emulates a BIOS but technically Windows 8 doesn't runs on UEFI now and not BIOS. It is emulating something Windows doesn't need and bootcamp also hides the GPU. Installing Windows 8 without bootcamp is a bit tricky and I don't know if all things work.
Technically if you have both drivers active installing Optimus should work. Or disabling the 650M since you don't want it anyway.

Some Linux dudes even got graphics switching to work so Windows should work too. There is definitely no hardware change necessary. Just getting rid of that pesky bootcamp layer and then getting the software part right.

Complain to Apple. These idiots should at least allow the Intel GPU to be the set as the primary boot device. That cannot be that hard. Maybe one would have to full restart every time one wanted to switch but that would keep gamers and office Windows workers happy.
 

Queen6

macrumors 604
How could they even check or enforce using a Mac with either Windows installed in Boot Camp or using a VM? And do you know why they put on such restrictions?
Base material/reference data, and specific applications are loaded remotely by IT, all are extremely well protected by multiple applications, likely carries a unique identifier. I suspect that they have been burned in the past, lost/delayed delivery of critical data, and or exploited by a third party.

It`s a contract and upfront,, so personally I have no issue. Corporate web portal mail etc. is accessible by most OS/browser, however finalised work must be completed on Windows architecture. Right now I am using a T series ThinkPad, to give you an indication of the scale, I will likely move to a fully spec`d HP EliteBook, as my present 15" Retina is now somewhat redundant, unless Lenovo offer a significant replacement to the present W530...
 

FlotationDevice

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 21, 2012
21
0
Thanks for the interesting posts.

As mentioned according to my IT dept I can only run a native boot (e.g., not a VM).

I now am ducking into hackerdom but given that a 13 rMBP goes straight to HD 4000 is there any way to fool a 15 accordingly?
 

negativzero

macrumors 6502a
Jul 19, 2011
564
50
Thanks for the interesting posts.

As mentioned according to my IT dept I can only run a native boot (e.g., not a VM).

I now am ducking into hackerdom but given that a 13 rMBP goes straight to HD 4000 is there any way to fool a 15 accordingly?
Only thing I can think of. Install the Intel4000 drivers from Intel's website and uninstall the 650M from within device manager.
 

dusk007

macrumors 68040
Dec 5, 2009
3,386
61
I now am ducking into hackerdom but given that a 13 rMBP goes straight to HD 4000 is there any way to fool a 15 accordingly?
I don't think so. I only skimmed some of those threads but it appears that Apple always boots with the 650M and while one guy managed to change that the Intel driver he used crashed and he never reached the login screen.
The best bet is to get Optimus to work and shut down the 650M after booting. Put differently to get the HD 4000 to work once you are in Windows. That should be possible if you go have bootcamp underneath. Windows can also handle two GPU drivers simultaneously. So you don't necessarily need Optimus to get rid of the 650M but you need to activate the HD 4000 somehow and Optimus is the easiest route from then on.
Some people got Optimus to work with external GPUs on 13" MBP. That is pretty forgiving software because all it really does is redirect the framebuffer if the 650M is turn on.
 

Mackan

macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2007
1,373
48
I don't think so. I only skimmed some of those threads but it appears that Apple always boots with the 650M and while one guy managed to change that the Intel driver he used crashed and he never reached the login screen.
The best bet is to get Optimus to work and shut down the 650M after booting. Put differently to get the HD 4000 to work once you are in Windows. That should be possible if you go have bootcamp underneath. Windows can also handle two GPU drivers simultaneously. So you don't necessarily need Optimus to get rid of the 650M but you need to activate the HD 4000 somehow and Optimus is the easiest route from then on.
Some people got Optimus to work with external GPUs on 13" MBP. That is pretty forgiving software because all it really does is redirect the framebuffer if the 650M is turn on.
I do believe you are able to disable the GT 650 via setting some pci registers during boot via EFI. And also enable the HD 4000. It was a while since I read about it, so I might be wrong. But techinferno forums should have the information there, since people wanting to use eGPU with the rMBP have had to deal with this.

I also remember you lost the audio if manage to boot via the HD 4000. No compatible Intel driver for use with Apple's EFI.

Actually, I am not sure there was even a working HD 4000 graphics driver in EFI. Anyway... that was all a mess. Apple's Windows support is abysmal, and only trouble awaits.
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,290
4,816
Some Linux dudes even got graphics switching to work so Windows should work too. There is definitely no hardware change necessary. Just getting rid of that pesky bootcamp layer and then getting the software part right.
This is interesting! Do you have a link? I guess Optimus could work if one sets the video out signal multiplexer to the IGP, but I have no idea whether its easy to do it in Windows... its true that Windows support is still a bit basic...
 

dusk007

macrumors 68040
Dec 5, 2009
3,386
61
google search the ubuntu forums.
"Windows support is still a bit basic" LOL
That is one way to put it. It has been around for years now, it shouldn't be basic. Also the bootcamp drivers in general are pretty solid. I can only explain it as that Apple doesn't want the Windows experience to be any good, because they want their religious fanboys not to feel to comfortable when booting up Windows. Those trackpads could also do much better in Windows.