Recently I installed Windows 8.1 64bit on my Macbook Pro (2011). Everything went fine and I am able to duel boot using Bootcamp.

Only issue I am facing is poor performance in Windows. Its taking around 1-1.5 minute to boot, while another laptop of dell with i3 processor and 4gb ram is able to boot in 4-6 seconds in same OS.

My macbook configuration is not latest but it with 2nd gen core i5 and 4 GB ram it should be faster (OS X boots in 13-16 seconds).

Also when running Visual Studio in Windows noticed that my disk i/o goes to 100% utilization and that time macbook goes terribly slow. So somewhere it seems related to hard disk speed. However I want to be sure before investing in new hard disk.

So if getting a new 7200 RPM hard disk with 16MB cache can solve the issue or if its due to Bootcamp virtualization and for disk i/o Windows has to go through bootcamp drivers and thus making process slow. I already tried specifying Pagefile size in Windows with no noticeable change.

Yet if adding memory instead of HDD can solve issue then I would go for memory route.

So please suggest me, how to determine exactly what is not correct for Windows 8.1 on Macbook pro and what sort of upgrade can solve the issue.



I tried ReadyBoost option with no luck. I found a 16 GB brand new USB stick, dedicated that entirely for ReadyBoost in Windows 8.1 and yet facing similar performance (or might be even slower).

Also looking at task manager, it seems plenty of RAM is free for Windows but HDD is active 100% for most of the time and average response time is 810ms (doesn't sound good to me, yet not sure on that). CPU usage seems fair.

Task manager, while running Hello World ASP.net program in Visual Studio 2013

  • Update I recently upgraded to 16GB memory on same macbook, and same OS installation of Windows 8 works like a charm, without higher disk IO.
    – devilzk83
    Nov 4, 2015 at 6:00
  • Update 2 weeks back, I replaced hard disk to SSD in same MacBook and difference in performance is amazing!! Application launch without any wait. So I would recommend SSD upgrade to everyone who is facing performance issue with Macbook Pro early 2011.
    – devilzk83
    Feb 4, 2016 at 15:38

3 Answers 3


SSD might do it - that's what I'm guessing is the difference between your boot time of 1:30, which is about right for an HD boot drive, compared to 5s, which is fast even for an SSD [I'd suspect it was hibernating rather than booting to be quite that fast]

More RAM would also help a lot - 4GB is bare minimum for a modern 64-bit OS, 8 is more acceptable, 16 would be nice. Your lack of RAM will be what is causing Visual Studio to be paging to the hard drive, at a guess, & causing the slowdown.

  • Thanks Tetsujin, I will first try ReadyBoost option as suggested by mharr above, as that is going to be cheapest trial. If that doesn't work then first check about RAM upgrade. And window machine wasn't hibernated, its a full boot. Dell laptop has a SATA HDD of 500GB, 7200 RPM. Thats why I was concerned that whether upgrading my HDD to 7200 RPM one might improve performance that much.
    – devilzk83
    Oct 8, 2014 at 3:15
  • 1
    Upgrading ram to 16GB did the trick finally.
    – devilzk83
    Nov 4, 2015 at 6:02

I can say it's not memory. I have a new MBP since 1 week, with a SSD under WIN64 8.1 and 16 GB of memory and exactly the same behavior, instead maybe it's not permanently, maybe 100 % during 10 s every 5 or 10 minutes.

  • For me it was 100% for more than 30 minutes and post which due to degraded performance I was always forced to switch back to OS X.
    – devilzk83
    Nov 4, 2015 at 6:01

You might try adding a ReadyBoost drive. I have not tried this with Windows on a Mac, but on PCs, ReadyBoost improves performance and boot times significantly. Adding a 4- or 8-gb USB or SDCard and formatting it for ReadyBoost may help with your 4gb machine.

  • Yes, I do have a spare USB stick of 8 GB. I can try that using as ReadyBoost disk and see if that improves performance. If that does, then I guess it will be cheapest upgrade for now. I can ignore the boot time for now as that 1 time wait. But once booted if that work fluidly like dell machines, then I am happy with my MBP.
    – devilzk83
    Oct 8, 2014 at 3:13
  • @Tetsujin & mharr, I have updated question with additional information. For some reason (legacy MBP perhaps), ReadyBoost doesn't seems to be a solution :(
    – devilzk83
    Oct 8, 2014 at 7:24
  • Hmm. The resource graph you displayed seems to indicate that ReadyBoost should have helped; it is meant to be able to cache common files in faster flash instead of slower disk.
    – mharr
    Oct 9, 2014 at 20:45
  • Could be possible, but without the ReadyBoost disk I see almost similar graph in terms of RAM and HDD usage. So what should be my next step?
    – devilzk83
    Oct 10, 2014 at 5:36
  • My macbook has this HDD. So its a SATA disk with 3Gb/s. while max read speed I noticed is 6.3MB/s in resource graph in which system was almost in not usable / frozen state.Same disk perform well in OS X. So I doubt its not HDD or RAM, but something else. But what?
    – devilzk83
    Oct 10, 2014 at 5:37

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