Virtual PC - How effective is it?

Discussion in 'Mac Help/Tips' started by AtomBoy, Oct 9, 2002.

  1. AtomBoy macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2002
    Does anyone know of a good website that lists which programs run well on Virtual PC?

    Or can anyone here who uses VPC advise me?

    I have tons of PC software, some of which I'd like to use on my Mac, but reviews of VPC tend to be very conflicting and don't state which programs ran well and which ones didn't.

    Or will any program that runs in a native windows OS work in the VPC environment?

    Has anyone used WinMX on VPC? Does it work? I hate the p-to-p programs for the Mac and still use my old PC for this.

  2. Chaszmyr macrumors 601


    Aug 9, 2002
    The only thing VPC is really good for is file sharing proggies like Kazaa. For anything else its painfully slow (even on my Dual gigahertz powermac)
  3. AtomBoy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2002
    Thanks 'Chaszmyr'

    That's what I was worried about...

    VPC is a little expensive if you're only going to use it for file sharing programs!
  4. strider42 macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2002
    Re: Virtual PC - How effective is it?

    its pretty useable for things that aren't graphic or processor intensive. Its probably best for things like business software, things of that nature.
  5. estevan2737 macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2002
    Phoenix, Arizona
    VPC is exceptional for its intended uses.

    Unfortunately, I use VPC on nearly a daily basis. I need it to access my Exchange calendar (Outlook 2001 is unacceptable running in Classic), to run Remedy's Action Request System and to run some Windows only Scheduling/Timeclock software that we use for managing our part time employees.

    I run all of these apps on a G4 450 with 384MB of memory and while the performance is slow its acceptable considering I have to run these apps and the only way to get better performance would be to trade my Mac in on a Dell. And I certainly wouldn't consider that.

    If the apps you want to run are not graphic intensive, you'll probably find VPC to meet your needs. Of course, if the app you need is available for the'll always be better off running the Mac version.
  6. Gfour? macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2002
    I have a speed fix for VirtualPC (macosx)

    Heres a fix i should have known about, seeing how i use this command all the time.

    "VPC5 could be considered slow. But one has to consider that the UNIX 'Nice' level of VPC5 is 0. This does not give considerable priority to VPC5. Luckily, Mac OS X 10.1 introduced the 'renice' command to the OS. VPC5 can be made to run faster by completing the following:

    1. Open the terminal and type the following:

    ps -auxw | grep Virtual

    This will reveal the process number for the Virtual PC application.

    2. Reprioritize the process using the following command:

    sudo renice <nice> <pid>

    Where <nice> is an integer between 20 and -20 (the lower the number, the higher the priority.) and <pid> is the process ID you learned in step 1.

    I typically use a nice level of -16. Performing these steps will speed up the emulation to a more usable level.

    This will give virtualPC a speedbump.... Try and you'll see.
  7. chmorley macrumors 6502a


    Jan 2, 2002
    Denver, CO
    And another thing

    After using VPC/WinME & Win98 for years, I decided to install Windows 2000. The speed bump is phenomenal. It went from painfully slow/nearly unuseable to acceptable. However, the speed increase may not be related to Windows 2000 (although people at MacWindows have noted that Win2k runs faster than Win 95/98/ME in VPC).

    The other thing I did was install it on a fixed-size disk (rather than a dynamically-expanding one). A poster at MacWindows noticed that his performance in VPC/Win98 noticed that his speed increased dramatically when he put Win98 on a fixed-capacity drive that was smaller than his total RAM, positing that VPC tries to keep the entire disk in RAM. He kept other programs in shared folders. Since Win2k can't fit on a disk that small, I figured I'd try simply making the disk a fixed capacity. It may be partially responsible for the speed increase. Of course, I did have to sacrifice 2 gigs of disk space.

    I am curious what other people find using this approach.

  8. Roger1 macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2002
    Virtual PC

    Hi We use several versions of Virtual Pc where I work. Versions 2 and 3 seem to be ok, but outdated. We bought one copy of verion 4 running WinME (What a joke). We now have several copies of version 5. On the OS 9 side it works fairly well running Win2000 (on white ibooks). On the X side running Win2000, it is slow but acceptable (on a G4 Powerbook). I have VPC 5 on my personal G4 Powerbook, running XP and it is virtually (pun intended) unusable. My boss has used both XP and 2000 on his VPC, and said that 2000 is much faster. I tend to agree, because yesterday I was sitting next to someone using an ibook, running VPC with 2000, and was visibly faster than my XP. Hope my .02 helps.
  9. TheT macrumors 6502

    Jan 5, 2002
    I run VPC5 with WinXP on an iMac G3 400... it is just horribly slow, even for stuff like Kazaa...
    well, this way, I stopped downloading mp3s and 'switched' to buying CDs again :D
  10. job macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2002
    in transit
    I used VPC 5.0.4 for a while in order to do my homework with a crappy, school required chemistry program..

    I ran it on a 400Mhz G3 with 320 megs of RAM decently..
  11. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    I've just installed W2K SP3 under VPC 5.0.4 on a DP1Ghz 1Gb RAM Quicksilver, it's usable...just, but of course no match for my 1.4Ghz Athlon or even my 800Mhz PIII.
    But if you must have a PC, but at the same time don't actually want to buy one, then VPC should *just about* get you through...just not very quickly :p
  12. pianojoe macrumors 6502


    Jul 5, 2001
    N 49.50121 E008.54558
    Re: I have a speed fix for VirtualPC (macosx)

    Will I have to do this every time I launch VPC?
  13. chmorley macrumors 6502a


    Jan 2, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Re: I have a speed fix for VirtualPC (macosx)

    I tried it. I'm not sure I noticed a difference. I also have a reservation about whether or not this changes the priority level significantly.

    If you look in the VPC prefs, it specifies 2 different priorities--one for when it is the foreground, a different (lower) one for the background. By switching to Terminal, it changes the priority assigned to VPC. Therefore, I am not sure that I actually improved things by changing the priority from 0 to -16. Maybe I did, but I don't know.

    Any other thoughts on this, Gfour??

  14. vniow macrumors G4

    Jul 18, 2002
    I accidentally my whole location.
    Actually, not too long ago, someone posted a hack to make VPC run a helluva lot faster.

    Here's the link.:)
  15. chmorley macrumors 6502a


    Jan 2, 2002
    Denver, CO

    Thanks. I also read that thread. I tried that and it worked fine. I am just not interested in rebooting every time I want to use VPC. I usually need it for 5-10 minutes, and have the hard drive in a saved state so that I don't have to reboot.

    I might have needed that hack for WinME, but Win2k is so much faster that it's not absolutely necessary.

  16. Megaquad macrumors 6502a

    Jul 12, 2001
    I run vpc 3 with win98 on mac os 9. it is really really fast. I use Win MX and IE on it all the time.
    Win ME & VPC5 is just painfully slow. (all on iMac 350 MHz/320 MB RAM)
  17. Gandalf macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2001
    Speed fix for OS X

    In reference to 're-nicing' VirtualPC 5, do you have to do that every single time before you boot it up?

    Is it possible to create an applescript that will do all this for you quickly?

    Thanks for any help...
  18. scem0 macrumors 604


    Jul 16, 2002
    back in NYC!
    You can get a decent PC for $200-350. I would just get a whole computer :eek: .... :D


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