How fast virtual PCs work and how many guest systems you can run at the same time depend on the hardware of the host computer. Virtual machines benefit from a fast processor, a lot of main memory and an SSD drive.
Tips for speeding up virtual PCs.
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Basically, a virtual machine works with any computer, provided it is not too weak on the chest. Basically, a computer that already goes to its knees with Windows 10 usually collapses with additional virtualization. In order for guest systems to run smoothly in the VM, you should know the minimum requirements for processor and RAM.
It should be possible to assign more than one processor core to a virtual machine. Therefore, a VM from the dual-core generation with Hyper-Threading (e.g. Intel Core i3-530) can be operated, but it is really recommended with a quad-core processor (e.g. Intel Core i7-4770). In addition, the CPU should be capable of hardware virtualization expansions, called Intel VT-x (Virtualization Technology) and AMD-V (AMD Virtualization), depending on the manufacturer.
If you are not sure whether this is the case with your computer, you can look up your exact processor designation on the Internet in order to study the specifications. You can get clarity faster with one tool – with Intel via the Processor Identification Utility, with AMD via the RVI Hyper V Compatibility Utility. You can find this information in the Intel tool when you select the “CPU Technologies” tab and look under “Supporting Advanced Intel Processor Technologies”. If there is a “Yes” next to “Intel (R) Virtualization Technology”, the computer with the existing CPU is suitable for virtualization and can efficiently distribute the available resources between the parallel operating systems.
Optimal conditions: If you expect a high response speed from virtual machines even under load, a reasonably up-to-date processor, an SSD and 16 or better 32 GB of RAM are advisable.
Random access memory:
Like a normal computer, the virtual machine uses RAM. An operating system in the VM works a little slower than with a classic system installation, even if the same amount of RAM is allocated. With the latest hardware, you hardly notice the difference in speed in practice. However, you cannot allocate more memory than is physically available in the host system. If you are using several virtual machines, the assigned RAM sizes add up. For each virtual machine, calculate with two to four GB of RAM. If Windows 10 is both host and guest system, at least 8 GB of RAM are required. With more main memory, i.e. 16 or 32 GB, the host and the VM are accelerated.
An SSD (Solid State Disk) can be used as a storage location for a virtual PC. As with classic installations, virtual machines also benefit from the tempo plus of an SSD compared to a conventional magnetic hard disk. In comparison, an SSD can bring up to 40 percent more speed (information in the box below).
If you are using an SSD with Virtualbox, then open the settings of a VM via Ctrl-S and go to “Mass storage”. Click on the virtual hard disk on the right in the window and tick “SSD drive” under “Attributes” on the right. This marks the SSD as non-rotatable storage. This optimizes the write / read processes on the SSD and extends its service life.
USB 3.0 upwards
In addition to the processor and main memory, the storage drive is the decisive component for virtual PCs. A fast SSD ensures short loading times and improves the response speed of guest PCs.
To use USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 devices, the free Extension Pack must be installed in Virtualbox. The EHCS / XHCI controller set up for this also enables a webcam to be “looped through” to the guest system. This is then available in the VM under “Devices -› Webcams “. The speed advantages of USB 3.1 with double the data rate compared to USB 3.0 are not available in a VM because the corresponding protocol is not currently supported by Virtualbox. As a rule, USB 3.1 devices and newer are still recognized and integrated as USB 3.0 devices. Depending on the host PC, USB-C ports may also be available. They are also usually provided with the USB 3.0 driver.
High resolution 4K monitors
When it comes to the screen resolution of its virtual guests, Virtualbox is initially based on the settings of the host computer. He restricts the selection to that effect. If the guest add-ons from Virtualbox are installed, screen resolutions higher than 1,024 × 768 are also possible with the standard drivers.
Theoretically, Virtualbox supports a graphic resolution of a maximum of 64,000 × 64,000 pixels in 32-bit color depth. This also enables the multi-monitor mode. If you have now set a 4K resolution of 3,840 × 2,160 pixels on the host PC, you can also use this in the full screen mode of Virtualbox (“Display -› Full screen mode ”). The 3D acceleration of Virtualbox ensures that the virtual machine has access to the graphics 3D acceleration of the host computer. Ideally, you should activate the 3D acceleration, which is deactivated by default, before installing the guest operating system, since switching it on at a later point in time may prevent Windows from starting. For maximum graphics speed you should test the graphics controller “VMSVGA” in the settings of the VM under “Display -› Screen “. It emulates the VMware Workstation graphics adapter (VMware SVGA 3D).
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