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Windows 7: Kinda-slow?

08 Sep 2009   #11
johngalt

 

Hmmm - See, I am a college student, and now you've piqued my interest. I want to pit VBox 3 versus Virtual XP Mode versus the *hush hush* VMware I am signing up to test in a couple of days. I suspect VBox and VMware won't have that much of an edge now that this little trick has been exposed - but they'll still have advantages over Virtual P Mode, and vice versa, XP Mode will have advantages (such as directly loading an XP app without having to manually start the VM) over the other two.

Perhaps this little trick needs to be pushed out as a part of the final XP Mode / VPC when it is released?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Sep 2009   #12
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I tried this change and it did improve performance within XP Mode...however for me VMWare Server 2.0, VMWare ESXi, and Sun Virtual Box are still faster.

The other limitations of Virtual PC and XP Mode for me include
1). requirement for a processor with virtualization support
2). inability to run a 64-bit guest
3). no guest additions for OS's that aren't supplied by Microsoft.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2009   #13
johngalt

 

Lol - thanks - you saved me a weekend of testing!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Sep 2009   #14
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I'd still do some testing just to make sure that your opinions and findings are the same as mine.....unless it's the numbered list of negatives that is the real downfall. It is for me, as a high percentage of my virtual machines are indeed non MS OS's.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2009   #15
johngalt

 

All but 2 of mine are as well - I play around in Xubuntu, Gentoo, and am starting to play with Arch again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2009   #16
Kari

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
I tried this change and it did improve performance within XP Mode...however for me VMWare Server 2.0, VMWare ESXi, and Sun Virtual Box are still faster.

The other limitations of Virtual PC and XP Mode for me include
1). requirement for a processor with virtualization support
2). inability to run a 64-bit guest
3). no guest additions for OS's that aren't supplied by Microsoft.
1.) Almost all new computers support virtualization
2.) Virtual PC is mostly used to run older software. There's almost no need to run a 64-bit guest
3.) Guest additions, or using MS-language the Integration Features work very well, guest OS integrates seamlessly with Windows 7. How is it a negative thing that this integration is done by Microsoft?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2009   #17
bjrichus

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
I tried this change and it did improve performance within XP Mode...however for me VMWare Server 2.0, VMWare ESXi, and Sun Virtual Box are still faster.

The other limitations of Virtual PC and XP Mode for me include
1). requirement for a processor with virtualization support
2). inability to run a 64-bit guest
3). no guest additions for OS's that aren't supplied by Microsoft.

PPARKS1...

I just got my (old) XP/SP3 VM Server 1 VM running in VM Server 2 with no conversion effort needed at all... All I did was the tell the console that it was a copy of a VM from another PC and it ran.

I got to agree with you: it rocks - BIG TIME!!!

It booted the full VM in about half the time that VPC takes - even with all the old drivers and other rubbish it won't need on the newer hardware still configured - and being disabled and the new H/W it found being configured in.

Booting the second time was quicker still... I can get to the point where an application can start up in about 40% of the time VPC took.

Ok, so I lose the really tight integration for apps (no start menu thing to click on), but the time saved using VMWare Server more than makes up for it. Oh yes, did I say my Ubuntu VM was up and running all through this too?

When it gets to the non-beta version, unless MS can get VPC much closer to the kind of speed I am getting out of VMWare, I'm not going to bother with it anymore.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2009   #18
johngalt

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
I tried this change and it did improve performance within XP Mode...however for me VMWare Server 2.0, VMWare ESXi, and Sun Virtual Box are still faster.

The other limitations of Virtual PC and XP Mode for me include
1). requirement for a processor with virtualization support
2). inability to run a 64-bit guest
3). no guest additions for OS's that aren't supplied by Microsoft.
1.) Almost all new computers support virtualization
2.) Virtual PC is mostly used to run older software. There's almost no need to run a 64-bit guest
3.) Guest additions, or using MS-language the Integration Features work very well, guest OS integrates seamlessly with Windows 7. How is it a negative thing that this integration is done by Microsoft?
pparks meant that with other VMs you can run them even if your machine does *not* support virtualization, and they allow for emulation even if you have virtualization but don't want to use it (to simulate older machines, for example).

As for no need to run a 64bit guest - not for you - but plenty of people have 32bit OSs that they need to run a 64bit guest in. My laptop, for instance, came with Vista Business 32bit and was upgraded to W7 32bit - in VPC I cannot run a 64bit XP but in VBox I can.

The guest additions only works on VMs from M$ - IOW, it doesn't work is you try to run *nix in Virtual mode. At least, that is what I think pparks was referring to....

You have to realize that many of us use Virtual machines not just to emulate XP, but a whole slew of other OSs, from Gentoo Linux to BSD to Q!Linux to older OSs like 9x, 3.1, OS/2 Warp, even server OSs - RHEL, M$ Server (which you get free from DreamSpark, including a full use license) and other types of OSs.

It's not just about XP with many users of virtual machines. - some of us have legitimate reasons that have *nothing* to do with application / OS integration (meaning we're not just using it to get older apps that worked only in XP to run again).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2009   #19
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
1.) Almost all new computers support virtualization
2.) Virtual PC is mostly used to run older software. There's almost no need to run a 64-bit guest
3.) Guest additions, or using MS-language the Integration Features work very well, guest OS integrates seamlessly with Windows 7. How is it a negative thing that this integration is done by Microsoft?
#1). Yes, I understand most modern processors do support this. But there are handfuls of semi-modern era CPU's which don't have support. (even some core 2 duo's and core 2 quad). It's probably a bit of a bummer with people who have those chips

#2). People use VM's for all sorts of things. I have to test for a fair amount of 64-bit support in my office and such...thus having the ability to do that is important to me and is something offered by the other players

#3). I'm talking about the guest additions that you install within the running VM itself? VMware and such have these tools for Windows guests as well as Linux guests....but the Virtual PC product only has them for Windows guests. For those of us using a fair amount of non-Microsoft based VM's...that's a real bummer.


The thing that really bums me out about all of this is not having a free activated Windows XP license even though I paid for Windows 7 Business, Enterprise or Ultimate. This free license for XP only applies if I use the Microsoft VM solution and as experience and others have confirmed, the performance of the MS implementation here is severely lacking.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2009   #20
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
Just tested a tip a colleague told me today, and it really boosts the virtual machine! Do this:
  • Turn off / Hibernate all running virtual machines
  • Open C:\Users\Your_Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Options.xml with Notepad
  • Add this somewhere between the Preferences tags:
    • <virtual_machines>
      <enable_idle_thread type="boolean">true</enable_idle_thread>
      </virtual_machines><br/>
  • Save the file
This allows your virtual machine to use more of the hosts resources, thus increasing the performance. A very clear difference!

Kari
I tried this change on my box and here were the results based on the hardware found in this post: XP Mode is slow--any way to improve

  • Prior to this change, time to boot Windows XP SP3 until the desktop with no hourglass: 56 seconds
  • With this change above, same test: 44 seconds
  • This same test with Sun Virtual Box 3.0.4 : 25 seconds
My other test was to launch the OS and then open Open Office writer in the VM

  • Prior to this change, time to boot Windows XP SP3 until the desktop and then launch Open Office writer: 66 seconds
  • With this change in place: 63 seconds
  • This same test with Sun Virtual Box 3.0.4 : 35 seconds
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Kinda-slow?




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