Blog Post


It seems that there is a new Windoze emulator out for Mac. iEmulator claims to be just as fast as Virtual PC, but are more realistic in their approach.

The G4 numbers are lower than what another commercial emulator is telling me; it says my emulated PC is running at over 1 GHz!

The numbers we quote (200-550MHz on a 1.5GHz PowerBook) are actual program execution speeds. The 1+ GHz numbers quoted by other emulators are just what the emulated “hardware” is telling Windows (it’s the number you see when you right-click on “My Computer” in Windows and select “Properties”; it means nothing as far as real-world performance). We’re confident that iEmulator is one of the fastest, most efficient PC Emulators for Mac OS X available.

This is a refreshing new approach to emulation. As opposed to claiming amazing new speed enhancements, they admit that an emulator is allways going to be slow, so the customer should just live with it. This approach also allows them to sell a seemingly high quality emulator for only 30 bucks. I havent had the chance to fiddle with it yet, but Ill post back if I hear any yays or nays on it.

13 Responses to “iEmulator”

  1. I-emulator is brilliant. The team help you install and configure it. It is really inexpensive and once up and running allows you to use programs that only work with Windows. Cant imagine anyhting better!

  2. Recently purchased and downloaded iEmulator 1.7.9. to run on my iMAC G5 seeing as microsoft have abandoned us. Loaded XP and it works just as well as on VP7. For £10 its gvfm.
    Had a few set up problems but the guys at iEmulator are so helpful & friendly & even with the time zone difference they are very responsive, even on a Sunday!
    Ok it’s slow but by tweaking things it speeds it up. I only need it to run a few bits of software. I can share files with my Mac and access the internet if needed but it is quicker to download to my Mac then copy files across. I say it’s good for what it is. It’s an emulator!
    Version 1.8.0 due out soon which will have full USB access which I can’t wait for. It’s a free update if you already have 1.7.9.

  3. Well, I don’t know what somepeople want, of course any software emulator is going to be slow! You are trying to run PC Windows on a machine that was not designed for that OS!
    I also know that Iemulator is based on free software, but I’m no expert on using emulators, and could not figure out exactly what I had to do with Q to get it to make the emulated PC I wanted, but I had heard that the documentation for Iemulator was in more of an English format, rather than in “Computesse”, so I thought that the $30 Australian Dollars would be worth it.
    Little did I know how right this was going to be.
    Also, not only is the documentation good, but the email technical responce is outstanding!
    I emailed the company early afternoon one weekday, and got a detailed reply from them 4 minutes later!

  4. Brian Heibert

    I am having trouble getting it setup (iEmulator)
    I need to know the cd disc letter and how to access a cdrom from iEmulator/
    I want to install windows on it how do I restart the virtual machine and have it startup by CD or DVD?

  5. Will Davis

    Max the memory on your Mac and set iemulator’s memory to at least 512 mbytes.
    If your mac can hold 2 Gbytes of ram, install it! The idea is to aviod the need of virtual memory on the host system. Think of it, emulated Windows virtual memory running on the host system’s virtual memory. That compounds the speed problem. So have enough ram in the host mac, and then set enough ram in the emulator to avoid virtual memory use on both host system and emulated system. Installing XP or Vista is asking for a slug. Earlier Windows are faster. Windows 2000 Pro is about all it can take to remain practical.
    Also, use the fasted Mac you can get your hands on, and try to use an Intel Mac. Clock speed and memory capacity are the main issues to overcome. I haven’t figured out what to do with the crappy screen. The emulated screen on my Windows 2000 Pro looks bad. Mainly the fonts don’t seem to sync well with the screen emulation, and some pictures look like they’re from a Commodor 64 game! It doesn’t matter if I use full screen mode or not. It looks the same, but just the size changes. Sometimes there’s a bug where the mouse arrow splits into two, one being stuck on the screen, and the other still movable. If this happens, make sure your’e toggled out of full screen mode, then toggle your mouse out of the emulator, then click back in again. Most of the time that fixes it. I only use iemulator so I can continue some PowerBASIC Console projects that I want to finish. Otherwise the Mac has every else I want.

  6. Andy Burki

    I found iEmulator a great low-cost solution. I suppose it doesn’t have the advanced features of Virtual PC which you might require if you use Windows for much of your work, but VPC is extremely expensive and you have to keep buying updates because it tends to be incompatible with any major OS upgrade. True, you have to make a disk image of any CDs before it reads them, but I use it mostly for accessing Windows-only websites and a couple of apps that there is not Mac-version for.

    On my old iBook G3 (500Mhz) which I use at school iEmulator is very slow, but on the iMac G4 (1gigaherz) at home, it’s reasonably fast. I installed Windows 95 on it, and it works fine, including internet access which DOES share the Mac’s internet connection. Internet access was slightly fiddly to set up in my case, but I gather it’s usually a simple process. In any case, iEmulator provides almost instant e-mail tech support (although it took several e-mails until my particular problem was solved).

    Yes, iEmulator is based on open source (QEMU), but frankly, unless you’re a PRO it’s very time and nerve-consuming trying to get the free QEMU to work (I tried and it never worked). You essentially pay for the GUI (which is much needed), the documentation (written in plain English rather than the programmer-speak that you found on QEMU sites) and tech-support. iEmulator also publish their source code for the open-source part of the product and I think it’s nice to see this sort of thing.

    I’m glad there is a budget alternative to VPC and I would never buy VPC again. I bought version 2 and then 3 way back in the past and it’s just far too expensive to keep updating it.

  7. Paid for and downloaded iEmulator, and it is Qemu as reported.

    It is also dog slow, will not see any PC CD Roms unless you image them first, does not share the Mac’s internet connection, only one way file shares with the Mac AND the actual iEmulator wrapper for qemu will not allow you to “hide” it while it is running…so anytime you have a PC window open, you also have iEmulator behind everything else blocking access to your desktop.

    It might be marginally worth $20.00.

  8. I figured, what the what, and I bought iEmulator because I’m fascinated by emulators. The iEmulator turns out to be the free open-source QEMU X86 emulator with a more friendly front end. I simply used a disk image of WinXP that I had created for QEMU.

    I doubt it’s as fast as VirtualPC. It’s dog slow on my DP 1.8 PowerMac G5.

    I just ordered VirtualPC 7. I probably should not have spent the money on iEmulator, but it was only $20. No big deal.