Performance optimisation on XP for VMWare

Hi All,

I have a Dell Precision 490 with 3 GB of RAM and Xeon(TM) CPU 3.20GHz - In Task Manager the CPU shows 8 virtual CPU's, i assume the system has 2 quad core CPU's???

Anyway when i run VMware (mostly windows 2003) i've noticed the performance isnt great (either on the host or vm). I was wondering if there are any tweaks i can make to get better performance.

The first thing that comes to mind is to set affiinity - what would be the configuration to go for? I only really use this machine for VMware 6 (which has multiple images but i try to run only one at a time)

any ideas i could try?

Who is Participating?
kebabsConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Besides running a bare bones XP set up, affinity would indeed be your best bet if the main purpose of the host is to run VMWare.

This may be of interest:

VMware ESX Server guest OS performance tips (parts 1, 2 and 3),289483,sid179_gci1277586,00.html,289483,sid179_gci1277588,00.html,289483,sid179_gci1277587,00.html
larstrConnect With a Mentor Commented:
While the ESX advices above are also somewhat valid for your hosted environment there are also a few additional things that you can do to improve the performance. Pleas see the list I've compiled here:

everxrayConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Hi hardeepnarwan,

We use VMWare for work all the time, based on my experience, the following procedure should increase your VMWare performance by some margin:
1. Ram: the more the better, if your VMWare runs out of Virtual memory, the VM and the host box will become slow altogether
2. Run your VMWare on a separate HDD - just copy your VMWare folder to another HDD and run it from there

Hope that helps
aldanchConnect With a Mentor Commented:

Make sure that VT is enabled at the BIOS. Dell ships these workstations with VT disabled. This will benefit your VMs.

Which platform are you running your VMs on? Workstation 6.5, VMware Server 2 or 1x, or ESX? If your 490 is solely for running VMs, then use ESX (run ESXi on a USB drive - and manage it with a VI client running on another PC. If you need to manage your VMs on the same machine, then use either VMware Server 1x or 2  or VMware Workstation (meant for dev/test), but make sure to run them on a 64-bit host OS to go beyond 4GB of RAM. According to Dell, the 490 can go up to 32 GB of RAM ( What are the memory requirements for your VMs?

What types of drives are you using (SAS, SATA, 7k , 10k or 15k RPM)? Also, what is your hard drive configuration (SAS drives on RAID10 or SATA drives on RAID5, etc)? If you're using SATA, you may want to consider SAS drives running at either 10k or 15k RPM. The 490 does support SAS (

What types of VMs are you running on here? What are their virtual hardware specs (CPU, RAM, HDD)?
Depending on the type of VMs you're running will determine how many you can run on this machine.
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