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Re: [Plex86-devel] Performance characteristics

From: Daniel Gryniewicz
Subject: Re: [Plex86-devel] Performance characteristics
Date: 20 Feb 2003 12:29:44 -0500

On Thu, 2003-02-20 at 10:38, Bob Diepenbrock wrote:
> Shai,
> My experience is only with Plex86 and VMWare which are roughly the
> same from a theory perspective although they vary greatly in
> implementation.
> Using the same activity on the plain host machine verses the two...
> 1.  VMWare - Seems to be about 80% of host OS speed for most things,
> this improves if you can obtain and install the Guest OS VMWare driver
> packages, but not all that much.  I've seen near 100% for a limited
> set of user level processes.
> 2.  Plex86 - Seems to be about 50% of host OS speed.  Which in my mind
> is SLOW.  I've heard reports that BOCS can exceed Plex86's performance
> at times.
> Your results may vary due to target machine differences.  I currently
> have a P2-300 with 128MB Ram and some slow IDE disks that I use for
> playing around with these things.  I'm sure that more RAM would
> greatly enhance the performance of both Plex86 and BOCS.

I use VMware all the time, mostly for developing on OSs that are not
stable/featurefull enough to run natively, and I keep around a Win95
image so I can use IE for things that require IE.  My experience with it
is also that it varies.  However, for most things, I find it not an
acceptable substitute for real hardware.  I run on a 1 GHz Athlon with
512 MB of RAM, which allows me to devote a significant amount of
processor and RAM to VMware, and I definitely wouldn't want to do any
kind of work in it.  Disk access is painful, to say the least.  Raw
number crunching is okay, but almost nothing I do ever does raw number
crunching.  I tend to do compiles, or access web sites, or run editors,
things like that.  Only the huge advantages of not having to reboot, not
having to maintain numerous partitions, not having to balance resources
between the various OSs (mainly disk), and always having my main apps
available in my main OS make it worth it.  I certiainly wouldn't use it
in any situation where two cheaper hardware platforms would work, as my
experience, especially with running two of them, is that your better off
with two sets of hardware half the cost than with one large piece of
hardware running VMware.  Note that all of this is qualitative, as I
have no  numbers to back me up.  However, as a side note, you cannot run
all but the simplest games in VMware, even those that don't require
hardware grahpics acceleration.  It's just too slow.

Daniel Gryniewicz <address@hidden>

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