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Old Oct 1, 2005, 03:22 AM   #1
chucknorris
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Virtual PC on iMac G5

I have run Virtual PC 7 on my iBook and a 15" PowerBook from the current gen. The speed or lack thereof was more than a little frustrating, so I don't like using the program at all.

Sometime next year I'd like to purchase an iMac G5. Depending on what the next update is like, my plan is to buy a refurb of the current generation at a substantially discounted price.

My question is, would I notice a significant speed difference between the notebooks and the G5 with VPC? Obviously I can't expect it to be very speedy, but I'm really hoping a G5 would at least make it somewhat tolerable.

Anybody who has experience please reply.
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Old Oct 1, 2005, 03:41 AM   #2
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Virtual PC is basically an emulator. as with all emulators i know, a lot of RAM is very important. depending on your needs, for example, you would run VPC and Photoshop (OS X) and InDesign (OS X), you would have to probably max out the RAM.

but if you close all apps and use VPC it might not be necessary to max out the RAM.

i'd say, rule of thumb, the more RAM the better (with or without VPC).
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Old Oct 1, 2005, 04:03 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redAPPLE
Virtual PC is basically an emulator. as with all emulators i know, a lot of RAM is very important. depending on your needs, for example, you would run VPC and Photoshop (OS X) and InDesign (OS X), you would have to probably max out the RAM.

but if you close all apps and use VPC it might not be necessary to max out the RAM.

i'd say, rule of thumb, the more RAM the better (with or without VPC).
I never knew that about emulators. Very interesting.

I've got 1.5 GB of ram, so my iBook has all the help it can get. I've also got VPC set to use the max amount of ram (only 512).

Do you mean that ram is the only important factor or would processor/bus/cache make a difference as well?
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Old Oct 1, 2005, 04:23 AM   #4
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You don't say which flavour of Windows you're running. If it's XP then you're taking a huge performance hit. I run Win2K Pro on a 1.25 eMac w/768 megs of RAM and speeds are perfectly acceptable bearing in mind that it's an emulator.
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Old Oct 1, 2005, 04:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macffooky
You don't say which flavour of Windows you're running. If it's XP then you're taking a huge performance hit. I run Win2K Pro on a 1.25 eMac w/768 megs of RAM and speeds are perfectly acceptable bearing in mind that it's an emulator.
Good point. I certainly apologize for the omission. I'm running XP Pro, which sounds like it may be a mistake.

I'd still like to know how current iMacs handle the program compared current G4 notebooks.
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Old Oct 1, 2005, 06:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chucknorris
I'd still like to know how current iMacs handle the program compared current G4 notebooks.
They compare well. You do need version 7.x of Virtual PC to run on a G5.
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Old Oct 1, 2005, 06:57 AM   #7
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I'm not so sure the speed difference will be all that great. Just remember that you should only assign as much RAM to VPC as you have spare. In other words, if you have 1GB total RAM, you really should only let VPC have about 384MB of it or so - maybe less if you're running other RAM-intensive apps outside of VPC.
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Old Oct 1, 2005, 07:15 AM   #8
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I think that VPC will run slow regardless of your Mac.
I am running XP Home using VPC and it is s-l-o-w. I have all the settings tweaked for highest performance- RAM up to highest amount (512MB), video RAM up to 16MB, running in classic, etc..., and it still is tardy.

Oh well, it is windows....
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Old Oct 1, 2005, 08:19 AM   #9
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The biggest improvement will come from dropping XP to 2000 I think. RAM is significant, but there are many opinions on how to set it.

Try looking at this article and this thread for more suggestions.

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Old Oct 1, 2005, 09:57 AM   #10
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I have ran VPC 6 on an:
iMac G4 1GHz with 768MB RAM
PowerBook G4 1.33GHz 1GB RAM

and I have ran VPC 7 on:
the same PowerBook G4 1.33GHz 1GB RAM
iMac G5 1.8GHz 1.5GB RAM

Out of all those the iMac G5 has done a lot better at running VPC. I designate 512MB RAM for it to operate and it does fine.....not fast....fine.
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Old Oct 1, 2005, 01:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jovian9
I have ran VPC 6 on an:
iMac G4 1GHz with 768MB RAM
PowerBook G4 1.33GHz 1GB RAM

and I have ran VPC 7 on:
the same PowerBook G4 1.33GHz 1GB RAM
iMac G5 1.8GHz 1.5GB RAM

Out of all those the iMac G5 has done a lot better at running VPC. I designate 512MB RAM for it to operate and it does fine.....not fast....fine.
Great to know! Fine is...well, fine.
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Old Oct 1, 2005, 02:39 PM   #12
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Another opinion...

I have run VPC 7 (with XP Pro) on a dual 2.5ghz G5 with a gig of ram...it FLEW. Seriously...it was much faster than a lot of Windows systems I have tried.

I was absolutely shocked, I have NEVER seen VPC run as well.
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Old Oct 1, 2005, 05:17 PM   #13
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But what were you running on it appleretailguy because it still has no 3D support which is seriously limiting for many programs and even the system to some extent (eye candy in particular).
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Old Oct 1, 2005, 06:25 PM   #14
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Explanation...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mad jew
But what were you running on it appleretailguy because it still has no 3D support which is seriously limiting for many programs and even the system to some extent (eye candy in particular).
I should have specified that...

I was just using Quickbooks and some proprietary design software.

I guess I was comparing it to previous versions where it was so slow it was nearly unusable...
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Old Oct 1, 2005, 06:27 PM   #15
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Nevertheless appleretailguy, it's very promising that you're finding it so quick. Maybe I'll think about upgrading to 7.0... Although I don't really use it all that much.
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Old Oct 1, 2005, 06:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by appleretailguy
I should have specified that...

I was just using Quickbooks and some proprietary design software.

I guess I was comparing it to previous versions where it was so slow it was nearly unusable...
Glad your experience is so good... most are not
Some find it serviceable for what they need to do
Most find it annoyingly slow

Depends on your needs

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Old Oct 3, 2005, 01:58 AM   #17
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Hi

I have an iMac G5 with 1gig ram and run VPC 7.0.2 with windows 2000 and have it set to use 384meg ram which works well for me.

I have tried XP Pro and is like a snail about to die.

I hope this helps and if anyone would like to know any of the other settings that I use for it I can make them available if it helps.

Rob
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Old Oct 3, 2005, 02:39 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chucknorris
Sometime next year I'd like to purchase an iMac G5.
If you are waiting until sometime next year then perhaps it will be after some macs are converted to intel? If this is the case then you could pick up whatever the mac mini equivalent is at taht point and just run regular windows outside of VPC on it! Or else you could run it in an emulator which will probably be pretty close to as fast as just booting into windows.

As far as my experience with VPC - I have a powermac G5 1.6ghz and a powerbook g4 1.5ghz. The powermac has a gig of ram and the powerbook has 512mb ram. I use VPC 7 with win XP and it runs decently on the G5. On the powerbook it's pretty intolerable. The ram probably is part of the massive performance difference, but having a desktop gets you a faster HD, and a G5 has a much faster system bus and is a much more powerful processor.
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Old Oct 3, 2005, 02:53 AM   #19
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I use VPC now and again, WinXP ran like a dog but Win2k is much nicer.

Does everyone here run antivirus / antispyware on their emulated Windows sessions just like you would a normal machine? I'm thinking that could be a major performance hit in an emulated OS.

Thanks,
Adam
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Old Oct 3, 2005, 03:02 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxterpiece
If you are waiting until sometime next year then perhaps it will be after some macs are converted to intel? If this is the case then you could pick up whatever the mac mini equivalent is at taht point and just run regular windows outside of VPC on it! Or else you could run it in an emulator which will probably be pretty close to as fast as just booting into windows.

As far as my experience with VPC - I have a powermac G5 1.6ghz and a powerbook g4 1.5ghz. The powermac has a gig of ram and the powerbook has 512mb ram. I use VPC 7 with win XP and it runs decently on the G5. On the powerbook it's pretty intolerable. The ram probably is part of the massive performance difference, but having a desktop gets you a faster HD, and a G5 has a much faster system bus and is a much more powerful processor.
If Intel products have started to come out by the time I have money saved. I will think VERY seriously about buying a Mini or something or maybe waiting for Intel iMacs. The prospect of dual-booting (I hate making it sound like Windows is on even footing with OS X) Windows, or at least being able to run it unemulated is very intriguing.

That combined with more competitive pricing, better innovation, and the more "mainstream" image Intel brings could make Apple very dangerous to the PC world--that is if Apple executes this transition well.

I am quite aware that the Rev A Intel Macs will have more bugs than any other Macs in recent history, but odds are nothing is going to affect a majority of systems (that would be TERRIBLE quality control). If I do get a lemon, well, worse things have happened.
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Old Oct 3, 2005, 03:19 AM   #21
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one thing ya'll might find helpful is a lazy man's "solution" (heh) to speed up XP. In the emulated PC, if you go to the control panel, system (I think) you can get to a window that allows you to make adjustments for performance. under the "advanced" tab, there is an option to adjust the PC for best performance, basically it strips down the eye candy and unnecessary apps to make it look all Win 98-ish. It save a good bit of emulated processing power so you might get a couple extra horsepower out of it. VPC will never be (in its current iterations) fast, but that might help make it manageable.

Sorry for any type-o's, it's 3am...
have fun
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Old Oct 3, 2005, 03:24 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsaxer
one thing ya'll might find helpful is a lazy man's "solution" (heh) to speed up XP. In the emulated PC, if you go to the control panel, system (I think) you can get to a window that allows you to make adjustments for performance. under the "advanced" tab, there is an option to adjust the PC for best performance, basically it strips down the eye candy and unnecessary apps to make it look all Win 98-ish. It save a good bit of emulated processing power so you might get a couple extra horsepower out of it. VPC will never be (in its current iterations) fast, but that might help make it manageable.

Sorry for any type-o's, it's 3am...
have fun
Very interesting. I'll try that right now.

Also, get to bed!
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Old Oct 3, 2005, 03:39 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chucknorris
Very interesting. I'll try that right now.

Also, get to bed!
Still pretty slow.
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Old Oct 3, 2005, 03:48 AM   #24
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Unfortunately, VirtualPC is still pretty slow on a dual 2.7ghz G5... Consider it punishment for wanting to use Windows to begin with


Seriously though, if fast Windows emulation is important to you, don't buy another Mac until Apple makes the switch over to Intel processors. It may take a little while, but once hardware emulation is no longer an issue it will be possible for developers to make much faster virtual environments. Even 3D gaming will be conceivable, both via WINE, and via Windows environments (the former will be restricted to OpenGL, and the latter will be made possible by new platform non-specific video cards like the ones ATI has begun producing.)
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Old Oct 3, 2005, 04:01 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaszmyr
Unfortunately, VirtualPC is still pretty slow on a dual 2.7ghz G5... Consider it punishment for wanting to use Windows to begin with


Seriously though, if fast Windows emulation is important to you, don't buy another Mac until Apple makes the switch over to Intel processors. It may take a little while, but once hardware emulation is no longer an issue it will be possible for developers to make much faster virtual environments. Even 3D gaming will be conceivable, both via WINE, and via Windows environments (the former will be restricted to OpenGL, and the latter will be made possible by new platform non-specific video cards like the ones ATI has begun producing.)
All so very exciting!
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