VMware Workstation Player Tuning

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VMware Player Processor / CPU Configuration Settings

Preferred Modes (CPU Virtualization)

Automatic - VMware determines what to use for Guest OS and App execution based on these factors:

  • The Guest OS you are using - If you are using a newish guest OS that supports the latest virtualization technology you should be all set.
  • The Host (physical) CPU model and it’s capabilities - Again, if you are using a newish CPU (like the i7-4970k) you should be all set.

Binary Translation - Vmware uses a few different ways to handle the execution of VM applications as shown below. Guest memory mapping is handled by shadow page tables.

  • Directly executing guest code
  • Using Binary translation to run the guest OS

Intel VT-x or AMD-V - VMware uses the physical CPU hardware extensions to run and isolate guest OS and application code. Guest memory mapping is handled by shadow page tables. If your CPU supports this feature, you should not disable this option unless you have a specific reason to do so.

Intel VT-x/EPT or AMD-V/RVI - VMware uses the physical CPU hardware extensions to run and isolate guest code. Guest memory mapping is handled by the physical host’s hardware paging. If your CPU supports this feature, you should not disable this option unless you have a specific reason to do so.

I have an Intel i7-4970k and I found that selecting "Intel VT-x/EPT" as the preferred mode seemed to be the best option as far as performance goes.

Disable acceleration for binary translation

If you experience issues while running a VM, or an application inside of a guest VM (freezing up or locking up or giving CPU related errors). You can try to toggle this option on to see if it temporarily solves the issue. This is not something you want to leave on (on as in, checking the box to disable acceleration for binary translation)


Virtualize Intel VT-x/EPT or AMD-V/RVI

If you choose to check this option then you will tell VMware to force the execution mode to either Intel VT-x/EPT or AMD-V/RVI, assuming your CPU supports that.

If your CPU does not support these options, they won’t actually be available for you to select.


Virtualize CPU performance counters

If you want to do some advanced debugging or performance monitoring, enable this option. Otherwise do not enable this.

Ask yourself, do you have a reason to use something like VTune or OProfile? Do you know what these tools are? If not, do not check this box.


VMware Player Processor and CPU Options Summary

It’s best to just leave “prefered mode” to automatic, if your CPU supports the latest virtualization technology (and it’s enabled in the physical machine’s bios) VMware will enable the tech when it can (assuming your guest OS supports this tech as well)

Links and Resources