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12/6/00 Wednesday's News: Story DetailReturn to News Page
Virtual PC 4.0 Test Results - Impressive Gains on G3s & G4s, but No More Voodoo Card Support
Last Updated: 12/6/2000, 1:20 PM
Initial tests with Norton's System Info benchmark comparing Virtual PC version 3 to version 4 are impressive. Norton's SI score more than tripled with VPC 4 on a PowerBook G3/500 compared to version 3. One reader however noted in the forums here that after the update to v4 his Voodoo2 cards were no longer supported. I've asked if he can run his previous VPC 3 version to see if they're still functional (the upgrade leaves the previous version on the hard drive. Installing Wintune on one version also showed it in the other - apparently a common Windows disk image is used for both.)

The details page has results of tests with VPC 3 vs VPC 4 using Norton's SI (system/cpu) Benchmark as well as a reader's B&W G3 w/550MHz G4 CPU upgrade Wintune scores comparing VPC 4 to VPC 3.

The results below are only from Benchmarks (Norton SI and WinTune), but they clearly show a dramatic gain in emulated CPU performance and memory bandwidth. The G4 memory bandwidth test results more than doubled with VPC 4. Video performance is still nowhere near even an old PC video card however, but otherwise the upgrade seems to have made major gains in efficiency. The biggest disappointment is a reported lack of 3dfx Voodoo card support present in previous versions. (I'm still waiting for confirmation on this.)

The table below shows tests with Norton's SI System/Disk Benchmarks on a PowerBook G3/500 (firewire) with IBM 32GB Travelstar drive (not optimized/defragmented, 55% full). 128MB allocated to VPC. Graphics mode was 800x600, 16bit, with VPC running full screen. Windows 98 SE (Second Edition) was used.

Norton's SI System Score is based on a 12MHz 386PC scoring 1.0.

VPC Version SI Score Cached Reads
Cached Writes
VPC v3.03 23.6 29.5 26.7 11.6
VPC v4.0 75.6 39.5 33.6 17.2
Gain: 3.20x 1.34x 1.26x 1.48x

I asked a reader (Jeffrey) who had a B&W G3 with 550MHz G4 CPU Upgrade (overclocked Newer Tech G4/500) to test using WinTune Benchmark.

Virtual PC 4, B&W G3 with G4 550MHz (overclocked) CPU Upgrade:
(Thanks to Jeffrey) I've added some scores from a Pentum II 400MHz. Since disk scores vary widely by drive used I've not included comparisons from a real PC. And the Video card scores from VPC 4 were lower than even an obsolete ATI RagePro Turbo AGP card based on scores from a PII 400. The emulated video card is an S3 Trio, which is very old technology in its native form. (In the table below, results in brackets [ ] are from VPC v3). Jeffery was puzzled (as am I) about the lower VPC 4 cached disk results.

CPU (1) ConnectixCPU 6@399 MHz
Video BoardS3 Trio32/64 PCI (732/764)
Video Mode1024x768@16bits/pixel
OSWindows 98 4.10.2222 A

Area TestedValue
CPU Integer818.8321 MIPS
[439.0192 MIPS]
(PII 400Mhz = 1149)
CPU Floating Point646.8853 MFLOPS
[301.628 MFLOPS]
(PII 400Mhz = 459)
Video(2D)28.04347 MPixels/s
[31.24837 MPixels/s]
Direct3D22.16397 MPixels/s
[not run in VPC3]
OpenGL9.949318 MPixels/s
[7.228441 MPixels/s]
Memory723.0573 MB/s
[293.0059 MB/s]
(PII 400Mhz = 677)
Cached Disk1.337318E-03 MB/s
[8.537527 MB/s ]
Uncached Disk1.105242 MB/s
[1.715949 MB/s]

I welcome other Virtual PC v4 user comments, performance tests comparisons, etc. - email me with your results and system details.

For those that missed yesterday's news, I created a page with the full contents of the VPC 4 Readme file which includes important compatibility and known issues info.

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