Current category:Tips and Tricks

Windows 8 and MacBook – Optimization Tip

We get a lot of comments from our users and thank you for that! Some aren’t that helpful but others are reals gems in providing feedback for our product development and generally understanding how our products are being used in live environments. Some comments also works as great tips that other users might benefit from. The following feedback from a user – Michael – turns out to be quite an optimization tip and interesting case on a MacBook, Windows 8 and Windows drivers!

Let’s have a look at the case. Here is the mail from Michael:

“I have an old Dell Quad Core I7 Q720 laptop that I wasn’t very happy with due to it being very slow, large and heavy (it has a 17″ screen, and fullsize keyboard). The weight and the poor performing CPU and overall slugginess has caused me to investigate possible options – including buying a new laptop.

I then remembered that I had an old MacBook Pro Core Due 2 (Mid 2010 model) lying around that I didn’t use.

The idea was that if I could install Windows 8 – then perhaps an upgrade of RAM and a SSD disk could be an option instead of a brand new machine.

I first tested if I could install Windows 8 using Apple’s Boot camp software – which, at first didn’t work – as Boot Camp only allowed me to install Windows 7 on my particular hardware. Ok, I installed Windows 7 and then immediately upgraded to Windows 8 with success.

I then bought and installed an 8 GB ram upgrade kit and a 256 GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD disk – and reinstalled Mac OS X Mountain Lion on the new SSD disk and then used Boot Camp to first install Windows 7 and then upgrade to Windows 8 and ran all Windows Updates, including drivers, and generally updated all drivers I could find from Apple.

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Overall everything worked – but especially network usage was sluggish and didn’t fully utilize the network as downloads peaked around 1.2 mbit/s with normal usage around 250 kbit/s.

I then ran DRIVERfighter – which found 17(!) drivers that could be upgraded.

After installation of the by DRIVERfighter suggested drivers – network downloads now peaked and generally stayed at max bandwidth. I have a 50 / 10 mbit/s broadband connection at home – and downloads now peaked around 47 – 48 mbit/s – which means a speed improvement between 4.000 and 18.800 %.

I also installed various utilities to improve my Windows 8 experience (including Start8 from www.stardock.com and a keyboard remapper to change the default Apple keyboard layout to a more Windows-like experience) – and overall my old MacBook Pro has become somewhat of a speed monster with perceived boot times around 10-15 seconds and shutdowns around 2 – 6 seconds.

It isn’t fully fair to compare my old Dell laptop with the new, hardware upgraded MacBook Pro – but I am extremely pleased with the outcome. I now have a fast, fluid Windows 8 experience running on a sleek MacBook Pro with the excellent trackpad etc.”

So there you have it. A dedicated Windows driver updater tool helped performance a lot on a MacBook running Windows 8. Some MacBook users might think why the heck would anyone be running Windows 8 on a MacBook though? Anyway, it is a great Windows 8 and MacBook optimization tip!

Michael concludes btw.:

“I don’t know whether you can use this but I was so impressed with the result, which I doubt I could have gotten without DRIVERfighter, that I just had to share.”

A free scan for outdated drivers by DRIVERfighter is available here. If you are running Windows on a MacBook it will of course also provide a list of outdated drivers. For MAC users btw. we offer a tool for cleaning and removing junk on a MAC.

Do you have any crossover Mac / Windows optimization tips? Feel free to share in the comments!

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Windows 8 and MacBook - Optimization Tip, 4.5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings

About Kim Falkner

VP Marketing for SPAMfighter with a passion for IT-security and blogging. Follow me on Google+ (+Kim Falkner) or LinkedIn (Kim Falkner on LinkedIn)
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2 Comments

  1. Emil Brewer says:

    This led to hunting around the internet for people that had tried what I did, and managed to get the Boot Camp drivers installed. What I discovered was not encouraging. For instance, the only driver packs I found were for the 2011 third-generation MacBook Air, while mine is the second generation 2010 model. There were no Nvidia drivers that would install under Windows 8.

  2. Andy Heaps says:

    Yep, the drivers can be a big hiccup. Linux to the rescue I would say! ;)

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