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High cpu usage in win10 guest

Hi. I am having some trouble with my win10 vm. The host cpu is a xeon E5-1603 and im passing through a quadro k600. The passthrough appears to be working as expected. The cpu usage inside the guest is rather high however. I have tried a variety of different tweaks including cpu pinning and various timer tweaks. The win10 vm idles at around 25% and repeatedly spikes up to 80%-100% when im not doing anything.

Here is my libvirt xml

<domain type='kvm' id='2'>
  <name>win10</name>
  <uuid>3005be2c-6364-49e5-a5f3-395188558081</uuid>
  <memory unit='KiB'>8388608</memory>
  <currentMemory unit='KiB'>8388608</currentMemory>
  <memoryBacking>
    <hugepages/>
  </memoryBacking>
  <vcpu placement='static'>2</vcpu>
  <cputune>
    <vcpupin vcpu='0' cpuset='0'/>
    <vcpupin vcpu='1' cpuset='1'/>
    <emulatorpin cpuset='2-3'/>
  </cputune>
  <resource>
    <partition>/machine</partition>
  </resource>
  <os>
    <type arch='x86_64' machine='pc-i440fx-bionic'>hvm</type>
    <loader readonly='yes' type='pflash'>/usr/share/OVMF/OVMF_CODE.fd</loader>
    <nvram>/var/lib/libvirt/qemu/nvram/win10_VARS.fd</nvram>
    <boot dev='hd'/>
  </os>
  <features>
    <acpi/>
    <apic/>
    <hyperv>
      <synic state='on'/>
      <stimer state='on'/>
      <vendor_id state='on' value='1234567890ab'/>
    </hyperv>
    <kvm>
      <hidden state='on'/>
    </kvm>
    <vmport state='off'/>
  </features>
  <cpu mode='host-passthrough' check='none'>
    <topology sockets='1' cores='2' threads='1'/>
  </cpu>
  <clock offset='localtime'>
    <timer name='hpet' present='yes'/>
    <timer name='hypervclock' present='yes'/>
  </clock>
  <on_poweroff>destroy</on_poweroff>
  <on_reboot>restart</on_reboot>
  <on_crash>destroy</on_crash>
  <pm>
    <suspend-to-mem enabled='no'/>
    <suspend-to-disk enabled='no'/>
  </pm>
  <devices>
    <emulator>/usr/bin/kvm-spice</emulator>
    <disk type='file' device='disk'>
      <driver name='qemu' type='qcow2'/>
      <source file='/var/lib/libvirt/images/win10.qcow2'/>
      <backingStore/>
      <target dev='vda' bus='virtio'/>
      <alias name='virtio-disk0'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x08' function='0x0'/>
    </disk>
    <controller type='usb' index='0' model='ich9-ehci1'>
      <alias name='usb'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x05' function='0x7'/>
    </controller>
    <controller type='usb' index='0' model='ich9-uhci1'>
      <alias name='usb'/>
      <master startport='0'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x05' function='0x0' multifunction='on'/>
    </controller>
    <controller type='usb' index='0' model='ich9-uhci2'>
      <alias name='usb'/>
      <master startport='2'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x05' function='0x1'/>
    </controller>
    <controller type='usb' index='0' model='ich9-uhci3'>
      <alias name='usb'/>
      <master startport='4'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x05' function='0x2'/>
    </controller>
    <controller type='pci' index='0' model='pci-root'>
      <alias name='pci.0'/>
    </controller>
    <controller type='sata' index='0'>
      <alias name='sata0'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x06' function='0x0'/>
    </controller>
    <controller type='virtio-serial' index='0'>
      <alias name='virtio-serial0'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x07' function='0x0'/>
    </controller>
    <controller type='scsi' index='0'>
      <alias name='scsi0'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x03' function='0x0'/>
    </controller>
    <controller type='ide' index='0'>
      <alias name='ide'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x01' function='0x1'/>
    </controller>
    <interface type='network'>
      <mac address='52:54:00:27:81:c8'/>
      <source network='default' bridge='virbr0'/>
      <target dev='vnet0'/>
      <model type='virtio'/>
      <alias name='net0'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x02' function='0x0'/>
    </interface>
    <serial type='pty'>
      <source path='/dev/pts/1'/>
      <target type='isa-serial' port='0'>
        <model name='isa-serial'/>
      </target>
      <alias name='serial0'/>
    </serial>
    <console type='pty' tty='/dev/pts/1'>
      <source path='/dev/pts/1'/>
      <target type='serial' port='0'/>
      <alias name='serial0'/>
    </console>
    <input type='mouse' bus='ps2'>
      <alias name='input0'/>
    </input>
    <input type='keyboard' bus='ps2'>
      <alias name='input1'/>
    </input>
    <hostdev mode='subsystem' type='pci' managed='yes'>
      <driver name='vfio'/>
      <source>
        <address domain='0x0000' bus='0x04' slot='0x00' function='0x0'/>
      </source>
      <alias name='hostdev0'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x04' function='0x0'/>
    </hostdev>
    <hostdev mode='subsystem' type='pci' managed='yes'>
      <driver name='vfio'/>
      <source>
        <address domain='0x0000' bus='0x04' slot='0x00' function='0x1'/>
      </source>
      <alias name='hostdev1'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x0a' function='0x0'/>
    </hostdev>
    <hostdev mode='subsystem' type='usb' managed='yes'>
      <source>
        <vendor id='0x046d'/>
        <product id='0xc084'/>
        <address bus='5' device='3'/>
      </source>
      <alias name='hostdev2'/>
      <address type='usb' bus='0' port='1'/>
    </hostdev>
    <memballoon model='virtio'>
      <alias name='balloon0'/>
      <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x09' function='0x0'/>
    </memballoon>
  </devices>
  <seclabel type='dynamic' model='apparmor' relabel='yes'>
    <label>libvirt-3005be2c-6364-49e5-a5f3-395188558081</label>
    <imagelabel>libvirt-3005be2c-6364-49e5-a5f3-395188558081</imagelabel>
  </seclabel>
  <seclabel type='dynamic' model='dac' relabel='yes'>
    <label>+64055:+113</label>
    <imagelabel>+64055:+113</imagelabel>
  </seclabel>
</domain>

Thanks in advance for any help

Here’s your problem:

<disk type='file' device='disk'> <driver name='qemu' type='qcow2'/> <source file='/var/lib/libvirt/images/win10.qcow2'/> <backingStore/> <target dev='vda' bus='virtio'/> <alias name='virtio-disk0'/> <address type='pci' domain='0x0000' bus='0x00' slot='0x08' function='0x0'/> </disk>

since Windows 7, all Windows installations (have a chance to) have a bug where performing read/write operations on VirtIO or AHCI storage devices uses 100% of the CPU.
similar to when a linux process gets bogged down by I/O wait. but with windows, its alot more severe and less excusable.

some say that disabling superfetch and activating windows can mitigate this bug.

my solution was to switch to NVMe.