Has anyone played with Virtual PC 2007 lately?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by cammykool, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. cammykool macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Location:
    Anaheim, California
    #1
    i got a copy of VPC 2007 and want to play with it. i have a 1.33 gHz G4 with 1.25 GB of ram what could i run? what fun things could i see or do? im trying to crap a slimmed down version of 76 on there because why not? i know its gonna be slower then all heck but i wanna try! Thanks!
     
  2. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #2
    Running Windows 2000 is the best balanced OS for VPC - Win 95 is much faster but limits what software you want to use.
    All depends on the kind of stuff you want to do?
    For older DOS games you might be better off running Boxer which is a user friendly version of Dosbox.
    There's a fair few console emulators that will be more efficient than VPC for games
    Also there's Amiga emulation - that opens up a whole new world.
     
  3. weckart macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #3
    VPC2007 is a Windows only app. Presumably you mean VPC7? Anecdotal evidence suggests VPC5 to be the best compromise between features, support and performance on both OSX and OS9. VPC6 and VPC7 seemed to take a step backwards in speed and offered little more than Microsoft branding.

    Win98 is probably the last tolerable OS on a G4. Maybe a pared down NT4 if you need 32bit Windows support. Win2K and WinXP are too big and slow, even on a G5.
     
  4. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #4
    I have a copy of VPC(I think it's 7, but couldn't swear to it) running XP.

    I have it installed on my work G5-a dual core 2.0 with 10gb of RAM-and the performance is terrible. It's almost to the point of being unusable.
     
  5. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #5
    I agree VPC5 is the fastest for a G4 under OSX - it's available at macintoshgarden.
    As you can see, people have different experiences according to their needs - just try it out and see for yourself.
    I've been happy for what I needed VPC for but seldom does it actually perform at PC speeds you might be familiar with.
     
  6. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #6
    VPC7 will run XP. There is a sweet spot for balancing memory between the Mac and the virtual machine. It's somewhere above the middle but not before maxing out. Believe it or not, maxing out the virtual machine slows it down.

    As I mentioned, it will run XP. I usually turn off all the XP eyed candy, but it's slow.

    Lastly, and I have done this, it will also run Windows 7. There's a key combination you need to hit to enter BIOS (yes, VPC7 has BIOS) to enable the feature Win7 needs to run, but once you do that it will install.

    However, I did it merely to do it. It took like ten minutes or more just to get to the desktop after booting. There just no way you could actually use it.
     
  7. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #7
    Interesting...I've always kept the RAM at the max(512mb) since i had it to spare on the G5. I'll have to try it out.
    Thanks for the tip on that.

    And, just as a little nit-picky detail, I'd classify VPC as an emulator and not as a virtual machine. The reason is that it has to emulate an x86 processor to run on a PowerPC.
     
  8. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #8
    It was a minute shy of 7am and I had yet to have my coffee when I posted that. :D

    We (my boss) bought the full on retail version of Office 2004 for Mac which included VPC7. So I spent quite some time looking around to optimize this. I'll see if I can dig up the page I found that mentioned it, but yeah it's a strange thing. You'd think maxing everything would be the way to go.
     
  9. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #9
    Windows 2000 runs much better than XP even with the eye candy turned off in VPC 7. On a G4, VPC 5 offers much better performance.
     
  10. eyoungren, Jul 8, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2015

    eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #10
    Nope, can't find the page. Unsurprising since it's been years since I've actually looked for this.

    In any case, I will state that I usually use around 384MB ram for my emulation. 512mb is the max, but somewhere around 70-75% (0-512MB range) is the sweet spot here.
     
  11. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #11
    I understood that too - same with VRAM, screen resolution and colour depth - it's pays to play around with various settings until you get best results. Also, I deactivate all features I don't need.
     
  12. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #12
    That's all really interesting to me that decreasing the RAM allocation would increase the performance.

    As I said, I've been running it maxed out at 512mb, and have often complained that I wish it would allow me to allocate more. I'm running it on a late '05 G5 with 10gb of RAM, so have RAM to spare. It was glacial with XP. I actually bought and installed to run a single program(SigmaPlot) but ended up just working around and doing everything I could in Excel and then using a lab(Windows) computer for what I couldn't.

    I'll definitely try again, though, with less RAM. That hard drive is now in my Quad, so I'll see if it offers any better performance also.
     
  13. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #13
    I don't if there was an older version, but the one of their website has a requirement of 1GHz CPU and 1Gb RAM under XP - that's way beyond the usability grasp of VPC.
    Running a remote desktop to a headless PC is a solution for those kind of tasks.
     
  14. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #14
    Yeah, it's a really weird thing. It's so non-intuitive but it works better.
     
  15. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #15
    I'm guessing that whilst Windows believes it's installed on a real PC, the more resources it has the better it performs, yet the Mac then has to chew more cycles emulating those resources. Then there's the PC's virtual memory and paging to emulate too - to be 100% authentic the Mac would have to recreate the swapping too. If the code was written to bypass that part and use the Mac resources directly VPC would be faster.
    Obviously that's just me thinking aloud - I'm not a coder so that could be absolute garbage :)
     
  16. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #16
    I was using an older version(lab copy from my boss) that I think the VPC emulator more than satisfied-at least on paper.

    I've since uninstalled it since he only had a limited number of licenses and I never was able to really make any practical use of it(plus, since graduating, he's no longer my boss).
     
  17. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #17
    On my G5, Geekbench under XP on VPC7 sees a 530Mhz P6 CPU and scores 313. In practice I'd estimate the performance to be somewhere around a 133Mhz Pentium.
     
  18. mzs.112000 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2015
    #18
    IDK if anyone has seen this before(http://www.macwindows.com/VPC7.html) but it claims that Virtual PC 7 is faster when used with a RAM disk, here is an excerpt from the link:\
    [EXCERPT]
    Reader Reports
    TIP: Using Virtual PC 7 with RAM disk

    October 13, 2004

    A reader named Ed describes how he got performance gains in Virtual PC installing it on a RAM disk, a virtual drive volume located in RAM, rather than on the hard drive. He used a utility called RAM Disk Creator (US $15) to create the RAM disk in Mac OS X.

    I have gained Virtual PC performance by using the RAM Disk Creator utility. It seems to work only with Virtual PC 7. Create a RAM disk just big enough to contain the Virtual PC application, then copy VPC to the RAM disk. When you launch Virtual PC from the RAM disk (instead of the hard disk), there's noticeable performance gain.
    All of your changes are saved on the Virtual PC disk image located on your hard disk, so your date is safe. If the Virtual PC application gets accidentally deleted from of RAM disk, just copy it back to the RAM disk.

    You can REALLY get a huge performance gain if your Virtual PC disk image is small enough to also copy to the RAM disk. If you are running Windows 95 or NT, then the Virtual PC disk size is around 200 MB. This is real performance boost. Just remember to copy back the PC disk to your hard drive before ejecting the RAM disk. Otherwise, your data will be deleted

    A third strategy is to copy the Virtual PC app and Virtual PC disk image (if small enough) to the RAM, as just describe. This time, create another PC drive image located on your hard drive for the specific purpose of saving your data. This way you don't have to copy back the main Virtual PC disk image to your hard drive.

    October 18, 2004
    Loren Olson reports good performance with VPC 7, but found no speed improvement using a RAM disk:

    I found no real advantage to using Virtual PC 7 with Ramdisk Creator. However, running Virtual PC 7 under OS X 10.3.5 on a Dual 867 with a Radeon 9000 video card I found the speed improvements are very real. Instead of getting a CPU that rates at about 557 MHz I now get one that rates at almost 700. I am disappointed that Virtual PC still apparently lacks USB 2 and FireWire but, I guess that was too much to expect. Though it will support USB 1 devices.
    [END EXCERPT]
     
  19. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #19
    Thanks for that link - I'd read that page before but couldn't find it again.
    Seems there's a lot of variable results on performance - someone even claims they get the equivalent of a 1.5Ghz P4!
    Think best advice is try it and see.

    RAM disk should speed up any app if you can tolerate the hassle of copying back and forth. They were used a lot on the Amiga but I think you could automate the process so an app was copied to RAM disk on start up.
     
  20. mzs.112000 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2015
    #20
    AFAIK it can be done in AppleScript, you could script it to copy a program into ramdisk on startup, then to avoid losing data, have it copy back to disk every 30 minutes to 1 hour(replacing the version thats already on the disk).
    But unless you have a G5 with 16GB of RAM then you will soon run out of RAM have lots of programs.
     
  21. G4PPC macrumors newbie

    G4PPC

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2015
    Location:
    Online
    #21
    I don't know about the on a Mac, but I've used VPC on windows for years, and I recently came up with a strategy for running windows 98se that will run on 16mb to 24mb of recommended Ram and can run on 8mb of ram instead of 2k or XP that are slow as heck.

    The biggest problem is having a web Browser you can run either IE6 SP1 that doesn't work, or you can get up to Firefox 2.0.0.20 that isn't much better, I've found though that if you get Netscape Navigator 9 it works about like IE6 used to work and isn't perfect but it's a small size and works okay with Google as your homepage it'll load yahoo but it looks to weird to use IE6 on the other hand want do either. Then none the old browsers are secure or up to date but the same problems exist even for XP except that it still supports the latest Firefox but win2k can only have up to Firefox 12.

    to find the older browsers that still work under 98se you just have to search for oldapps.com they have them.
     
  22. mzs.112000 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2015
    #22
    There is a Windows program called KernelEx, it is a compatibility layer that allows one to run Windows 2000/XP only programs on a Windows 98/ME system, so it should allow VPC with Windows 98 to get newer applications, while(hopefully) being faster that Windows XP/2000 on VPC.
     
  23. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #23
    Just to chime in here, the freebie emulator is Q. I don't think it's being supported anymore, but it is free and it runs on PowerPC.

    My problem with Q is that every system I tried to emulate with it resulted in the app crashing. But some people have had much better and consistent experiences with Q than I have.
     
  24. mzs.112000, Jul 10, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015

    mzs.112000 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2015
    #24
    I found an online x86 emulator web application(http://copy.sh/v86/), it is a web app that allows one to run either pre-made x86 VM's or upload an x86 ISO and run it. It works even on my Android phone so, it should also work on PowerPC as it does not need an x86 CPU, all you need is a decent/modern web browser(HTML5/Javascript).
    However, any really complex stuff is unstable, because it emulates a Pentium I level instruction set and it does not implement MMX/SSE, and lots of FPU stuff is not implemented.
     
  25. happyfrappy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Location:
    Location eh?
    #25
    Depending upon someones' needs if your software isn't heavy on MMX/SSE/FPU, even pre-OS X VirtualPC will be fast at the "rated" Pentium 90-166Mhz range on a 603e/604e/G3 era Macs. On a random note for Panther/Tiger PowerBook owners, SoftWindows 5 & RealPC work under Classic which shocked me as VirtualPC can't.

    VirtualPC 5 was the first OS X version which took nearly 6 months to release from beta yet performance was still rough, v4 had a beta test OS X version only given out if you bought v4 at MacWorld NY. Processor wise it was supposed to emulate a low-end Pentium II 266(non-FPU tasks you could clock into Celeron 300-350Mhz territory) yet typically it sat closer at Pentium 166-233MMX with Win9x games, Connectix never reached sustained Pentium II performance until 6.0 which was a near total rewrite and then Microsoft bought them to boost their transition of Vista to 7 & looming XP EOL(VPC on Windows turned into XP Mode & Win8 Image/USB portable boot). VPC 6/7 you can typically clock between 400-800Mhz but it varies if you don't give enough memory for VRAM with a larger monitor or using a 2nd monitor for full screen VPC usage. XP/Vista you really need to bump the VRAM up vs Win2000.

    VirtualPC 6.1 & 7 in my opinion were the best versions as performance finally hit Pentium II 300+ Mhz ranges, less overhead allowed more RAM, Microsoft had poured more money into fixing graphical issues under XP/Vista--pre-6.1 patch if you ran Win2k/XP full screen or windowed on a 2nd monitor it wouldn't match the refresh rate of the host OS/2nd monitor so you'd get clipping/tearing. While Windows Vista was the most 6.1/7 supports, you *can* install Windows 7 SP1 but you'll need to use the VirtualBox 4.0 additions ISO for updated drivers in safe mode(VPC additions were based on Innotek/Sun/Oracle VirtualBox). On a related note, you *could* install Windows 7 on VirtualBox(disable VT-x) in a VirtualPC container file(its an option) and then move it over to a PPC Mac but make sure networking is removed/disabled as VB will tie the MAC address to the Windows activation. Once on the PPC, enable networking and then "reset" the MAC address so it matches your G4/G5 Mac.

    While OS2/Warp isn't supported on VPC 6/7, install it via VirtualBox or VirtualPC 2007 and move it over to a Mac.

    ...been a VPC user since 2.1(w/Windows 95), as far as I know Linux support was ditched after VPC6 but Puppylinux is the last usable distro.
     

Share This Page