Parallels preps major update to Windows virtualization software

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Comments

  • Reply 61 of 98
    H.264 CPU encoding is really a bit too processor-intensive, isn't it....? But if you have a decent machine and your target platform is iPod video then that's cool. But otherwise DVDripping to XVID is IMO the best way to go. ....Will check out iSquint, thanks for tip.
  • Reply 62 of 98
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,081member
    Null.
  • Reply 63 of 98
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,508member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM


    I'd be happy to go dual head and give each OS its own monitor.



    That would be great, if it would work.
  • Reply 64 of 98
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,508member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kupan787


    Here is my question. Lets say I launch up Doom 3. It can do all of the drawing it wants to with the graphics card (in either windowed or full screen mode). OS X can still do its drawings. So 2 different programs can control the graphics card, at the same time, and both work at full speed.



    I'm assuming that you are talking about Doom running from within Windows, within the virtualized environment.



    In that case, only OS X controls the graphics. Everything else uses commands that have to be translated into Apple's own graphics landscape. That's what slows it down. Also remember that Apple doesn't have Direct X, So those commands also have to be translated to something that might not completely correspond.



    Quote:

    Could some sort of "quasi-driver" be written that just passed all of the graphics calls from Windows through a OpenGL OS X Driver? That way any drawing done in Parallels is using the OS X graphics system, but doing so at full speed. Does that make sense? No "graphics card virtualization" required. I am sure it wouldn't be 100% native speeds (as there would probably be a bit of overhead from passing through this way), but I bet it could work (assuming a method like this is possible) at about 75-80% of native speeds (plenty for gaming on a modern system).



    I really don't know. someone who does that kind of programming would have to answer that. Perhaps that's what they do now.



    The new beta claims a 50% increase in graphics performance, so they must have found something out.
  • Reply 65 of 98
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross


    I'm assuming that you are talking about Doom running from within Windows, within the virtualized environment.



    In that case, only OS X controls the graphics. Everything else uses commands that have to be translated into Apple's own graphics landscape. That's what slows it down. Also remember that Apple doesn't have Direct X, So those commands also have to be translated to something that might not completely correspond.[/b]



    No. What I was saying that I can play a game on OS X (native) and run the graphics layer of OS X at the same time. So it is possible for two programs to be using the GPU at the same time. And if Parallels is a program (forget what's inside of it for a moment), then couldn't it use the GPU just like Doom could (ie, use the full capabilities of the graphics card)? So what I am wondering is if a driver could be written that would translate the video calls from within Windows to OpenGL calls in OS X. Actually, I think I recall Programmer (a member of the boards here) was talking about a similar solution for VirtualPC. Some kind of a quasi driver that would pass the calls to the OS X side, or something like that.



    Now, on the other hand, how hard would it be for Parallels, when switching to full screen mode, to just take control of the graphics card completely. Hey, if we are full screen in Parallels, why does OS X need the graphics card? This might be an easier solution than the above. But then again, this might not be possible without having to unload WindowServer or something, which would probably be hard to get back from on Parallels exit...
  • Reply 66 of 98
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,508member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kupan787


    No. What I was saying that I can play a game on OS X (native) and run the graphics layer of OS X at the same time. So it is possible for two programs to be using the GPU at the same time. And if Parallels is a program (forget what's inside of it for a moment), then couldn't it use the GPU just like Doom could (ie, use the full capabilities of the graphics card)? So what I am wondering is if a driver could be written that would translate the video calls from within Windows to OpenGL calls in OS X. Actually, I think I recall Programmer (a member of the boards here) was talking about a similar solution for VirtualPC. Some kind of a quasi driver that would pass the calls to the OS X side, or something like that.



    Now, on the other hand, how hard would it be for Parallels, when switching to full screen mode, to just take control of the graphics card completely. Hey, if we are full screen in Parallels, why does OS X need the graphics card? This might be an easier solution than the above. But then again, this might not be possible without having to unload WindowServer or something, which would probably be hard to get back from on Parallels exit...



    The games don't run the graphics board. they output to Apples' graphics software. That outputs to the board.



    We would need someone who works on that software to say for certain. We are just going to be guessing. But, I don't think the OS will just gives up control that easily. All modern OS's keep the programs as far away from the hardware as possible.
  • Reply 67 of 98
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross


    The games don't run the graphics board. they output to Apples' graphics software. That outputs to the board.



    We would need someone who works on that software to say for certain. We are just going to be guessing. But, I don't think the OS will just gives up control that easily. All modern OS's keep the programs as far away from the hardware as possible.



    Ya, getting the graphics card away from the OS might be impossible. Everything is abstracted now-a-days, so that direct hardware access is pretty hard without some kind of ugly hacks (if not impossible). I just took an Operating Systems class last semester, and we talked about this some what.



    I wish I could find that post by Programmer from a year or so ago. What he said made a lot of sense, and he said it was very feasible to do. All I can remember was his suggestion involved a quasi-driver in Windows that pumped graphics calls to OS X...or something like that (I am probably not doing any justice to his post).
  • Reply 68 of 98
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bregalad


    That just isn't going to happen any time soon. The world of PC gaming is dominated by people who build their own PC and live to squeeze small but measurable performance increases out of their systems.



    Apple has only one box you can configure for gaming and it's way too expensive as a base box. Gamers and other PC enthusiasts want to be able to customize everything whereas Apple doesn't let you fiddle with anything. It makes for a great out-of-box experience, but it's never going to satisfy the hard core, trend setting PC users who experiment with voltages and bus speeds to drive every component just below the point of failure. They demand choice in every component and Apple just doesn't offer much of anything.



    Here's a quick comparison:



    Apple: logic board offers zero configuration, no optimization

    PC: 20 different brands, fine tune to your heart's content, overclock anything



    Apple: Xeon processors (designed and priced for servers)

    PC: Core2 Duo Conroe and Athlon64 X2 (designed and priced for home PCs)



    Apple: dual channel, high latency FB-DIMMs

    PC: dual channel PC2-6400 - faster and cheaper than Mac Pro



    Apple: AMD x1900 video card with lower specs than PC version

    PC: Full catalog of AMD and nVidia cards including bleeding edge performance and SLI



    If Apple put out a mid-range box utilizing the most optimized price/performance ratios for CPU and RAM, offer SLI support and work with AMD and nVidia to get support for a wider range of video cards, maybe then the gamers would realize that the hours spent building and modding their boxes with neon tubes and color changing LEDs, and the further hours wasted squeezing out a 4% performance improvement could be spent actually playing their games.





    That is not always true. I have been what you might call hardcore PCer/gamer(been building them for ever, I disliked macs in the past). I always liked building my own PCs, picking custom parts etc... but this year I switched to the Pro tower/23inch cinema HD. Why, it is the nicest looking system I have laid my eyes on. real nice and clean interior, high geek factor "You can finally get your free lunch of Unix and day to day applications" and it has "Intel inside" which means If I want for the occasional gaming sessions I can switch to the metal, and for everything else I stay with OS X and use parallels for virtualization which covers everything else.



    One thing I did not like is the Apple keyboard. But I bought a PS/2-USB adapter and slapped on my IBM M keyboard on the Mac.



    My wife is happy cause she has a fast windows desktop as well (She is not ready to switch yet) so to her the Mac is a fast PC. For me, she has her own virtual PC seperate from mines and easy to back up. All I got to do is hit ALT-ENTER when she is done using it and I can get back to messing with the OS X side.



    A final thing, Working with Audio applications is such a breese compared to futsing around on my PC with ASIO driver issues, etc.. lockups.
  • Reply 69 of 98
    sunilramansunilraman Posts: 8,133member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slewis


    IE7 and WMP11 are 2 of the worst apps Microsoft has come out with in the past 3 months. Windows Defender was the worst for proving useless at all times... IE7 is essentially IE6 with Firefox features and a screwed interface. Windows Media Player 11 is a pretty skin for Windows Media Player 10 and an URGE to suck. They both suck, although WMP11 had promise, Beta 1 was more stable then the final release...



    Heh. I just like the look. Someone made a nice skin for VLC, and I use that in Windows. Gawds forbid I would ever *actually* use IE7 or WMP11 on a daily basis. It's Firefox2.0 and VLC for me. And Winamp, with iTunes-like skin, and iTunes7 and QT7Pro. I don't know why people mess around with rubbish like Windows Defender, and even Symantec and TrendMicro can be a huge pain in the a55. AVAST is all one needs to play safe.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slewis


    You're either Drunk or Windows is begining to destroy you from the inside out..



    I'm not drunk, so it's the latter. It's been 2 years since I had my own Mac. Windows has its claws around my heart now ...Also being so pro-Mac was pushing me into an ever-more-niche job opportunities scenario, here in South East Asia and Australia Pacific parts of the world.



    But I'd sell my soul for HL2 and HL2:Episode 1, and UT2004 online multiplayer, and F.E.A.R (somewhat) and NFS:Most Wanted(somewhat) and LOTR:BattleforMiddleEarth2(yes), and StarWars:KnightsOldRepublic2 (first RPG I finished, ever.)......... It's good though that one can play PC games on a Mac, though only an iMac, MacPro, or MacBookPro, with no configuration tinkering-y stuff like with one's own tower.
  • Reply 70 of 98
    sunilramansunilraman Posts: 8,133member
    Nintendo's Wii is released in Australia Dec 7. Maybe that will free us from the slavery of PC gaming and GPU obsession.
  • Reply 71 of 98
    "Try it and enjoy best of both worlds truly at the same time," Parallels told testers in a set of release notes accompanying the beta build. "No more switching between Windows to Mac OS. "



    In that world, Apple will win. Hands down. Better hardware, software integration and the ability to 'do those other things' that you need windows for. Apple is giving the "boot camp" partition for 3rd party pickings. It's plausible denability for Microsoft "no Bill, we didn't mean to wreck your OEM business model/strangle hold on "PCs" ". Which, will allow Apple to sell more hardware, gain market share and transition people over to OS X et al. (see AI's next story "Apple reiterates: no interest in virtualization for Leopard" for the plausible denial....)



    They killed two birds and didn't even have to throw the stone!
  • Reply 72 of 98
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,081member
    Null.
  • Reply 73 of 98
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vocaro


    Yes. If the license prevents running Vista in a virtual machine, and you're running Vista under Parallels, then you're running it in a virtual machine and thus violating the license. It doesn't matter whether Vista was installed on a separate partition or as an image on the Mac partition. It's still running virtually.



    All the more reason to stay away from Vista.



    There is significant doubt as to whether or not that license restriction is legally valid. There are limits as to what can go in a license and there are more than a few industry legal types that don't see how that can actually be enforceable.
  • Reply 74 of 98
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross


    The games don't run the graphics board. they output to Apples' graphics software. That outputs to the board.



    Not always true. GPU's consume OpenGL code directly, you don't have to go through the OS's interface to do this. Apple's new OGL twist is actually a step in the right direction though, making it more valuable to let the OS handle the OGL calls rather than just leaving them all as driver trap calls.



    Quote:

    We would need someone who works on that software to say for certain. We are just going to be guessing. But, I don't think the OS will just gives up control that easily. All modern OS's keep the programs as far away from the hardware as possible.



    Yes, it is a difficult problem and was categorically impossible several years ago. I am waiting to see what Parallels does with the modern GPU hardware, there may be new firmware wrinkles that allow some level of hardware virtualization which did not exist before.
  • Reply 75 of 98
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,271moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM


    For instance, I have not found an OS X DVD decrypter/ripper that rips directly to an ISO file, much less one that shrinks a dual layer disc to fit on a single layer disc. I have a Windows app that does just that.



    YadeX can rip DVDs to a disc image and MactheRipper rips to video_ts, which can be converted to an image using DVDimager or possibly ffmpegx. ffmpegx also has a DVD requantizer to convert a dual layer to a single layer. I prefer DVD2one though because it compresses while maintaining all the menus and chapters.



    I rip with MactheRipper to video_ts and compress using DVD2one.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM


    I can chose from a wider range of engineering software. My microcontroller devel environment, and third party compiler, are Windows-only. I just bought an engraving laser, none of the ones that I found were OS X compatible to the slightest degree. I am generally moving more tasks to OS X, but it is slow and I really don't see a complete changeover. I really don't think Linux is very suitable for a non-techie.



    I don't know about dedicated hardware solutions but I would imagine most are Windows-only. One I know of from rendering is Nvidia Gelato. Most annoyingly, they say that if they see enough demand for OS X, they will port it and yet they already have a Linux port. Houdini is also only available on Windows.



    This is not Apple's fault but that of short-sighted developers who don't seem to realise that if the software is available then users will switch and instead just say they won't port the software because of a lack of users. It's a catch-22. Further dependence on Windows only makes the problem worse because developers still won't care enough to make a change.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slewis


    PC gaming may not be dead yet but it really does need to get it over with and R.I.P.



    To an extent I agree but what would be really nice is if Apple made a console component a BTO option. The PS2 is so small, I bet they could fit the components required into an iMac. Then there could be a gaming section to Front Row and this would allow PS2 gamers the ability to play console games with the keyboard and mouse.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sunilraman


    It's good though that one can play PC games on a Mac, though only an iMac, MacPro, or MacBookPro



    I'm playing HL2 on my Mac Mini via Crossover. Episode 1 has some graphics glitches but HL2 was fine. It has to be on lower settings but the game is still very enjoyable.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kupan787


    Now, on the other hand, how hard would it be for Parallels, when switching to full screen mode, to just take control of the graphics card completely.



    I'd say pretty hard. The Parallels interface will be drawn using Mac APIs. If the Mac video driver gets offloaded, so does the Parallels window, whether it's full-screen or not. It would then have to load the DirectX driver from Windows and start drawing itself using that and reverse the process to switch back. The biggest problem I'd see is instability. If Parallels crashes, what is left to turn your Mac display driver back on? Perhap they could have a separate daemon running to do this but it's still pretty complicated.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross


    The new beta claims a 50% increase in graphics performance, so they must have found something out.



    They don't mean hardware accelerated graphics though, they've just optimized what was there already. Virtual PC had similar claims.



    Concerning Parallels vs VMWare, I want Parallels to come out on top. I don't like that VMWare is taking so long to come to market. Parallels was there from the beginning.
  • Reply 76 of 98
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin


    YadeX can rip DVDs to a disc image and MactheRipper rips to video_ts, which can be converted to an image using DVDimager or possibly ffmpegx. ffmpegx also has a DVD requantizer to convert a dual layer to a single layer. I prefer DVD2one though because it compresses while maintaining all the menus and chapters.



    I rip with MactheRipper to video_ts and compress using DVD2one.



    I'm not really seeing good alternatives there. DVDshrink decrypted, saved directly to an ISO, maintains the menus, titles and chapters and offers re-compression all in one stage and one program that was free. The only down side is that it was C&D'd out of existence, so I'm using a copy that I downloaded before then, and I have a backup of the original program installer. While one can always cobble together alternatives to work on an alternative operating system, but it's not necessarily as nice.



    I wouldn't call a developer sticking to one platform short sighted, its simply pragmatic from a business perspective, with the same investment, one can make one good program or one acceptable program with a mediocre port to another operating system. I think it's better for some other developer to make similar software for another platform.
  • Reply 77 of 98
    merlemerle Posts: 10member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pepp5


    That means the user is running unsafe software such as IE, Outlook, Windows Messenger or some other malware carrier...



    What if your iPod for Windows installs the malware (it happens!)?
  • Reply 78 of 98
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross


    I'm assuming that you are talking about Doom running from within Windows, within the virtualized environment.



    In that case, only OS X controls the graphics. Everything else uses commands that have to be translated into Apple's own graphics landscape. That's what slows it down. Also remember that Apple doesn't have Direct X, So those commands also have to be translated to something that might not completely correspond.







    I really don't know. someone who does that kind of programming would have to answer that. Perhaps that's what they do now.



    The new beta claims a 50% increase in graphics performance, so they must have found something out.





    Well, normally emulators/virtual machines act as the display device by providing a memory buffer and compositing it together and sending it to the host OS as a bitmap to display. Obviously, if you composite the graphics (vectors, alpha layers, bitmaps, fonts, etc) in hardware its faster.



    So what the general method (simplified for discussion) is:

    Windows has a set of functions all display drivers must have. They are usually very similar to a large chunk of your GDI APIs, as the function calls translate into accelerated graphics functions. The method used generally takes those calls, and isntead of compositing it together into a bitmap for the host OS, sends the host OS its equivilent function. Then the host OS can send it to the real GPU for acceleration.



    Quite simplely put, its a function call translation layer.

    Its faster because it bypasses software based compositing; but its not as fast as having a dedicated GPU directly attached, and never will be. Until GPUs support this (and they won't, not enough people use it to make it worth their while), you will never have 100% speed in graphics, but this is close enough for most people.
  • Reply 79 of 98
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dguisinger


    So what the general method (simplified for discussion) is:

    Windows has a set of functions all display drivers must have. They are usually very similar to a large chunk of your GDI APIs, as the function calls translate into accelerated graphics functions. The method used generally takes those calls, and isntead of compositing it together into a bitmap for the host OS, sends the host OS its equivilent function. Then the host OS can send it to the real GPU for acceleration.



    Quite simplely put, its a function call translation layer.

    Its faster because it bypasses software based compositing; but its not as fast as having a dedicated GPU directly attached, and never will be. Until GPUs support this (and they won't, not enough people use it to make it worth their while), you will never have 100% speed in graphics, but this is close enough for most people.



    So are you saying that Parallels does something like the first paragraph, and if they did the second paragraph, things would be faster (sort of like what I was getting at)? Not 100% but maybe 75-80% native speed?
  • Reply 80 of 98
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Steiner


    I stopped using PCs 11 years ago, and never looked back since.



    Nowerdays I don't need them for work or play. Basically never had need but now that I got a new MBP and the prospects of running Parallels makes it appealing just for the fun of it and to see what we can do with it.



    How affected does windows get by viruses through Parallels? Is it as bad as on normal PS systems?



    YES.

    I can't help feeling a bit concerned when Mac users who have never had to deal with viruses install Windows under Parallels or Boot Camp and continue to be as lax in their Windows environment...
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