Virtual PC Questions

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by BiPolar, Dec 17, 2003.

  1. BiPolar macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2003
    I desparately want to go back to Macintosh after a 10 year hiatus, but there are many programs that I use on a PC that aren't available on Macs. I've read some of the other virtual PC threads, but no solid reviews or reactions to the program itself.

    How does it run? If one would need to render 3D using a non-mac program (like rhinoceros), will it run? Will it run and render at a reasonable speed? Do proprietary PC programs work well?

    Thanks...and I don't want to have to buy a Dell :).
  2. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    3D modeling

    If you are committed to that program for rendering, VPC IS NOT THE ANSWER, it doesn't really forward the processing to a video card, its emulated.

    This is why no PC gamer uses VPC on his mac.

    Are there similar 3D product made for the Mac? I don't know, but Im sure someone here does.
  3. tazo macrumors 68040


    Apr 6, 2003
    Pacific Northwest, Seattle, WA actually
    perhaps you can give us an example of a program you use in windows, so we can recommend mac-compatible alternatives...

    and like the other person says, VPC is for nothign more than typing in PC word ;)
  4. Maclarny macrumors 6502


    Apr 20, 2003
    If you can wait there are new rumors of Microsoft releasing an updated Virtual PC which will be optimized for the G5 at MWSF. I also read a thread which said that some tasks such as rendering and gaming will finally work with the video card in a Mac.
  5. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    He said he uses Rhinoceros
  6. BiPolar thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Well, the rhino issue is really only a mild one. I can always find another program to do NURBS work (it's not like i'm an ace or anything). THe other programs I use or more proprietary, and do not have any Mac equivalents. FOr example, the main one I am worrying about is a program that lets me view side scan sonar files, or magnetometer files (surfer is the program, but i haven't checked to see if they make a mac version).
  7. crossed-over macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2002
    Have you considered having both? I know it can get expensive, but you could possibly sell your PC and get a PC laptop or something that you could take with you or set up right at your desk with you whenever it was needed. I am in a similar situation where I am an electrical engineering student and I love macs. However, all of the software programs we use are windows based, so I am going to buy an affordable PC laptop (used ones are pretty cheap on ebay) so I can do just as I recommended to you. Just another option. Hope this helps.
  8. hugemullens macrumors 6502a


    Dec 15, 2002
    A new PC tower can be built or even bought now days for $400, just a little more than VPC itself, and a world of performance difference. You could use RDC or VNC to log into the wintel box, then its just like using a pc on your mac, just the actual pc is doing the job. Its far from a perfect solution, but its great in a pinch. And if your like me and have a pc already, makes more sense than going out and getting vpc. And it sounds like you already have a PC, or something to already run these programs.
  9. BiPolar thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Yep, I have a decent desktop PC that is working pretty well, except for some potential motherboard/BIOS issues that I am trying to resolve. I'll look into that idea of logging in remotely to my pc through my mac, i like that suggestion.

    I won't get rid of my PC, so that is definitely an option. However, the PC work that I might want done could be when I am travelling. This would necessitate being able to run the necessary programs on the laptop, hence the need for virtual pc.

    I hate decisions.
  10. hugemullens macrumors 6502a


    Dec 15, 2002
    Well you can setup it up to do it over the internet, its not bad for speed if both your laptop is on high speed and so is your desktop, it can be a nightmare to set-up through a router but it can be done.
  11. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    how is VPC performance for simple to moderate programs? I am trying to convert my father right now - he needs to run a simple car/accident simulation program (min PC requirements are PII, 64MB RAM, 800x600)

    What about running simpler programs like [poor examples] MS Word, Excel, PPT through VPC. I know they are available for Mac, but those resemble the complexity of programs that my father would need to run.

    Are we just talking sluggish performance - or was that only an issue when trying to run PC games?
  12. mj_1903 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    Are you viewing the sonar images or actually getting sonar images in real time? If its real time, VPC is not your answer.

    I do not know how large sonar images can be (quite large I would presume) so if this is the case, you would need a lot of RAM in a laptop to handle it nicely.

    My recommendation is, yes, keep the PC, and if the overhead is not too high in terms of system resources, use VPC on the road. Be warned though, a 1ghz Albook will not give faster performance than 400mhz PII. This is quite reasonable for loading some images on screen, but not fantastic for much more.

    Hope this helps,

  13. BiPolar thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2003
    well, i'd be using it view the images not in real time. A different machine and program does that entirely. The images themselves aren't very big, only a meg or 2. The program that records them parses the file so that it is split into smaller pieces. One can then later connect the pieces to a larger mosaic.

    Interesting that VPC creates only a PII 400, though. That is definitely something to consider.

    Unfortunately, this thread seems to be directing me towards getting a pc laptop, and then maybe later, when I have some more money, get a desktop mac for home use. Let the PC laptop be my work-at-home and away computer. Oh, well, I've still got some time to research, think, and listen to other folks' suggestions.
  14. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    I have that same problem. Don't like making decison. Many times letting circumstances assist. Your name BiPolar seems to be very appropriate.
  15. rfenik macrumors regular


    Oct 28, 2003
    Virtual PC sucks. It's unbelievably slow... I use a 867 powerbook with 640 ram, and it's STILL slow.

    I can see no use for virtual PC, unless its for compatibility testing or something...
  16. brian0526 macrumors regular

    Jan 3, 2003
    Virtual PC is a DOG on an iMac G4 1 GHz machine. I've read performance tips, given it tons of memory (up to 256 MB of my 1 GB) and it's sluggish just running Quicken. I switched to Mac back in April and hoped Virtual PC would allow me to trash my PC. It's still sitting here on my desk and I'm thinking about buying another one just to run Quicken and a couple of other programs that I can't run on the Mac (yes, I know there's a Mac version of Quicken. But, it's not nearly up to speed with the Windows version of 2 years ago).

    My advice is avoid Virtual PC all together. It's a great idea. But, unless you are ONLY typing, I'd steer clear.

  17. BiPolar thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Rats. The posts seem to point me towards getting a pc laptop. Not what I wanted to hear. Oh, well. Maybe i'll get the PC laptop, and then later in life get myself a mac desktop for home use.

    Thanks for the advice, everyone, and Happy New Year!
  18. krimson macrumors 65816


    Oct 29, 2003
    Democratic People's Republic of Kalifornia
    Yeah, VPC isn't any good for any work.. on my QS, it takes nearly 10 minutes to fully boot up at times, with no startup items or anything. I gave it a healthy 512mb too.

    im trying to get connected to our office VPN right now, because i have alot of vacation coming up, and they want me to be able to access the server for some stuff.

    i did come across: M$ remote client .. maybe you can use that somehow? Im going to be trying this tonight and see if i can access my workstation from home.
  19. BiPolar thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2003
    THat might work, but it still means I have to solve the odd motherboard problems I'm having with my PC. I was really hoping that there would have been a good solution (maybe even free up my old PC to become a linux box).

    O, woe is me. I really would have thought m$ would have created a nice program for this to work. WOuld be a great way for them to still enter and make money from apple customers, even those that move away from the office suite (go!).

    I'm up for any other ideas, if folks got 'em.
  20. dongmin macrumors 68000


    Jan 3, 2002
    I'm in a similar position as you but I elected to keep my home-built Athlon box to do AutoCAD, Rhino, and 3DStudioMax. VPC is NOT an option to do any sort of graphics or 3D work.

    For everything else, I have an iBook G4. OS X is so much more pleasurable to use on a daily basis. I'd recommend getting a 12" PB and have a techie friend take a look at your PC box.

    And IF you're going for a PC laptop, get a Thinkpad instead of a Dell. The T40/T41s are super-nice. Rock-solid, compact, and fast. If you're affiliated with a school, you may be able to get a sweet deal.
  21. d.f macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2003
    VPC is only good for...


    the programme is a bit slow, but once you're downloading it's quick like anything else.

    not what you need, but i thought i'd point out one of the very few instances where VPC is handy. (no Kazza on Mac OS 9 exists.)
  22. BiPolar thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Hmm, I'll take a look at the IBM's. I was also looking at the Fujitsu N5010. Nice machine, but TEN FREAKING POUNDS. Oy vey. Is it too much to ask for a pc maker to make a nice looking, light, powerful machine like the powerbook?

Share This Page