Slow XP bootcamp on Nehalem Mac Pro - Any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by kalex, May 29, 2009.

  1. kalex macrumors 65816

    Oct 1, 2007

    I got my 2.66 Quad nehalem today. I had Mac pro 1,1 before and decided it was time for upgrade. Leopard works great, no issues and everything is running smooth.

    I installed Windows XP 32bit under bootcamp to a secondary drive. Its a SP3 corp edition. I ran all windows updates, installed all drivers from Leopard DVD and so far everything seems sluggish in windows. Booting takes longer than it did on my Mac Pro 1,1. No extra apps are installed on Windows.

    Any suggestions on how to improve performance? did i miss anything? is it better to use drivers other than what Apple provides?

    I'm also seeing same 2GB limit in windows as i did with Mac Pro 1,1

    My config is:
    Quad 2.66 Nehalem
    3GB ram
    ATI 4870 video card
    250GB Sata HDD for bootcamp
    Windows XP 32bit SP3
    All updates
    Bootcamp Drivers intalled from 10.5.6 DVD taht came with Nehalem Mac Pro.


  2. celticpride678

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boston, MA
    How much RAM are you giving XP? Hard Drive space?
  3. kalex thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 1, 2007
    its running in bootcamp. 2GB of RAM as this seems to be the limit on Mac Pro systems in windows.
    it has separate 250GB hard drive dedicated to windows.
  4. grue macrumors 65816

    Nov 14, 2003
    It has nothing to do with the Mac Pro, and everything to do with the version of WIndows you're running.
  5. kalex thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 1, 2007
    can you elaborate?

    are you refering to 2GB limit in windows xp 32bit? thats not exactly true using /3GB switch in boot.ini i was able to get windows to see 3.2GB of ram on my dell dimension system. I tried same switch on Mac pro and it doesn't seem to work. I only see 2GB available in windows so its not windows issue
  6. celticpride678

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boston, MA
    You beat me to it. It has to be the installation of Windows. Either try running the install again or get another disc. I totally agree with you.

    EDIT: It has to be a problem with the install disc or files. Do you have another disc?
  7. kalex thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 1, 2007
    not sure what it has to do with installation of windows? I mean its a standard windows disk. installation went through without any errors or issues.

    I have another disk i can try, but not sure it will help. I guess i'll try it tomorrow.

    are there any issues with SP3 running on mac pro?
  8. celticpride678

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boston, MA
    SP3 should run fine on a Mac Pro, but you can always try SP2 first.
  9. for329 macrumors member

    Apr 24, 2009
    I posted a thread similar to yours where I was having slow performance and someone said that you have to have the hard drive with bootcamp on it in bay 1 or 2. After I moved my hard drive with windows on it to bay 2 it started working at normal speed. As for the 2gb problem I don't know, I have the same problem(I thought that the 32bit version of windows should recognize 3gb if you have 4 or more in your computer).
  10. kalex thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 1, 2007
    oh wow thanks for the tip. mine is sitting in bay 3 right now. time to move :)

    will report back
  11. kalex thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 1, 2007
    for329 - You are awesome. Your fix did the trick. And of course when i had it on my previous mac, windows drive was in Bay2. Just switched on the new mac and this is the performance i expect from a I7 core processors. Windows is flying, although I still have 2GB ram limit in it. But at least I got my speed back

    Thanks again
  12. Sharangad macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2008
    The more memory you have on your graphics card, the more it eats into the 3.4 GB of RAM that Windows can see.

    If you were to stick a 1 GB GPU in there you'd have only 2.4 GB of RAM available.
  13. kalex thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 1, 2007
    I have a 1GB GPU in there and it still shows 2GB available not 2.4. I don't think its GPU related, I found a thread where it looks like its apple's EFI problem or bug
  14. gugucom macrumors 68020


    May 21, 2009
    Munich, Germany
    To avoid the issues use Vista or Windows7 64-Bit which will not give you this problem.

    On some MacPro Modells there is also an issue of Apple putting the SATA drives in legacy mode. You have to slipstream Windows to work with AHCI drivers to get them up to speed.

    I had to do this to get my SATA Blu-Ray to work under Windows. To check this go to the device manager and check the hard disk interfaces wether they are naturally in AHCI mode.
  15. T911 macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2009
    I'd the same problem "slow XP performance on bootcamp".

    I'd found very slow HD performance (transfert rate of 3Mb/sec).

    This is typical if you have installed bootcamp in a HD in bay 3 or 4 of your MacPro.

    If it's the case, try to put the HD on bay 1 or 2.
  16. Infrared macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2007
    It's a limit imposed by Apple's EFI/BIOS emulation firmware.
  17. Infrared macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2007
    AHCI mode is not enabled on a Mac Pro when booting Windows
    unless you use a workaround like this:

    It's yet another firmware shortcoming.

    Many PCs will allow you to enable AHCI in a BIOS menu. Mac Pros
    emulate a BIOS, but there is no BIOS menu. Thus AHCI cannot be
    enabled in the usual manner (and it's off by default).

    Apple could probably resolve this quite easily if they could be bothered
    to do so.
  18. AppleWorking macrumors regular

    Jan 20, 2009
    Does this bay 1 or 2 stuff apply to the 2009 MacPro's??? And does this only affect you if running XP??? I am running Vista 32 - Bay 4.

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