High CPU usage by Virtual machines in Mavericks - solved

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by twitter, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. twitter, Oct 28, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013

    twitter macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2007
    Before Mavericks I used Snow Leopard and VM ware fusion 3 for running Win XP. The combination worked really good.
    System early 2010 MBP 8GB i5

    Now after the update I have to use Fusion 6 but the minute I start the VM
    the CPU runs hot between 90 and 100°C and the fans run at 6000 rpm all the time.
    From the activity monitor I get that the 'vmware-vmx' uses 105% of the cpu.
    I tried the suggestions for the problem on the vmware forums but could not fix it.

    I installed virtual box and it also seems to use as much CPU as possible.
    At least with virtual box there is a option to limit the CPU max but the
    performance of vmware is much better.

    Anybody with similar problems? How is the CPU usage of Parallels?
    Has it something to do with Mavericks?
  2. bernhard macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2004
    Vienna, Austria

    I suppose it's the VM that causes this. I have several Fusion 6 VMs running in parallel and never had that issue. Which Guest OS are you running?
  3. eyhk macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2010
    I've also noticed high cpu usage, although not as high as yours.

    I've been running Fusion 5 on Mountain Lion with a Win7 guest for the past few months with no issues at all on a 2013 13" Macbook Air. A couple days ago, I installed Mavericks, and while my Mac has had no issues, Fusion 5(unsupported, I know) has been using high cpu on the Mac side (vmware-vmx at a constant 40~50% cpu even when guest is idle), and anything I do on the guest side creates very high CPU spikes on the guest side(Starting the Windows built in snipping tool for screenshots caused 50~70% CPU).
  4. twitter thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2007
    Hi Bernhard,

    thanks for the reply.

    For the guest OS I just run one Win XP SP3 with Office, Citavi and some statistics software but the CPU load does not seem to be connected to running any software. The moment I start the VM the CPU load goes up.

    The Windows VM is newly set up and
    is running on 1 Processor (2 did not change the CPU load)
    and with 1068MB RAM
    Max hard disk size is 20Gb but its currently at 6GB.
    Snapshot autoprotect is off as suggested in the VMware forums.
  5. squeakr macrumors 68000


    Apr 22, 2010
    Everyday I run 3-4 VM concurrently with a mixture of Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Server 2003 and my CPU never creeps over 23% with them running pretty heavily (generally runs between 5-14 % on average). I am using VMware Fusion 6 Pro and have a 2011 2.4 I7 Quad Core with 16 Gb of 1600MHz RAM on a 500GB SSD. I have had the same system running on Lion and ML without issues as well, but I generally saw between 5-20 % CPU increase over my Mavericks reported measurements. I find Mavericks to be much more efficient and the temps don't ruin near as highly either (although I did redo the heatsinks on my CPU right after buying it).
  6. twitter thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2007

    i finally found the reason for the high cpu usage.

    windows autoupdate
    that bring sync host up to 100% guest cpu usage
    disabled auto update and vmware-vmx went back to 7%.
    Scanning WindowsSec.Essentials will also result in guest cpu 80% usage
  7. JonVellacott macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2014
    Windows Update is the problem

    Twitters solution worked for me. I turned off the automatic windows updated, and watched my CPU usage plummet from 200% to 40% in activity monitor and my fan turned off for the first time in years! Now I just need to remember to manually check for updates.
  8. m4v3r1ck macrumors 68020


    Nov 2, 2011
    The Netherlands
    I hate Windows auto-updates too! So many screw-up with Nvidia graphics drivers (so old in comparison with the web-drivers) in the past. Killed it :mad:

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