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VMware Performance

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June 15, 2006 12:06:50 AM

I am considering upgrading my current A64 3200+ to something of the AM2 X2 variety, with my main consideration being VMware performance. It may sound like a stupid question, but I was wondering how much of a difference in performance I would notice within VMware? Does it even support multi-threading? A quick look on their website brings up nothing, but that doesn't mean anything.

Also, would I see much of a difference when using a native 64-bit host OS like SUSE as opposed to, say WinXP PRO? My instinct tells me yes, but as I have as of yet been unable to get VMware to run on my Linux install, I am still left in the dark.

Another interesting point: I have noticed the XEN virtualization software that is able to be installed on my system. I was wondering how that works compared to VMware, and what kind of guest OS' it supports. Thanks for any suggestions.

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June 15, 2006 12:53:59 AM

The newer processors out that are dual core will give many virtualization tools the effect of full virtualization. In the past the virtualization involved spoofing a processor and taking away signifigantly from system preformance. Im not sure about amd (thought i would assume that it does) but the intel 9xx series and above would alot a core to the host system and a core to the virtualized operating system and give it an nice preformance boost and make it more stable. So if the processor your looking at supports virtualization you will see a nice preformance boost. Apart from multitasking you will see a boost in preformance in just general multitasking due to the fact that you have essentially 2 processors. All dual core processor support dual/hyper threading in fact AMD is trying to get reverse hyperthreading and dual threading to work (i.e. 1 task being processed by 2 cores for 2x the speed.)


64 bit operating systems opperate a faster than their 32 bit counterparts and allow 64 bit apps to run (though you do loose the ability to run 16 bit apps). While you dont see a big boost with a 64 bit os you will see a tremendous boost with a 64 bit application. For a taste of a 64 bit app look no further than the alpha of the 64 bit version of firefox called Deer Park.

I use VMWare in Windows and Xen occasionally in Linux. Say you wanted to test Suse 10.2 with out reinstalling, you could run 10.2 in Suse 10.1 by installing it in xen. Xen likes to have a xen enabled kernel (i.e. another distro of linux only at the moment and a similar distro at that) to run the os through. Its usefullness is limited at the moment it is still very young when compared to VMWare. So at the moment stick with vmware in windows for playing with virtualization.
June 15, 2006 1:47:01 AM

Thanks for the info. I have used many 64 bit apps in SUSE, and I must say, I do see the difference. Also, thanks for clearing that up about xen.

The reverse hyperthreading you mentioned sounds promising. I had heard it mentioned in other threads, but had yet to actually hear what it is. I have heard some doubts about it, and am worried that it may never come to bear. I do give kudos to AMD for trying at least, and if the tech gets developed, we may well see some extremely fast processors around sometime in the near future.

Sounds great! I'll stick with my VMware and try to compile it for linux. I don't like having to run windows to get my networking to work (long story), but for this system, it seems a necessity.

Another note: I wonder what vista will be like. I have ordered a beta DVD and am waiting for it to get here. Hopefully it will be better than XP in terms of performance, but with my system, it may be a little sluggish. Old FX5200 graphics card and what not.
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June 15, 2006 1:50:34 AM

I run vmware alot on gentoo. Performance is pretty good when vmware tools are installed, even on my system (3ghz p4). Personally, i can't wait to see what the performance will be with a conroe dual core hardware accelerated virtualization system.

I will be switching to xen when i build conroe system in august/sept. I always prefer open source/free software. I'm hoping by then xen will be optimized for hardware virtualization.
June 15, 2006 1:59:10 AM

Im using vista right now and its nice. I am personally going to continue to use xp x64. Vistas only redeaming quality right now in my view is the eye candy and the final seperation between internet explorer and windows explorer.
June 15, 2006 2:07:10 AM

I got ahold of a very beta (alpha?) version of XP64 and there was no support for it, and it really wasn't working. No drivers, no updates, no programs, no nothing. I gave up on it and haven't tried again since. I'm sure that XP64 final is much better than what I used, but for me, I'll use what works.

By the way, I did notice that the xp64 was much faster for the 30 minutes it would run than any xp32 that I ever used.
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