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Thread: Slow Virtualbox

  1. #1
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    Slow Virtualbox

    Well, now that I'm on stable LTS OS, I would rather not dual boot or anything. So, I gave Virtualbox a extensive run.
    Info:
    My original system:
    P4 3.0GHz
    4GB RAM
    On board GPU.

    Usually what I give to VB:
    Execution cap 100%
    RAM 2GB
    Video memory 128 (enable 2d acceleration)

    To just give it a go on Xubuntu host, I tried Fedora Xfce as guest, and it ran extremely slow compared to what XP guest ran on Ubuntu 13.10 host.
    Weren't windows OS suppose to be more resource consuming one? I'm bit lost here as to what other changes do I need to do, so any suggestions are appreciated :3
    Any suggestions regarding what guest's might run best with this configuration/settings, if I need to tweak anything and anything else I might need to install to make VB's life easier, are welcomed as well.

    I wouldn't mind trying different Virtual software if it is faster either, so please don't hold your hand back there.

  2. #2
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    Re: Slow VB

    Did you install the Extension Pack? That can make a difference with video performance in some cases.

    Take a look at swap usage on both the host and guest. Are either of them using a lot of swap? If so, you might want to reallocate memory between the host and guest.
    Last edited by SeijiSensei; May 1st, 2014 at 09:17 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Slow VB

    I discovered the other day that enabling the CPU's virtualisation extensions in the BIOS make huge difference to how fast a VB guest runs. And I couldn't enable more than one cpu in VB until I enabled support.

  4. #4
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    Re: Slow VB

    Is the P4 single or dual core?

    I've never even attempted to run a VB configuraiton on a single-core machine. Not to say it can't be done, but I certainly would assume there would be lots of lag with any OS...

  5. #5
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    Re: Slow VB

    A reasonable Ubuntu guest (using a browser and libreoffice and some programs) doesn't use more than 1 GB so the problem isn't memory. You might tweak the chipset: sometimes that can make a difference: ICH9 can be faster. In essence, I didn't find that 3D acceleration makes a difference, but that may be hardware dependent.
    But perhaps the problem is the guest: Fedora isn't exactly the leanest. Xubuntu and Lubuntu are other candidates. And don't forget: an OS like XP that is over 10 years old shouldn't be compared with modern OS.

  6. #6
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    Re: Slow VB

    Quote Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
    Did you install the Extension Pack? That can make a difference with video performance in some cases.

    Take a look at swap usage on both the host and guest. Are either of them using a lot of swap? If so, you might want to reallocate memory between the host and guest.
    Yes, ''guest extension pack'' is installed. And yes, there was noticeable difference between mouse handling of the guest than it was before. But guest OS itself is acting quite slow.

    Amount of SWAP used was around 48 MB. And it was by host, I assume it is because I gave considerable amount to VB and host started to ''finally'' use that swap area.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Cog View Post
    I discovered the other day that enabling the CPU's virtualisation extensions in the BIOS make huge difference to how fast a VB guest runs. And I couldn't enable more than one cpu in VB until I enabled support.
    I didn't knew that, I'll try and see if it makes any difference on my machine. Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by jon43 View Post
    Is the P4 single or dual core?

    I've never even attempted to run a VB configuraiton on a single-core machine. Not to say it can't be done, but I certainly would assume there would be lots of lag with any OS...
    It is single, but my system usage have never exceeded 75-90% with even VB working. I was using the same settings and everything even on my 13.10 to run XP and there wasn't any noticeable lag tbh.

    Quote Originally Posted by jdeca57 View Post
    A reasonable Ubuntu guest (using a browser and libreoffice and some programs) doesn't use more than 1 GB so the problem isn't memory. You might tweak the chipset: sometimes that can make a difference: ICH9 can be faster. In essence, I didn't find that 3D acceleration makes a difference, but that may be hardware dependent.
    But perhaps the problem is the guest: Fedora isn't exactly the leanest. Xubuntu and Lubuntu are other candidates. And don't forget: an OS like XP that is over 10 years old shouldn't be compared with modern OS.
    Yes, indeed. I never give 3D acceleration. Mostly because I've my doubts my system being able to handle that level of graphics. But I'll have a look at ICH9. Thanks!

    @Bolded: Good point! I'll try out running Lubuntu and if it came down it maybe some other distro similar to it in weight.

    Another thing I've been wondering is how to increase disk (HD not CD/DVD) read /write speed of guest OS. I've done some research and it turns out that you can do that by using RAID or something but that sounds going way too far for miserly home testing VB. Are there any other ways to do that, I'm assuming it matters?
    Last edited by LastDino; May 2nd, 2014 at 06:38 AM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Slow VB

    RAID is generally slower at writes, since it writes the same information across multiple devices, and for some RAID flavors calculates and writes a checksum as well. Of the RAID flavors that provide true redundancy, RAID1 is generally faster at reads than a single disk since the information can be pulled from both copies at the same times.

    RAID0 ("striping") is also faster than a single disk, but it provides no redundancy. It's not a solution I would choose since I'm generally more concerned with reliability than performance.

    I'd be surprised if the disk performance by the guest is notably degraded. Sure the data has to travel through the interface with the host, but that all happens in the CPU and memory. Since disk performance is largely a function of the physical device itself, I would think the guest probably has about the same read/write speeds as the host.
    Last edited by SeijiSensei; May 2nd, 2014 at 02:54 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Slow VB

    Quote Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
    RAID is generally slower at writes, since it writes the same information across multiple devices, and for some RAID flavors calculates and writes a checksum as well. Of the RAID flavors that provide true redundancy, RAID1 is generally faster at reads than a single disk since the information can be pulled from both copies at the same times.

    RAID0 ("striping") is also faster than a single disk, but it provides no redundancy. It's not a solution I would choose since I'm generally more concerned with reliability than performance.

    I'd be surprised if the disk performance by the guest is notably degraded. Sure the data has to travel through the interface with the host, but that all happens in the CPU and memory. Since disk performance is largely a function of the physical device itself, I would think the guest probably has about the same read/write speeds as the host.
    That is some valuable information, I learned something new. Thank you very much ^^

    So, all in all, the issue has more to do with me using latest guest OS and my original machine lacking horse power to do so. And it's turning out to be the only real hindrance here.

    I'll mark the thread as solved but any one who has some input to give, please do so

  9. #9
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    Re: Slow VB

    Virtualizing on any CPU less than a Core2Duo is unpleasant. However, I do get good VM performance out of a new Haskel Celeron Chromebook ($199).
    http://blog.jdpfu.com/slowVbox explains how.

  10. #10
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    Re: Slow VB

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFu View Post
    Virtualizing on any CPU less than a Core2Duo is unpleasant. However, I do get good VM performance out of a new Haskel Celeron Chromebook ($199).
    http://blog.jdpfu.com/slowVbox explains how.

    Wow! Nice share. It had all settings in details. I'll test them out when I'm on my test run. Thank you very much! :3

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