I recently installed Fusion 7.01 on my MacPro to run Windows 7 for the purposes of using some software that is only available on Windows. The video performance is extremely clunky when compared to a PC of nominally similar or even reduced capacity to the virtual machine I've built.
2.7GHz 12-core Xeon E5
64GB 1867MHz DDR3
Dual AMD FirePro D700 6144MB
Virtual Machine Specifications:
8 processor cores
2048MB Shared graphics memory
The video rendering performance, as well as the general feel of any program execution, is extremely clunky. I'm not even able to complete a Windows Experience Index assessment.
Any and all help for a novice of novices user in setting up the machine to perform well would be extremely appreciated. It seems as though given the machine I'm using, I should be able to have a respectable Windows experience for even modestly resource demanding applications.
Thank you kindly for any and all help.
I did try reinstalling VMWare tools. If it had any effect, it might be a bit worse. Admittedly, this is based on a very qualitative assessment. At best, I'd class it as no change.
I am using Windows 7 enterprise, so I might be limited to 2 cores. I'm unsure. Even still, I'd rate the performance as well below what I'd expect.
Thank you kindly for the reply. Any thoughts on finding potential problems or seeking potential improvements?
Virtual Machine Specifications:
8 processor cores
2048MB Shared graphics memory
Dropping any of those parameters would yield in an improve of performance. The "less is more" paradigm counts.
AFAIK the CPU scheduler for the desktop products such as Fusion is not as advanced as the one used under vSphere and having the need for 8 CPU cores free at the same time can cause lag. Personally I would drop that to 4 cores (or maybe even 2)
49GB of memory while in theory great is still backed by 49GB of disk.. so your VM will boot very very slow.
2048MB graphics memory allows you to use more memory and a higher DPI, however unless I misunderstand the technology (and VMware has done something very very advanced in Fusion 7) it uses normal RAM, not the super fast memory on your graphics card. So using more memory here will likely end up in reduced performance as well. Drop to 512 or 1024MB max.
hope this helps,
Thank you kindly for the response. I very sincerely appreciate it.
I knocked the cores down to two and cut the memory in ~1/2, and performance wasn't perceptibly enhanced.
Any other thoughts? Is anyone else having a similar experience with their Windows VM running what seems to be extremely slowly?
Thanks so much.
There's many possible reasons for why a VM would perform badly.
So this change didn't make the big difference. Let's move on then.
If you look at the CPU load of the VM. How is it performing in Windows task manager?
Do you see a lot of CPU usage from within the VM? Of particular interest is if there is a VMware Tools process using a lot of CPU.
The CPU Usage floats between 0 and ~3% idling, and quickly raises to ~50% for more or less any task execution. When performing the manipulations of particular interest in the software I'm specifically using Windows for, the CPU Usage goes as high as 80%, but never fully pins. The Memory stays around ~3GB.
The VMWare Tools process is occupying ~10MB of memory and essentially never blips the CPU.
I'm beginning to think that it must be that case that it's not using the available video cards, which stinks. I'm wondering if something like BootCamp is really what I should be using. I'm still in denial though, as I'd much prefer to be able to use Fusion.
Thanks again for any and all help.
Honestly in my experience.... Fusion 7 just performs poorly all around and is a step back in stability and performance in general. If you could find a version of 6.0.5 it would likely perform better... however expect issues with some graphics re-painting, etc.
Personally, I am sticking with 6.0.5 and Mavericks for now due to the performance issues until resolved. In my opinion, it will likely be a month or so until things stabilize.
A bootcamp machine can still be used from within Fusion during less demanding periods, you can then re-use the bootcamp Windows partition as a virtual machine.
Your remark "I'm beginning to think that it must be that case that it's not using the available video cards" is correct as ALL hardware except for CPU and memory is virtualised. The graphics card that your virtual machine sees has lots of its work done on the CPU, not the GPU, it's the way virtualisation works.
This is so that multiple virtual machines can have a graphics adapter at the same time as the host OS.
For a better explanation read: Frequently Asked Questions about VMware Fusion and in particular the part that starts with "Virtual Hardware".
If the workload you have for your windows machine is video editing or something like that then yes you could call it clunky and AFAIK no virtualisation product available today offers PCI Pass-through of the GPU when running under OS X. In theory you could run vSphere and then pass-through one of the graphics cards to a windows guest OS , but that would change your nice MacPro from a desktop into a server as you can then only connect from another machine.
I think the answer on your question boils down more on what exactly you mean when you say "clunky".
Edit: For reference on the overall windows experience index I would expect you to get at least a 5.
To give you an idea of what you should see:
A windows 7 x64 SP1 VM, with 256MB of memory assigned to the virtual graphics adapter, I'm running on my 2012 macbook pro gives a overall index of 4.5, a 5.9 on graphics and a 5.8 on gaming graphics.
While that is sufficient for normal usage, it would be disappointing for video editing.
Weird. I suspended my machine (bad choice), changed the compatibility setting from 11 to 10, and then resumed the machine (system crashed, rebooted), but it seems to have solved the issue of any small action causing the CPU usage to jump to 100%. But now that I look at my compatibility setting again, it's still at 11. So I'm not sure what happened, but my system is definitely more responsive than before. Hitting the Windows button to bring up the start menu doesn't lag and cause 100% CPU.
* I also need to add that when resuming after downgrading the hardware version from 11 to 10, it asked me if I wanted to upgrade the VM. My VM was made last year using Fusion 5 (funny how fast version numbers change), but I didn't get such a prompt when running the VM after upgrading to Fusion 7.
* UPDATE: Nevermind, after leaving it for awhile, the extreme CPU on every action is back. I'm going to try setting the compatibility setting again to see if it will stay at 10.
Message was edited by: eugeneyk
All things being equal I definitely agree that Fusion 7 is a step backward in performance and stability. Both on Mavericks and Yosemite. It seems especially bad in Windows, and really horrible after long idle periods, even with neither host or guest set to sleep. This morning it took Chrome like 5 minutes to open with two tabs at 100% CPU.
Boy I wish I had this thread about 18 hours ago. I went about slowly started to remove services and programs (needed a little cleaning anyway), viewed many "Fixes" via Google and Bing, stayed up pretty much all night last night trying to find this fix. In the back of my mind I knew it had to be a Fusion issue not a guest OS issue as even the initial boot took forever unless I moved the mouse. Changing the hardware compatibility to 10 this morning and all is back to normal.
Ok. Switching back to hardware 10 only LOOKED like it worked. Seems like my iMac has a particular issue (Mid-2011). Here is the hack I found that work -
As from the symptoms, the issue can lie in NVRAM preferences of your particular Mac.
Please do the following to solve:
open Terminal application on Mac (Applications/Terminal.app)
please type this command (you may copy-paste it to the terminal from this message):
sudo nvram boot-args="debug=0xd4e"
You will be prompted to enter Mac user password. Please type it and hit Enter.
Note: you won't see what you are typing, just type and hit Enter. If you don't have Mac user password, please create a temporary one.
Then you may restart your Mac and the issue should be solved.
I have been running now for about 30 minutes and no high CPU issues. Now to try with Hardware 11...