Running windows 8 in VMWare Fusion CPU usage

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by katit, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. katit macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    #1
    Just got brand new 2015 MBPr 16/512. Main purpose was to get rid of my quad-core beast desktop and move my working VM into laptop. It's easy because I was using VMWare Workstation on desktop.

    I'm happy that everything works well and probably better than expected. CPU-intensive tasks on this i5 2.9 with 2 cores is not any slower than on 3 year old quad-core i7-2700k. Windows even gave it more score :)

    However, see what its doing to CPU. VM stable, no activity going on in W8. You see I suspended VM at the end and CPU went to 0.

    Is that a VMWare tax on CPU? How is windows doing when in BootCamp?
     

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  2. FroggyFresh macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2015
    #2
    I think you're seeing the virtualization tax on the CPU. I run a Windows 8.1 VM with Fusion on a 2012 Mac Mini and I'm seeing similar results (though across more cores in my case). And like you, the moment I suspended the VM activity went to zero.

    I'm considering the same laptop as the one you just purchased. Can you comment on the performance of your VM? Are you running intensive apps? Are you running more than one VM?
     
  3. katit thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    #3
    Actually, my VM is my work environment. I'm developer. Visual Studio, SQL Server, Android development, etc. I'm giving VM 2 cores, 8Gb and 1Gb video. I tried giving it 4 cores - no change

    I had quad-core system before (desktop) for the same task and it was completely adequate (same exact VM, but host was Win7)

    I'm working in this VM second day now and see some sluggishness in comparison to old box but it's acceptable so far..

    I had to do a demo (use JoinMe screen sharing) today. WOW. Just running JoinMe inside VM taxed CPU around 60% opening browser after that and poor Mac started to blow hot air :) I run Android emulator (pretty much VM inside VM) and it was almost "dead" performance-wise. Horrible...

    I plan on keeping it, will move non-windowns specific apps to the mac side.

    P.S. I tipically don't run 2nd VM, only for short periods while setting up or configuring.
     
  4. Rigby macrumors 601

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    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #4
    I see nowhere near this much load with my Win8 x64 VM on Fusion 7. Are you sure there aren't any background tasks running in Windows, such as search indexing, defragging or similar?
     
  5. FroggyFresh macrumors newbie

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    Mar 21, 2015
    #5
    Thank you- I appreciate the feedback. I would use it in a similar way. Sounds like I should strongly consider the 15"!
     
  6. katit thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 15, 2015
    #6
    Sure there is something going on, maybe 3-5% utilization if looking inside VM. Some of it SQL Server, some of it IE, little by little it takes up CPU. But it wasn't near that on a host-side when running on Windows host.

    Interestingly though, this little mac beat my "beast" desktop in Windows score on EVERYTHING except video. Video scoring suck. CPU 6.1->6.9 (surprise), Mem, hard drive, all do better. Video - 8->4 downgrade.

    MacBook 15 definitely going to do better but for me it wouldn't make much sense, why did I get laptop in a first place? To use it on a lap if needed. Or move around..
     
  7. Rigby macrumors 601

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    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #7
    Here's what it looks like on my MBP 13" with Win8 idling at ~2% (see Windows performance monitor in the background):


    [​IMG]
     
  8. katit thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 15, 2015
    #8
    Hi Rigby! Thanks for you screenshot.

    I shutdown bunch of services on Windows 8 and made it idle at <2%, mine looks like it's idling completely comparing to yours.

    But, on mac side I see CPU about x2 of what is on yours and it's stable, no even slight peaks. 2 cores completely 0 and 2 cores about 2x of what is yours. Actually, it might be really close to yours, hard to tell for sure..

    Can you post your VM specs as far as what you do for CPU cores, RAM and Video? CPU settings and other advanced options? I wonder if it's some kind of setting in VMWare that can make this difference?
     
  9. Rigby macrumors 601

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    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #9
    The VM has 4GB RAM, 2 cores, up to 512MB graphics memory. All other options are on their defaults.

    Are you by any chance running a version older than Fusion 7? VMWare increased energy efficiency significantly in 7.
     
  10. katit thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 15, 2015
    #10
    In my case it's new mac. So, latest VMWare and compatibility level 11
    It's pretty similar though.

    I guess what I need to do is to learn not to be in VM 100%. Stuff like Skype, Web browser, even Office can be run from Mac
     
  11. greg99 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    #11
    Out of curiosity, if you allocated 12GB to the VM and only reserved 4GB for OS X, would it/did it make any difference to the CPU?

    I can't think of a reason that it would, but just wondering, since it's something you could fiddle with.

    Greg
     
  12. xiwong macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2013
    #12
    I use VMWare every day (and have for around 5 years now). My idle CPU usage in the VM is generally 0-1% and this is an old windows 8.1 install with a lot of programs. I have a 2012 cMBP 15 (i7 quad, 16GB RAM, 512MB GT650m) and I allocate 4 virtual cores, 8GB RAM, and 512MB video memory (iGPU only).

    Suggestions I have that may or may not help:
    -Don't use all the CPU cores on your computer, I have before and performance suffered because of scheduling with the Mac side. I would use 2 or 3 at most for you.
    -Reduce your video memory. I'm not sure how much shared memory the 6100 has, but VMWare Fusion has never handled vRAM very well compared to Parallels and you may be taking too many resources away from OS X.
    -Make sure hardware virtualization support is enabled (VT-x and VT-d)
    -Running a VM in a VM...just isn't going to happen unless you're on Windows in Hyper V (or something like that). Besides the loss of speed in a VM you cannot passthrough any hardware virtualization enhancements so it will be beyond slow.

    I see you still have a i7 2700k. I'm still rocking my old school i7 920 @4.0GHz (almost 7 years now). Not sure the "13 rMBP is ready to replace your desktop (or mine) yet, but I think as you find new programs to use on the Mac side your experiences will greatly improve.
     
  13. Freyqq macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    #13
    I use virtualbox with windows 7, and i give it 1/4 of the resources of my rmbp 15" (4gb ram and 2/8 cores). If windows is doing anything that requires constant CPU usage, like a windows update, it uses a lot of CPU. But, when completely idle, it uses almost nothing. I just use it for MS Office 2010, so my needs are pretty limited. With just a couple Office documents open, it has no noticeable impact on CPU usage.

    ----------

    If you really need power, just boot into Windows natively. It will run at full speed of the hardware.
     
  14. Rigby macrumors 601

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    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #14
    This actually works quite well in recent versions of VMWare, and it can virtualize vt-x and EPT. I use this all the time to run nested VMs within Linux guests using KVM/QEMU and the performance is good. Here's a little support document from VMWare:

    https://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-8970
     
  15. katit thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 15, 2015
    #15

    How do I do that? I know on PC's I had to turn it on in BIOS, otherwise VMWare would complain. But here on Mac - no BIOS and VMWare doesn't complain? Not sure I understand..

    There is one option checkbox for this in VM settings - it's checked.
     
  16. duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    #16
    Barking up the wrong tree. Apple has had that stuff enabled in their products for years (well, VT-x anyway. VT-d is DirectIO virtualization, and irrelevant to this situation ... aka: Hardware device pass-through to a virtual machine. It's something that you need to be running ESXi in order to use, so doesn't apply to something like Fusion.)

    Most likely you have too many vCPU allocated to your VM for which the host can adequately supply resources ... OR ... You are running a single CPU HAL in your VM, when it should be multi-CPU, but I seriously doubt that as Windows has been pretty good at switching between the two as you add/remove vCPU to/from a VM since Windows 7. So, I suspect the former.
     
  17. katit thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 15, 2015
    #17
    I assign 2 cores to VM. Tried 4 - pretty much no difference
     
  18. duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    #18
    Single CPU "HAL" and Single CPU are 2 different things.

    HAL = Hardware Abstraction Layer. The software component in Windows that is modified based on the number of CPU in the system (among other things.)

    http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1077

    But, like i said, it's most likely not what you are running into, as you are running Windows 8, which is able to change the HAL to the correct one on its own without user intervention.
     
  19. katit thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 15, 2015
    #19
    VMWare Fusion doesn't make it any different. It just gives you choice for number of cores, this is all
     

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