Desktop/ laptop specifications for VM?

Discussion in 'hardware' started by aigle, Mar 3, 2013.

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  1. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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    Here is the scenario. I want to run windows 8 or windows 7 as a guest in Ubuntu host using VBox. What should be the minimum specifications for a desktop or laptop to run it smooth?

    Currently I am doing it on my Toshiba Satellite M laptop with intel Pentium M 1.73, 1.5 GB Ram plus intel integrated graphics and though I am able to run it but everything is real slow.

    I will like to have a smooth and fast snappy system with minimum possible budget, preferably laptop.

    Thanks
     
  2. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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  3. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    IMHO a Core2Duo or equivalent or newer with hardware virtualisation and 4gb ram if your guest machines will be doing light duties will be smooth.
    You need enough free memory for your host and usual tasks, enough for the guest and plenty for disk cache/buffers.

    Im my case, Ubuntu 12.10 uses approx 1gb on my laptop whilst running Firefox with 4 tabs, Thunderbird, Gwibber, Liferea, Empathy and a few terminals. I have 2GB dedicated to my Win7 guest (1 core of my core 2 duo, which runs perfectly smooth with IE open with a few tabs and Word. It does start to slow a little if I open something else, but still usable.

    Cheers, Nick
     
  4. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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  5. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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    Thanks for replies.

    Not sure if it is correct or not but I have observed on my machine that in spite of just 1.5 GB ram( almost 600 MB given to win 7 vm) I have some free memory available even when vm is running. However I found CPU to be choking most of the time so I feel CPU power is more important than ram. Is this true?

    Also how important are graphics for smooth vm function?

    Thanks
     
  6. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    Well, RAM allows you to do more tasks in more VM's, while CPU directly affects responsiveness and speed of the whole system. A multi-core CPU allows different cores to be used for each task, thus that's recommended for virtual machines (so it doesn't share processing power with the rest of your system).

    Graphics depend on whether you have Aero enabled, or play multimedia and games on Windows 7. Unless you disable the Start Screen,Windows 8 require stronger graphics.
     
  7. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    Tons of rams, multiple cores CPU and a decent GPU. :D
     
  8. Krysis

    Krysis Registered Member

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    Don't know about your Pentium CPU – maybe not enough grunt! I have a laptop with Core i3 and have one core allocated to Windows 8 VM (64 bit) – I guess the only way to know for sure is to try!

    Regarding graphics – I have only what's built into the CPU – I cannot run anything that requires 3D acceleration – just too unstable, however this only seems to cause issues with desktops such as Cinnamon – Gnome3.
    Windows 8 runs just fine! (I do have 4GBs of RAM allocated) - I would think that Win 7 should pose no problems but can't say for sure.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
  9. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    Just found out that Fedora restoring machine state into an unresponsive white screen is due to 3D Acceleration. I'll still keep it enabled though, because there should be improved performance and you can shut down instead of save machine state.

    Krysis, does Windows 8 full screen work fine for you? On my Windows Server 2012 Guest, most of the display becomes black (except around your cursor) on full screen with 3D Acceleration enabled. I disabled that (and enabled 2D Video Acceleration for performance) to fix the issue.

    All of the above (and more) is due to the Intel HD Graphics Driver and VirtualBox conflicts. Therefore I fixed them by switching to my NVIDIA Geforce GTX card on VirtualBox.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
  10. Krysis

    Krysis Registered Member

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    I've never had an issue with full screen mode – In fact, Windows 8 ran just fine with 3D enabled until I installed the Guest Additions. After that, Windows 8 became totally unstable and had to be killed by switching back to the host and using Task Manager to kill the VM!

    Windows 8 runs flawlessly with just 2D enabled – the only oddity I note is that during a restart of Win 8 there is a momentary 'breakup' of the screen (eg, part black, part blue squares) as the Virtualbox logo appears. This does not occur on normal startup of the VM.
     
  11. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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