Performance optimisation on XP for VMWare

Posted on 2008-11-07
Last Modified: 2013-12-10
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?

Question by:hardeepnarwan
    LVL 8

    Accepted Solution

    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
    LVL 18

    Assisted Solution

    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:

    LVL 3

    Assisted Solution

    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
    LVL 8

    Assisted Solution


    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.

    Featured Post

    Looking for New Ways to Advertise?

    Engage with tech pros in our community with native advertising, as a Vendor Expert, and more.

    Join & Write a Comment

    I have purchased two new systems and both are now Universal Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) based. UEFI is replacing BIOS for the desktop PC. It is a Linux based firmware with enough robustness it can communicate with a website without loading …
    Today, still in the boom of Apple, PC's and products, nearly 50% of the computer users use Windows as graphical operating systems. If you are among those users who love windows, but are grappling to keep the system's hard drive optimized, then you s…
    Teach the user how to convert virtaul disk file formats and how to rename virtual machine files on datastores. Open vSphere Web Client: Review VM disk settings: Migrate VM to new datastore with a thick provisioned (lazy zeroed) disk format: Rename a…
    This Micro Tutorial steps you through the configuration steps to configure your ESXi host Management Network settings and test the management network, ensure the host is recognized by the DNS Server, configure a new password, and the troubleshooting…

    746 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    17 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now