3.0 and CPU utilization

Discussion in 'Parallels Desktop for Mac' started by Neuron, Apr 8, 2006.

  1. Hagbard

    Hagbard Member

    After updating to Beta 3, my idle CPU % has increased from 10-12% to about 35%. I am running Linux VMs on an iMac 17" 2.0 ghz. This is not causing me any problems in particular, but it does seem excessive. Good luck to the hard-working developers working on performance optimization!
  2. Hugh Watkins

    Hugh Watkins Forum Maven

    my MacBook Pro running hot is an apple design issue discussed elsewhere on usenet

    my work around is simple
    I use it on a metal plate which provides an additional heat sink

    I use the machine static but luggable when I go abroad for a couple of months
    with external screen, usb mouse and keyboard and usb drive

    there are four settings for the EnergySaver and I use that for Better Peformance

    just now the Activity Monitor shows Parallels taking 71 to 80 % CPU
    BUT WinXP is running Windows Live Messenger and google tools with news flashes

    and WINXP is set to auto update all those security patches

    so it would be wong to blame Parallels
    because I am just one heavy handed WInXP user

    Writng this in Firefox usscpu 2 to 4 % with peaks at 14 to 20%

    The Activity monitor is inconsistent

    at bottom left 60% idle
    30% System 6.5% user

    so it looks as if the % CPU fo Parallels is for one core
    17 threads

    the whole
    194 threads 56 processes

    looking into Windows Task Manager

    avgw.exe is taking 60 + % "protecting me against viruses"

    now in the activity monitor parallels is taking 107 to 117 % SIC

    and the WInXP system is very busy
    and the fans are slowly speeding up

    time for breakfast

    Hugh W
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2006
  3. Hugh Watkins

    Hugh Watkins Forum Maven

    just got a peak of 136% by running the windows defragmenting utility

    Hugh W
  4. ajwans

    ajwans Member

    This problem has gotten worse for me with beta 3 build 3106, it used to run at around
    20% when the guest was idle now it's 60-70%. The activity monitor showed that the
    process was spending most of it's time in semaphore_wait_signal_trap with 2358
    calls during the sample period.

    This is starting to become a real problem, especially since I'm a Macbook user who
    would like to program on the move. Otherwise terrific product.

  5. ErBiC

    ErBiC Bit poster

    Egh... I just checked my C2D MBP'S Parallels CPU usage with an idle Vista RTM VM and it hovers around seventy percent (!)

    Kinda disturbing, although there's no noticeable slowdown because the second core takes a lot of stuff. I can even play Warcraft III alongside this with no side effects except the fans going crazy... but they do that for everything I run in Rosetta. :)

    I don't really travel with this machine, so it's not a huge issue.
  6. Hugh Watkins

    Hugh Watkins Forum Maven

    today running at 26% falling to 20% 15%

    within WinXP
    msnmsgr is the memory hog

    th MS XP active system process is the CPU hog

    Coherence and Parallels tools take an insignificant amount of CPU and memory in comparison

    Hugh W
  7. dominic.giles

    dominic.giles Bit poster

    Okay... Using a kernel with linux 2.6 kernel with hertz set to 100 (defaults to 1000, requires recompilation) significantly reduces the cpu load (almost halves it). Parallels still takes 20% but this is better than it was... And is usable. Still needs work but for linux parallels users this may be a start.

  8. AlanH

    AlanH Pro

    I see close to 100% of one core when idling either an XP or Fedora VM. It actually slows my background Folding@Home productivity by about 30% on a Mac Pro. As a result I try to suspend VMs whenever they are not in use.
  9. eblot

    eblot Junior Member

    It really seems that CPU load is
    * excellent w/ WinXP: very low CPU usage on the host when the guess is idle
    * good for Win2k: low CPU usage in the same conditions, while higher than w/ XP: about 25%
    * quite poor w/ Linux: 45-55% on host while the guest OS is idle (Debian w/ kernel 2.6.18-3-686). Active monitor reports about 30% for system time on the host.

    It's not just about battery life, it is also about laptop usage: the MBP is getting too hot whenever a Linux guest OS has been booted in a Parallels VM.

    Host machine is a MBP Core Duo @ 1.83GHz & 2GB DDR2

    BTW it would be really nice if Linux support got some love so that a Linux version of the Parallels tools exist.
  10. non-troppo

    non-troppo Member

    What exactly do you mean by *excellent*? Idle XP, whether via bootcamp or not, uses 12-20% on a 2Gz MB C2D. Even when paused it is sucking 12%; that is still way too high. Even MSDOS 6.22 uses a constant 11% CPU. I am trialling Parallels, and will purchase when this gets fixed.
  11. dm3

    dm3 Member

    Which version of Parallels? I'm using build 3120 and I'm getting on Windows 2000 cpu usage of 25-40% while Win2000 is idle reporting 0% cpu usage.

    I can't remember if it used to be this high in previous releases, but this level of CPU usage is preventing me from running some multimedia applications and is therefore unacceptable. I also have the VMWare beta installed and my check how it does. I think they say their beta may have higher CPU usage than the final product.
  12. arkangel1a

    arkangel1a Bit poster

    i must say i'm impressed with parallels for mac's performance.

    i'm running parallels build 3120 on my imac core duo, 1.5GB ram,

    the guest os is gentoo, running portage which is just fetching packages (no compiling, basically a wget)... top on the vm says its load ave is 0.01, . the vm has 320MB, 4gb drive (non-expanding), no gui.

    activity monitor is saying parallels is using 23% to 27% cpu, 360MB real memory, 1.99GB virtual memory.

    parallels for mac's a great product, looking forward to future versions!
  13. dm3

    dm3 Member

    I check again on my CPU usage problems, not sure what changed or why it was happening, but an IDLE Win2k VM which reports 0% CPU usage was using 60+% CPU on my Macbook. Needless to say that is unacceptable.

    I've since reverted back to build 1970 and am happy to report that idle CPU usage is down to 5-10%. That is much more tolerable.

    Reminder again... I use a Mac to run Mac applications and only occasionally need Windows. I can't have Parallels consuming my machine when I'm not using it. Have to make sure support for fancier Windows facilities doesn't break the Mac OS X support, otherwise folks will either ditch Parallels or ditch the Mac and just run straight Windows.
  14. arsorkin

    arsorkin Bit poster

    I am seeing 50%+ cpu usage constantly in Activity Monitor with an idle Linux (Centos 4) virtual machine with RC2 on a MBP C2D. I don't recall it being that high previously, but I wasn't
    specifically looking. The fans came on hard when I was doing some file compression on the
    Mac side, so I fired up Actvity Monitor to find out why. BTW, as others have reported, the
    client VM reports maybe 1% cpu usage.
  15. arsorkin

    arsorkin Bit poster

    P.S. I paused the VM and see Parallels using between 8% and 15% cpu (it bounces between
    those two numbers).
  16. arsorkin

    arsorkin Bit poster

    FWIW, I halted the VM but did not stop it in Parallels, and Parallels is still showing about 25% cpu in Activity Monitor.
  17. towfiq

    towfiq Bit poster

    When will this be fixed?????

    Look at the beginning of this thread -- this has been a problem for almost a YEAR! I would like to know if the Parallels team has this as a top priority to fix or not ... and do you understand the problem but can't fix it, or can't reproduce it, or...????
  18. dm3

    dm3 Member

    I tried flipping some options and have been able to get idle CPU to around 10%, which is close enough to build 1970 that was 5-10%. This is running windows 2000.

    Biggest effect was to disable USB support. I assume the new USB 2.0 support really jacked up the CPU utilization even when the VM is idle.

    I also disabled the option which displays a thumbnail of VM screen in the dock. I also disabled sound support but I don't think it had much of an effect.

    I'm still unhappy with this new release of Parallels. I tried installing Ubuntu and Vista and had fatal problems installing both of them. Not sure what the problem is. I am installing to a disk image that is on an NFS mount. I tried the same install with the new Netware beta and it ran fine. It was even able to install both of them simultaneously. The problems were severe enough with Parallels that I had to reboot.
  19. bryanl

    bryanl Bit poster

    I was having some load issues and I found that turning USB support off in the VMs made everything run a bit more smoothly. I run a linux and a win2k3 image pretty all the time, and my loads have been pretty acceptable.
  20. gegervision

    gegervision Hunter

    USB is the issue with increased CPU usage

    I will confirm the issue with an attached USB device increasing CPU usage. I sent emails/screenshots to Parallels a while back. The increased CPU usage on the hosting side of Parallels occurs when you connect any USB device and increases with each extra device attached. Run a test yourselves and you'll see this firsthand. With no USB devices attached I get approx 15% CPU usage while using XP Pro pretty heavy (Photoshop, InDesign, SSH Client, Outlook and several IE7 windows open at a time). Once a USB deviced is attached the CPU usage on the host side increases to 45%. If I add another device it increases to 55% and so on. To me the CPU issues seem to be related to USB, but Parallels will need to confirm that on their end but as far as my testing it's very apparent that USB is the issue.

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