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Could a hardware upgrade improve vmware on a PC-CHIP Celeron 1.7 ?

Posted on 2004-10-13
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
I have an Integrated Mobtherboard PC-CHIP 925(Video 32Mb Shared,Sound,Network), with a Celeron 1.7Ghz (128kb on Cache L2) and 256Mb of RAM. An XP Professional as OS (host) on a HDD Maxtor with 40Gb.

I know this machine is very slower for Vmware Workstation, but I wonder if by upgrading the RAM from 256Mb to 512Mb and/or with an ATI Radeon 9200 of 128Mb (not shared) or GForce Apollo 128Mb, will the performance of vmware improve?
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Question by:majter
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17 Comments
 
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by:FatherErvin
ID: 12301971
For any virtual PC application it is imperitive to have more RAM... I would upgrade to 512MB ram first and see how that goes for you... remember it is loading each virtual Os into memory..

Also, after vmware and related OS are installed, run a defrag.. alot of large cache files for VMware since you didn't have alot of RAM.

Good luck,

fE
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by:JRSharpUK
ID: 12302068

I agree with the above, but its also reliant on what you select in the options of the Virtual OS, if you only set it to use 64mb when in use then its going to be slow, remember to increase the ram the Virtual OS is allowed to use to increase its performance.


Jim
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by:rustyrpage
ID: 12302088
I would definetely say that for the price of RAM, go up to 512 or even 768.  Then you may want to consider just a standard AGP or PCI video card (you don't need a massive one) that will get your video off of your system memory.
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by:Lenney97
ID: 12303259
You might want to use a PIC NIC instead of the onboard one.  I've experience lag on my workstation during heavy load on my CPU.
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by:kiranghag
ID: 12304561
graphics upgrade would not help much...
as suggested above...ram upgrade would help...

but imho...cpu is the bottleneck here..celeron has lesser cache...when you add more memory in the system, celeron cache will not be best to manage it.
in case of vmware, its the cpu that does most of the work of isolating the multiple operating systems, and converting the virtual os calls to actual cpu calls...
this means that the cpu should work more and also manage memory more faster than a normal system would require.

hence i would suggest a cpu upgrade if possible...
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Snodlander earned 100 total points
ID: 12305429
Quite right. Forget your video card - for the price of a cheap video card you should be able to buy 512MB of RAM!
Fill your PC to the brim with RAM and set the VM to use half of it.

Any further bottleneck from there is due to processor performance BUT you will find a MASSIVE increase in performance by adding at least 512MB extra RAM, one you will probably be able to live with.
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by:crazijoe
ID: 12308371
I agree with the above. Both Vmware and Virtual PC are memory hogs. Get as much memory you can. Upgrading to a P4 would help too. As kiranghag has pointed out, virtual OSs are labor intensive on a CPU. I noticed a signifigant increase in CPU temp (46 deg compared to 31 deg idle) when running Virtual PC.
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by:rustyrpage
ID: 12308794
The only reason I suggested a video card upgrade isn't for a higher performance video card, but rather for freeing up the 32mb of memory that is wasted on the video...you really don't need a great video card at all...you may even want to see about changing the BIOS settings to only allocate 8-16mb of memory to your video card.
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by:Snodlander
ID: 12314299
Fair suggestion Rustyrpage about the video card. However it would be cheaper to buy another stick of RAM than get a new video card.

BUT if you have already maxxed out your memory slots - or if you happen to have a spare video card laying around, then it is definitely a good idea.
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by:rustyrpage
ID: 12319663
You can get a 16mb video card for about 15-20 bucks.
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by:LL6
ID: 12392196
Currently I have a amd xp2400 (2GHz) with ati 9200se an 512 MB ram dual 80gigs and still vmware chugs right along, sure it works fine but its still quite slow, might just be my thought but if you want it to work well get a really beefy machine, ok...
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by:kiranghag
ID: 12396762
i got a new DELL desktop recently...pentium IV-2.8 GHz, 1GB RAM, onboard video, 80GB IDE with Win XP loaded...

after using it, i found that rustyrpage has a small but imp point..

whenever the virtual machine is on, windows performance is little degraded...especially when Windows paints the window-animations. cpu utilisation is little okay (20-40%)as compared to previous one (60-70%). apart from that, there is no "visible" lag

so i guess video cards with shared memory should be replaced with the one using seperate memory...or need to turn off animations...

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by:Snodlander
ID: 12397796
LL6 Have you set the memory allocation correctly on your VM?
If you have 512MB of RAM I would suggest running upto a maximum of 256MB for the VM.
If you assign too much memory to the VM then your real machine won't function very well at all - especially if it's running XP. You should keep at least 256MB for your system.
Ideally you should add an extra 512MB stick and split the memory. 512 for the VM and 512 for your real system. Or up to around 700 for your VM would be good, it just depends what you are using more.

Your xp2400 is more than enough to run one VM.


Kiranghag==>whenever the virtual machine is on, windows performance is little degraded...

Again, how are you dividing your memory between the VM and your real system? With a gig of RAM and the right configuration you should have no issues at all.

Of course I'm not saying that onboard video is good enough for everything these days, but it should still be a functional and workable option.
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by:Snodlander
ID: 12711892
I would like points please :)
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by:Snodlander
ID: 12712564
Thankyou :)
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Author Comment

by:majter
ID: 12712572
You are all right!, the best thing you can do for increasing the performance of vmware is to increase de RAM. If you can afford to have 1Gb of DDR RAM that would be great.

But, by using a better CPU (not Celeron like me) you will see a really great increase in performance limited only by the RAM.

So we have performance on RAM limited by CPU and performance on CPU limited by RAM. Let us be fair with both and everything will go fine.

I've also noticed (like mentioned earlier) that motherboards that have an integrated Video Card (always shared memory) like mine suffer for lower performance, but it depends of the quality (brand) of your motherboard. An AGP Video Card like ATI or NVidia or similar (not shared) could fix this.

Integrated motherboards "may" also suffer for lower performance by applying Services Packs, Motherboard Drivers, Software, etc. Better to catch the software problem earlier and try to have a clean OS on this kind of motherboards.

Thanks to all and bye.
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