It was worth doing the manual update because the biggest regression, inability to run multiple emulator instances simultaneously, was fixed. Phew. I was getting tired of having this decent PC with tons of RAM--which I had upgraded specifically for running virtual machines and emulators!--and not being able to run multiple emulator instances.
Then surprisingly, although maybe completely coincidentally, when I tried running an Ubuntu guest on VirtualBox, it was really snappy. I didn't remember it being this fast before. I do remember having the same Ubuntu guest in the past be somewhat slow, with some input lag and just overall sluggishness, and that turned me off from using it very much. I also remember reading something to do with VT-x being blocked by Intel HAXM.
But now VirtualBox is fast. Fast like using HAXM with Android running an Intel Atom image. I can think of a few possible causes:
- Android SDK Tools 20.0.1 and Intel HAXM 1.01 finally behave well with virtual machines. VT-x is no longer blocked by the Android emulator, allowing VirtualBox to take full advantage of the virtualization speedups.
- Or, maybe the Ubuntu VM image was sitting on some bad sectors on my SSD. It somehow moved to good sectors, speeding up the VirtualBox performance.
- Or, I could be getting old and everything seems fast at age 25.
Whichever it is, I'm really glad I can make full use of my development machine now when it comes to VMs and emulators. My 16 gigs of RAM are smiling.