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VirtualBox is running slow

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#1 richierein


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Posted 25 May 2017 - 11:25 AM

I recently added a virtual machine, VirtualBox, and installed Windows 7 running under Windows 10.  I have an Intel i7-7700K CPU @4.2ghz.  I am surprised to see that everything in the virtual machine is running so slowly.  When I look at the performance graph with Task Manager, it is typically using 5-6% CPU, sometimes less, when otherwise idle. When reading my email, it occasionally jumps to 12%..  Why should this VM be running so slowly?


When I setup the virtual machine, I selected dynamic memory allocation beginning at 512mb.  The task manager graph shows memory usage at the top of the graph,  Would it be better to assign memory specific for this application?  I have a total of 16gb RAM.

Edited by hamluis, 25 May 2017 - 12:24 PM.
Moved from W10 Spt to Virtual Machines - Hamluis.

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#2 smax013


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Posted 25 May 2017 - 05:30 PM

I have never used VirtualBox. I use a program call Parallels on my Mac for VMs. When I setup a VM in Parallels, I set the VP to use around at least 3 to 4 GB of RAM for the VM, but maybe more depending on the use (I have 16 GB of RAM on Mac...but then Macs also allocate RAM differently than Windows computers). Without specific knowledge of how VirtualBox works, my gut reaction is the it may not be setting aside enough RAM for the VM to use and the VM is then using virtual memory...but I could be wrong since I am not really familiar with how VirtualBox works.

#3 Lvlpost


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Posted 27 May 2017 - 09:55 PM

When you running VirtualBox or VMware WorkStation, your PC usually run normally with CPU usage at 5-40%.


  1. Compare the CPU usage value of a virtual machine with the CPU usage of other virtual machines on the host or in the resource pool. The stacked bar chart on the host's Virtual Machine view shows the CPU usage for all virtual machines on the host.
  2. Determine whether the high ready time for the virtual machine resulted from its CPU usage time reaching the CPU limit setting. If so, increase the CPU limit on the virtual machine.
  3. Increase the CPU shares to give the virtual machine more opportunities to run. The total ready time on the host might remain at the same level if the host system is constrained by CPU. If the host ready time doesn't decrease, set the CPU reservations for high-priority virtual machines to guarantee that they receive the required CPU cycles.
  4. Increase the amount of memory allocated to the virtual machine. This action decreases disk and or network activity for applications that cache. This might lower disk I/O and reduce the need for the host to virtualize the hardware. Virtual machines with smaller resource allocations generally accumulate more CPU ready time.

#4 sflatechguy


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Posted 18 June 2017 - 09:06 AM

We need to distinguish between the host and the VM. How much memory did you allocate to the VM when you created it in VirtualBox. How many CPU cores did you allocate to it? How much free space is on the VM's disk?


You would need to check the hardware settings in VirtualBox. These are independent of the hardware on your host computer. When running the VM, you would expect to see an increase in CPU and RAM usage on the host, but as long as these aren't running extremely high, the processes on the host shouldn't affect the performance of the VM.


Also, we need to distinguish between the VirtualBox application and the VMs that run on it. VirtualBox itself is not a VM. What operating system are you running as a VM in VirtualBox?

#5 Drillingmachine


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Posted 25 June 2017 - 01:25 PM


I expect you assigned only one CPU to VM.

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