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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Virtual PC on iBook G4?

Virtual PC on iBook G4?
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DennyA
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Nov 1, 2003, 12:13 PM
 
Okay, there's one app that I use occasionally on trips that's not available for the iBook: Microsoft Streets and Trips. That got me thinking about Virtual PC. I have an extra XP Pro license, so I could get the "cheap" version. Might be handy for a couple of other things... (I sometimes play Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri on trips -- that's an old enough, turn-based game that it should run fine even on a slow emulator.)

Anyway, anyone tried VPC on an iBook G4 or a similar-performance Mac? Curious as to whether it would be usable for non-demanding apps like Streets & Trips on an 800MHz iBook G4.
     
discotronic
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Nov 1, 2003, 01:41 PM
 
Just make sure you get Virtual PC 6. Earlier versions are very slow under OSX. Don't get me wrong VPC 6 isn't fast by any means. If you use VPC with Win 98 you should be fine. I use it with my iMac 1.25GHz and iBook 700. 2000 and XP really slow the systems down. Also, make sure you have plenty of memory. 256MB isn't enough for any kind of speed. I have VPC's RAM to the max at 512MB. That is really the only way to get any kind of good performance.

As far as playing any games while running XP all I can say is good luck. On my iMac with the RAM to VPC to the max XP runs soooo sloooow. Use 98 and have plenty of memory and you should be ok. Also, VPC 5 + 6 are the only versions to run native under OSX.
     
ccsccs7
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Nov 1, 2003, 10:12 PM
 
Originally posted by discotronic:
...Also, VPC 5 + 6 are the only versions to run native under OSX.
Those versions under 5 and 6 will not run in classic, so you have to get one of those Mac OS X compatible (carbon) versions.
12" Powerbook 1.5GHz/SuperDrive, 1.25GB Ram, 80GB HD, Airport Extreme, Mac OS X 10.4.11 Tiger
iBook (Late 2001)600MHz/Combo, 640MB RAM, 20GB HD, Airport, Mac OS X 10.3.9 Panther — web server
     
velocipede
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Nov 6, 2003, 07:50 PM
 
I honestly don't have anything to add to this thread, but Im also curious as to how VPC performs on a G4 iBook and figured a bump is better than a new thread. Anyone use Virtual PC with Windows 2000 on one of the new iBooks, specifically an 800 12 incher? If so, how's performance for word processing, etc. I'd like to be able to use Visual Studio with VPC for light coding. Anyone tried this?
I wanna see movies of my dreams.
     
365
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Nov 6, 2003, 09:10 PM
 
I don't want to start a flame here but the only reason to recommend VPC is that there is no better (software) alternative. If you've always been a Mac user then you won't realise just how sllloooowww it is, I even bought it for the PC as well (for running Linux) and it was awful on that as well, VMWare walked all over it.

Best advice if you want to do any serious work is to buy (or look in a skip) an old secondhand PC, anything over a 100mhz 486 will beat VPC.

VPC does have one very useful use and that is to check cross platform browser compatibility for web developers and at that it excels.
     
velocipede
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Nov 6, 2003, 10:45 PM
 
Originally posted by 365:
I don't want to start a flame here but the only reason to recommend VPC is that there is no better (software) alternative. If you've always been a Mac user then you won't realise just how sllloooowww it is, I even bought it for the PC as well (for running Linux) and it was awful on that as well, VMWare walked all over it.

Best advice if you want to do any serious work is to buy (or look in a skip) an old secondhand PC, anything over a 100mhz 486 will beat VPC.

VPC does have one very useful use and that is to check cross platform browser compatibility for web developers and at that it excels.
Ummm, OK, thanks....
So far every response to this thread (mine included) haven't really answered the orginal question. Without going into whether VPC is crap or not, can anyone comment as to its performance compared to a G3 iBook? Hope I don't sound too harsh to the previous poster (not my intent at all), I'd just like to hear from someone who can compare performance on the two machines.
Thanks,
VPede
I wanna see movies of my dreams.
     
dave_carroll
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Nov 7, 2003, 01:11 AM
 
In my experience, it is slightly faster on an iBook G4. I had an iBook 600 previously. For mail or word processing it's okay. One thing I did learn though is you shouldn't leave the VPC file in the default location if you're running FileVault. FileVault kills VPC performance.
     
DennyA  (op)
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Nov 7, 2003, 01:37 AM
 
The 12" iBook G4 is my first Mac since a Mac Classic, so I can't compare the Virtual PC performance.

However, I can say it's usable for stuff that's not CPU-intensive. I installed it primarily to use Microsoft's superb Streets & Trips 2004 mapping software, which has no Mac counterpart.

Streets and Trips runs well, with occasional slowdowns in Windows redraws the main difference between running it on the G4 and on a real PC.

The Agent newsreader works well too. Internet Explorer is usable but pretty pokey.
     
Bit Density
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Nov 7, 2003, 03:29 PM
 
Originally posted by DennyA:
Anyway, anyone tried VPC on an iBook G4 or a similar-performance Mac? Curious as to whether it would be usable for non-demanding apps like Streets & Trips on an 800MHz iBook G4. [/B]
I have a new IBook G4 with VPC 6.1 with Win 2k installed.

I moved from a 333 Celeron Viao Laptop to the new IBook.

I have VPC running for one reason, Agent. Nobody has ever come close to making a better newsreader on any platform. (And I did spend a week or so playing with stuff on the mac, and blech...)

Performance is suprisingly good. I do not play any hardcore games with it, but it does pretty well with Zone Games, and a Bridge and Poker Site I like to play with. (Things I could have lived without if I could have found a reasonable Agent replacement).

I was a bit worried about the win2k install (as there are still MSBlaster machines out there), but since by default the VPC NAT's from your MAC, it is somewhat protected from that level of attack while you are updating service packs etc.

Things that are suprisingly slow. Net access is much slower through VPC. Web browsing and Mail is acceptable, but it slows news binary downloads.

Transfer of files from VPC to the Mac (Using shared folders). These are just way too slow, and I don't understand why. Not really a problem unless you are transferring a few 100 megs of stuff.

There are some slow redraw issues with some controls. (Things that you don't see on a real PC, but you do on VPC), It seems that there are clear to white pixels, before redraw, that don't happen on a real PC (This is probably a driver issue in the S3 Trio emulation).

And finally, do NOT, EVER... <Grin> Launch VPC while having Safari loaded. (The other way around seems ok). Safari seems to be a real memory and cpu hog. It does well enough with what is left over after VPC launches, but your machine will be molasses for 10 minutes or so while VPC launches after safari is launched.

Things to pay attention to...
It will pop a window asking you to install "additions" after your first windows upgrade pass (You need to make 3 passes to get all security updates: IE6, SP4, and then the security patches). I said no, because I didn't want any software installed prior to having a currently patched OS.

Well, finding "additions" is not intuitive, nor documented well. It is the little puzzle piece on the BOTTOM of the window, and you have to click and hold before you will find the additions button.

This will allow your mouse to act correctly (PC when over VPC and Mac otherwise), it will also install the Start Menu on the Dock. And when you launch apps in the PC the icons will appear on the Dock. This is pretty cool and my Agent Icon sits very nicely down there.

Your original window will be pretty small, it is because the VPC installs at 640x480 by default, you can change this by control clicking on the VPC desktop and changing the resolution of the screen.

This is not a "fast" PC, but just like there are a lot of 500MHZ g3 users out there, I was actually fine with my 333 (Broken PCMCIA slot is what finally did me in), for the performance of the apps that I used on that machine. The UI responsiveness has been just fine, the only real noticeable slowdown is net access. (And that I suspect is *fixable*)

BTW this is all on a "stock" Ibookg4, with256 megs of ram, 96 megs dedicated to VPC (which was the default as loaded, and I won't change until I get more ram for the mac), and while WIRED to my home network. Unwired, net access is even slower...

Cheers
     
DennyA  (op)
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Nov 7, 2003, 04:18 PM
 
Bit,

I have the networking set to "Virtual Switch," and I was able to download a file at 300 megabits per second last night. So perhaps try that.

As someone who uses a 3.06GHz Pentium 4 desktop rig, I find the speed "better than nothing" due to the slow screen redraws. But hey, it is indeed better than nothing!
     
Big Mac
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Nov 8, 2003, 08:54 PM
 
Anyone who owns a desktop PC shouldn't waste any time with VPC. Remote Desktop Client is a far superior solution.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
cantcstr8
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Nov 9, 2003, 11:20 AM
 
I think most are still missing his point about how VPC runs on a G4 ibook versus a G3 ibook.

The streets and trips software is pretty good actually and I suspect that he uses it when travelling which is the whole reason for running VPC on the book. He could do all the other things locally but I think that's not the point.

To try to answer your question (I think anyway).

I have VPC 6 running on my 800mhz G4 book and also on my friends 700 Mhz G3 ibook and since I was curious as well (since I have a windows only app that I have to run) I tried it.

The difference in speed using the same Windows 98SE image file is not perceptible to me. Open and closing apps, running IE, outlook all are the within 1 second or less.

I do agree with one poster though which is to try to run 98 instead of XP or 2000. They will work but at least on my machine they were both so slow as to be unusable.

Hope that helps
     
elvis2000
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Nov 11, 2003, 11:16 AM
 
Originally posted by cantcstr8:
I do agree with one poster though which is to try to run 98 instead of XP or 2000. They will work but at least on my machine they were both so slow as to be unusable.

Hope that helps
What about Windows 95?
     
discotronic
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Nov 11, 2003, 06:46 PM
 
Originally posted by elvis2000:
What about Windows 95?
The problem with Win 95 is USB. Even though Microsoft says that some versions are USB compatible you will find that it isn't or is not very stable. You can also only use your modem at 28.8. I tried 95 but it kept crashing and 98 works just fine. Other than this if 95 will work for what you need it for go ahead and use it.
     
   
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