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Thoughts on boot camp setup w/ DIY fusion drive

Soul Shriven
Greetings! After spending hours upon hours tweaking settings in both my client and OS, I've decided to try running ESO in boot camp to increase performance until what I assume are development-related issues are fixed. As I close in on VR10, it's become apparent that I'm going to need to fix something if I wish to PVP/raid seriously. Currently getting around 25 FPS questing, 20 FPS while in cities, or 15 FPS in Cyrodiil or high-intensity dungeon/dolmen situations (or just standing around in certain dungeons w/ specific types of lighting such as the first two rooms in Fungal Grotto) w/ this system running the following settings:


Base Model Late 2012 Mac Mini on 10.9.2
2.5ghz i5
16gb DDR3 1600mhz (DIY upgrade)
128gb SSD + 1TB HD in fusion mode (DIY upgrade)
Intel HD4000 1024mb onboard graphics
Single 1920x1080 monitor connected via Thunderbolt > HDMI cable
Built in audio output device (optical mode running to external DAC, not analog)

Settings (off unless listed)
Res: 1280x720
Texture Quality: Low
SubSampling: High
Shadows: Low
Particle Density: Low
View Distance: 21

I also sometimes raise resolution to 1920x1080, and drop SS Quality to low, although I believe it runs ever-so-slightly better at 1280 generally. I tend to have more issues w/ lagged turning when at 1920 w/ SS on low. Lowering all settings to minimum honestly doesn't do a whole lot, and I can never go above 25-30fps in processing-intense situations regardless of how low I go - hence me settling for crappy performance in exchange for a game that looks like it was made post-2000 using these settings.

Now on to a few questions:

1) Anyone have any ideas on how I could increase performance besides the obvious such as kill other tasks, do a fresh OS install (was done prior to stress testing beta), uninstall addons (doesn't effect performance for me), or build a dedicated gaming rig?

2) Would you suggest bootcamp? If so, would it be possible to wipe my current fusion drive setup, and install bootcamp on the SSD? Would this possibly make a large difference in performance, or should I just go w/ a standard bootcamp install using the bootcamp assistant that exists only on the standard HD? From what I've read, the only way to install bootcamp using the assistant on a fusion drive is on the standard drive, but I'm sure I could get around this somehow - just can't find documentation/info anywhere.

3) Has anyone tried an external thunderbolt graphics card housing before? Would you recommend it as a viable alternative to building a whole new rig if so, and which have you used?

Thanks in advance for the help y'all! Free V10+ gold enchants w/ your mats for life for any US DC folks who provide any advice that helps make this game's endgame content playable :)

  • KhajitFurTrader
    Hi @turbocapslockb14_ESO‌.

    Sadly, I have no miraculous performance tips for you. The Mac Mini is limited due to its form factor. And while I didn't do an extensive search, the price tags for external TB PCIe/graphics solutions seem quite hefty, while still being somewhat limited. Question is whether the ~500 bucks aren't better invested in a dedicated gaming rig.

    And you've heard it right, a Boot Camp partition will always be on the HDD part of the volume group:
    Do computers that come with a Fusion Drive support Boot Camp?
    Yes. Use the Boot Camp Assistant to create a Windows partition and install Boot Camp. The Windows partition will exist on the hard disk drive, not the Flash drive, and is not part of Fusion Drive Logical Volume Group. 3TB Fusion Drive configurations need to update to OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.3 or later to install Windows 8. See iMac (27-inch, Late 2012): Boot Camp alert with 3TB hard drive for more information.
    (source: Boot Camp 5.1: Frequently asked questions)

    Now some folks on the 'net recommend first wiping the fusion drive setup, setting up Boot Camp on the SSD part, then reinstating Fusion Drive (google "boot camp fusion drive ssd"). But be prepared to reinstall OS X form the get-go at least once.

    Whatever you do, if you decide to delete your Fusion drive setup, make sure you have a current (Time Machine) backup, since data is not mirrored across drives, but only exists in one of either places.
  • Moonraker
    @turbocapslockb14_ESO thanks for posting details. Always interesting reading about players really pushing their system with tweaks and stuff.

    In the end the bottleneck in your system can't be changed which is the integrated Intel HD4000 1024mb GPU. It just wont push out much more than you have already squeezed (which is in itself impressive)

    So, yes you could change to an SSD but it wont really help overall performance for you.

    it's possible to use a thunderbolt option but again it is an expensive one and I suspect bus speed and CPU will be limiting and as an option it is not going to perform like a discrete graphics card. But if you want to look more at it check this MacRumors thread on this.
  • Randay
    as already stated above. bootcamp does support the fusion drive, but unfortunately will not install on the SSD.
    The Problem is, that those two Drives (HD+SSD) are two seperate drives but logically connected to "logical volume group".
    Mac OS X automatically puts the most needed files onto the correct drive.
    That means the software cares about the actual performance.

    I am not sure if there is any way to do so on the windows software.

    if you wish to use them as two seperate drives you will have to erase both disks (risk of data loss):

    you can list your volume group by typing into terminal
    diskutil cs list
    this will show you a list of all your 'corestorages'

    you can remove your volume group by typing into terminal
    diskutil cs delete "xxxx"
    (xxxx needs to be replaced with the alphanumerical number behind the "logical volume group" you wish)
    this all should be done using the recovery system (hidden on your mac, visible by holding alt/option during startup)

    this will erase both disks
    -the then can be morphed together using disk utility but that would only make a fusion drive again

    i do not recommend this. just leave it as it is
    if less really is more, then maybe nothing is everything
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