Originally Posted by ajdroidx
I decided to give a VM a try on the desktop before I buy parallels so I downloaded virtual box for my PC and trying to run Mint Linux on it...
I could not even get firefox to load after about 5 minutes it took to dump me to the Mint desktop...
Obviously, reading from the optical drive is slowing things down as is the VM (running a 64bit OS in a 32bit native system (windows 7) could also be a problem as is the VM slows things down a bit too.
VirtualBox was originally developed to emulate in software an x86 PC machine on Sun Microsystems' SPARC CPU workstations running Solaris® (a brand of UNIX®). AS PC hardware prices dropped and the RISC architecture hit a brick wall with performance, Sun started using PCI expansion cards to put an actual PC inside their RISC/UNIX workstations.
The only way you can run an AMD64 OS on top of a 32-bit OS is through 100% software emulation, which is really slow. That's why you're seeing such poor performance. Try it again with the x86 version of the distro and see what happens.