Optimus in Bootcamp?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thirdykal, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. thirdykal macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2010
    To anyone who has a new 15" or 17" MBP:

    Now the MBPs have both the Intel integrated and the NVIDIA discrete GPU's, and Optimus is a software solution, is the Optimus tech able to be enabled in Windows 7 under bootcamp? Sometimes people like me just need to boot into Windows for a few programs, will it drain my battery, or will there be automatic graphics switching? Or will it be like last-gen, where only the dedicated chip is enabled?
  2. PoianaNana macrumors member

    Apr 7, 2010
    I've heard that the solution implemented in the new MBP 15" & 17" is similar to Optimus but developed by Apple itself...

    I don't know if it is an Apple strategy to bypass Intel complaining about NVidia, but if it is really not the same architecture I doubt Optimus drivers will work in Windows...

    Just my two cents,
  3. kayloh20 macrumors regular

    Apr 8, 2010
    Chicago, IL
    It's not Optimus. It's specific to Apple, so just like the previous unibodies, it doesn't work in Boot Camp.

    The main difference is that Optimus triggers the dedicated graphics card alongside the integrated one when the graphic intensive applications come up. Apple deactivates the integrated when using the dedicated in order to save battery.

    Another difference is that Optimus uses a list of applications which the user can edit which trigger the switch. Apple's is all done based on Mac OS X's determination of what is graphic intensive.

    It's kind of annoying if Apple left it like it was, cause sometimes when I am on the go, I don't mind toning down the graphics in a game or in Motion. Hopefully Apple will have something like the older unibodies.
  4. thadoggfather macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2007
    Does Boot Camp run the discrete graphics card or integrated intel?

    On my last one that was 9400m and 9600M GT, I didnt have the choice, defaulted to discrete and got really hot and battery life comparitively sucked!
  5. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    No they don't. The integrated one has to stay on because that is what provides the images to the screen.
  6. thirdykal thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2010
    Yea, I understand that on the OSX side, the automatic graphics switching is not Optimus, it is a compeltely different system. However, it is my understanding that Optimus isn't a hardware enabled system, rather it is just a software solution that switches on or off the discrete system as it is needed. In that case, in Windows under Bootcamp, wouldn't we be able to just download the Optimus drivers, and have it enabled while in Windows? After all, now the hardware is identical (integrated intel and nvidia 330m) to other Optimus enabled systems.
  7. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    From iFixit and AppleInsider:

    "Apple is using Intel's HM55 Express Chipset. Apple has clearly tweaked Intel's chipset to enable the seamless switching between the Intel and NVIDIA graphics. Interestingly enough, the chipset hub (BD82HM55) is not connected to the heat sink. Enough heat is convected from the surface of the silicon to remove the small amount of heat generated. Another advantage of this Intel chipset over Optimus is that the integrated graphics are powered down when the discrete GPU is active."
  8. amarcus macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2008
    London, UK
    Unfortunately only the discrete 330m GT is made available in bootcamp. Judging by the last generation of unibody I imagine the intel integrated gpu may be switched off by the EFI and therefore there is little hope for ever getting optimus-style drivers in windows.

    Apple prove me wrong!

  9. thirdykal thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2010
    Ah, so our hopes for using the integrated graphics in Windows rely on Apple actually updating Bootcamp... uh oh. Or they're saving it for the next update that they can tout as a "groundbreaking feature". Oh well that sucks, but at least it still works under OSX, thanks for the responses.
  10. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    honestly, they made the right move not to try to make a switchable driver for bootcamp.

    1. apple drivers in windows usually suck and are rarely updated, so i'm glad they didn't try
    2. optimus drivers are rarely updated too, so a lot of people with issues complain about the lack of support as they can't use the regular drivers off the nvidia site
    3. b\c only the 330M is on, you can use the regular, often updated nvidia drivers
  11. Tex-Twil macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2008
    The integrated is being shut down when the discrete is switched on as pointed by several reviews. I think this is THE difference between Optimus. Since Apple pay a lot attention to battery life, I'd say that's why they decided to implement their own solution.

    This does not work in Bootcamp though.
  12. Mackan macrumors 65816

    Sep 16, 2007
    There is no need for a switchable driver... Apple could just enable the option to chose which videocard should be active in the Boot Camp preferences. A reboot would be needed to switch videocard, but you could use the normal Intel and Nvidia drivers, independent of Apple.

    But of course Apple doesn't want to give you that option. If you run Windows, you should be punished, by a warm notebook and short battery life.

    I think this is a pretty big deal, and Apple is being an ass about it.
  13. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    They can't shut the integrated chip off completely though can they? I thought the integrated chip was still responsible for getting the image onto the screen.. the discrete just did all the hard work.
  14. gadgetfreaky macrumors 65816

    Oct 28, 2007
    Wow--that seems kind of like a waste. No wonder the mbp is burning a hole in my lap. Does steve jobs want me to not have kids????

    they gotta do some kind of switching in BC. Optima or Apples solution. but something...sheesh.
  15. Tex-Twil macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2008
  16. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    That's what I said.. the integrated card is used just to get the image onto the screen where as the discrete card does all the hard work.

    The integrated card isn't off completely. You implied it was "shut off" but it isn't. Engadget says it is on "power sipping mode" so only drawing enough to just put the image onto the screen.

  17. elfxmilhouse macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2008
    Northeast USA
    the macbook pros do not have optimus.

    if what you say about optimus is true then you still need the applications to be registered with nvidia to be compatible with optimus.

    the reason why the apple switching solution doesnt work in windows is that the switching is taken care of by OS X. the OS determines what type of graphics processing the application needs and will switch to the appropriate card. with optimus, each application needs to be registered with nvidia. then using that profile the optimus software/hardware will switch accordingly.
  18. Tex-Twil macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2008
    oh yes, I totally misread the article. u r right
  19. JPP1 macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2010
    Loosing Strategy for Apple

    Well, I have waited for months to buy my high-end laptop and since I have Photoshop only for Windows and Apple is being stubbornly anti-windows about enabling optimus for bootcamp, I will buy my Sony Vaio Z-Series today instead of the Macbook Pro, even though I already own 3 iMacs. I think many customers will turn Apple down just like myself, with this attitude they have chosen to follow. In the end you can only punish wrong behavior with your dollars.
  20. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    You can install custom and new nvda drivers. Why can't you just install some intel IGP drivers. I also guess there is some hardware level block so you cannot access the integrated intel.

    But the thread poster is right in theory Optimus should work if you can install the Intel dirvers in the first place. In Win7 you can have two drivers installed anyway so swtiching should work in Win7 too without logging out. All that is needed is that the OS can find the Intel IGP somehow.
    All that is need for Optimus would be a 330M reachable over PCIe, the integrated GPU connected to a display and well the drivers. All the hardware is there unless they went extra length to block it from working on hardware level there is really no reason why it shouldn't.

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