What is my bottleneck? VMWareFusion + Win7

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by akm3, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    #1
    I'm using VMWare Fusion 3.0 with a Windows 7 virtual machine on the first gen 2.4ghz Unibody Macbook Pro, running Snow Leopard.

    When I boot up the VM it takes minutes, and the WHOLE system (OS X too) is dog, dog slow while it is doing it. Once the VM is fully booted, system speed returns more or less to normal.

    But what surprises me is watching the CPU meters I have tons of idle time (75%+) and my memory seems to be good too.

    Is it my hard drive that is making everything drag drag drag? I'm talking bad here.

    Anyone else have this experience? I have installed the VMware tools and such, I'm not sure what else to try. But my God is it slow booting. >6 minutes, and the whole computer is basically useless while its doing it.
     
  2. kidwithdimples macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    #2
    I have the same problem except it's a little bit laggy even though I am on 4GB ram.
     
  3. Cboss macrumors 6502

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    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado
    #3
    Edit: Never mind... Parallels 5 takes 3-4 minutes to start up with Windows 7 for me. Everything else works like normal while starting it up.
     
  4. akm3 thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Nov 15, 2007
    #4
    I'm also on 4GB of ram.

    If this is 'normal' I can accept that, I'm just shocked it's so....bad.

    I've tried parallels and don't remember it being so slow, but I was running XP not 7.

    I just don't understand how it can destroy my entire system performance without pegging CPU or RAM usage...it MUST be the HD access...
     
  5. AdamR01 macrumors 6502

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    Feb 2, 2003
    #5
    How much RAM and how many CPUs do you have allocated to the virtual machine?
     
  6. akm3 thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Nov 15, 2007
    #6
    1 CPU and 2g RAM
     
  7. AdamR01 macrumors 6502

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    Feb 2, 2003
    #7
    Usually, when I hear about performance problems with a VM its because the resources to it are overprovisioned. That doesn't seem to be the case here. There is an option in Fusion to "Optimise for Mac OS Application Performance". That might help stop your entire system from being slow while the OS is booting, but it might cause Windows 7 to take even longer to start. I would agree with you that your disk is probably the bottleneck. Is the volume that the VM is stored on near full? Another thing that can cause performance issues is having the vmdk sparse (thin provisioned) versus preallocated (thick).
     
  8. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

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    Jun 21, 2006
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    127.0.0.1
    #8
    You have too much RAM assigned to the VM for one thing. Assigning 1.5GB instead of 2GB is a good start. Secondly, defragment the VM and then compact the virtual disk. Personally taking those steps markedly improved performance for me.
     
  9. jtara macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    #9
    Why are you booting the VM? There's seldom any reason to do so (installation of software that requires a reboot would be the most common reason).

    Just suspend the VM. It should take < 30 seconds to restore.
     
  10. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

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    Jun 21, 2006
    Location:
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    #10
    While suspending is the best route to take, booting still should be much quicker. I can boot my Windows 7 VM in approximately the same time that it would take to boot when run natively.
     
  11. akm3 thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Nov 15, 2007
    #11
    It is also a bootcamp partition so suspend isn't possible, I have to shut all the way down and boot all the way up everytime I want to use it.

    I'll try the other tips as well (lowering ram)
     
  12. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

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    Jun 21, 2006
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #12
    I had no idea that you were using a boot camp partition. In that case, you will not be able to compact the disk. Lower the RAM and defragment. The only true way to really boost performance in your case is to get a faster hard drive. Virtual disk-based VM's perform much better from my experience.
     
  13. acurafan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #13
    this may be issues with vmware, i am noticing latency on VMs on Fusion 3 - prior Fusion version was faster. Guess i will downgrade back to v2.0.
     
  14. akm3 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    #14
    WOWW

    On my NON-bootcamp VM, I lowered the memory from 2048 to 1024 and it was night and day difference, I booted up in 1.5 minutes from scratch after making the change and everything was faster, with no OS X slowness.

    HUGE difference, thanks for the tips!

    Now I need to fuss with the bootcamp partition...

    /edit: And I *Was* able to change the RAM from 2048 to 1024 on my bootcamp VM as well, but I haven't booted it up yet. I think this was the fix. All the RAM being sucked up by VMWare was making for tons of hard disk paging, killing performance.

    I need to buy an SSD, I wish they'd get to 512gb with good controllers (vertex) for <$400 soon.
     

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