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Solved: Virtual XP on Win 7: XP task mgr shows 90%, Win7 shows 30%


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Rude_Dog Rude_Dog is offline
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21-Apr-2012, 11:13 PM #1
Solved: Virtual XP on Win 7: XP task mgr shows 90%, Win7 shows 30%
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OS Version: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate, Service Pack 1, 64 bit
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i3 CPU M 370 @ 2.40GHz, Intel64 Family 6 Model 37 Stepping 5
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When I run Virtual Win XP and the program that runs in it is manipulating a database (apparently processor intensive), the virtual XP task manager shows the processor is running ~90%. At the same time, the physical machine's task manager shows the physical processor is running 25-30%. The virtual machine has 3712MB of ram allocated to it, and there isn't much hard drive activity. Anyway, I'm curious if anyone else has run into this bottle neck and if there's anything to do about it. It seems like my physical machine has more resources to put on the virtual machine than it's capable of using or something like that.

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22-Apr-2012, 07:37 AM #2
Are you experiencing any problems running the program? Is it lagging or hanging? I've used VMs 100% of the time for the last 5 years and I've learned not to worry about memory usage, CPU usage or any other oddities unless there's an actual problem.

What are you using for virtualization software? If XP Mode then it's VirtualPC, but there's also VMWare and VirtualBox.
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22-Apr-2012, 09:41 AM #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by DVOM View Post
Are you experiencing any problems running the program? Is it lagging or hanging? I've used VMs 100% of the time for the last 5 years and I've learned not to worry about memory usage, CPU usage or any other oddities unless there's an actual problem.
Nope, no problem. I'm just running a piece of software that doesn't seem to work well in Win 7. And, only in the rare times it's doing something processor intensive do I see that mismatch in performance between the virtual machine's processor's capability and the physical machine's capability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DVOM View Post
What are you using for virtualization software? If XP Mode then it's VirtualPC, but there's also VMWare and VirtualBox.
Yep. Virtual PC it is. I'll have a look at those others.
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22-Apr-2012, 10:13 AM #4
I don't think DVOM was recommending another virtual machine unless you are having an actual problem.

I use VirtualBox (only casually) and have noticed the same type of CPU usage. My assumption has been that only a portion of the CPU capacity is made available to the guest system; for example, if it is allocated 60% of the CPU capacity and uses an actual 30% that will show as 50% usage in the guest machine but in the host will show as 30% plus whatever else the host is using.
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22-Apr-2012, 12:49 PM #5
Yeah, sorry guys. It's not so much a problem I'm trying to work out as much as it is a curiosity I guess. Don't mean to take up your problem solving BW with my academic pursuits.

Just for grins I upped the priority of the VM items in the physical machine's task manager. Didn't notice that it helped.

Perhaps it's also that the VM software isn't written for taking advantage of multi-core processors? When I run the VM real hard and the VM's task manager shows high percentage CPU, I only see the majority of that activity reflected in one of the cores of the physical machine. Maybe a little extra in a second core, but the other two appear to be just idling along. That would also seem to correlate to the 25-30% figure I mentioned before, 25% being one of 4 cores being fully tasked, and 30% being 1 of 4 cores being fully tasked plus a 2nd core being partially tasked. Perhaps future VMs will boast multi-core Virtual processors that can directly use 2 or more physical cores?
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22-Apr-2012, 01:11 PM #6
VMWare Player behaves in exactly the same manner; that's how they're designed. I once put a VM on a Q8200, one of the few quad processors that doesn't support virtualization. Long story short, I could only operate the host or the VM but not both or the system would nearly come to a standstill; the two could not share hardware resources.
If you get the VM cpu usage up to 100% for several hours you'll notice some to a lot of slowdown in the host even with virtualization support, but it doesn't bring things to a standstill if the VM is only allowed a certain percentage of the hardware resources, and that's the difference you are seeing reflected.
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