CPU usage way too high

Discussion in 'Windows Guest OS Discussion' started by bnguyen, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. bnguyen

    bnguyen

    Messages:
    3
    I've just upgraded to Parallels 8 and has this problem: CPU usage is very high.

    I use Mountain Lion host with Windows 8 RTM guest.

    Parallels CPU after starting Windows: 60%-70%, and just stay there non-stop
    Parallels CPU when running any app: 100%+ (up to 400%)

    Task Manager in Windows: show very low CPU usage (1%-2%). High usage is shown in OSX's Activity Monitor. My machine is extremely hot when running Parallels.

    RAM should not be an issue because both the host and guest have plenty (10GB and 6GB respectively).
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
  2. AndrewBT

    AndrewBT

    Messages:
    29
    I noticed the same thing - high CPU and hot running macbook pro even when the guest is idle: http://forum.parallels.com/showthread.php?t=262881

    PD8 idling at 30% CPU when the Windows guest os is doing nothing and Windows task manager reporting 0% CPU. Perhaps there is an issue which is sapping the CPU?

    Mountain Lion also has issues with battery life & performance ...
     
  3. serv

    serv Parallels Developers

    Messages:
    777
    In order to investigate your problem we need some help:
    First of all submit a problem report via Parallels Help menu and post report ID here. Make sure your report is taken when you do see the problem.
    Then note which Parallels process is using the CPU: Parallels Desktop or Parallels VM? Take a sample of that process using Activity Monitor and attach to your post.
    Thanks.
     
  4. AndrewBT

    AndrewBT

    Messages:
    29
    Hi Serv,

    Thanks for getting back to me. I created a problem report - how do I look at my tickets on the website (as I don't recall the number)? Else I can create new

    Regards,
     
  5. serv

    serv Parallels Developers

    Messages:
    777
    Just create a new one.
     
  6. AndrewBT

    AndrewBT

    Messages:
    29
    Ok - done some more investigating. I have an open support ticket for this so dealing with support. Just wanted to give you guys what I've discovered so far as it may assist other users:

    - I am running 10.7.4 not 10.8.1 as previously suspected. I updated all software updates on my MBP
    - I updated to the latest parallels
    - I updated windows update in the VM with all updates
    - I disabled Aero in the VM
    - I Set CPUs to 4 (of 8) and RAM to 1.5GB (of 4GB) for the VM, with "Longer Battery Life" option set
    - I downloaded gfxCardStatus and set it to switch to integrated graphics when on battery (big change here - nVidia was on by default whenever I opened Skype)
    - I set Time Machine to stop backing up the VM
    - I set Time Machine to stop backing up when on battery

    So far so good. CPU usage and heat is massively improved. Still parallels idles at 30% of 1x CPU in mac activity monitor when windows is supposedely doing nothing. I will investigate further after upgrading my RAM to 16GB and HDD to SSD and a few cycles of battery charge/drain and report results back
     
  7. smanders

    smanders

    Messages:
    1
    I am also noticing this same problem. I am running two win7 VM all up-to-date with 10.8. i have a mac mini server with 16GB of RAM and an SSD for the primary OS and all VMs. On Parallels 7, mac CPU operated as expected. Since upgrading to Parallels 8, the mac CPU utilization idles between 30% and 50%. Meanwhile the guest OS are running at 3% or less. The FANs are constantly running on the mac mini server.

    1st Guest is set for 6 of 8 cores at 4GB of RAM
    2nd Guest is set for 2 of 8 cores at 4GB of RAM

    Please help, before the fans burn out on my mac mini.

    Thanks,
    smanders
     
  8. AndrewBT

    AndrewBT

    Messages:
    29
    I got further improvements by dropping the number of CPUs to 1, setting 3D to DirectX9 (not DirectX10 experimental) and dropping the video RAM to 64MBytes. The battery life has noticeably improved as well as the responsiveness of Visual Studio 2010 in the Virtual Machine.

    However - 1 core? I'd love to run 4 of 8 on the VM and crank up the graphics power ;-) This was also recommended to me by support (use only 1 core). Is there a problem with running Parallels with more than one core? What about the DirectX10 (experimental) emulation? Is there a problem with this?

    Seems like its nearly there guys - just a bit of investigation into your CPU/Graphics options and performance tweaking and parallels could rock ;-)
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  9. AndrewBT

    AndrewBT

    Messages:
    29
    Ok Serv, I created a problem report, ID number 18080871

    I have observed that raising the number of cores allocated to the VM from 1 to 4 or 6 (of 8 total) considerably increases the CPU usage of the process "Parallels VM" on the Mac side, causing stutter and lag in both the VM and host OS.

    I have observed that having 1 CPU allocated to the VM and setting graphics to DirectX9 considerably improves responsiveness of the guest and host OS - to the point where it is now pleasant to use.

    But - kind'of makes my 8 core macbook pro a bit of an expensive paperweight ;-) I'd love to see dynamic allocation of cores to the guest depending on load, or static allocation without excessive consumption of resources!

    Some screenshots attached: from left to right

    1. 4x CPUs and DX10 enabled (37% CPU usage)
    2. 4x CPUs and DX9 enabled (30% CPU usage)
    3. 1x CPU and DX9 enabled (4% CPU usage)
     

    Attached Files:

  10. serv

    serv Parallels Developers

    Messages:
    777
    Andrew,

    can you click Sample Process when Parallels VM is selected in Activity Monitor, save the sample and post it here?
     
  11. AndrewBT

    AndrewBT

    Messages:
    29
    Sure, here it is (attached). CPU usage for this was hovering around 40%. I had 6 of 8 core assigned to the VM and 64MBytes Video RAM, 2GBytes memory (of 4GB) and DirectX9 selected.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Sky Surfer

    Sky Surfer

    Messages:
    1
    Not sure if the issue is understood, but I did notice the same (high CPU usage during idle), and there were no obvious reasons when tracking active processes in Windows or on the Mac.

    Switching from DirectX 10 to 9 appears to have made a significant improvement, and in fact just that change alone made my MacBook Air go from having the fans on during idle to having them go back to a quiet/low speed.

    I tested this on 2 different Win8 VMs, both up to date, with one VM a clean install with no software installed other than the tools.

    CPU usage before: ~30% during idle
    CPU usage after: ~5% during idle
     
  13. AndrewBT

    AndrewBT

    Messages:
    29
    Guys,

    Been doing a bit of digging and found this thread - seems that this issue has occurred before and is known to Parallels support?

    http://forum.parallels.com/showthread.php?t=98541&page=1

    Lots of suggestions in there. Ideally I'd like to see a fix issued so we can run more than 1 CPU in the guest OS.
     
  14. bnguyen

    bnguyen

    Messages:
    3
    DX9 doesn't help but CPU to 1x does. Down to ~5% when idle. Have to live with it for now, but I really need more than 1 CPU in my guest.
     
  15. AndrewBT

    AndrewBT

    Messages:
    29
    Hello,

    I've done as you requested. Problem report ID is 18225351.

    I'm happy to help - if it helps you identify the problem. It might seem minor but for users operating on a battery or on a notebook with limited heat dissipation, its quite significant. (primary reason why I bought a MacBook Pro and then Parallels was battery life, secondary was performance and somewhere down the list, oh yes, having an OSX machine running Windows and VS2010 ;P)

    Best regards,
    Andrew
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2012
  16. pchandra

    pchandra

    Messages:
    17
    I'm seeing the same thing. Disabling vsync seems to have helped, but not completely resolved, the problem for me. Unfortunately DX10 seems to be required for Metro-style apps - if I switch down to DX9, then I get all manner of visual artifacts in apps like Cocktail Flow.
     
  17. AndrewBT

    AndrewBT

    Messages:
    29
    For me, changing DX10 -> DX9 makes little difference, compared to changing 4x CPUs -> 1 CPU. The single CPU configuration drops the parallels VM CPU usage the most. This is a reasonable workaround for me, but soon, I really need to allocate more CPUs to the VM.

    What about the Adaptive Hypervisor option? I hear this allocates CPUs dynamically. Is this a good workaround for us? Does it improve performance in multi-threaded apps though? Many modern apps use more than one core. My own software I'm developing myself is multi-threaded, hence i need more than 1x CPU to test it ;-)

    Andrew
     
  18. Mudito

    Mudito

    Messages:
    5
    I've tried it all... DX9, DX10 vSync. 1CPU 4, 6, 8vCPU...

    W/1vCPU it was the "best" config no matter the DirectX settings whatsoever. BUT, still parallels process was eating 15-20% of 1 core. With 6 Cores itwas eating 50% of 1 core.

    Basically. same problem as you guys.


    I'm running PD8 Updated, fresh MacOSX 10.8.2 (was reinstalled over the weekend) fresh Win7 with nothing on it (nothing, nada). Macbook pro Retina w/16GB RAM, 256 SSD.

    I'm glad to help in whatever testing anyone might need. I can also offer remote control of my Mac if needed.

    thanks
     
  19. Mudito

    Mudito

    Messages:
    5
    Report ID#19196752.


    I've generated this after polishing Win7 a little bit.

    Disabled non-wanted services (Windows Update, Windows Search, Indexer, uPNP) and this dropped the CPU from 30% to 15% with 4vCPUs and DX10 vSync Off.

    Thanks in advance.
    Regards.
     
  20. pborzenkov

    pborzenkov

    Messages:
    19
    Hello Mudito,

    from your Problem Report I see that the system is almost idle:

    CPU usage: 2.20% user, 2.90% sys, 94.88% idle

    These values (2.20% user and 2.90% system) are normal for the system running 4CPU Virtual Machine + some software (skype, outlook, etc.)

    Are these values constant, or you experiencing some CPU usage spikes? If there are some spikes, I'd like you to generate another PR when the CPU usage is high.

    Thanks.
     

Share This Page