VPC/WMPlayer comparison?

Discussion in 'Virtual PC' started by Vincent Fatica, May 13, 2009.

  1. I'm new to VPC ... downloaded it, installed on XPSP3 (2.66 GHz Core 2
    Quad Dell, 2GB RAM), made a Vista Ultimate VM with a 25 GB VHD. It
    works fine but it seems to be slow. This test (using JPSofts 4NT
    command processor) gives interesting comparisons:

    timer & for /L %i in (1,1,10) %comspec /c exit & timer

    Run on the host (real) machine: 1.1 sec.
    On the virtual Vista in VPC: 5.6 sec.

    I also tried VMPlayer. I don't know if it simply loaded, or
    converted, the MS VM, but it ran fine and the test above, in Vista in
    VMPlayer, gave 1.6 sec.

    I have repeated the tests many times with similar results.

    Is this to be expexted? Is VPC just that slow? Are there any
    suggestions for speeding it up (drastically)?

    Vincent Fatica, May 13, 2009
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  2. Vincent Fatica

    Bo Berglund Guest

    Install the Additions and it will speed up a bit.
    Bo Berglund, May 13, 2009
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  3. They are/were installed.
    Vincent Fatica, May 13, 2009
  4. Vincent Fatica

    Bo Berglund Guest

    Too bad, then you have done all you can. :-(
    Except of course if you have not yet enabled hardware virtualization
    for the guest, this is said to have profound effects. Can't vouch for
    this myself since my PC:s all are not equipped with VT options...

    Personally nowadays I most often use VMWare Workstation 6.51, which
    works very well indeed....

    BTW: When you used Player, how did you create the virtual machine
    (since Player does not have facilities for creating a guest)?
    Exactly what did you do to start it?

    Maybe you could get even better performance by *creating* the guest in
    VMWare (Workstation)???
    Bo Berglund, May 13, 2009
  5. I guided VMPlayer to the VPC virtual machine (in MyDocs) ... (had to
    fiddle with the drop-down box showing allowable extensions) ... and
    simply opened it. The first time VMPlayer took 3-4 minutes
    (converting/interpreting?) but thereafter, it was remembered in
    VMPlayer's UI and would start immediately.

    I gather from your comments (and the lack of others) that the slowness
    of VPC is well-known and accepted as a fact of life.

    My only gripe about VMPlayer is the fact that merely installing it
    gives you 7 new processes running all the time.
    Vincent Fatica, May 13, 2009
  6. Vincent Fatica

    Bo Berglund Guest

    VMWare puts a number of services into your system when it installs. It
    is a much larger footprint than VPC2007. You could figure this out by
    comparing the installer sizes:
    VMWare Workstation 6.5.2 = 473 Mb installer package
    VPC2007 SP1 = 32 Mb installer
    More than an order of magnitude difference!

    Right now I have my software development machine running in the
    background in VMWare Workstation and TaskManager shows 8 processes
    In my Services display I see 5 VMWare services installed.

    I guess it does take some software to have this running...
    Bo Berglund, May 13, 2009
  7. VPC VMs in general run just as fast as VMWare ones do for me. I run
    VPC almost exclusively for Windows VMs.

    Running timers in VMs doesn't really give you an accurate idea on
    speed. Depending on how the VM software handles timers, they could be
    jumping or skipping to keep up.

    some of these you can disable with no ill effects. You don't need the
    agent for a lot of things. Also, if you're not going to be using the
    built in NAT and DHCP you can turn those off.
    When I set up VMWare on a system, I always use the network based DHCP
    so I disable the other 2 VMWare adapters also.
    Steve Jain [MVP], May 13, 2009
  8. The timers were just a form of "hard evidence". **Everything** is
    **obviously** a lot slower with VPC. It wouldn't surprise me if the
    nearly 4:1 speed difference seen with the timer experiment was "across
    the board".

    You say "not so" for you. Have you any tips?
    Perhaps you can tell me if this is possible, with VPC, VMPlayer, or
    both. I have two NICs. NIC1 is dedicated to the internet (DHCP,
    RoadRunner). NIC2 is dedicated to a home LAN but most of the time
    there are no other machines on that LAN. Can I "export" the raw NIC2
    to a virtual machine, say Vista, and configure Vista to (also) do DHCP
    to RoadRunner (I'm allowed 2 RoadRunner IPs)? As it stands, I'm just
    doing the NAT thing and have basic internet connectivity but I can't
    get in from the outside.

    Vincent Fatica, May 14, 2009
  9. I'm just saying that using timers won't necessarily give you an
    accurate respresentation. Generally VMs will skip cycles to keep up.
    Also, without syncing with the host, their clocks will fall behind.
    No secrets. I give them plenty of RAM and run them on a disk that
    separate from the host OS. Most all of my systems were purchased with
    VMs in mind, so they have hardware VT also.
    You can simply remove the TCP/IP components from NIC2 on the host
    side, then the VM would get your 2nd IP from RoadRunner. I've never
    tried it on VMWare Player, but I'd assume you could do something
    similar by assigned the NIC to the VM directly.
    Steve Jain [MVP], May 14, 2009
  10. After quite a search, I found out that my Core 2 Quad Q6700 supports
    VT too. VPC doesn't see it. Must it be enabled in the BIOS set-up?
    If so, is there any down-side to enabling VT ... any additional
    requirements for using it?
    Vincent Fatica, May 14, 2009
  11. Yes, you must enable it in the BIOS also.
    Theoretically, it could be used for a malware attack, the "blue pill".
    To use VT you need a BIOS and CPU that support it, that's really it.
    Steve Jain [MVP], May 14, 2009
  12. I read somewhere that there was some connection between VT and DEP.
    Vincent Fatica, May 14, 2009
  13. [/QUOTE]

    Turning VT on made a significant difference. The results of my timer
    tests were cut in half, and twice the speed seems a good subjective
    estimate of the improvement. Thanks!
    Vincent Fatica, May 14, 2009
  14. Vincent Fatica

    Bo Berglund Guest

    Is there any PC speed test software around that can be used to assess
    performance of a physical and a virtual system in a "fair" way?
    It would be interesting to benchmark the two against each other.
    Bo Berglund, May 14, 2009
  15. Benchmarks are always tricky with virtualization. It's hard to get
    accurate results. I think that some VM benchmarks are in the works
    Steve Jain [MVP], May 14, 2009
  16. Vincent Fatica

    Jakob Bohm Guest

    Here are my two recommended test methods:

    1. Use a speed test where the important number is how long the test
    takes to run (like the for command earlier in this thread or running
    some real world task that takes time), and where that time is in the
    order of 10 to 400 seconds. Time the test with a real non-computer hand
    held stopwatch.

    2. Use a test where the test start and test end can be observed over the
    network and time the test from a computer that is not sharing any
    hardware with the test machine. Because this does not involve human
    patience and reaction time, test times can be measured with reasonable
    accuracy in the range 2 to 100000 seconds.

    Jakob Bøhm, M.Sc.Eng. * * direct tel:+45-45-90-25-33
    Netop Solutions A/S * Bregnerodvej 127 * DK-3460 Birkerod * DENMARK
    http://www.netop.com * tel:+45-45-90-25-25 * fax:+45-45-90-25-26
    Information in this mail is hasty, not binding and may not be right.
    Information in this posting may not be the official position of Netop
    Solutions A/S, only the personal opinions of the author.
    Jakob Bohm, May 14, 2009
  17. Vincent Fatica

    Bo Berglund Guest

    The problem is designing such a test program...
    For example if one just uses some simple loops then chances are high
    that the optimizing compiler discovers this and just skips the loops.
    There must be some math involved tha takes a longish time also on a
    good PC.
    Finding big prime numbers maybe? But I don't know of any such programs
    (or better yet sourcecode so I can compile myself).
    In principle I am loking for some test algorithms to include in a test
    program or for a ready-compiled test program....
    Bo Berglund, May 14, 2009
  18. Loop while randomly adding +/-1 to a counter, then print the counter.
    I don't think the compiler can fake that. If you use the same seed
    for rand() every time it'll be utterly reproducible. This produces
    better (more satisfying anyway) results in my comparison, giving 18.45
    sec on the host and 20.65 sec on the guest. It could easily be made
    more elaborate.

    #include <windows.h>
    #include <stdio.h>

    INT wmain ( INT argc, WCHAR **argv )
    INT x = 0;
    for ( INT i=0; i<1000000000; i++ )
    x += ( rand()%2 ) ? 1 : -1;
    wprintf(L"%lu\n", x);
    return 0;

    I can think of reasons why my first test (for ... %comspec /c ...)
    would give worse results. It ultimately invokes CreateProcess() a
    number of times which may be slower on Vista (guest) because of added
    security. And it causes some blinking of the console's title bar ...
    so there's some graphics going on ... likely to be much slower because
    of the emulated card and the lack of hardware acceleration.
    Vincent Fatica, May 15, 2009
  19. Vincent Fatica

    Dave Warren Guest

    In message <> Bo Berglund
    Dave Warren, May 15, 2009
  20. Vincent Fatica

    Dave Warren Guest

    In message <> "Steve Jain
    Interestingly, it won't help malware much if you use a virtualization
    solution yourself since the malware can't hide using VT while another VT
    solution uses VT itself.
    Dave Warren, May 15, 2009
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