Windows 7 and OpenGL

I installed Windows 7 (64 bit) on my Macbook that uses the Mobile Intel 945GM Express Chipset. One of the apps that I use is ClearView, an RC flight simulator for radio controlled planes and helicopters, so I can learn how to fly my Heli-Max Axe CP. On the first run, ClearView said that OpenGL wasn’t installed. The Windows 7 Beta display driver (Pre-release WDDM 1.0) didn’t have OpenGL.

I installed the Intel Vista 64 bit drivers 7.14.10.1504 for the 945GM Chipset from downloadcenter.intel.com, which installed OpenGL 1.4. ClearView seems to work OK.

July 22, 2009: Windows Update notified me that there was a updated Intel display driver for the 945 Express Chipset for Windows 7 RC. I installed it, version 8.15.10.1825, and it runs OpenGL on my flight sim program. It also works with these Intel chipset families:

Intel® 3 Series Chipsets
Intel® 82945G Express Chipset
Intel® 82946GZ Graphics Controller
Intel® 82G965 Graphics and Memory Controller Hub (GMCH)
Intel® 82Q963 Graphics and Memory Controller Hub (GMCH)
Intel® 82Q965 Graphics and Memory Controller Hub (GMCH)
Intel® 945 Express Chipset Family
Intel® 946 Express Chipset Family
Intel® 965 Express Chipset Family
Intel® G31 Express Chipset
Intel® G33 Express Chipset
Intel® G35 Express Chipset
Intel® Q33 Express Chipset
Intel® Q35 Express Chipset
Mobile Intel® 945 Express Chipset Family
Mobile Intel® 945GM Express Chipset Family
Mobile Intel® 965 Express Chipset Family

Update, January 19, 2010 (backgrounder): Why you should use OpenGL and not DirectX

Macbook Windows 7 Experience Index

I downloaded the new Windows 7 Beta (64-bit) and did a clean installation on my 3GB MacBook (13-inch Late 2006 with an Intel Core2 Duo Mobile Processor T7200). I used the Apple BootCamp64.msi drivers and all the Apple hardware devices installed correctly.

In November, I tried the 32-bit version of Windows 7 (build 6801) and the Windows 7 Beta (build 7000) doesn’t seem too much different.

When I ran the Windows Experience Index assessment, the base score was 2.0 (build 7000 64-bit) compared to a base score of 3.0 with the 32 bit version of build 6801. The low score was because of the 2.0 subscore of the data transfer rate of the primary hard disk, a 120 GB Toshiba MK1234GSX. But I don’t feel there is any sluggishness while using the computer.

The Processor and Memory (RAM) subscores were 5.0, while the Graphics and Gaming Graphics subscores were 3.1, not unreasonable for the Intel GMA 950 graphics processor. Anyway, I don’t have much ambition to play Crysis on my Macbook.

MacBook Windows 7

I installed Windows 7 (Build 6801) on my MacBook “Core 2 Duo” 2.0 13″ (Black) with 3GB RAM.

To manage the boot menu for my Vista and Leopard partitions, I use rEFIt instead of Boot Camp. After I made a backup disk image of the Vista partition, I booted the Windows 7 DVD, reformatted the Vista partition and began the installation. It went a lot faster than the Vista install.

The Boot Camp drivers from the Leopard DVD installed without any problems in Windows 7 – the Apple Built-in Bluetooth, the Apple Built-in iSight, the Apple Trackpad Enabler, the Apple Keyboard, the Apple IR Receiver, the Atheros AR5008X Wireless Network Adapter, the Marvell Yukon 88E8053 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller, the SigmaTel High Definition Audio Codec and the Boot Camp Control Panel. Windows 7 installed the Mobile Intel(R) 945 Express Chipset Family (Prerelease WDDM 1.0 Driver) for the display adapter.

I used Randy’s SharpKeys 2.1.1 (a registry hack) to remap the Apple enter key (on the bottom row) to a forward delete key so I don’t have to hold down the fn key and delete for that function. I also mapped F8 to Prtscr – another Windows key that’s missing on the MacBook keyboard.

Thankfully, my two year old MacBook still feels responsive in Windows 7 (and in Vista). I’ve never had any major problems with Vista, and so far, Windows 7 seems to be an improvement.