Macs slow on big W2K3 server folders


We have about 25 Macs and dozens of PCs accessing files on a Win 2003 server.

It seems that as the folders get fuller, the Macs are very very slow to even gain access to that folder. We have about 18,500+ files in one particular folder, the PCs snap to in about 3-5 seconds, but when the Macs just click on the folder in Finder, they pinwheel for minutes... to the point where frustrated users think they are locked up (they aren't) and reboot.
Any thoughts? this is severely affecting production!!
Thanks in advance.


We have seen the same problem here and the cause of the problem is using AFP protocol to connect to server. Using SMB does not display the problem. However, SMB does have it's own drawbacks too.
Now that we know it's to do with AFP we are trying to work out whether to switch to SMB permanently or use a 3rd party AFP server which allow us to takje advantage of the latest version of the AFP client, although it's unclear whether that will resolve the problem either.