Running Windows 7 on RMBP from external?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Callumbear845, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. Callumbear845 macrumors member

    Sep 24, 2011
    Does anyone know if I would experience a drop in graphical performance on windows 7 on boot camp if I ran it off of a portable USB 3.0 hard drive instead of the internal SSD? I plan on playing Battlefield 3 but dont want to cut out space from the paltry 256GB I have. Specs in signature.
  2. Himecchi macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Kinda curious about this as well. I've never actually used boot camp before but wouldn't you be able to just create it as a bootable partition on your usb drive and then hold down ALT while launching to select it? Something like that?
  3. leenak macrumors 68020

    Mar 10, 2011
    I looked into it a while ago and it didnt seem possible. The thing is that even if it was doable, I wouldn't expect a game to do it. The performance would probably be atrocious.
  4. getthesand0ut macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2012
    give it a shot. i use this all the time for working with different linux programs. there is a windows 7 one on there somewhere.
  5. CountSessine macrumors regular

    Feb 19, 2010
    USB 3 is great for sustained transfers but for small reads and writes its as bad as USB 2 was. I don't know about windows 7, but OSX's boot involves a lot of small file reads and writes and when I've booted OS X from USB 2 drives, the boot up was painfully slow - far worse than the difference in transfer bandwidth between SATA and USB 2 would suggest.

    As for games, It'll depend on the game. If you can boot windows from a USB 3 drive, once you've booted, started the game, and loaded the level, as long as it fits in ram and isn't paging out, maybe you'll get comparable performance. But if the game needs to stream assets off the file system and into memory in-mission, the game will probably be unplayable.

    If this is really what you want to do, I'd suggest getting a Seagate goflex thunderbolt adapter. Thunderbolt bests USB 3's large file transfer speed, and doesn't sacrifice small file reads and writes.

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