[Gllug] Hardware problems / good replacements

James Courtier-Dutton james.dutton at gmail.com
Fri Feb 10 21:09:31 UTC 2012

On 10 February 2012 19:40, Phil Reynolds <phil-gllug at tinsleyviaduct.com> wrote:
> Since I upgraded my motherboard, processor and memory last summer I have
> found that virtual machines (be they under kvm or virtualbox) perform
> less well than expected. My host system is Debian squeeze, with some
> backports including the kernel. The problem is most noticeable with kvm
> running FreeBSD - lots of WRITE_DMA timeouts on the emulated disk.
> The motherboard is an Asus M5A99X EVO, and I am using a 6 core Phenom
> processor (1090T I think). I currently have 8GB of RAM, far more than I
> am allowing VMs, and I am not, at least at present, trying to run more
> than one at a time.
> I have just updated the BIOS on the motherboard - the timeouts are still
> happening, but more quickly, and there seems to be more processing by
> the VM between them. (I do have the "SVT" option enabled in the BIOS)
> I am wondering whether this problem is likely to be down to the
> motherboard or RAM, or a defective processor. Or could it possibly be
> the graphics card? I am running the VM with the -nographic switch when
> using BSDs, but with graphics for other systems.
> If it is likely to be the motherboard, is there a particularly good one
> for Linux systems at the moment, with at least nine SATA ports?
> I mention my graphics card because, in the last few weeks, I have had
> several odd crashes where everything except X kept working, but the
> display was frozen - even killing X left the display on. tvtime and
> Anagram Genius (under wine) both appeared to cause some display
> corruption shortly before this happened.
> Is there a good graphics card on the market, preferably with
> DFSG-compliant drivers available, that would be adequate for office use
> and some multimedia, but no particularly intense games? If so, I might
> try replacing it anyway. I have tended to avoid on-board graphics in the
> past, but if things have improved, that would be acceptable.
> Suggestions are welcome on these problems.

In theory, stuff running in a VM should not mind what the actual hardware is.
The only thing I can think of that might be a problem is the system timer.
Maybe the VM is not keeping accurate time, so timeouts are happening
when they should not.

Kind Regards

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