Bootmod3 vs ECUTEK vs MHD – The Final Answer

Bootmod3 vs ECUTEK vs MHD – The Final Answer

BMW Map Switching

BM3 or Ecutek? What about MHD?

SPOILER ALERT, it mostly doesn’t matter. For most applications, the differences in these tools are negligible at best. For those that need more info, let’s take a look at some details.

*NOTE FROM THE EDITOR – When a tuner tells you a particular platform is required for tuning, this is usually a limitation of their own capabilities and nothing more. Read on for more.

Notable Differences:

First and foremost, let’s take a look at some notable basic differences between these platforms.

Feature Bootmod3 MHD ECUTEK
Cloud Based YES NO NO
Custom ROM Availability (Antilag/Map Switching Support) YES YES YES
Custom Tuner Archive/Database YES NO YES
Phone-Based Datalogging YES YES YES
Phone-Based Flash Programming YES YES NO
Engine Diagnostics YES YES YES
Datalog Viewing/Plotting YES YES PC Only
Support Portal YES EMAIL EMAIL
CAN Integration YES YES YES
E Chassis Support NO YES NO
F/G Chassis Support YES YES i6 ONLY
OTS Maps Available YES YES NO
COST $$$ $$ $$$$
Feature Comparison Table

Of course, this is just a basic list of comparisons between the different platforms. Whether or not these features are even of value to you as a consumer will greatly depend upon your vehicle’s upgrade path and goals. There are a few more advanced features that are not listed. We’ll do our best to detail these below.

The decision to leave those features off the list stems from their limited use cases in the real world. Features like 8 possible CAN Outputs is definitely neat, but vehicles are not currently built in a way that would utilize this and as such, they are off the list.

1. OTS Maps Comparison

For starters, ECUTEK is just going to have to sit this one out. Unfortunately, while the license to their tuning platform is the most expensive, they do not provide any sort of basic tune with purchase.

Furthermore, many of you may have a V8 BMW which is also completely unsupported by ECUTEK anyway. Fortunately, these days at least, the vast majority of 4, 6, and 8 cylinder cars are covered by both MHD and Bootmod3.

OTS Maps by nature will make different power from car to car. They are all limited to permit consistent operation from client to client without updates. Maxing out your hardware will always require custom tuning. With that being said, comparing OTS maps requires looking at other points, rather than just what power the car makes.

i4 OTS Maps Comparisons

Unfortunately for this community, this conversation is short and sweet. Four Cylinder engines are not supported by MHD, and while ECUTEK does offer support for about a year and a half of b48 vehicles, Bootmod3 really has the market cornered, covering virtually all four cylinder turbo gasoline BMWs that exist.

We really believe that competition drives innovation and so believe it is a shame that there are limited options. With that being said, even if MHD did support these cars, they already compete in the six and eight cylinder realms where they offer virtually the same product. There’s no reason to believe there would be anything different outside of price.

i6 OTS Maps Comparisons

MHD, ECUTEK, and Bootmod3 all have support for six cylinder BMW cars, though as previously mentioned ECUTEK does not offer OTS maps.

For N55 vehicles, there may be some advantage to going with MHD. Their platform has been focused on those vehicles for a long time, as they began in the E-Chassis world, technically before Bootmod3 existed. The maximum performance on an N55 car is usually limited heavily by octane on OTS maps, so their power outputs will most likely be very similar.

For B58, S55, and S58, we flat out recommend Bootmod3. The common denominator for basically everyone tuning inside and recommending MHD is price point. The fact of the matter is the median cost of tuning has not increased in 20 years, and with this in mind, all options are relatively inexpensive. The extra benefits of Bootmod3 from cloud-based functionality, superior technical support, and large tuner database more than make up for the cost.

We have not observed any anomalies while working with OTS maps and MHD supplied base maps. The configuration functions for burbles and similar appear to work consistently as intended, with some exceptions in the S58 world.

V8 OTS Maps Comparisons

We’ve seen odd patterns in regards to base-files through MHD for the V8. Things like the X6M Software being from an M6 and similar. Are these things super important? Circumstantially. In the cited example, our custom software did not run as expected ontop of the MHD-supplied stock file due to the differences that exist in ‘related tables’.

The simple solution to this is to not use MHD’s provided stock file, and all is well. That’s a very simple problem to work around, but worth noting.

On the contrary, the bootmod3 platform has been known to have consistent off-the-shelf maps (even if they over-work the clutches from time to time), and their base maps that would be used for any custom tune to be developed upon is a true original file in all cases.

These differences combined with features like tuner database and cloud based logging and file exchange make us lean towards Bootmod3 for a v8 BMW.

2. Custom Tuning With Each Platform

What Matters?

Once you get into the world of custom tuning, the platform being used becomes much less important. What really matters at that point is what tuner you go with. While we believe your safest bet for custom tunes is from us, we recognize not everyone may feel the same. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, even if it’s wrong. We aren’t going to get into that today.

For now, we’re going to focus on differences you will notice while using the platform to complete a custom tune project with a remote tuner.

Finding a Tuner

ECUTEK finally puts some points on the board here. Both Bootmod3 and ECUTEK provide resources for finding custom tunes for your vehicle. While MHD provides the option to upload a custom flash, they provide no help with sourcing a tuner.

Requesting a Tune

Bootmod3 is a clear winner here, with a complete cloud based request system including email notifications and comments. ECUTEK and MHD both rely upon email or messenger based file exchange. Occasional glitches occur here, and the

Flashing Your Tune/File Exchange

Once you’ve bought a tune, gone over your modifications with your tuner, and are ready to get going, your tuner needs to send you a file. With MHD and ECUTEK, these files will be exchanged most of the time through email, or potentially through a portal on the tuner’s website. Bootmod3 provides a file-exchange service through the Bootmod3 platform directly from tuner to user.

As far as flash programming is concerned, all of these platforms work in the same way and do not have anything special in this regard. MHD has the most seemless wireless support.

Datalogging/File Exchange

When it comes to datalogging, we actually have the best experience recording logs with MHD. We have the fewest bugs, and most consistent performance in this platform hands down. MHD does not support any sort of file exchange, though, so you are left to export your csv files to an email to your tuner.

Bootmod3 supports cloud based exchange, where your tuner can see your logs without you sharing anything, as long as you are connected to a hotspot while logging. This makes for very convenient testing during race events and similar, where the driver may be busy. Unfortunately, we have many bugs with the Bootmod3 logging software. Sometimes having to reset the account, delete browser cache, autologging not working all together, things of that nature. They certainly aren’t deal breakers, but can be frustrating from time to time.

3. Overall Experience

Bootmod3 and MHD both offer a great overall experience for tuning your BMW. Regardless of if you decide to run a simple OTS map or get a full custom tune. Really, the only platform with any unnecessary complications and taxes is ECUTEK. Perhaps just avoid that one.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a ‘Tuning Platform’?

A tuning platform is a suite of tools organized to allow flash programming and tune development for a vehicle. An example of a robust tuning platform for BMW cars is Bootmod3.

What is CustomROM?

CustomROM is an aftermarket Application Software for the BOSCH MEVD17/MG1 computers. This software allows functions like Map Switching, Flex Fuel, and Antilag.

What is RaceROM?

RaceROM is the same thing as CustomROM, this is just ECUTEK’s version of it. Aftermarket Application Software for the BOSCH MEVD17/MG1 computers. This software allows functions like Map Switching, Flex Fuel, and Antilag.

Which Platform do I need to run Flex Fuel?

All three platforms support Flex Fuel on Six Cylinder cars. None of them support flex fuel on 8 cylinder cars.

Which Platform do I need if I want burbles in my tune?

Any platform can support burble tuning. Bootmod3 and MHD offer end user adjustments for these settings.

Can I tune my BMW with my phone?

With MHD and Bootmod3, yes you can. With ECUTEK, no.

What is an OTS Map?

‘OTS’ is short for Off The Shelf. These maps are written in a way where they will respond positively on all vehicles, limited to the capabilities of the stock hardware.

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