I'm considering getting one of those new fancy Mac Book Pro's with the fancy screens, but after reading some stuff on the internets about running Windows 7 with bootcamp:


It seems you can't use the integrated graphics with windows, this causes windows to chew the battery life:

I am afraid it is not possible. Since Apple introduced dual graphics chip laptops, they kept the low power/embedded GPU hidden under Window and they expose only the power hungry discrete GPU.

It feels that this is being done on purpose so that it appears to users that OS X offers a better experience and battery life over Windows.

So running bootcamp and windows kills the battery, running in parallels means you don't get accelerated 3d support (or something along those lines), so you don't get the performance out of it.

I'm wondering:

Is it possible to natively dual boot Windows 7 on a MBP, and if so would/does that give windows access to the integrated graphics to be able to not rape the battery?


By raping the battery do you mean getting almost 3 hours of Windows? In practical terms there isn't that much difference between running Windows and Mac on current gen MBP. I have been doing this for over a year with zero issues whatsoever. There is enough battery life to last an hour long commute twice with a few minutes of use in between. Put it this way, I went from from using Windows full time on the machine to using MacOS full time and didn't see any practical difference in usage.

What you want to do is install Windows using Bootcamp assistant, do not screw around with the partitions and install VMWare Fusion to use bootcamp partition. You can then have a choice of running Windows natively or running MacOs and being able to fire up the windows install in a VM if you need to do something quick in that. This makes your laptop very versatile indeed.

  • That's actually a really good idea!!!!
    – Phill
    Jun 13 '12 at 3:44

Depends how much messing around you want to do. If you install GRUB, you can certainly dual boot without bootcamp involved, though this means that you will have to get the drivers for windows.

If you do that, then windows will be able to pick up the integrated graphics without any issues.

Update: From this link its seems that the apple boot-loader is locking up the integrated graphics. See if replacing it with GRUB will change that.

Additionally, installing windows without using bootcamp means that you do not have to deal with the EFI that bootcamp provides.

Update 2: theoretically, this should not be such a hard thing to do, but for whatever reason, apple has put in place measures that for all intents a purposed make it impossible. See the comments below for some of the issues.

  • 1
    Bootcamp, after all the hoops have been jumped through to install Windows, ends up just installing a Bootloader to give you the option to boot to one or the other. At that point, it's no different from erasing MacOSX entirely and just installing Windows 7. Either way, booting to Windows 7 would be a "native" boot. It's a matter of hardware drivers, and there aren't any for Windows, for the way that the Mac is built. Grub, Bootcamp, or nothing... you'd still have to get Windows drivers if you use Windows, and there aren't any for this specific instance.
    – Bon Gart
    Jun 13 '12 at 1:46
  • You mean to say that there are no drivers for this chipset for windows that will see the integrated graphics??
    – soandos
    Jun 13 '12 at 1:47
  • Windows sees the GPU that is active. This is why with a Windows based laptop with switching graphics, if you were to run a game config program that sets game settings outside of the game itself, the game config program won't see the more powerful video card, because the active GPU is the weaker integrated one in Windows. If you read through that thread, there is one guy who figured out how to mess around with sleep mode to make Windows see the IGP for a moment, but you still can't use it. If the GPU isn't active, the driver installation program won't recognize and install.
    – Bon Gart
    Jun 13 '12 at 1:56
  • According to this it is possible to do in windows... Not sure what the client should be for this hardware, but the hardware capability is there as the Mac uses it
    – soandos
    Jun 13 '12 at 1:59
  • I think the issue being that Apple doesn't provide the drivers to enable this functionality.
    – ChadT
    Jun 13 '12 at 2:04

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