SimCity 4 under Virtual PC

SimCity 4 under Virtual PC

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Well we have come to the final entry in the 'SimCity' series.  You might be surprised to know the SimCity 4 runs under Virtual PC - I know I was.  Despite the fact that SimCity 4 states that it has a minimum requirement of a DirectX 7.1 3D capable card with 32mb VRAM - it runs perfectly fine inside of Virtual PC on our lowly S3 Trio with 8mb VRAM.  Go figure.

Continuing with the usual approach - SimCity 4 takes the standard SimCity formula and makes it even more detailed and more complex.  Too be honest I find it to be a bit too complex - as at the end of the day it has an enormously steep learning curve.  But the graphics sure are pretty:

SimCity 4 under Virtual PC   SimCity 4 under Virtual PC   SimCity 4 under Virtual PC   SimCity 4 under Virtual PC

All in all I would have to say that I am hard pushed to decide which version of SimCity I like the most.  They all have their pro's and con's - and they will all steal hours of your life if you let them :-)


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  • Is there any technical reason to limit the emulated card to 8MB? Would it hurt to allow larger values?
  • Ben,
    I have been evaluating virtual PC for our office. It is really great and has converted me in to a Virtual PC evangelist. I am trying to come up with new uses for the product every day.

    One of the things that is going to make VPC a hard sell in my company is the lack of support of direct USB connection. I have been looking around to figure out why this is the case. Is it a feature that will be put in at some point of time in the future or is it that usb will never be supported? Could you enlighten me on this topic, please? Thanks.
  • Roger, VPC emulates 8mb of video memory because that's all it really needs. You only need large amounts of video memory when you are running 3D games, particularly AA.
  • The video memory also limits the frame buffer size and hence maximum resolution. Since Microsoft won't document how to talk to VPC behind the scenes, this also limits the max resolution for all non-Windows guests.
  • SimCity 4 has a 3D software engine that is used when a suitable Direct3D device is not available. If you're bored, run it under the 16-color VGA driver sometime. I forget whether the final release can run in NT4.0 or not.
  • Don't remember what the max res for VPC is but just going by HxVxColor:

    Your good all the way up to 1600x1200 in 32bit. Anything past that and you'd have to drop to 16bit. If your running that high of a res in VPC and doing something that requires that high of a resolution and colordepth then running it on the host would be a recommended situation.
  • Hi,
    it doesn´t run on my virtual pc for mac v. 6.1.1! When I start the game it says: "Hardware Driver Error: Could not initialize DirectDraw ". It performs the splash-screens and I get into the region view, but crashes when i select and start one of the tutorial cities. I am using Windows XP Professional with DirectX 9.0 on a Powerbook G4 (Mac OS X 10.3.8).
    Thank you for any hints.
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