VPC7 versus1999 PC

in Mac Software edited January 2014

I?ve heard that running MS Virtual PC (version 7) on a Mac is roughly equivalent to emulating a 500MHz PC from 1999 and that if you want to emulate an up-to-date PC capable of everything a modern PC will do, you either need a modern PC or you need to wait 5 years for VPC to catch up. I understand this. The thing is, my PC IS a 500MHz PC from 1999 (with 320MB RAM and 8MB graphics) and it runs everything I want it to just fine, including dual booting Win 98se and XPpro.

But I can?t take it with me as it?s chained to the wall. Besides I am looking for a change of scenery and have pretty much made up my mind to buy a 12? iBook when it gets its graphic card update and Tiger.

So, my question to you is, if I upgrade the iBook?s RAM to 512 or 768MB, will I see very little difference in performance between VPC and my actual PC???

Initially, I intended to buy iWork (just for Pages) to go with the new Mac and I was going to do without the other things my PC does. But then I started hearing more and more about this Virtual PC and it wasn?t all negative. It is even beginning to sound quite appealing. At first I was put off by its cost (£95), but I have a (multiple user) copy of both XP and Office which would mean I wouldn?t need iWork, so that would save me 50 quid.

The primary uses for VPC would be:-

...To run Office

...To use my Canon printer/copier (Smartbase MP370), which doesn?t have Mac drivers or software. Internet searches have proved fruitless and the VPC bumf seems to think this is doable!

...To run my EPOC SDK and install files to my Psion Series 5.

I also have a few games ? nothing fancy, all ancient! They tend to require either 1, 2, 4 or 8MB graphics cards. Many of these do not require Direct 3D. I read that VPC (software) emulates a 4MB card but doesn?t work with games that require Direct 3D. So do you suppose I might be able to get a few of them to work (purely as a bonus)? Think Caesar 3, Pharaoh, Tomb Raider 2 sort of thing. I fully accept NFS:Porsche and Colin McRae Rally 2 would be out of the question (even though they manage on my 6 year old 8MB card!)

Why don?t I just buy a PC laptop I hear you say? I was considering it ? the Sony Vaio FS series. But did you know that the integrated Intel graphics on that steals all 128MB from the RAM? What a cheat! Nice screen though. Everything else in the PC laptop line up (in my price range) just looks clunky.

Really though, I?ve seen far too many blue screens (98se) and Send/Don?t send error report messages (XP) to want to keep seeing them. Besides, I very much like the vastly superior user interface of Mac OSX. I like that it?s much more intuitive to use and I like the integrated nature of the software, particularly iLife. I even like the single click mouse! But there are a few things that I do need a PC for and this piece of software may just be the solution. Positive and negative response (not just welcome, but) desired. And if any of my assumptions are wide of the mark, do tell. Thanks.


  • Reply 1 of 6
    vox barbaravox barbara Posts: 2,021member

    Originally posted by Bastion

    ...I even like the single click mouse! ...

    Bastion, this is quite a statement, isn't it?

    Well go for the mac, you won't regret it.

    Regarding your questions: the only software

    you really seem to need is "Office". Pages

    does a good job when it comes to compatibility

    with Word documents, even drag and drop between

    Pages and Word documents does work like a charm.

  • Reply 2 of 6
    pubguypubguy Posts: 108member
    Well, for one thing, Office on the Mac is cross platform compatible with the PC versions -- no file translation necessary. Office 2004 for Mac even has a compatibility checker to highlight anything that may give you problems. Office for the Mac includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and MSN Messenger.

    I've got a first generation Titanium Powerbook (G4-400 MHz with 384 MB memory). I run OS X 10.3.8, VPC 7.01 and Windows 2000 Pro. The poor old G4-400 is starting to show its age, but I can still run VPC with Windows 2000 Pro and use my flight planning software, do development in Microsoft Access at client sites (even tieing into their networks seemlessly), and use it for cross-platform testing.

    Using a new iBook with lots of memory and Tiger, your machine should fly past mine!

    Also, with VPC 7 you can allocate up to 16 MB to your emulated video. When running games and such, to get the best video performance, simply run VPC in full screen mode (CMD-Enter). BTW: I have never had a blue screen of death on my VPC Windows 2000 Pro image -- its much more stable than a "real" PC.
  • Reply 3 of 6
    Thanks very much for your replies. I think I'm quite happy in the knowledge that Office will work alright in virtual PC. I do like the look of Pages, but I have Office 2000 software and I know my way around that, so will probably stick with it.

    I'm not too worried about the printer because my six year old Hewlett "Turning a five minute job into a whole afternoon" Packard printer will work with Mac but my six month old Canon will not - go figure!

    Now, if Apple would just announce a graphics bump on the iBook, I'll be in!

  • Reply 4 of 6
    trans9btrans9b Posts: 97member
    just get office for the mac. its much more usable. i started working on macs six years ago and haven't looked back. no problems yet.
  • Reply 5 of 6

    Originally posted by Trans9B

    just get office for the mac. its much more usable. i started working on macs six years ago and haven't looked back. no problems yet.

    I second that. Especially if you have to use office a lot. I would cost more, but it will be more convenient to just open up an office app directly rather than going through vpc.
  • Reply 6 of 6
    bastionbastion Posts: 16member
    I'm looking at VPC for more than just Office. 40% of it's use will probably be with EPOC emulator for my Psion which WILL NOT WORK on the Mac! My Psion will not last forever and the emulator will have to take over from that when it goes. Also, I already have Office. I was not brought up to waste for waste's sake and I do not have more money than sense. Mac Office costs £340 which in case it has escaped your attention is half of what the 12" iBook costs in the first place (£699).

    And if I can get my Office to work at roughly the level I have it working at the moment (on a 500MHz PC) I will be more than satisfied.

    Oh, and if you'd like to point me in the direction of where money grows on trees, I'd be very much obliged.

    Believe me when I say, the £95 that VPC itself costs is hard enough to find! And if no one thought VPC was any good, I would just get iWork for £43. But then I'd be stuck without my EPOC emulator so would probably just grin and bear a PC laptop instead.

    Thanks anyway.
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