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Advice for new build based around VM please

Mussels

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#1
So heres the deal: i got a new SSD, and would like to set it up for a clean gaming OS.

however, i also know i'll want a bunch of annoying things like web browsers and chat programs, that will in the long run, merely serve to wear down the SSD.

So far the two methods i've tried:

1. OS on mechanical drive, games on SSD. works well mostly, but most games store files on the C: drive and you cant stop them. so its only partially working.

2. OS on SSD, but the same problem as 1. - many apps put a cache on the SSD, that i simply dont want there.


What i'd like to do is install an OS on the SSD, and run a VM (virtual machine) and throw all the non essentials in there. no screwing about with caches, hidden files and folders, and all that jazz.

so in point form:


What i want:

*OS on SSD (windows 8? i heard it was good for VM's)
*secondary OS on mechanical drive, via VM (win 7?)
*VM to be portable. Say, if it was on an external drive, i could boot it on my laptop too (albeit, slower) (or if i had to format the SSD, it would prevent the loss of the OS)

What i dont want:
*a bunch of bonus network adaptors appearing in windows. last time i ran a virtual machine that screwed with my network/LAN games pretty good.



suggestions/advice, please?
 
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#2
Windows 8 has client Hyper-V so you can easily run the VMs in it. It's as full featured as VMware workstation is as a desktop hypervisor.

As far as networking adapters go it creates a virtual switch that doesn't mess with networking that much. I can use a VPN and still be able to keep the virtual adapters.
 
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#3
Window 8 and games on the SSD.
Windows 8 on the mechanical HD too.

Dual Boot is your best option. This is what I am currently doing and it's working out great.
I used to have my games on the SSD and the OS on my regular HD, but found that the Mechanical drive was bogging down my gaming load times despite the fact they were installed on the SSD.

Dual Booting is the safest bet IMO and now has,es are responsive with super fast load times. Everything else, I load up the other OS off the regular HD, which is of coarse painfully slow.
 
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#4
You have it wrong, The OS goes on SSD. Get ramdisk and make a drive on your memory and put your games on that. Speeds are off the charts
 

Mussels

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#5
You have it wrong, The OS goes on SSD. Get ramdisk and make a drive on your memory and put your games on that. Speeds are off the charts
i dont have 128GB of ram, lol.
 
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#6
i dont have 128GB of ram, lol.
More importantly, Why not ;) lol, kidding

I don't think duel booting OS is any good as you'd have to swap over to often to be practical, Win8 with VM is the best bet,
 

Mussels

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#7
my windows 8 installer kept spazzing out to a blank screen (crossfire issue?) so for now i'm running:


Windows 7 on the SSD, with VMware workstation running within that on the mechanical drive, with another windows 7 inside it.


so far its working fantastically - i just fullscreen the VM and play away like it was my main OS, but when its time for gaming i sleep the VM, and bam - full resources and no bloat on the SSD.
 

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#8
I think you're over-estimating how much the cache is really going to wear down your SSD. In all honesty you really should consider moving the caches of the "bigger offenders" to a small ram disk or to the physical drive. TBH I think you're over-complicating it because the things you don't want to do are actually the easier options in many cases.
 

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#9
I think you're over-estimating how much the cache is really going to wear down your SSD. In all honesty you really should consider moving the caches of the "bigger offenders" to a small ram disk or to the physical drive. TBH I think you're over-complicating it because the things you don't want to do are actually the easier options in many cases.
its not just about wear and tear - i really like the idea of this VM being portable, between machines. think of it as a fully customised OS i can port between any desktop or laptop i own.
 

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#10
its not just about wear and tear - i really like the idea of this VM being portable, between machines. think of it as a fully customised OS i can port between any desktop or laptop i own.
Wouldn't it make more sense to have the things you use a lot on your SSD though? I don't know about you but I use my browsers and such a lot. I like them starting instantly. Also I wouldn't want to mess with performance of other things in a VM, like flash or SilverLight. It won't be nearly as fast (it will work though), which is why I mention it. VMs are great if you need something that you don't already have, but I don't think it makes sense to segregate it in this manor. That's just me though. Give it a try and let us know how you like it. I've just never been happy with using an OS inside a VM (capturing mouse and keyboard that is, it doesn't feel smooth and quite frankly, I personally feel like it's a bit clunky). I tend to run servers as VMs because I never have to touch the VM itself, I just SSH into it.
 

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#11
Wouldn't it make more sense to have the things you use a lot on your SSD though? I don't know about you but I use my browsers and such a lot. I like them starting instantly. Also I wouldn't want to mess with performance of other things in a VM, like flash or SilverLight. It won't be nearly as fast (it will work though), which is why I mention it. VMs are great if you need something that you don't already have, but I don't think it makes sense to segregate it in this manor. That's just me though. Give it a try and let us know how you like it. I've just never been happy with using an OS inside a VM (capturing mouse and keyboard that is, it doesn't feel smooth and quite frankly, I personally feel like it's a bit clunky). I tend to run servers as VMs because I never have to touch the VM itself, I just SSH into it.
i just ran 1080p youtube videos in firefox/flash and it ran smoothly. there doesnt seem to be much of a performance penalty.


what happens is that i inevitably clog up my OS - i tend to run about 50-100 tabs in browsers at any given time, and its a real PITA to close them down to speed up gaming.
 

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#12
i tend to run about 50-100 tabs in browsers at any given time, and its a real PITA to close them down to speed up gaming.
Gotcha. I understand as I do this as well. It's part of the reason why I got 16Gb of ram when I upgraded because my P2 940 with 8Gb wasn't cutting it between my VMs and browsers. I always had to close at least half of it to run a game reasonably. Don't have that problem anymore though. :cool:

With that said though, you'd have to dedicate a lot of memory to the VM so you still have to at least suspend the VM if you started running out. It's a little harder to squeeze memory when the VM is running, you're also adding the overhead of Windows on top of that as well. I guess that could be better than restarting 50-100 tabs, but you're managing a static sized VM instead. More memory really would solve this but that also requires you to dish out a little bit of moolah.
 

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#13
VMware "unity" mode is awesome and made this work so much better. the VM applications appear as if they were ran in the host OS - but only with access to the VM's filesystem.


so more or less, what i've done is got an OS that looks completely normal when using it, but with the ability to instantly pause/stop all non gaming processes and applications.
it also means my web browsers and download programs are isolated from the host OS (disabled the internal network, it has its own USB wifi adaptor) so that its also a very effective antivirus defense
 

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#14
VMware "unity" mode is awesome and made this work so much better. the VM applications appear as if they were ran in the host OS - but only with access to the VM's filesystem.
I liked it too but I found that it was a little finicky last time I used it. Granted that was back on Workstation v7, I haven't tried it in v8.

so more or less, what i've done is got an OS that looks completely normal when using it, but with the ability to instantly pause/stop all non gaming processes and applications.
it also means my web browsers and download programs are isolated from the host OS (disabled the internal network, it has its own USB wifi adaptor) so that its also a very effective antivirus defense
+1: I agree, it does add a nice level of isolation from the host OS. The best anti-virus IMHO is smart web browsing and being careful though.

Have you set it all up? I'm curious how it ends up working out for you.
 

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#15
I liked it too but I found that it was a little finicky last time I used it. Granted that was back on Workstation v7, I haven't tried it in v8.



+1: I agree, it does add a nice level of isolation from the host OS. The best anti-virus IMHO is smart web browsing and being careful though.

Have you set it all up? I'm curious how it ends up working out for you.
yes, as of that last post im using it now.


the VM has its own little bits of lag here and there, mostly when i resume it or wake the PC from sleep mode, but overall its quite smooth - and that smoothness should stick around and not get slower over time, like a normal OS install.