I am getting very poor gaming performance on my Windows 8 host OS with Hyper-V installed but no guest machines running.

For example World of Tanks reports 60-70 FPS without Hyper-V installed and 4-14 FPS with it installed. A similar, dramatic, hit is observed in several other games so the issue is not WoT specific.

To make the point clear, I am not trying to run games in a virtual machine. I don't even have a VM running while observing this effect. I simply have the Hyper-V feature installed.

My system specs:
AMD Phenom II 965 (3.4 GHz)
AMD Radeon 6950 2GB (XFX Double D HD-695X-CDFC)
16GB DDR3 1333
AMD 790GX chipset Mainboard (Gigabyte GA-MA790GPT-UD3H)

I have tried every AMD driver from 12.8 to the current 12.11beta8, virtualization is enabled in the BIOS settings, the onboard 3300HD video device is disabled in BIOS and I have read the MSDN blog entry here regarding a similar issue in Server 2008 that was resolved in 2008 R2 (and hopefully not regressed in Win 8).

I'd like to be able to use Hyper-V for development and testing at home (I am a sysadmin/software developer professionally). If, however, I can't also use my home system for entertainment I'll have to scrap those plans.

I should note that I'm aware that Hyper-V is a Type 1 hypervisor in which the management/host OS runs within the virtualization environment. I realize that there will be at least some level of performance hit but I'd rather experience the "minimal" hit that most sources allude to rather than the "severe" hit that I'm currently able to observe and measure.

  • Check the Hyper-V manager to ensure no VM actually run. Sometimes Hyper-V will start a VM on startup without any window indicating it if it's running before the Windows is shutdown. – Martheen Cahya Paulo Nov 19 '12 at 4:06
  • There was nothing running. In fact, when I did the most recent test the guest OS was unable to start due to the virtual switch not existing (it was deleted during an uninstall/reinstall of Hyper-V). – SnowCrash Nov 20 '12 at 1:37
  • You're forced to wait for yet another update then... The MSDN blog entry you referred excused the behavior for "it admin don't play game", so probably AMD don't test this use case for their drivers too. My low-end mobile Radeon 5470 run well with Hyper-V enabled in Windows 8, so maybe it only affect high-end GPU. – Martheen Cahya Paulo Nov 20 '12 at 2:05
  • That may well be. I'm out of ideas for what I can fix myself so I've gone back to using VMWare. I'll try again after a few more updates have gone through and/or after I commit to another round of upgrades to replace my 3 year old CPU/MB. – SnowCrash Nov 20 '12 at 2:42
  • At least you have VMWare to fallback. WP8 developers are forced to use Hyper-V. Hey, maybe the scream from those developers could nudge AMD/Microsoft/whoever responsible to fix this. – Martheen Cahya Paulo Nov 20 '12 at 3:08

If I were you, I would consider using vmware or virtualbox.

I use virtualbox myself and don't have any performance issues when playing games. I have even left a vm running and not noticed a difference. Granted I have lots of RAM and a good processor.

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    Not really an answer, per se, but until MS/AMD sort this out, this will have to do. – SnowCrash Nov 28 '12 at 4:03

As far as I can see there should only be a minimal performance reduction if you enable Hyper-V. If found this thread in the MSFT forum.

This is because of that you Windows 8 is then running also on Hyper-V as you can see here.

  • 1
    I should have mentioned in my question that I'm already aware that Hyper-V is a Type 1 hypervisor in which both the management OS and guest OS(s) run within the virtualization environment. I have also visited that page in my research as well as many others where someone is having a similar issue and is similarly dismissed. I cannot, by any modern or archaic definition of the word, call a 75% to 85% observed performance hit "minimal". – SnowCrash Nov 26 '12 at 8:36
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    I apologize if the previous comment seemed harsh. I'm simply hoping that someone here has, in their own experience, identified a novel solution to this issue or, at the least, the conditions that cause it. – SnowCrash Nov 26 '12 at 8:38
  • Is Hyper-V required to use a hyper visor? Maybe I'm phrasing that wrong but I thought Hyper-V was used to make VM's run more efficiently and don't you load a vm by default when you're using a hypervisor? As in, when you boot up the comp and (i guess it asks you to select which os you want or something?) doesn't that os boot up with Hyper-V tech? Which would mean it is actually being used. I could be completely wrong, that's just how I vaguely thought it worked. – Codezilla Nov 26 '12 at 12:08
  • @SnowCrash No your comment was not harsh :-) And you're right < 75% is not minimal. – Marcel Janus Nov 26 '12 at 15:48
  • @Codezilla - Yes its required to use the built in feature within Windows 8. VMWare and Virtual Box can be used if Hyper-V is disabled because it cannot used because the lack of hardware support or by choice. – Ramhound Nov 28 '12 at 3:46

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