Constant CPU Usage

Discussion in 'Installation and Configuration' started by Chris Gilpin, Aug 3, 2007.

  1. emental


    Anyone here tried their latest Beta2 build 5120? For me it seriously improved CPU usage by Parallels. I also removed iTunesHelper from running processes and that helped reduce CPU from 35% to ~9%.
  2. marting


    Try altering the configuration for the VM in the "Configuration Editor", In the left list, select the "Options". Then click the Advanced tab to the right. You can set "Optimize for better performance" to "Mac OS X Applications".
  3. Olivier

    Olivier Kilo Poster

    In no case does this make your notebook almost useless, but that's only my opinion against yours and that's not the point anyway. There is a public beta ongoing since the beginning of august (and there is a beta area on these forums too). That beta brings up a lot of fixes and new features too. I won't recommend anybody to run it, unless you understand what a beta really is, but there is one and the latests builds actually show a significant performance increase in terms of % cpu reduction. A really idle Windows XP "eats" something like 9 to 11 % cpu of the Mac host. A really idle Windows XP is one without ill-behaved (and often hidden) programs and services running in the background. Apple iTunesHelper is one such background task many XP VM may have which is known to significantly up the % cpu usage on the Mac side without evidence on the XP VM side.
  4. jeremyy_


    Thanks for the info on the beta. I use my machine for work, so I'll probably wait for the final release.

    Your comment that "in no case" does the CPU usage make a notebook useless is a bit strong. In my particular case, I often need to get work done in Windows while on battery, and this is just not an option with the CPU usage. I go from a 3 hour battery life to 30 minutes if Windows is running.

  5. mgl


    30% base cpu usage when running linux vm, too!

    I also see 30% cpu usage from Parallels 3 on the mac when running a linux VM on my 2.0ghz Core 2 Duo mac.

    The linux vm is very bare-bones-- no graphics, few daemons. In the virtual machine configuration I disabled USB, Audio, CD, Floppy-- everything but the harddisk and network (which I have set to "bridged", btw). None of that helped.

    I hope this issue is top priority for the Parallels guys! Not very green of them to use so much electricity unnecessarily!

    Any information that could be provided from SWSOFT on this issue would be great. If I knew they were working on a fix for this issue it might keep me from jumping over to the competitor...

    Best of luck, guys.
  6. HonzaI


    I have ver. 3.0 beta (5120)

    The CPU load seems to have gone down - somehow - compared to previous version 3.0... When I bootted Windows XP 3 days ago, it was about 7-8% and now is about 13%. No programs running.

    I would like to see this going down even more eventually. I can always pause the VM, but it would be nice if the VM paused on its own when nothing to do.

  7. maztec


    I also experience this issue.
    It doesn't make my laptop useless. But it does make it so that my MBP battery life goes from a minimum of 4 hours (if just word processing/etc) to barely 1 hour 30 minutes. To me this is unacceptable and I have to pause the VM all the time (which eventually [several days] destabilizes windows, parallels, osx, or all the above).

    If VMWare Fusion was more mature and did not result in my Mac's MAC Address being banned by my university (stupidstupidstupid), I would jump ship to it in a heartbeat.
  8. biglar

    biglar Kilo Poster

    Check out version 5144. It looks good to me.
  9. Mavelick


    "Styler" conflicts with Parallels, increases CPU usage.

    I found, "Styler" - a famous desktop theme changer on XP - conflicts with Paralells.

    It increases NO internal CPU usage, but increases about +20% CPU usage on MacBook.
    So, my VM used over 30% of CPU with styler, 10% without it.

    It's on MacBook CoreDuo 1.83GHz, with build5158.
  10. jackybe67

    jackybe67 Kilo Poster

    In the new beta my cpu usage is below 10%
  11. podxtking


    where to download the new beta
  12. dkp


    I think you are all going to be disappointed if you think the Windows CPU usage will produce an alike CPU usage in the Mac. Recall that the Mac is presenting virtualized hardware to Windows and that takes CPU time. Consider a trivial example where Windows sits quietly and polls the system hardware looking for new hardware. Not a big load so far as Windows is concerned, but the hardware being simulated by the Mac has to respond to each and every poll. If Windows is indexing its hard drive then that load is imposed on the Mac. In fact anything that Windows does to twiddle the hardware has a disproportionate impact on the hardware emulation.

    There are things you can do such as disabling USB, CDROM, sound, and any Windows health checks it runs on a regular basis, and defrag - it's a total waste of time. Turn off any stealth network activity such as Network Time where the Windows box polls a server at Microsoft to get the time. Not needed and is probably used as an internet beacon by them, anyway.

    And no whining - you can re-enable any of these things in half a heartbeat when they're actually needed. Just don't think you're going to get all that emulated hardware at no cost to the Mac.

    And of course you can and probably should suspend Windows if it's not doing anything important. It is Windows after all, and Windows is a pig at the best of times, and endlessly vulnerable to everything.
  13. John Howard

    John Howard

    Excellent post! But I am confused about one point. You appear to state above that defrag "is a total waste of time". I've read contrary views. It also seems to improve my boot speed and app load speed. But I admit it might be a placebo effect. Do I read you correctly? If so, why is it a waste of time?
  14. dkp


    It is incomplete to defrag only from within Windows because the disk space that the VM exists in can also be fragged in the Mac OS file space. Windows has no way to know it is scattered all over the Mac's file space. It is certainly a waste of cpu to defrag Windows via any kind of automatic schedule.

    To completely defrag things you need to first defrag your Mac then defrag Windows. Even better is to create a separate file system to store your Windows data on so the Windows system file space doesn't begin fragmenting right away.

    On a fully defrag'd system the first file that grows by very much is immediately frag'd because it had no room to grow in place. And so on with each changing file.
  15. Eru Ithildur

    Eru Ithildur

    Partition things off for best preformance, or better yet, get an external if you don't have two drives.

    I'm highly considering trying a 16 GB USB 2.0 Flash Pendrive to see what would happen.
  16. Hugh Watkins

    Hugh Watkins

    don't give Parallels too much memory

    Hugh W
  17. John Howard

    John Howard


    What do you recommend to defrag mac? Diskwarrior? OnyX? Something else?

    (Too late to set up a separate file system without repartitioning everything....)
  18. dkp


    Neither of those will defrag your disk. They do directory optimization. iDefrag does true defrag. You need to be able to boot from other than your normal boot disk to use it.

    Fragmentation in the Mac is an odd thing - many large files will escalate the problem as will a disk that is close to full. OS X will try to defrag small files on the fly but large files such as your virtual machines and snapshots etc. won't be touched. Chances of Parallels finding contiguous space on your Mac drive to install the VM in is not guaranteed to be high, and if your VM disk grows as needed it likely will not grow contiguously.
  19. Josh Wolf

    Josh Wolf

    I was having MAJOR performance issues with the recent releases until I turned off the feature (I think under Shared Folders) to automatically mount the virtual drive on the Mac desktop. The difference was DRAMATIC.

    Build 5160 was released this AM at VM World in San Fransisco

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