The 64-bit Bootcamp Dilemma

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by MBX, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. MBX macrumors 68000

    Sep 14, 2006
    So i'm thinking of getting a Mac Pro soon but what is kind of holding me off is that Bootcamp still doesn't offer 64-Bit Windows Xp installation & drivers support. I need to use Xp from time to time for certain tasks.

    It's really silly if you think that one wants to take use of the Ram & CPU and it's quite disappointing Apple has made no efforts in that regard.

    Is there a way to manually setup a 64-Bit Xp installation fully working?

    Anyone have a link or outlined explanation how to do it?

    Thanks a lot in advance
  2. Infrared macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2007
    Sorry to say, but it's becoming apparent that Apple dont
    provide proper Boot Camp support. Even Vista SP1 won't
    install on most Macs out there.

    I sometimes wonder if Boot Camp is a big scam to sucker
    people into buying. If you want support later, forget it. It
    is a miracle to even get even a few technical facts out of

    Some have managed to get 64-bit XP working. But you'd
    be asking for trouble on a Mac Pro.
  3. costabunny macrumors 68020


    May 15, 2008
    Weymouth, UK
    curious indeed.... I havent tried the 64Bit XP (as I stopped using it ages ago in favor of Vista64) which works just dandy on the Mac Pro (SP1 installed flawlessly), but then I didnt use the usual bootcamp assistant thingy and just fired the mac up off the Vista DVD and installed it.

    You cant really blame apple for not offering huge support for older OS's that are not designed for their hard ware. I guess we just have to live with that or use a VM (which can be more convenient sometimes anyways)
  4. MBX thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sep 14, 2006
    Should you do a partition first with bootcamp app or can you do a partition off of the Windows CD?

    I just don't want to screw the Os-X Partition. But maybe i should just get a second drive for Windows installation.

    And are there somewhere drivers for certain stuff like Apple Keyboard, Mouse, Audio, WiFi, etc online to download for a manual install?
  5. Infrared macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2007
    They don't even offer support for the current OS's!

    I repeat: Even Vista SP1 won't install on most Macs out there.

    That is "most Macs". You are lucky to have a Mac the
    current version of Vista will install on. But you won't be using
    the EFI installer, because Apple screwed up their EFI
    implementation so that it is not UEFI 2.1 compliant. As a
    consequence, you won't be getting the benefits of an EFI

    If Apple had stuck to the spec., then many people who can't
    would now be able to install Vista SP1. Mostlly these are people
    with early 2006-late 2007 Macs.

    In typical Apple fashion, there is absolute silence on this issue.
    I think Apple thinks more about their image than helping their
    customers. So they would rather not admit these problems in
    the hope, perhaps, they will not be noticed.

    Remember the reboot on wake from sleep bug? To this day
    Apple have not officially acknowledged it existed.
  6. cokersa macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2007
    Kansas City
    Can you explain what "the benefits of an EFI installation" are? I also installed Vista 64 and SP1 on my Mac Pro (2006) without issue (and, I'll note, without bootcamp, though I did install the drivers after they became available).
  7. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    Funny because Vista SP1 64bit is working perfectly on my 2006 Mac Pro.

    Oh and by the way Boot Camp has nothing to do with the BIOS / EFI. Boot Camp is just a partitioning and driver tool. The problem (if there is one) would be with the firmware of the machine, not something to do with Boot Camp.

    Vista is a bit of a pain to install but it works and works well.
  8. Infrared macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2007
    Is it so hard to understand the difference between "most" and "all"?

    Exactly. I never meant to imply otherwise.

    This is the issue: because of Apple's firmware, you are forced to use
    BIOS emulation (using Apple's CSM = Compatability Support Module).
    You shouldn't have to use that, because Vista SP1 supports EFI
    natively. No emulation needed. The reason you can't use EFI-native
    Vista is that Apple did not stick to the EFI specification.

    What does this mean for you? Well it might mean you are taking a
    performance hit in Vista. There have been performance problems with
    Apple's CSM in the past.

    If you're happy with the performance you're getting now, then that's
    just fine. If you want optimal performance, then you will want an EFI
    native installation. Why settle for a 20 year old legacy booting option
    when Vista, just like OS X, supports the modern alternative?
  9. Infrared macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2007
  10. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    With one of my planned Windows desktops still unavailable to me I've Boot Camped one of my Pros and am using it as a Vista 64 machine. It has a few quirks and can't be directly compared to a fully Vista 64 supported machine like a Dell Precision, but it seems to run well enough most of the time. I had no problems installing it.
  11. MBX thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sep 14, 2006
    So are you (nobody specific) saying that while apple doesn't officially support 64bit version installations you can actually kind of install a 64bit version of XP?

    Is it running properly as 64bit or are there some kind of issues?

    And if you had to install it manually i guess the experience would be the same as if you were to install it on a pc from scratch, right? All i'd have to do is scrape together some drivers manually?
  12. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    Pretty much, MBX. This forum and others have information on what drivers you need and where to find them along with user experiences.
  13. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    Not sure if you're referring to the x64 version of Vista SP1, but I've got the 32-bit version of Vista installed on my Mac Pro and my Santa Rosa MacBook and SP1 installed just fine.
  14. cxc macrumors member

    Nov 30, 2007
    Cologne, Germany
    What do you mean by quirks and that it cannot be directly compared?
    Is there some perfomance loss due to EFI firmware or a driver issue?
    I am running 10.5.3 on a TB F1 and Vista 64 only on the 320 WD Drive that came default with the MP. On top of that I put a pre release SP1 on there.
    In any event, I haven´t noticed performance drops in CPU intensive tasks such as h264 batch encoding and such. However, there are slowdowns when there is much HDD activity going on. This might be Vista or driver related as I don´t see the same degree of slowdown in 10.5.3.
    Whether this can be attributed to the Pro not being fully designed to run Vista 64 I cannot say. Any input?
  15. Siron macrumors 6502


    Feb 4, 2008
    North Carolina
    On my 2008 as well. The 64 bit drivers are on the OSX disk. After I installed Vista Business 64 and then SP1 (mine came on a separate disc) I popped the OSX disc in and it installed all of the drivers. Apple does support it.
  16. Siron macrumors 6502


    Feb 4, 2008
    North Carolina
    Sorry to say but that's not true. Vista 64 SP1 works just fine on a MP. I had no problems whatsoever. it runs much faster than XP 32 bit.
  17. Infrared macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2007
    Apparently - I say "apparently" because I'm relying on what others
    say - there is ACHI support in OS X, but not when running Vista
    because Apple's BIOS emulator disables it. That can harm disk
    performance. There are other things that are disabled by Apple's
    BIOS emulator, too, such as VT-x on all cores. That's not really
    a performance issue, but it does mean you can't readily use some
    virtualization solutions under Windows, such as Hyper-V.

    Now I don't know whether these omissions are deliberate. Maybe
    not. But the conspiracy theorist in me wonders if Apple wants to
    slightly cripple Windows to make OS X look good in comparison.
    We should be neither too cynical nor too naive here.

    There may be other problem's with Apple's BIOS emulator we are
    not even aware of. It's for this reason I am really keen to get an
    EFI native installation going to see if there's any difference. I am
    looking into this possibility. If anyone wants to contribute to a
    discussion about this idea, feel free.

    One thing I noticed - my geekbench scores are 400 points lower
    under Windows compared to under OS X. I don't know if that is
    due to the general crapness of Windows, or some other issue.
    But we have to be alert to the fact that Apple isn't going to put
    much effort into optimizing Windows performance on their machines.
    That likely isn't their focus.
  18. Infrared macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2007
    To know if it's "fine" you would need to compare that performance
    with the performance of identical hardware with a traditional BIOS.

    Now, I'm not going to get into a stupid argument and declare you
    should be unhappy with what you've got. If you're happy with the
    performance you're getting, that's great!

    However, and just speaking for myself, I'm concerned with getting
    every last ounce of performance out of the machine under Windows
    and OS X.

    I would also like OS X and Windows stand on an equal footing with
    regard to EFI booting. There are many benefits to be had from EFI.
    If you are interested:
  19. MBX thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sep 14, 2006
    Are the XP 64bit drivers on the OS-X disc as well?

    Is it an executable file or how would you access and install these drivers?
  20. Infrared macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2007
    There's an Apple installer for the whole lot of them.

    You can rummage around inside the folder structure
    and install individual items. An example of what's in

  21. Trainwreck707 macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2008
    I have XP Pro x64 running on my Mac Pro and it works just fine. I found it very easy to install.

    And I did not use Boot Camp. Boot Camp is basically a partitioning tool--it has nothing to do with your Mac's ability to run windows. If you are installing Windows on a separate internal drive (assuming you have a Mac Pro) I would do it without boot camp.

    I have posted links to the drivers on previous threads--I'm sure you could find the threads by doing a search. If you need help just drop me a pm.

    XP Pro x64 is not for everyone, but it works fine for me. I suggest you download the free 120 day demo from and give it a try. If you don't like it or have problems, there won't be any $$$ wasted.
  22. Trainwreck707 macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2008
    Those are for Vista 64. The only one that I found to work on XP Pro x64 was the chipset driver.
  23. Infrared macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2007
    Ah yes, my mistake. I misread the poster's question. Thanks.
  24. Siron macrumors 6502


    Feb 4, 2008
    North Carolina
    I read somewhere that Vista 64 supports EFI. Does it use this when booting or does it go the BIOS emulation route?
  25. Infrared macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2007
    If you boot holding down ALT, you get should get two Windows
    installation options - at least, I did. One is a BIOS+MBR option,
    the other an EFI+GPT option (i.e., similar to what OS X uses).
    As far as I know, nobody on a Mac has been able to get option
    two working.

    As a consequence, you're stuck with BIOS emulation.

    About Vista SP1:

    "Adds support for new UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface)
    industry standard PC firmware for 64-bit systems with functional parity
    with legacy BIOS firmware, which allows Windows Vista SP1 to install
    to GPT format disks, boot and resume from hibernate using UEFI firmware."

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