Are there any comparisons between Hyper-V client machines and their physical equivalent? I've looked around and can find 4000 articles about improving Hyper-V performance, but I can't find any that actually do a side-by-side comparison or give benchmarking numbers.

Ideally, I'm interested in a comparison of CPU, memory, disk, and graphics performance between something like the following:

  • Some powerful workstation (with plenty of RAM) with Windows 7 installed on it directly
  • Same exact worksation with Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 (the bare Server role) and a full-screen Windows 7 client machine

Virtual Server 2005 had performance that didn't compare at all with actual hardware, but with the advances in CPU and hardware-level virtualization, has performance improved significantly? How obvious would it be to a user of the two above scenarios that one of them was virtualized, and does anybody know of actual benchmarking of this type?

  • I'm interested in seeing a comparison as well. – iainlbc May 7 '10 at 21:38
  • virtualization of windows 7 takes a performance hit because of aero. The impact is disproportinate within hyperv due to the lack of GPU'S. In hyperv r2 sp1 due later this year I think they are fixing this issue. – tony roth May 7 '10 at 21:41

In my own testing there is roughly a 5-10% raw performance hit vs the same workstation running (comparing performance of encoding software and sql server express queries) just windows 7. The biggest drawback is that you really don't want to run aero as graphics performance gets hit.

  • Agree, but worth noting the performance impact will heavily depend on the loading of the host machine, and different usage patterns of different applications will also impact the impact. Finally the improvements to Remote Desktop Connection in 2008R2SP1 should help with the last point... – Richard May 8 '10 at 9:22
  • Thanks for your response. While it wasn't a scientific a comparison as I'd hoped for, there's not another one out there that compares the performance of virtualized clients to their physical counterparts. This is a good enough answer to help me make my decision, so points to you! – SqlRyan Nov 14 '11 at 22:55

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