PC features for VS 2017\Android emulators - list needed

xammerxammer Member
edited March 2018 in Visual Studio

Hello Everyone.
I recently setup my Microsoft Surface Book laptop with Visual Studio 2017 to learn Xamarin forms. There are several things I've noticed that appear to be performance related such as the following:

1) Android emulators run very slow
2) I'm getting the following message just by opening the default Main.axml in the Resources\layout folder :
Extension 'Xamarin Android Designer for Visual Studio 4.10.0.58' likely caused 21 seconds of unresponsivenes. Disabling it may improve your experience.'

My Surface Book has Windows 10 Pro, 16 gigs ram, 512 SSD, and an I7 cpu but its probably on the low end of cpu. I think the amount of ram is more than enough and the drive is more than fast enough so my guess is the week point is the i7 cpu. Maybe its the low end of i7. The Intel Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager (HAXM) is installed. The Hyper-V options for the PC are disabled as recommended. This device has worked well for me in the past for desktop development of WinForms or WPF applications and even web applications but Xamarin development with device emulators appears to be more demanding.

I am thinking of buying another device to carry on my Xamarin training so I'm wondering if there is any kind of list of things a PC should have that would be good for Xamarin development using Visual Studio and its emulators. I would like to buy something from Dell but I don't know what model would be good for Xamarin development. Hopefully I can find something costing no more than $1,500.

I already have a high end device but unfortunately, it is running VMWare to run multiple virtual machines. Sadly, the android emulators with Visual Studio won't run inside a VMWare virtual machine. Also a problem is that I can't run VS with its emulators on the host device while VMWare virtual machines are running. Since I don't want to shut down the virtual machines I am considering buying another device.

If anyone can respond with a list of types of PC features needed for rapid Xamarin development on Visual Studio 2017 with Android emulators it would be appreciated. Any info on type of CPU (i.e. model and speed) or RAM (type and speed) or manufacturer models (such as Dell models) would help. Thanks in advance.

Best Answer

  • xammerxammer
    edited March 2018 Accepted Answer

    Hello kentucker.
    After about 5 minutes waiting for the Microsoft Arm emulator I just give up so yes arm is slow. I did find an internet Microsoft page which does help provide most of the information I was looking for regarding features needed in a PC for this type of development. I'm not allowed to post links so I can only say to look up the article on Google by searching with the following text:

    System Requirements for the Visual Studio Emulator for Android

    Inside that page be sure to click the Visual Studio 2017 link in the first sentence to ensure you are looking at the latest information.

    Unfortunately, when I tried to check my Surface Book for the listed settings in my bios described on that page I discovered no such options. Apparently when Microsoft designed the Surface Book they decided to make those kinds of things automatic with no options for the end user to change like in other vendor PCs. All I can find as evidence of virtualization capability is in the Task Manager Performance Tab where the CPU is selected it says Virtualization is enabled and that's all. I can only hope all the settings in the above article are set for my Surface Book or that such capabilities exist.

Answers

  • kentuckerkentucker USMember ✭✭✭✭✭

    Are you using an x86 android emulator or an arm based one? The x86 are really fast when Haxm is installed. Arm emulators are really really slow.

  • xammerxammer Member
    edited March 2018 Accepted Answer

    Hello kentucker.
    After about 5 minutes waiting for the Microsoft Arm emulator I just give up so yes arm is slow. I did find an internet Microsoft page which does help provide most of the information I was looking for regarding features needed in a PC for this type of development. I'm not allowed to post links so I can only say to look up the article on Google by searching with the following text:

    System Requirements for the Visual Studio Emulator for Android

    Inside that page be sure to click the Visual Studio 2017 link in the first sentence to ensure you are looking at the latest information.

    Unfortunately, when I tried to check my Surface Book for the listed settings in my bios described on that page I discovered no such options. Apparently when Microsoft designed the Surface Book they decided to make those kinds of things automatic with no options for the end user to change like in other vendor PCs. All I can find as evidence of virtualization capability is in the Task Manager Performance Tab where the CPU is selected it says Virtualization is enabled and that's all. I can only hope all the settings in the above article are set for my Surface Book or that such capabilities exist.

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