Retina iMac Bootcamp Questions

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by intz2nu, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. intz2nu macrumors 6502

    intz2nu

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    #1
    Been thinking about purchasing a Retina iMac but came across this thread here http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1717441 does anyone know or can confirm if i can run Windows 7 on the Retina iMac and if so if it would be in true 5K or if it would actually be in 4K? I have seen a youtube clip with Win8 installed through Bootcamp and I recall the person saying Win8 runs at 4K and not 5K as the Mac OS does.

    Also if this is indeed possible to run Win7 through Bootcamp on the Retina iMac should I wait for the refresh that could be coming in the next couple of months or purchase now? My concern is if I wait for the next refresh and then Bootcamp won't have any support for Win7. Can anyone here shed some light on this?
     
  2. e93to macrumors 6502a

    e93to

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    Jan 23, 2015
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    Toronto
    #2
    Hello.

    I also did research on Windows 4K vs 5K resolutions on Retina iMac. From the information I have gathered for about 3 - 4 days, there is no way to set Windows Bootcamp at 5K.

    However...

    If you install Windows manually without Bootcamp, you might be able to run Windows at 5K setting. Since you want Windows 7, you will have to install it manually since Bootcamp doesn't support Windows 7 anymore...

    It is possible to install Windows without the help of Bootcamp, but it requires quite a lot of tweaking (I tried to install Vista on my late-2012 iMac with normal partitioning, but it didn't work).
     
  3. intz2nu thread starter macrumors 6502

    intz2nu

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    Oct 28, 2012
    #3
    This is really really sad news, so Bootcamp will no longer support Win7? how and or what is need to make a dual boot of half Win and half Mac Os?
     
  4. e93to macrumors 6502a

    e93to

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    #4
    Hello. Seems like there was confusion... Support for Windows 7 ended on newer MBPs, but it is still supported on 2014 models, which means iMacs will support Windows 7 on Bootcamp.

    You can call Apple to confirm this.
     
  5. vladobizik macrumors 6502

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    Slovakia
    #5
    I run Windows 7 in Boot Camp on my 5K Retina iMac and it runs great for what I use Boot Camp for (exclusively gaming). Yes, currently the maximum supported resolution is 4K. Scaling in Windows 7 is not perfect, but it works just fine for such an old system that was also never really designed for high resolution displays. No worries there, as long as you undertsand the limitations.

    After installing the Boot Camp drivers from Apple, install updated graphics drivers from AMD, available here (the first download of the two):
    http://support.amd.com/en-us/download/desktop/bootcamp
    Unfortunately, generic AMD drivers (unlike those from Nvidia) don't work with Macs in Boot Camp and we have to wait until AMD releases a Mac-specific update every now and then. The current drivers are newer than the ones Apple provides and should offer better performance, unfortunately they're still not on par with what PC users have. They also don't support resolutions larger than 4K yet. Hopefully an update will bring it sometime in the future. We have to keep checking the AMD Boot Camp driver page for future updates.

    Generally, I would recommend running Windows 7 on the 5K iMac especially if you use it as a "console" for gaming or some other specific application and don't want to bother with all the Microsoft services in Windows 8.1. If you're more into productivity and multitasking, Windows 8.1 is of course more modern, fast and fluid and better designed for modern computers and I'd recommend giving it a spin. And of course Windows 10 when it comes out. As the meat of potatoes of my "actual" iMac usage takes place in OS X, I'll stay with my tried and tested, lean and mean Windows 7 for the foreseeable future. But I digress.

    The current-gen Retina iMac may be the last one to get Windows 7 support, I'm afraid. This is of course just pure speculation, but I guess the latest Intel CPUs and chipsets Apple uses no longer support BIOS emulation or whatever it is that makes it possible to install a system as old as Windows 7 - either by design or by choice of Apple (in the latter case, there may be workarounds, of course). Of course, by the time the Retina iMac is updated, Windows 10 will likely have been released and it doesn't look so bad. We have to let got of 7 one day, after all.

    Sorry for a lengthy post, just wanted to be as helpful as possible.
     
  6. intz2nu thread starter macrumors 6502

    intz2nu

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    #6
    Ahhh Thank for clearing this info up and confirming this. Do you think if I wait for a refresh that the newer model wouldn't support Bootcamp for Win7 or do you think I should go ahead and purchase one now before the refresh because the refresh might not support it?

    Also does Win7 in 4K look better than what it would on the standard res iMacs? and how does the 4K youtube video clips on it look? Or can anyone post a sceenshot?
     
  7. vladobizik, Apr 7, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015

    vladobizik macrumors 6502

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    #7
    It's all up to you, you can wait for a newer model, but there's always something new just around the corner and you might as well wait forever for the ultimate computer to end all computers. I absolutely love my iMac, it's a perfect machine and a speed demon for anything I throw at it (granted, I have a BTO model with an upgraded GPU and CPU) and I have not experienced any lag, overheating or excessive noise. Everything runs like clockwork. I think the reports of overheating and/or noise on these forums are blown out of proportion, either due to faulty units or oversensitive users, with all due respect.
    My advice is - buy the machine. Chances are you're gonna love it as much as I do. And if you want to stick with Windows 7, buying the current model guarantees you support for the system. I know as little as everybody else outside Apple, but the next iteration of the iMac may only support Windows 8 (and eventually 10).

    Then again, I don't think it's wise to choose which Mac to buy based on which versions of Windows it supports. If you are mostly concerned about running Windows (or a specific version of Windows) and, for instance, you would definitely wait for an updated model if you knew it would support Windows 7, you might be better off buying a PC. An iMac is primarily an OS X machine, that's what we pay for and worrying too much about running Windows on it is, in my humble opinion, a waste of effort, time and money. Think of Boot Camp as a nice bonus. Whatever version of Windows you will run on it, you have to buy specifically for that machine (unless you pirate it - either way, getting Windows 7 on it wouldn't make it cheaper than Windows 8). And I'm not aware of any app that runs on Windows 7 and doesn't run on Windows 8.

    The display looks very good even with the lower 4K resolution. Extremely smooth, definitely Retina-class to my eyes. The smoothness is just a bit inconsistent, due to imperfect scaling engine of Windows 7 and due to many 3rd party apps not supporting high resolution mode at all (such as Steam or Apple's own software). And the display is still smoother than that of a non-Retina iMac, because the 4K resolution still far surpasses the native iMac non-retina resolution. Unfortunately, I am unable to test what 4K YouTube video looks like because I only use IE in Windows 7 and don't have Flash Player installed. And IE (in Windows 7) has limited HTML5 support and it cannot play videos larger than 720p. A couple of screenshots:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/0ngt95c7jl5blus/imac-desktop.png?dl=1
    and
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/pkr06npgbubvkop/imac-youtube.png?dl=1
     
  8. intz2nu thread starter macrumors 6502

    intz2nu

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    #8
    Ahhh very nice. Thank you thank you for the screenshots and insight on things. I guess I will take the plunge and get the current machine in a week or two. Currently I'm on a late 2010 iMac 27" and been wanting to upgrade for sometime now but given this machine does everything I need it to do I still haven't upgraded to a newer model. However when I first seen the redesign of the iMacs I knew I just had to have one and again because of my machine still working perfectly ok despite a burnt out LED I didn't make the plunge. THEN I see the Retina iMac release and it looks to be just a total MUST HAVE and I think I'm definitely ready to make a leap for this current one.

    BTW if watching a 1080p movie and in full screen mode does it look weird or odd in any kind of way?
     
  9. vladobizik macrumors 6502

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    Slovakia
    #9
    You're most welcome! I wish you many great years with the Retina iMac. It's a truly wonderful machine, inside and out.

    No, it looks flawless. Apparently, a 1080p video is a 1080p video in full screen, as long as you run the OS at or above the Full HD resolution. Actually, it just so happens that before reading your message I watched a 1080p iTunes movie in Windows (I'm downloading a large file, so I couldn't boot back to OS X this evening) I had started watching in OS X and it looked exactly as it always had. No problems there.
     
  10. intz2nu thread starter macrumors 6502

    intz2nu

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    #10
    I forgot to ask, could you tell me if I need a USB stick for the drivers? I have a Super Drive but need to know if one must also need a USB Flash Drive for the Drivers to be loaded on.
     
  11. vladobizik macrumors 6502

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    Slovakia
    #11
    Yes, you need a USB drive to save your drivers to. Windows 7 does not support USB 3.0 out of the box (Boot Camp drivers add this support), there may be problems with using a USB 3.0 stick during the installation. So you might be better off using an older USB 2.0 drive. Or do what I did and use a USB 2.0 hub - that will "convert" the USB 3.0 devices to USB 2.0.
     
  12. intz2nu thread starter macrumors 6502

    intz2nu

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    #12
    Ahh Thank you for the information I know I got a 32GB USB stick laying around now I need to check if its a 2.0 or 3.0. Currently still pending shipment of my computer so just wanted to make sure i got everything at hand for when it does arrive.
     
  13. vladobizik macrumors 6502

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    Aug 21, 2012
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    Slovakia
    #13
    Great. What model did you order if I may ask?
    BTW another user has been able to confirm that up-to-date AMD drivers finally work in Boot Camp, with just a little workaround:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1866962
    Thought you might find it useful.
     
  14. intz2nu thread starter macrumors 6502

    intz2nu

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    #14
    Ahh Thank you again for linking that thread, definitey useful information there. The model I ordered was maxed out with 1TB SSD, pretty much everything except RAM which I plan to upgrade myself just to save some money. I placed my order on the 10th and it still says processing, says ship 1-3 business days and delivery between April 18th to April 22nd. I've ordered a few BTO macbook airs and macbook pros a couple years back and for some reason this is the first time a BTO is taking this long to ship however I am looking really foward to it and will definitel give a heads up once it arrives and I'm able to successfully install Win7 through Bootcamp.

    The last "Retina" product I had in my hands from Apple was the 13" Retina Macbook Pro and in all honesty I can't really say I could see much of a big difference between the Retina version and the regular version so hopefully on a monitor of this size it will be a big difference then again if it ain't no biggie as it may just be my eyes having to get used to it.
     
  15. vladobizik macrumors 6502

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    Aug 21, 2012
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    Slovakia
    #15
    Wow, awesome configuration. I also upgraded the RAM myself, but went for the 3TB Fusion Drive. Otherwise we have the same machines. I waited weeks for the delivery, but this was pretty soon after they introduced the machine, so the shipping times were longer. I also live in Slovakia so I couldn't buy directly from Apple, it's just resellers here so far, that definitely contributed to the wait.

    Everybody's eyes and perception are different but my eyesight is abysmal for my age and I can tell Retina from non-Retina immediately. It works a little different, though. When you use a Retina display, you don't go "wow, this display is so amazing I can't believe I could live without it". No. But once you see an equivalent non-Retina display of the same size, you will know immediately. You won't be able to look at it and take it seriously. You can't go back from Retina. So don't worry if the display does not make you bathe in awe right away. It will work its magic more subtly.

    Anyway, be careful with installing unsupported drivers for the graphic card in Boot Camp and rather stick with the official Boot Camp drivers from AMD. I tried the workaround I linked to before and the consequences were terrible:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=21002591&postcount=4
     

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