Virutal PC Capabilities?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by BiikeMike, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. BiikeMike macrumors 65816

    BiikeMike

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    #1
    I searched, and didnt really find much info on this. What can you run with Virtual PC? What exactly does it do? I have a few specialized programs I want to run on my Powerbook that are PC based, but I don't want to drop the coin unless I know its worth it.

    I figure, it wont run really intensive stuff, like AutoCAD, but what WILL it run?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. strider42 macrumors 65816

    strider42

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    #2
    its probably best for specialized business applications. Its not worth using for anything that is really graphics intensive. Whether its worth it or not depends on what programs you want to run. Asking what it will run is so open ended. it will run thousands of programs with varying degrees of satisfaction. Knowing what those few programs are you want to run is probably more useful since maybe someone else has used them and can comment.
     
  3. BiikeMike thread starter macrumors 65816

    BiikeMike

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    #3
    They are fairly specialized programs used in Lighting design. One of them is the ETC Offline Editor and some other Strand lighting programs, all written for PC. It would also be really nice to be able to run autoCAD, but thats a far off dream...
     
  4. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

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    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #4
    Virtual PC will run AutoCAD, probably just not very well. I use it for PSpice (circuit design and simulation software) and it works fine. I'm actually surprised at how well it works, especially based on how much people here complain about it. If I use it on my Power Mac in fullscreen mode, it's hard to tell that I'm not using a real PC, the interface is (for the most part) quick, and programs run fine.
     
  5. BiikeMike thread starter macrumors 65816

    BiikeMike

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    #5

    I see in your sig you also have a powerbook. Have you ever tried to run it on that? I have a 1.67ghz 15" with a gig of ram. Thats what I am interested in running it on.

    Thanks
     
  6. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

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    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #6
    I run it on my PowerBook too, and while it (obviously) isn't as fast as on my G5, performance is still very acceptable for reasonably lightweight programs.
     
  7. BiikeMike thread starter macrumors 65816

    BiikeMike

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    Sep 17, 2005
  8. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

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    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #8
    Yes, you can set up shared folders that are visible to both the PC and OS X. Also, you can drag folders/files to and from VPC to the Finder to copy them back and forth.
     
  9. BiikeMike thread starter macrumors 65816

    BiikeMike

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    Sep 17, 2005
    #9
    sounding better and better. If it works seamlessly, I may never need a PC again............
     
  10. risc macrumors 68030

    risc

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    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #10
    VPC7 works seamlessly, it is just VERY VERY VERY slow. I wouldn't want to do anything CPU intensive on it, it emulates a 500 MHz CPU if that is fast enough for what you need go for it. :)
     
  11. Atlasland macrumors 6502

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    Aug 20, 2005
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    London, UK
    #11
    if that.
     
  12. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #12
    It might help if we knew what software you were planning on running with VPC. I disagree with people who say VPC is so very slow. It's no speed demon, but for "relatively lightweight" apps, it's really just fine. The kinds of apps that I need to run in VPC are electrical engineering applications. The most processor intensive of these is PSpice, and it runs just fine for me in PSpice. The UI is responsive, and while simulations take a little while to run, that's true on a PC too, so it doesn't really matter. If you're going to run graphics intensive apps, VPC won't work, but as long as you're running things that don't really use up a lot of processor time (and most apps don't), it'll work.
     
  13. terriyaki macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 4, 2005
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    Vancouver
    #13
    Hey, mduser63, sorry if this is off topic, but do you know of any good circuit schematic/simulation programs for OS X?
     
  14. BiikeMike thread starter macrumors 65816

    BiikeMike

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    #14

    Its mostly small programs. I put a link to one of them earlier in this thread. Another thing is a Strand Lighting program which will run in OSX, but the External Keypad is not supported in OSX, only Windoze
     
  15. wattage macrumors 6502

    wattage

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #15
    Be sure you read close. Virtual PC requires you purchase an individual copy of Windows, a system disc that came with another PC will not work. So there's another few hundred bucks.
     
  16. BiikeMike thread starter macrumors 65816

    BiikeMike

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    #16

    Thats when site licenses come in handy :cool:

    So does it make a new partition on the hard drive or somthing? Where exactly does it "virtually" install windows? Is the C: drive Macintosh HD? Does it have its own file structure system?

    Sorry to ask so many questions, but I want to be in the know, and you all seem to be the best way to get in the know :)
     
  17. Leareth macrumors 68000

    Leareth

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    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #17
    I use VPC 7 to run BioEdit and Mega- they are about mid-range for CPU use and they run just fine, I dont notice a lag and the nice thing about VPC it has never crashed on me once , unlike the real windows machines...:rolleyes:
     
  18. mrichmon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    #18
    Virtual PC can be purchased as just the VPC emulator for which you need to seperately obtain a valid Windows license and install media from which to install Windows. (Assuming you want to run Windows.)

    Alternatively, Virtual PC can also be purchased in versions that include a license for Windows. In this case, installing Virtual PC with Windows onto your Mac is a one step process since Virtual PC ships with a Windows disk image. There are Virtual PC editions that ship with most current versions of Windows.

    Personally I've always used the bare-bones version of Virtual PC since I've also used it to run Linux, NetBSD and NextStep at various times. I found the Virtual PC only version works best for me.

    With VPC, you have two choices for where you install Windows. You can either allocate a hard drive on your system to Windows. Usually this will be an external drive and the install of Windows on that drive is a complete installation of Windows. That is, ignoring driver issues, you could plug this external drive into a Intel PC and boot off the external drive.

    The second approach involves using VPC to create a file on your Mac hard disk. This file is used as a disk image onto which VPC will isntall Windows. The disk images used by VPC can either be allocated a fixed image size or they can be set up as a variable size image. For a variable size image during the Windows install you set the maximum image size and this is the size of the disk that Windows sees. However the file size of the image in the Mac files system is only the size of the used space in the Windows drive.

    For example, you can set up an image with a maximum size of 20GB. If you then install Windows onto the image along with a few applications you might end up with 2GB of used disk space in Windows. If you are using a fixed size image file then in the Mac file system the image file will be 20GB in size. But if you use a variable size image file then the image file in the Mac file system will only be about 2GB in size since unallocated space on the Windows file system does not need to be stored.

    Virtual PC tip: VPC asks you at the end of each VPC session whether you want to commit the changes to the Windows disk image. The only time say yess to this is when I first install Windows, apply the service packs and install the applications I need. During any other session I always ensure that my data files are saved in the Mac filesystem and do not allow file system changes to be applied to the Windows image. The result is that whenever I start VPC I always have a fresh Windows install and this helps avoid some of the stability issues that arise with Windows.
     

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