Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


Windows 7: virtial box vs virtual pc 2007

22 Dec 2010   #11
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Hmm, maybe you are too much of an expert and tweaked it too much. I am a simple straight forward user running Ubuntu in vBox (with Guest Additions). It is extremely smooth on both Ubuntu and Win7. And I run it on a modest 2.5GHz duo core with 3GBs of RAM of which I allocated 1GB to vBox. I really do not notice vBox when it is running whilst I operate on the host. The same the other way around.
Maybe you want to reduce all the settings to "vanilla" rather than trying to "optimize" it.

Note: forgot to mention that my host system Win7 is installed on a SSD.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
29 Dec 2010   #12
webulator70

windows 7 x64
 
 

VirtualBox easily, is the better option.

VirtualPC cannot even do 24/32 bit colour unless you mess around with it, it has terrible guest performance, no hardware 3d support, much less options. The only thing it has going for it, is that it's possibly the best support for Windows 9x versions compared to VirtualBox and VMware but this is only true with VirtualPC 2004/2007 as the newest one only goes as far back as supporting XP.

VirtualBox is updated much more often, has VNC, a better seamless mode, d3d/opengl support to some degree, Compiz on Linux guests, snapshots, much more hardware options, 32bit colour support off the bat, multiple monitors and even multiple cores. As for VT-x, you do not need it if you are running a 32bit guest OS but it is necessary if you are running a 64 bit guest on either a 32 or a 64 bit host. VirtualPC cannot run 64bit guests, also VirtualBox does not have guest additions for Windows 9x versions but being an option source project, the potential is there should anyone want to work on it.

VirtualBoxes and VirtualPCs aside, I personally see VMware Workstation(Paid) or VMware Player(free, missing snapshots and a few other minor things), as the unequivocal winners here though, it supports everything mentioned that VirtualBox does but did many of those things first. For video, it supports hardware OpenGL 2 and DirectX 9c. It supports dragging and dropping files between guest and host as well as cutting and pasting them and it can do Aero for Vista/7 guests. Vmware's seamless mode, or "unity" as it's called, integrates with the host's taskbar, whereas VirtualBox's just shows the guest taskbar ontop of the host's. Aside form all of this, it just runs the smoothest. you can see windows move around smoother, little things like that. VMware has guest additions for Windows 9x versions, though no 3d support for these exist and these additions are no longer updated.

VT-x is always recommended, it gets the guest OS to communicate directly to the host CPU. I don't Why VT-d would be a problem either way since none of these virtual machines even support it. Vt-d is meant more for Hypervisors like Xen in which case the guest OS can see the real pci(e) hardware, have a look on youtube for "Xen VT-d passthrough" or similar, there are videos of xen guests with XP seeing the real Nvidia graphics card, running directx 11 benchmarks at native speeds.

What it all comes down to for me:
-VMware for Windows 2000 and newer guests, (best performance, best 3d support, best features, Aero supported).
-VirtualBox for Linux guests, (mouse works in linux unlike vmware, Compiz supported).
-DosBox for Win9x and older, (because its an emulator and not a virtual machine, it fully software emulates old hardware to run the old stuff and is now adding emulation of Voodoo graphics chips and Soundblaster Awe32).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2011   #13
chrysalis

windows 8.1 Pro x64
 
 

Well I done some diagnosis and have improved the situation here is my report.

First snapshots, when you do snapshots in virtualbox it will stop using the original virtual image you setup and make a diff image file inside the defined snapshot folder which defaults to the C: drive. This alone will decrease performance especially over multiple snapshots. For me tho it was a killer as I had my first virtual disk on C: and my 2nd on H: 2 seperate physical drives for obvious reasons, and setup zfs mirror on my freeBSD guest OS. Since I had several snapshots my virtual disks were now both on C: and it was been overloaded with requests. The fix? I removed all snapshots and cloned the disks to a non snapshot virtual server. This gave a big improvement.
Second, well I dont know to be honest, for me whats most important is the host OS remains responsive whilst the guest is running, even if it means the guest slows down, virtual pc had an option where can deprioritise the guest OS which made it very slow when not in foreground , but even without that option set virtual pc never made my host OS lag ever. I also will repeat that even without multiple cpu support the guest OS was snappier on virtual pc, this may be due to me using 32bit guest OS as apparently on virtual box APIC is a performance killer but unfortenatly is required for emulating 64bit.

The crunch is that virtual box for me is slower on both guest OS and host OS than virtual pc 2007. I put it down to the extra freatures and hardware it emulates which ultimately will require more host resources. The snapshots are useless due to the way it works but I can live without them, I just backup my virtual disks instead. End of the day tho its a great app for something free. I plan to try vmware one day and see how that compares also.

Also to note things like 2d/3d performance are no use to me I am emulating command line operating systems. Doing things like compiling.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

08 Jan 2011   #14
Kari

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by chrysalis View Post
The snapshots are useless due to the way it works but I can live without them, I just backup my virtual disks instead.
Completely, utterly impossible to understand how you can say so.

First, VirtualBox snapshot feature is the easiest, fastest way to do a complete image backup of your system and restore it when needed. You can create a snapshot in seconds, the machine running or shut down. Restoring takes seconds.

Secondly, snapshots do not fill you C: drive as told if you don't want to; simply change the snapshots location to whatever external or internal drive you want to. You can set snapshots to be saved in several drives, so that every virtual machine has it's own snapshot drive.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2011   #15
chrysalis

windows 8.1 Pro x64
 
 

My reseach suggests you wrong I am afraid.

1 - the docs say can specify a snapshot dir, but it it is a global setting.
2 - I found numerous pages of people coming across the same issue and complaining about it.
3 - Per virtual machine is no good for me anyway I need it per virtual drive to be of use.

So example.

1st virtual hdd on c:\disk1.vdi
2nd h:\disk2.vdi

if I save a snapshot it will then change to
1st c:\disk1.vdi -> c:\<snapshot dir>
2nd h:\disk2.vdi -> c:\<snapshot dir>

I spent many hours on this, its just one snapshot dir shared. It makes new vdi files in there for each snapshot done. In addition if multiple snapshots you end up with multiple vdi files and it gets more interesting.

Lets say you have dyanamic disks so they grow as used and you do a first snapshot after 2 gig of use, then the original disks will be 2 gig, and then all future writes goto the diff vdi disks in the snapshot dir, however the reads are split over the 2 disks as only new data is written to the snapshot vdi, if multiple snapshots this can end up with reads split over many files.

After stopping using snapshots I got probably a 3-4 fold performance increase on i/o and lower cpu usage. It made a massive difference. Yes snapshots are easy to use when you using the gui to create them etc. However how it works under the hood is not so pretty.

If you insist I am wrong and can have a dynamic snapshot location per virtual drive then you will have to show me documentation that says as such please as what I have read says otherwise.

2nd screenshot shows after I fixed and not using any differencing disk on c: for my h: image.


Attached Thumbnails
virtial box vs virtual pc 2007-vbox1a.png   virtial box vs virtual pc 2007-vbox2a.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2011   #16
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

1. In order to avoid any snapshot problems, would it not be easier to image the host (which obviously will include the vBox)? I do that all the time. Takes less than 4 minutes (from SSD to the internal HDD.

2. I run vBox with Ubuntu on a Win7 32bit host and I see no performance degradation on either the host or the Guest systems. In fact I was extremely amazed that the performance on both was quasi the same as if there was no virtualization. And this on a modest duo core system with 2.5 GHz and a total of 3GBs of RAM of which I allocated 1GB to vBox. But Win7 and vBox are on a SSD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2011   #17
Kari

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by chrysalis View Post
My reseach suggests you wrong I am afraid.
When you are talking about how much you have reserached, then I really wish you had researched a bit better before saying I'm wrong and showing you have in fact not researched at all.

Snapshots are saved to a global, default location only on those vm's you have not chosen an alternative location.

In VirtualBox, simply choose the snapshot location for every vm as you want to. Another folder on the same disk, another disk if you want to (internal or external), wherever you want to store your snapshots. The screenshot here shows that for instance my Solaris Unix vm stores snapshots in external drive H:, where I have created a folder for snapshots:

virtial box vs virtual pc 2007-vbox_snapshot_location.png

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by chrysalis View Post
After stopping using snapshots I got probably a 3-4 fold performance increase on i/o and lower cpu usage. It made a massive difference. Yes snapshots are easy to use when you using the gui to create them etc. However how it works under the hood is not so pretty.
Snapshots or amount of them do not, in non whatsoever way, affect CPU performance or resources. They are just disk images, only one is used in any given time.

I must say you "research" methods seem quite comical to me.

Kari


My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2011   #18
chrysalis

windows 8.1 Pro x64
 
 

Kari oh dear.

I told you its a global setting and not per disk, and what do you do.

you show me a screenshot proving I am right.

I will repeat the problem.

1 - I run zfs raid mirror in my guest OS.
2 - if both virtual drives are on the same physical hdd there is a severe performance penalty (obvious).
3 - if snapshots are used 'ALL' snapshots will go in the defined snapshot dir forcing both virtual drives to be on the same physical hdd.

There is a performance penalty for (a) reading over multiple diff files and (b) for excessive read/writes to a single physical hdd. Zfs writes data 3 times in a mirror configuration, when using snapshots its writing data 3 times for every write to one physical hdd. The same performance penalty would apply in a real system if I used a software raid mirror on one physical hdd.

Here are some facts.

I got a large performance improvement after stopping using snapshots, not just pseudo is benchmarked.
I no longer have freezing mouse pointers etc. whilst compiling on the guest OS.

I am simply passing on my info to help others who may have same problem, whilst you seem to have taken offense to it. Now of course if I was running my guest OS of a 'single' drive, then this may not be such a problem, but remember I am running a raid in the guest OS that will detoriate if all on one physical drive.

Do you now understand for 'less' performance hit I would need 'two' snapshot locations for one VM, so one location per .vdi file?

For further help to others I have also discovered that using the HPET timer in vbox hurts the host OS a lot, since changing FreeBSD guest OS to use TSC, real cpu usage has gone down by about a 3rd. So am getting there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2011   #19
chrysalis

windows 8.1 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
1. In order to avoid any snapshot problems, would it not be easier to image the host (which obviously will include the vBox)? I do that all the time. Takes less than 4 minutes (from SSD to the internal HDD.

2. I run vBox with Ubuntu on a Win7 32bit host and I see no performance degradation on either the host or the Guest systems. In fact I was extremely amazed that the performance on both was quasi the same as if there was no virtualization. And this on a modest duo core system with 2.5 GHz and a total of 3GBs of RAM of which I allocated 1GB to vBox. But Win7 and vBox are on a SSD.
not sure what you mean by #1 sorry.

#2 it could be freebsd as a guest OS is not playing too well with virtualbox I dont know, doesnt seem a common usage of virtualbox as most people seem to use it with ubuntu and/or windows. Are you running a raid setup on your guest OS? as this snapshot issue is heavily related to that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2011   #20
Kari

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by chrysalis View Post
Kari oh dear.

I told you its a global setting and not per disk, and what do you do.

you show me a screenshot proving I am right.

I will repeat the problem.

1 - I run zfs raid mirror in my guest OS.
2 - if both virtual drives are on the same physical hdd there is a severe performance penalty (obvious).
3 - if snapshots are used 'ALL' snapshots will go in the defined snapshot dir forcing both virtual drives to be on the same physical hdd.
No, you are wrong. Again.

That point 3 is meaningless, because only one snapshot at any given time can be used.

Snapshots do not need to be on the same disk than original vhd or vdi. In fact, all my snapshot are on the different disk than originals for better performance, for instance that Solaris from my screenshot has original vhd (vdi) in internal E:, and snapshots in external H:.

However you run your vm's, you can always choose to have all vdi-files on the same disk, or different disks.

Check Wikipedia for word "research"

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 virtial box vs virtual pc 2007




Thread Tools




Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Problem when I attempt to run Virtual PC 2007 on a VHD.
I can't seem to figure out why, it doesnt let me finish of the 'tutorial' in Virtual PC 2007. I've installed a VHD with comptmgmt.msc. This is what I get, when I attempt to run it through Virtual PC 2007. Heelp...
Virtualization
Virtual pc 2007 + win7 help
Hey guys i have installed virtual pc due to i have windows xp x64 and i cant install itunes and other drivers that i need on my computer. so i have installed virtual pc and installed windows 7 on it. it works fine but i dont get any sound,no internet connection and no usb detection. can...
Virtualization
Trying to upgrade Virtual PC 2007 for Win 7
I have a virtual pc 2007 w/ ms server 2003 on it and an app that i can't easily get replaced. i pasted the vpc onto my new Win7 desktop. it works, but unfortunately there's no intergration with the host pc w/ win7 on it. i'v downloaded x-mode and the new virtual-pc, which works fine, but the older...
Virtualization
Microsoft Virtual PC 2007? (x86)
So I just tried to install MS VPC 07, and it seemed successful. I then shut down my computer, but it hung on "Shutting down...". I finally had to manually shut it off, and then I booted back up to look for a solution. But I couldn't connect to my wireless network. I clicked the "Connect to a...
Virtualization
No internet using Virtual PC 2007
Hi, Can anyone help me please??? I am running Vista 64 and installed virtual pc 2007 sp1 and Windows 7 within this but can't get an internet connection. I have looked on the forums and done the necessary like installing network driver and installing the virtual machine in vista network area...
Network & Sharing
virtual pc 2007 64 bit problem
hi! i use build 7100x64 and installed virtual pc 2007 for x64 with sp1. i mounted the 7100x64 iso and booted. But I get this error: File: \windows\system32\winload.exe Status: 0xc000035a Info: Attempting to load a 64-bit application, however this CPU is not compatible with 64-bit mode.
Virtualization


Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 16:29.
Twitter Facebook Google+ Seven Forums iOS App Seven Forums Android App