Home > Benchmarks > VirtualPC 2004 vs. VMWare 4 Performance Review VirtualPC 2004 vs. VMWare 4 Performance Review Submitted by Hernán Di Pietro 2004-02-03 Benchmarks 39 Comments This is a performance comparison between two well-known “virtualization” software packages: Virtual PC 2004 (free trial version) and VMWare Workstation 4.0. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 39 Comments 2004-02-03 5:09 am First let me say thanks for the bench marks. Why not use Windows XP as the host? It’s not like it needs to be activated for testing. 2004-02-03 5:17 am therandthem: the host used is in fact Windows XP. The guest OS in VPC and VMW is Win98SE. 2004-02-03 5:18 am You misunderstood. The host *is* XP. The Guest is Win98SE. 2004-02-03 5:26 am The virtual graphics system of VMWare sucks. I installed Ark Linux on both VMWare and VirtualPC under WinXP host. The default resolution for Ark linux is 1600×1200 which made VMWare choke. It just couldn’t start X. The login prompt just kept flashing. On the other hand, VirtualPC handled it just fine. And to think that Linux is not officially supported by VirtualPC. Infact if you go to VirtualPC site and look around really hard, you’ll find just one single line mentioning something about Redhat linux. One other factor can be that the last version of VMWare was released in October 2003, about 5 months back. Hope the latest VMWare would be really cool. 2004-02-03 5:31 am There are FreeBSD tools available to make X run better when FreeBSD is the guest OS running on Windows. I wonder why the reviewer said otherwise. Maybe the reviewer did not look. 2004-02-03 5:35 am I originally tried VMware but driver issues drove me insane!! That and it also won’t run OS/2. So I gave VPC a try and fell in love with it. From the benchmarks it seems that VPC is slower, but I think VPC’s emulation of common pieces of hardware makes it worth it. I run everything from Windows 3.1 to Server 2003 under it. And it also plays well with most every OS. I’m happy to see that Microsoft has included the “additions” for OS/2 with VPC 2004. I’m also happy to report those addtions work fine with older versions of VPC, such as VPC 5.1 which I have here. 2004-02-03 7:43 am Yep, VMWare installed some new ‘virtual’ network cards in my system! With VPC, there is no ‘confusion’ for a n00b! 2004-02-03 7:50 am This is slighly unrelated to the story at hand, but the mention of VPC 2004 brought up an interesting question… what happened to Connectix after the sale of VPC? It seems like their site has been down for quite some time. Was this just a “pump and dump” and the company folded up? 2004-02-03 7:51 am And what is wonderful — only VirtualPC can support DirectX — in 2D mode of course, but this is still indispensable for some graphical programming i.e software rendering. VirtualPC rocks — it may lack some of the enterprise-level features, but you just can’t get a software emulated hardware-accelarated graphics on VMWare! Also, for this reason, VirtualPC runs older and newer (mostly 2D) games without any problems. 2004-02-03 7:53 am VMWare can use the existing partitions (physical disk), but to my knowledge, Virtual PC 2004 can not. Of course its not something that a whole lot of users would want to do, but its kinda the reason I would choose the former over the latter. 2004-02-03 7:53 am Of course, you get accelerated S3 graphics if you configure your Linux to use an S3 X server. VESA and SVGA suck beyond simple desktop use. 2004-02-03 9:32 am Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t vpc emulate everything while vmware uses v86 mode (which is why it doesn’t run on anything other than x86)? Maybe the PC version is different than the mac version, but if not, those are some very impressive results for vpc! 2004-02-03 11:01 am Theres no way VirtualPC could ever outperform VMware. Besides that, Im not the only one to say that Linux takes forever to install in VPC. I wanted to test Lindows and Xandros but they stop somewhere at about 79 percent and then it takes like 2 hours to complete. I guess theres MS tweaking involved to make Linux behave strangely under VPC. ::PROUD TO LIVE IN THE BIRTHLAND OF LINUX:: 2004-02-03 11:09 am VPC is alot faster than VMWare and I and is much easier to install alternative Operating Systems because it has a standard hardware emulation and you dont have to install VMWare drivers. I have 3 Linux Distros installed under VPC, OpenBSD, FreeBSD and SkyOS as well as OS/2 and FreeDOS. I cante even get Linux installed under VMWare. VPC is responsive and works very well. 2004-02-03 11:21 am Funny, it worked fine for me with arklinux and freebsd. 2004-02-03 11:28 am I fully expected, perhaps foolishly, that VPC would be faster. Its quite a bit older then VMWare isn’t it? New to x86, but its been on the Mac for a while. I remember years ago the earlier versions ran on 604’s without problem. I’d chalk up its slightly slower performance on x86 to it being new to the platform. On the Mac there is none faster. 2004-02-03 11:44 am Next time, could you settle on a color code on all graphs? VMWare is always yellow (I think) and switches with VPC on just the last graph. It’s annoying to have to go all the way up recheck all the graphs because I may have read them wrong. Thanks! Gein 2004-02-03 12:44 pm I think VPC is optimized for 2000/XP environment, so running it in 98 may diminish it’s performance on the host environment. Also even though VMWare is slightly faster, I still use VPC because I like the portability it gives me for my Virtual OS’s. With VPC it is only ONE file and with VMWare it is a TON of them. In addition you don’t need any special drivers for VPC inorder for it to function. 2004-02-03 12:46 pm I keep reading about how much better VPC is to install other OSes…But I don’t have much use for running a linux client in a Windows session, I need just the opposite. As far as I know, only VMware can be installed on a linux server (host) and run windows clients, or any other OS (provided drivers exist, etc). Is this correct, or am I missing something obvious with VPC? –Joe 2004-02-03 12:48 pm Has anyone thought of doing a benchmark comparisonand review of wine, Crossover Office and WineX? This would be a valuable contribution to people like myself who are forced to to use propriety software for business. 2004-02-03 1:45 pm well vpc is cool, the state saving feature is fast and the app is quite slick.. but .. well it is yes usually a bit slower, but its not even the problem. The problem is just that it freez my comp – always -. I believe its a driver problem with IP sharing or something. Nothing else freez the computer here, I did tons of tries and tests, I just can’t get VPC to work reliably (it even lost a full disk image while freezing .. :/) 2004-02-03 2:08 pm XFree86 > 4.x (whih is used by the newer FreeBSD’s) has a native VMware X driver, so you should be able to get better performance and greater resolutions. 2004-02-03 2:27 pm VPC for MacOS is different to VPC for Windows. VPC for Mac emulates the x86 cpu, probably through a JIT compiler. VPC for Windows on the other hand virtualizes the x86 host CPU, trapping the instructions that are problematic. In a VPC for Windows session, most of the guest code is run natively, as in VMware. 2004-02-03 3:07 pm The answer to your question is that Microsoft bought Connectix one year ago. 2004-02-03 4:30 pm Not a Lycos site! In Opera the Lycos sidebar flickers like crazy! 2004-02-03 4:31 pm Vmware is very stable. First off VMware can run on Linux as the HOST platform. In fact VMware ESX is a product that you can run multiple Windows “machines” on a Linux host (ie., windows server farm). Many QA depts. use VMWare to test commercial applications in a controlled environment. Also, VMware runs more things natively on the x86 hardware while VPC still runs stuff in emulation mode (emulation=slow). See an older review , that is still relevant on OSNEWS: http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=1054 VMware is so solid that the only Windows “machine” I run is a virtual VMware one on my linux box. 2004-02-03 4:44 pm Running W2k(guest) on WXP(host) compiling under VC++6 there is a huge difference between VPC 2004 and VMWare 4. For my project: ~45 minutes under VMWare 4 and >2 hours under VPC. I never let VPC finish. It took so long that I said screw it and bought a copy of VMWAre. 2004-02-03 5:16 pm why is there no mention of TwoOStwo? i hav been using the latest release for about a month now and find it simple to use and as fast as both of the other choices. anyways if u r looking for a good PC emulator that runs under any OS as well as runs any OS from os/2 to linux windows or whatever u should atleast give it a try… PS. no i dont work for the company i am just a very satisfied customer. 2004-02-03 5:25 pm where I can get a trial or free copy of twoOStwo? 2004-02-03 5:35 pm try here: http://www.twoostwo.org/ 2004-02-03 5:43 pm I refuse to read any webpage that keeps forcing adds in front of what I want to read! 2004-02-03 6:29 pm > I refuse to read any webpage that keeps forcing adds in front of what I want to read! So..don’t use Internet Explorer any more. 2004-02-03 6:36 pm I use, and very much like, VMware, but I have to like the pricing of VPC. VMware is $299-$329, as oppossed to VPC’s $129 list. Personally, I was able to get VMware on an academic discount several years ago, and since have paid for upgrades. However, even the last upgrade I purchased was $95. I heartily recommend VMware if you need its advanced features or options (eg, to run on a Linux host), but VPC is beginning to look like an interesting alternative for various markets such as testing or devlopment. 2004-02-03 6:45 pm Or for a non-biased answer, just use filtering software, try an IE front end called MyIE2. I use it and didn’t see any creepy ad. 2004-02-03 7:02 pm It would only make sense Microsoft can tweak VPC to run very well. After all they DO have the source code for Windows. The VMware group does not enjoy that advantage. 2004-02-03 8:46 pm VMware cannot use the V86 of the processor, because that only supports Real Mode. Unfortunately Intel hasn’t planned any virtualization of the Protected Mode, so some wicked tricks have to be used. Basically the code blocks to be executed have to be searched for problematic intructions, normally privileged ones, and those have to be replaced with breakpoints. When the breakpoint is hit during execution of the code the so-called Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM) emulates the instruction to fool the operating system running on the VM into thinking that it has a whole machine all for itself. The good thing is that applications running under a Protected Mode operating system aren’t allowed to use such instructions (or you’ll get a GPF), which means that theoretically 100% of the application code runs uninterrupted directly on the real CPU. Virtual PC on the Mac uses what Eric Traut calls “dynamic recompilation”, ie. the on-the-fly translation of x86 code blocks to PPC code. The translated code is then stored in a translation cache in memory to simply jump to it when the same code block is to be executed again. <http://www.traut.com/EricTrautResume.html> While I don’t have definitive information about it, I bet that Virtual PC for Windows uses the same virtualization method like VMware and not the dynamic recompilation, for two reasons: 1) virtualization is faster 2) dynamic recompilation needs much more RAM due to the translation cache 2004-02-03 11:26 pm I was used to Virtual PC, but now I’m using VMware because the network interface works way better for me. Other than that, both have the same functionalities and are as easy to use after a small period of adaptation. Some OS work on Virtual PC and not VMware, but the contrary is also true. Both are very good in my opinion ! 2004-02-04 2:28 pm I recently used VPC 2004 with Windows XP to host a DOS 6.22 guest environment to run an old proprietary database app which didn’t work correctly with Windows XP’s DOS emulation. The app under VPC was at first dramatically slower than running it natively. Then, I put the database files into a Windows XP folder and shared it into the DOS environment (it appears as a network drive in the guest OS). The app performed dramatically faster, nearly at its original native speed. So I was left to conclude that I/O for the .vhd (virtual hard disk) file is quite slow, and I would think that this would have affected compiling with VC++ or any other disk-intensive activity. The good news is that it’s actually more convenient to use a shared folder anyway, since it makes it very easy to get to the files in the host environment (and get files into the guest environment). 2004-02-04 11:34 pm TheThe: In fact VMware ESX is a product that you can run multiple Windows “machines” on a Linux host You are thinking of VMware GSX, their server product hosted on Linux or Windows 2k/XP. VMware ESX is hosted on their own mainframe-class OS and can run about 10 times as many client VMs as GSX. On the other hand, GSX can host more VMs than VMware Workstation (also hosted on Linux and Windows).