So I've been looking around to see how I can play the secret world under boot camp. The boot camp driver is too old to run the secret world, and nvidia drivers don't seem to support this card.
It turns out the nvidia 650m in the retina macbook pro is not an ordinary 650m and will probably never be driver compatible with nvidia.
There's a reason for this, accroding to this anandtech article:
Apple have designed a custom gpu to power the retina screen. The reason for this is that a normal 650m would not easily support the high resolution of the retina screen due to design contraints. This means only apple will probably ever provide a driver for this gpu, and as we know they often lag behind the nvidia drivers enough to make playing new games hassle. SWTOR works pretty well for me with just a few minor glitches.
As I understand it (I have only speed read the article and may have some deatails incorrect) in order to scale to various non native resolutions effectively (like, say 1650x1080) the custom hardware scales the screen image up to a common multiplier and then scales back down using super sampling. This allows the retina gpu to display non native resolutions more attractively. This also puts a huge load on the hardware and things like memory bandwidth. At these resolutions that's a **** of a lot of data, and it's a bit of a 'hack' to get round the 650m's limitations. This certainly affects desktop UI performance, although I'm unclear if this will also affect gaming performance. Apparently mountain lion will improve this a lot with the new core animation libraries.
The downside of all this is that they tinkered with the nvidia 650m gpu enough to make it need custom drivers. I'm guessing that this is the reason why nvidia drivers don't (and probably never will) work with the retina's 650m.
This is a shame, but I can see why they did it. If apple can keep up with more recent driver versions for boot camp then it might not be so bad. As the article says, they have hired a lot of ex nvidia & amd gpu gurus, so it's possible. However, they are not being very forthcoming about their intentions.
So far it looks like OSX will perform well, but win7 boot camp performance will lag behind. Currently the win7 boot camp dirver for the 650m is something like 2.5, but should ideally be 2.9 or 3.0 (I think, am in osx now so would have to reboot to check) in order to run recent games like the secret world.
If more people made games for osx it wouldn't be an issue, but they dont.
Right now, if you want a gaming laptop with the power of the 650m for gaming, you might have to buy a pc if you want to be certain it will be supported by nvidia.
You can download the latest NVIDIA (beta) driver 304.79 and modify the nv_disp.inf file. You just need to add 4 text lines so that the installer recognizes the Macbook Pro Retina:
You can download the .inf for the driver here that works great for me:
The actual changes I made are here:
Of course this is unsupported, so if you need support you need to wait for Apple to update the driver.
My inf is for the WIndows 7, 64bit beta driver that you can download from here: http://www.geforce.com/drivers/results/46429
If you downloaded a different driver, please use this link instead.
Confusingly the WIndows 7 installer has the Win8_64 path, but it is really the Windows 7 installer.
After running the installer, it will extract the driver in c:\ and the nv_disp.inf will be located here:
For other versions of the driver the nv_disp.inf is sometimes called nvwi.inf. The changes to the INF are very simple, all the details are in the 'actual changes' link in my previous post. You likely can make them yourself.
It looks like the Geforce 304.79 is for both Windows 7 AND Windows 8.
The International version of the nv_disp.inf is called nv_dispi.inf
Here is the patched version:
Again the changes are very simple:
Open the nv_disp*.inf with a text editor, and search for the [NVIDIA section and for each section add the line
%NVIDIA_DEV.0FD5.00F2.106B% = Section029, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0FD5&SUBSYS_00F2106B
Then in the [Strings] section add this line:
NVIDIA_DEV.0FD5.00F2.106B = "NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M"
Hope this helps,
thanks very much for the reply, I manged to get it working by putting your changes in to the nvwi.inf file and nwo the installer works :-)
Even when I followed your links I got a slightly different download. Maybe nvidia detect our locations and being in different continents we get slighty different downloads?
Everything I wrote above was pure conjecture, and wrong :-) I'm not really a windows person, so not surprised.
Thanks very much!
I successfully launched the installer and now it doesnt stop at the begin of install.
However when the setup is finished my system reply with an error (the following drivers NVIDIA Audio and Video drivers) werent installed and I go back to original Nvidia 296 version...