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Topic: Windows foobar2000 on Apple Silicon in Parallels (Read 736 times) previous topic - next topic
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Windows foobar2000 on Apple Silicon in Parallels

I have for years run foobar2000 in a Windows Parallels VM on my MacBook Pros.
It's been fine, of course, because MacBook Pros have been Intel machines - up until now.
I'm desperately up for a new machine, and wondering whether to go down the Apple M1X route (or whatever the chip will be called), but TBH foobar2000 compatibility is one of my highest requirements.

So I'm wondering whether the new Macs would be an option for me?
From what I can see, you need to install Windows 10 on ARM Insider Preview and then Intel apps using a Microsoft emulator.

I don't have enough knowledge to tell whether it would work.
In particular, I have no idea how it would go with components - e.g. I suspect that the old waveform seekbar would not work as it requires some arcane DirectX version to be installed; maybe the (sadly mono-only) waveform minibar would.

Can anyone help shed light on this?


Re: Windows foobar2000 on Apple Silicon in Parallels

Reply #2
It definitely does run x86 32-bit Windows binaries on M1.

Re: Windows foobar2000 on Apple Silicon in Parallels

Reply #3
OK interesting, I'll see on my current system how it goes.
I do like to have drag & drop from Windows Explorer (which I rather like as a file explorer) and some other Windows apps though.

Re: Windows foobar2000 on Apple Silicon in Parallels

Reply #4
I'm not sure how well Drag & Drop works, especially with CrossOver. I'll check.

Edit 1: Drag from Finder to CrossOver foobar2000 appears to work.

Re: Windows foobar2000 on Apple Silicon in Parallels

Reply #5
Impressive, thanks! That does suggest I have at least one way of using foobar2000 if I go down that path.

@kode54 I guess you don't have experience using Parallels on the M1?
I kind of imagine whatever Crossover have gotten working, they probably have too - but I may be wrong.

Re: Windows foobar2000 on Apple Silicon in Parallels

Reply #6
Well, I do have a yearly subscription to Parallels Pro, and use it on my M1. I just prefer to use it for the really persnickety apps, or games.

Remember that Parallels will only be getting half of your RAM, at most, and using at least as much as you give it for the entire duration that it is running. Also, drag and drop between host and guest requires a form of path translation to the shared filesystems the guest sees. You also have the overhead of an entire guest operating system running the whole time.

Although, it will perform better at the x87 math type things that many decoder plugins will be using. There is SSE acceleration in some, but not in others. Windows for ARM translates x87 math code to fast scalar ARM floating point code most of the time, so it will perform fast. Rosetta 2 translates it to software floating point, so it can maintain the full 80 bit precision at all times, at the cost of 100x or worse performance overhead, but this doesn't affect most 64 bit apps, usually only 32 bit, which CrossOver is running with a special thunking layer already.

Re: Windows foobar2000 on Apple Silicon in Parallels

Reply #7
OK, that's very interesting.
I am planning on getting a machine with lots of RAM, like 32GB maybe, so it wouldn't be any trouble to assign a decent chunk to Parallels. And drag and drop is OK if I can use Windows Explorer within the VM, which is what I do now - i.e. I do have the entire guest OS running now.

My main concern has been what just *won't* work because of the new processor.
It sounds like I should be pretty safe running foobar2000 with Windows for ARM, and if so that's a relief!

Re: Windows foobar2000 on Apple Silicon in Parallels

Reply #8
You won't be able to get 32GB, unless something changes between now and whenever Apple launches more hardware.

Re: Windows foobar2000 on Apple Silicon in Parallels

Reply #9
You won't be able to get 32GB, unless something changes between now and whenever Apple launches more hardware.

Hm, I know it's all rumours at the moment, but what 've read suggests 32GB of RAM will be supported by the next gen Apple Silicon chips. 64GB seems out of the question, but not what I was aiming for anyway.

I am waiting for this announcement and will then decide between those machines or a last-gen Intel 16" MBP I think.

Re: Windows foobar2000 on Apple Silicon in Parallels

Reply #10
Even M1 trounces any Intel machine Apple's put out, except for the Mac Pro, and that only due to sheer thread counts. But yeah, if having 32GB absolutely matters, and Apple doesn't adapt their new Apple Silicon parts to that, then get an Intel machine.

 

Re: Windows foobar2000 on Apple Silicon in Parallels

Reply #11
Thanks. It's possible it won't matter with the new devices, given the kind of performance you're described. Others have suggested similarly, although I do have a bad habit of having EVERYTHING open at once. Still, current MBP with 16GB RAM manages, so you'd think a new Apple Silicon one would too.