Velocity Duo X2 for Windows (EFI or BIOS mode?)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Squuiid, Mar 6, 2016.

  1. Squuiid macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2006
    I'm looking at getting a Velocity Duo X2 to run exclusively Windows on in my Mac Pro 5,1
    I currently have an XP941 for OS X which runs great.

    Can anyone who has experience with the Duo tell me if I can install Windows in BIOS mode, and if so does the disk controller run in AHCI?

    I need to use 'BIOS mode' in my Windows install so that the GTX680ME works correctly. I'm currently running Windows in BIOS mode in bay 3 (SATA2) and Windows insists on using an ATA controller instead of AHCI. Speeds are pretty poor and disk utilisation frequently maxes out at 100% doing basic tasks.

    What I want is to use the full potential of a Samsung 850 Pro, with Windows in BIOS mode, and with AHCI.

    Also, are there any know issues with the Duo x2? Boot delays, inability to reboot, hangs, etc?

    My PCIe slot arrangement would be:
    Slot1 - GTX 680ME
    Slot2 - XP941
    Slot3 - Velocity Duo X2
    Slot4 - Sonnet Allegro Pro USB3.0

  2. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    I confess I am not sure if I am running Windows 10 in BIOS or EFI mode ... how can you tell?

    I installed and upgraded Windows in my 5.1 a long time ago and have moved it around using WinClone. I initially installed Windows 7 on a SSD in one of the drive bays and over time upgraded to 8.1 and now 10. I currently have Windows on a Velocity Duo x2 card on a 512 GB Samsung 840 Pro (the card also holds a Crucial 960 GB SSD). There are also a couple of hard disks for archive storage and TimeMachine (also backed up to a NAS and MacMiniServer NAS over network).

    This system is running solid as a rock for me with no booting issues with OS X or Windows. I also use the Windows bootable image as a VM with VMware Fusion.

    My cMacPro 5.1 is arranged as:
    Slot 1: GTX 980TI (was GTX 680)
    Slot 2: 1TB Apple SM1024 SSD for OS X boot
    Slot 3: Velocity DUO x2 with Windows SSD and scratch SSD
    Slot 4: CalDigit FASTA-6GU3-Pro USB 3.0 and eSATA
  3. Squuiid thread starter macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2006
    hfg, thank you so much for the detailed reply.

    You can check if running in EFI or Legacy BIOS mode by doing the following:
    Right Click START in bottom left corner, then RUN and type msinfo32
    Under 'System Summary'--> BIOS mode it'll either say Legacy or UEFI.

    Also in device manager you will either have ATA controller or AHCI controller under Storage Controllers.

    So from your comment I can assume you don't have a boot delay?
    Thanks again.
  4. haralds macrumors 6502a


    Jan 3, 2014
    Silicon Valley, CA
    If you are running in BIOS mode, it should bring up VGA text configuration screens for the Velocity and CalGigit cards.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 6, 2016 ---
    I think, BIOS mode is the default for BootCamp. From what I have heard, although it might not indicate you are in BIOS mode, de facto you are based on actual performance. On the 1,1 and 2,1, there are boot sector patches to force BIOS mode to access the additional internal SATA ports normally not used.
  5. Squuiid, Mar 6, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2016

    Squuiid thread starter macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2006
    That won't happen on his Mac Pro 5,1 I don't think...
    However, you can install Windows in Legacy BIOS mode by using a Windows DVD. You cannot install it using a flash drive however as that will be EFI only.

    When booting from a Windows 10 install DVD you will be shown two boot options, Windows and EFI boot. If you choose Windows it will install Windows in Legacy BIOS mode, if you choose EFI it will install in UEFI mode. UEFI mode is no good for a GTX680ME in Windows.

    Additionally, if you install in Legacy BIOS mode, to a disk in your Mac Pro SATA2 bays, your disk controller will run in ATA (IDE) mode (from the 80s!). It will be very slow and have high CPU utilisation.

    If you install Windows in UEFI mode the very same disk controller will be in AHCI mode. Modern and fast.

    What I would like to know is if the Velocity DUO X2 will run in AHCI mode when Windows is in Legacy BIOS mode.

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