Why would I want EFI boot instead of Bootcamp?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Strafe, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. Strafe macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2007
    I have a 2012 rMBP 15" and I'm currently running Windows 8 in Bootcamp. I have no complaints, performance is great, but I see a lot of people going through a lot a trouble to install without BIOS emulation.

    With Windows 8.1 and Mavericks coming out in October, I'm going to secure erase my SSD, then install Mavericks and Windows 8.1. Since I'm doing that, I figured now is a good time to research whether booting without BIOS emulation has any benefits. I've done some searching here but haven't really come to any conclusions. I've seen things like:

    • Faster boot time (I have no issues with bootcamp boot time)
    • HDD performance (I'm guessing since I have an SSD and since the release of Bootcamp 5 this isn't really an issue)
    • Audio doesn't work in Win 8 via EFI
    Based on that, I don't see any benefit to booting via EFI. Am I missing anything?
  2. monkeybagel macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2011
    United States
    Faster boot time would be about the only thing. You don't get the "flashing cursor" on the screen for one or two seconds while CSM initializes. The boot time would only be between one and three seconds faster, and it would technically be an unsupported configuration.

    I can say the EFI boot works fine with Windows 8.x on a Mac Pro, but I don't think it works reliably on the MacBook Pro with Retina display - when I tried the Windows 8.1 Release Preview it would BSOD many times and not install reliably.

    I would forgo the EFI install on the notebook. People attempt it just to see if they can, more or less. Me being one of them.
  3. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    I'm subscribing to this thread because this is what I have always thought, yet by some accounts EFI booting is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I was either missing something or I have grown too old to get excited about three seconds faster boot time... :D
  4. monkeybagel macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2011
    United States
    EFI (or UEFI) is "better" as it allows GPT partitioning, which supports up to multiple volumes and will allow you to break the four partition limit that an MBR disk provides. GPT will allow partitioning over 2TB in size, and MBR hits a little at about 2.2TB.

    2006 was rather early for a consumer product to have EFI implemented, however Apple chose to go with an early revision of it to boot OS X, and it was upgraded somewhat when Boot Camp was made a product and released. The other machines that used EFI was the Intel Itanium Workstations and Servers. Vista introduced EFI boot in the 64-bit version (it may have even been at SP1 - I can't recall) and Windows 7 had it in x64. If you had a "true" EFI motherboard following standards, this would be no problem, but Apple's only goal with EFI is to boot OS X efficiently and reliably. They fall back on BIOS emulation as the official way to boot Windows. So the people that won't to make things that are not supposed to work attempts EFI installs of Windows on Macintosh hardware.

    There is very little to be gained, from what I have seen, other than the fact of accomplishing it. And you don't have to work with a hybrid MBR partition. The partition can stay pure GPT.
  5. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    And since I gain nothing but bragging rights, and I would be using an unsupported method to run Windows on Apple hardware, I think I'll pass. :cool:
  6. pickaxe macrumors 6502a

    Nov 29, 2012
    Also worth mentioning that getting EFI bootcamp partitions to work with Parallels/Fusion requires a lot of patience.
  7. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    After extensive experimentation and more research I've come to the conclusion that unless Apple supports it out of the box (ie in bootcamp) I do not want part of it.

    (U)EFI is pushed by software vendors for licensing pruposes: it locks in the license with particular piece of hardware and then later you have trouble downgrading / upgrading the OS and you cannot transfer the license to other hardware.

    Although the 2012 Mac mini can be set up with EFI and everything appears to be working fine closer examination revealed some niggles - WEI is not working and on the same system page no information is displayed that the software has been licensed. Neither did I discover much increase in performance outside some improved startup - like that is important if you reboot three times in a week. For me reliability is of prime importance and hence I will avoid anything that does not appear to be rock solid.

    At this moment I have two SS's in the Mac mini, one running OS X and the other Windows. Since I stopped having Windows and OS X on the same drive everything has been rock stable and no more failures of a restore / rebuild. (which at times meant restoring OS X as well).
  8. Quackers, Sep 18, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013

    Quackers macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2013
    Manchester, UK
    I recently experimented with EFI booting Windows 8 64 bit on my MBPr 10,1 15" laptop.
    The main reason was so that I could have more than 4 partitions. Although this may not be important to most people it is vital if you want more than OS X, Windows 8 and a recovery HD.
    There is also the downside of using a hybrid mbr. To be honest I don't even like the idea of one, nevermind having to use one (with Boot Camp).
    There's also the problem of mbr and its 2TB drive limit.

    Anyway, suffice to say that for a while I had Windows 8, OSX and Ubuntu 13-04 all booting with EFI.
    All was well with the world :)

    Then, being a fool I ran gparted and wrecked the partition table. Gparted is not fully GPT aware, which did a nice job of stopping Windows booting. DOH!

    So for the moment I'm using Boot Camp and have Ubuntu on a 4th partition (no recovery HD) without a swap partition.

    I'll do some more investigation into what exactly happened and which utilities to avoid in the future then I'll try again.

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