I have been around this problem for some time now and want to know you opinions. I am running on HP notebook: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.26GHz, 64bit Windows 7 Professional, 4GB Ram, ATI Graphics.
I want to ask your opinions about doing developments, is it better to be in the host or in a virtual machine? Based on my needs, I usually have to install Visual Studio 6 (cannot avoid!), Visual Studio 2010, NetBeans (php), and sometimes a few more based on temporary requirements.
I don't like the fact that after installing all these, in addition to the normal software I use (BitDefender Internet Security, KMPlayer, FoxitPDF, GTalk and other required software) my OS runs slow, even only after 1-2 months. So to avoid the heavy load on my OS, I decided to move at least all the development platforms into a virtual machine, installed with an old copy of XP. I use VirtualBox for that, proved (on my machine) to be the fastest between the free ones.
But now the problem is the VBox guest is becoming very slow, and even causing my host machine to have CPU usage up to 70% at sometimes, and both the guest and the host freeze!
What is your experiences about that? Is this crashing some problem with the VM? Do you even prefer to move development platforms to a VM or is still better that I install all these on my machine and avoid any virtual machine at all?
I appreciate your opinions.