VMWare speed may be video-card-setup dependent more than expected
I think the discrepancy in speed may be due to video acceleration features, if you have
a really fast video card and well support X and use VMWare's X enhancements, versus
if you have a framebuffer device or no X acceleration. Of course, it is important to have
enough memory both in the VM and for Linux, but it should be easy to see thrashing.