Running Windows On A Mac


Hi all,

I have Virtual PC installed on an old G3 iMac. It is very very slow, but I use it sometimes to check web page in Windows.

I now have a new G5 iMac, 1.8ghz 512 RAM.

Of course Microsoft requires me to buy a new copy of Virtual PC if I want to run it on my G5.

Wondering if it's worth it, or if I should just buy a cheap PC.

Is anybody running Virtual PC on a G5? Care to comment on speed? Could you surf the web in Virtual PC for hours comfortably?

If you want to use VPC on your new computer, you are eligible for upgrade pricing on VPC 7. You will be able to use your old virtual hard drive disk image. Of course, VPC takes up zero extra deskspace.

Only you know why you bought VPC in the first place. If you have discovered that you made a mistake or that your earlier requirements no longer exist, then don't bother to upgrade. If you actually need VPC, then pay the upgrade price. This is not rocket science.
I think you should get a cheap PC because at least if the website you're trying to see has flash on it, then you'll have enough power to view it properly. I just priced out parts from and its pretty damn cheap. If you have techie PC friends, maybe they can help build or have a local shop build a similar system...You can probably choose a cheaper tower case but this one has excellent cooling and a good power supply - one of the most important things in a reliable computer.

CPU: AMD Sempron 2400+ (I'd say its equal to a P4 1.8Ghz) $79

Mainboard: ASUS A7V8X-X (no frills board from Asus) $62

Memory: Kingston Valueram DDR400 $64

Tower case: Antec Plus 660AMG $119

Hard drive: Maxtor 80gig 7200RPM IDE $69

Optical drive: LG combo drive $42

Video card: Radeon 9250 128meg 128bit $55

Keyboard & Mouse: Logitech keyboard combo $19

So the total price of the hardware is $509. You can probably get cheaper stuff but in my opinion, this should be a very solid and usable machine and fairly zippy too, all for a low price. You can also add XP Home OEM version for $120 to make sure you're all legit :)
For checking a website in IE, VPC 7 on a G5 is certainly "good enough".
Many thanks guys. I suspect you're right and that I will wind up buying a cheap PC. I'm guessing I'll never really be happy with VirtualPC until I have a G10 or something.

Build a PC? Many thanks, but I don't want to run Windows _that_ bad. :) Though it could be an interesting project if I had the time.

I use VPC to check my web sites in Windows. You might be surprised how nice a site can look on a Mac, and how wrecked the same site might look in Windows. I always have to tweak a few things at least so I won't look foolish. Also some business apps just aren't available on a Mac.

I checked out the Dell site because I've heard they are good, but it seems quite the cluttered muddle. Hmm. If you were going to buy a new cheap PC, who would you get if from?

Thanks again.
Can't get any cheaper than these Wal Mart specials.

and just out of curiosity, why do you need to do this? I've been using Windows based machines since I started using computers (about 10 years ago), I just got my first Apple a little over 1 month ago and have totally abandoned Windows. I have no trouble with any websites I visit and have found software for the Mac to do everything I used to do with my Windows machine....for free or very low cost.

Just wondering. :)
Wow, no kidding, that is cheap. Less than I paid for VirtualPC maybe, I forget.

Those boxes have Linux installed on them, or no OS. Hmm, I might be able to install XP from the VirtualPC disks?

I'm guessing the best thing for me might be to get a new entry level PC from the most reliable PC maker. The equivalent of the new $500 box Apple offers without a monitor (I have old monitors hanging around).

I know this is really the wrong place to ask this, but if anybody has an opinion on who the best PC makers are, I'm gratefully listening.
ok. buying a pentium-2 pc is stupid. that WOULD be slower than vpc. a few tips, on windows in vpc, and MSIE.

vpc/windows (assuming you're running xp):
set the "performance" to "best performance" (from System control panel) to turn off ALL eye candy. disable screensaver, don't install antivirus (dont go on the net, use it only for internal testing) or office or any other crap. vpc can also let you test under MSIE6 (xp) and 5 (win98) without much trouble. boot up each "pc" once, and then save it's state once it's booted. then just go back to that state each time. avoid the whole windows boot process.

for msie:
half the problems i encountered on a project recently (nearly finished now..) was that MSIE renders VALID xhtml in quirks mode if you have the <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>.

I just query the user-agent, and display that if MSIE is not found : )
sorry. didnt read your last post fully.

if you do get a "real" pc (honestly though. nothing that is called a 'cheap pc' is a real computer, now is it? :p) i would tend to use HP or IBM. we use them at work (ugh. huge multi-campus educational novell/pc environment)
Thanks Pengu,

Good point, I know very little about XP, and that is likely at least part of the problem. I will try your suggestions, makes sense to me.

Hmm. I wonder if the Apple store has VPC installed on any G5? If I could actually see VPC running on a G5 that might convince me to just update VPC. I could perhaps update my VPC, and get more RAM, for the same cost of buying a new PC. I'd prefer that.

Hmm. I suppose I could code my site to recognize Windows users, and put up an alert declaring, "If this site looks crappy, it's because you are using a substandard computer!" :)
another plus to using vpc: if you want colours to look right, you need a half-decent monitor. you already have that with your g5, so why have the bother of a second one for a crappy pc?
having said all that. i should mention that when actually testing on msie (i usually code and test on my g5, using standard code and then do periodic tests under xp) i use my hp laptop from work with xp and firefox, msie, netscape 8 (uses the firefox and msie rendering engines) and opera (if it's installed at the time..)