SSD + Bootcamp + Fusion = High Performance?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by gguerini, May 10, 2011.

  1. gguerini macrumors regular


    Jun 28, 2007
    Hello guys,

    I've been using Windows 7 + Fusion for years now (and XP before that) and my experience has been great so far. It's known that running a VM from an External HD increases the performance of both OSs, guest (Win) and host (Mac), because of less IO concurrency.

    Now I purchased a brand new SSD and I have some thoughts I would like to share with you and see what you guys think about it, while using with Vitual Machines.

    We all know that SSD are generally much faster than HDD. So I wanted to use this performance in my favor.

    1) Running the VM from the SDD will be faster than with an external HDD? Even with the IO concurrency?

    2) What if I install Bootcamp and run Windows using Fusion instead of a 100% VM? The performance of Bootcamp will be excellent for sure when I need full power, but, what about Fusion using this Bootcamp partition? Will it be as fast as a normal VM?

    That's it guys!

    Thank you
  2. jtara macrumors 68000

    Mar 23, 2009

    Running from a *separate* hard drive (from your "system" drive or any "data" drive(s) might give you some performance boost due to *greater* I/O concurrency. That is, data can be fetched from or written to multiple hard drives simultaneously.

    Maybe you meant "less I/O contention"?

    And what do you mean when you say "an external HDD"? How is it to be connected? USB? It's not going to out-perform an internal drive, or even come close.


    Again, huh? You might want to look-up the terms you're throwing around.

    There's actually a slight performance penalty for accessing a Bootcamp partition from Fusion vs. using a container. Plus the inconvenience of having to tie-up a partition, rather than having a flexibly-sized container in the OSX filesystem. I'd avoid Bootcamp unless you really need it. I know there are some applications that require it, and you'd probably want this if you are a gamer. I haven't found the need myself, as my Windows needs have dwindled to next-to-nothing since I got Office 2011.

    Ultimate performance would be booting Windows 7 directly using Bootcamp.
  3. gguerini, May 10, 2011
    Last edited: May 10, 2011

    gguerini thread starter macrumors regular


    Jun 28, 2007
    Yeah, this is what I meant. Maybe the word "concurrency" wasn't the right term.

    I said that if you run your VM from an external HD (it can be either USB or Firewire) you will see a good performance increase.
  4. jtara, May 10, 2011
    Last edited: May 10, 2011

    jtara macrumors 68000

    Mar 23, 2009
    That link says what I said. You can get a performance increase by running the VM from a physically-separate hard drive. it didn't say "external".

    The author did cite some specific performance figures that showed an external USB 2.0 hard drive slightly beating-out an internal drive. But this is 5 year old data (the article is from 2006). Internal drives today will far exceed the capability of USB 2.0. Sequential read speeds on internal drives today are typically pushing toward 100 mbyte/sec. Typical maximum real-world performace of USB 2.0 won't exceed about 40mbyte/sec.

    You're almost certainly going to get better performance on the internal drive, even with contention. (And think about this: contention from WHAT? What ELSE are you going to be doing while you are working in the VM. Approximately: nothing.)

    I dunno what typical performance of SSDs on OSX are, but presumably they would be similar to performance on Linux. I have an SSD as a "system" drive on my Linux system, and it reads at about 260mbyte/sec and writes at a bit over 200. I use an 80GB system drive, and a big/slow 1TB hard drive for bulk data.

    Those numbers are close to max for SATA II. You need to go to SATA III for the fastest consumer SSDs that have come out recently.
  5. gguerini thread starter macrumors regular


    Jun 28, 2007
    Hey jtara, thanks for your words. Besides the miscommunication, we were talking about the same thing.

    You answered my question. SSD will be faster than running a VM from an external HD (I have a Macook Pro, so it was implicit that the external HD was a "different HD"). Even if this external HD was a 7200RPM /10K RPM and Firewire 800.

    And the second question was also answered. It's not a good idea to use Bootcamp + Fusion. Great! :)

    This is what I wanted to know! I will keep my VM inside my SSD and lets see how it goes.

    Thank you very much.

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