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I am looking at Virtual-Desktop Managers for Windows 7. Right now it seems that VirtualWin is supposed to be about the best one available for use on Windows. I have never used anything like this though and I am just curious from others experience and knowledge, does something like this hog up a lot of system resources?

I do not NEED it but it is a nice feature to have when I do want to use it, my PC's performance is more important then using it. So is virtual esktop managers a resource hog or probably not?

Please share any tips/advice/ or comments on them, thank you =)

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

What most of these do is simply keep track of a list of windows on each "desktop", and simply hide the ones that shouldn't be there using the standard windows API. This means that in general, they shouldn't slow down your PC, or use any significant amount of resources. Some fancier features like desktop-previews, or per-desktop wallpapers, however, may have a small performance hit.

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Thanks, I think I will give it a try, it seems it could be useful in a programmers/developers workspace – JasonDavis May 1 '10 at 0:26
@jasondavis: It is, but IMO nowhere near as much as extra physical monitors. – Phoshi May 1 '10 at 0:58
it is not just "desktop" and "hiding if the window is not on the current one", that desktop-api is really part of the os. the logon-screen is "a desktop", the screensaver is on its own desktop. what i find really interesting is why microsoft does not built their own desktopmanager into the ui of the os. so, as phoshi said, there is no real negative effect of using such desktop apps as the desktop api is built right into the os. – akira May 1 '10 at 1:45
@akira: Well, I was oversimplifying, but indeed. Back in XP we had the virtual desktops powertoy, which was actually decent, and I believe they did something for Vista, but it'd be nice to have something built in. – Phoshi May 1 '10 at 9:22
@akira The only software that works with real OS desktop is Sysinternals. All the rest use the "hiding windows and icons" technique. If you know some other that uses real desktop please, let us know. – Craig Stevensson Oct 13 '14 at 13:42

Most VDMs work by hiding and showing windows on the existing desktop. Sysinternals' Desktops actually creates extra desktops, which do indeed consume system resources, not to mention that each gets its own running instance of Windows Explorer (for the task bar and start menu).

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