Watching video in VirtualPC 7?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Thomas S, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. Thomas S macrumors member

    Dec 30, 2004
    Right now I've a PowerMac G5 with 512mb RAM(I kept putting off upgrading it), and I just purchased Virtual PC because I need to use Windows Media Player 10 for licensed media (ugh!).

    Anyhow, video lags like crazy. But, my question is this - will more RAM allow me to watch videos without these problems? I'm gonna get it anyways, but I need to know whether it will affect it.
  2. Soulstorm macrumors 68000


    Feb 1, 2005
    Actually, more ram will help, but you must also set in VPC preferences how much ram your virtual machine will occupy.

    BTW, windows media player 10 is a very crappy program, its requirements are inexplicably high, even when used for PC's.
  3. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    My guess is that a Mac with only 512 MB is woefully inadequate for VPC running WinXP and WMP 10. The trick is to keep VPC out of MacOS X virtual memory and WinXP out of VPC virtual memory. My own machine has 1 GB. The sweet spot on it is a setting for Total RAM in PC: of 480 MB. Any setting higher causes VPC to excessively access MacOS X virtual memory. Try setting Total RAM in PC: to about half of the physical RAM on your computer. Adjust it up and down to find the setting that yields maximum performance.
  4. joecool85 macrumors 65816


    Mar 9, 2005
    More RAM will definetly help. I would add another 512 or so at least.
  5. alex_ant macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2002
    All up in your bidness
    I will be the dissenting opinion and say that adding more RAM will not help one bit with video lagginess. Video playback in VPC is almost exclusively CPU-bound. It's not like WMP10 is loading the whole video off the hard drive and playing it from RAM - it's streaming it off the disk in chunks and playing back the chunks, freeing the played chunks from memory as it goes along. So there is no reason why adding more RAM would change anything. If you notice the hard drive light in VPC blinking a lot while the video is playing, then perhaps suspect swapping which would mean that I'm wrong, otherwise, sorry dude.
  6. Malus macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2005
    I think you can only set virtual pc's ram setting to 512. So even if you have 2 GB of ram, its still gonna run slow.
  7. Thomas S thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 30, 2004
    Its not the CPU. Its a DP (not core) PowerMac 2.0ghz G5. I know that its single threaded and all, but still....

    Anyhow, with Aperture coming I've ordered another two gigabytes of RAM (obviously Virtual PC only accesses 512mb).

    Oh yeah - the vids I use it for are streamed off the internet at 420 bits/second. Wish I could lower that because the lesser quality stuff works fine :(
  8. generik macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2005
    Nothing to do with ram, the emulated graphics card in VPC doesn't support directdraw i think... for that same reason you can't play any 3D games in VPC too.

    Moral of story, don't buy "licensed" or "trusted" or "DRMed" media. Go tell 10 of your friends to that effect.
  9. matticus008 macrumors 68040


    Jan 16, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    It is the CPU. That is, the software emulated CPU in VPC. It doesn't matter what kind of system you have, it's still going to suck. VirtualPC has to emulate the CPU hardware by converting instructions on the fly, and it has to emulate the graphics hardware, too. Like generik said, you've got no acceleration or DirectDraw/Direct3D support in VirtualPC because it would be too resource intensive.

    I don't know if you remember the 2MB PCI video card days, but those video cards are better than what VirtualPC makes available to you. More RAM will help you in your Macintosh applications, but it's not going to do you any good in VPC. Your solution would be to find a different source for those videos or to play them on a machine with WMP 10 (a Windows PC).
  10. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    Memory won't help. I dropped the Virtual PC file into a Mac ram disk and gave it the maximum memory of 512. Windows was running 100% in memory including the swap file. I even switched it down to 256 of dedicated Windows memory because I read that Virtual PC works best at 256 instead of 512. The video jerkyness seems to be video card related. If you can have native Mac video card support in VPC then it probably would solve the problem.

    Microsoft Money works fast at least.

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