Haswell MBA: Will OSX slow down a lot when running a Windows 8 virtual machine?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jfremani, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. jfremani, Sep 28, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013

    macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2008
    Just curious what the experience has been for those of you with new MBA's with the 1.7ghz cpu when you run Windows 8 in Parallels, Fusion, or virtual box. Can you run the VM (which runs MS Visual Studio 2010, IE, and some office apps) on one core and still have enough power left over to run Photoshop or Garage Band?

    The MBA would have 8gb of RAM and a 256g drive.

    I feel like that's probably asking too much out of a lightweight mobile processor, but I'm getting more and more impressed with how much power can be packed into such tight spaces these days..
  2. macrumors 6502

    Aug 17, 2013
    You're overly underestimating the MBA lol. It's more powerful than 90% of laptops bought and sold on 2012 and prior. I run VMware fusion of Windows Server 2012, Windows XP all at the same time on my 2011 MBA i5/4GB/128GB. I can stream Spotify music with 10 browser tabs, Office 2011 Word, Power point, Adobe Reader and mail App on OS X 10.8.5 while running game Metro Apps (Adera, Jetpack, Pinball FX) on the Server 2012 VM and playing emulator games (PSP) on Windows XP VM and it never even slow down at all.

    The 2013 MBA should not even be stressing out with the tasks you listed above.
  3. macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2007
    i have the 2013 mba w/ max out config, running vm (windows 8). you will be fine.
  4. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2008
    Thanks, that's very encouraging.

    I should mention that at times I will be doing all this with an external monitor @ 2560x1440 (thunderbolt display) and possibly a 3rd monitor at 1920x1080.

    I was wanting to hold out another 2 years or so before getting a computer with a "retina" display because of some occasional difficulties it presents as an IT consultant for large corporations and governments.
  5. macrumors 6502

    Aug 17, 2013
    Even with those 3 displays and 2560x1440 resolutions, the Intel HD 5000 graphics should handle all them fine. See this Quick Reference Guide by Intel: http://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/quick-reference-guide-to-intel-processor-graphics
    You can scroll down to Display and Audio Features Comparison and you'll see the HD 5000 can support 3 displays at 3200 x 2000 @60 Hz or 3840x2160@30Hz

    FYI, the base Core i5 2013 MBA model is as fast as the base Core i5 2.5 GHz of the rMBP model. See benchmarks here: http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Core-i5-4250U-vs-Intel-Core-i5-3210M
  6. macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2013
    Best Korea, North Korea.
    Running Windows XP (with 2GB RAM assigned) and CentOS (with 2GB RAM assigned) on my MBA (specs in sig), I've yet to notice any slow down.

    You're fine.
  7. macrumors regular


    Feb 6, 2007
    Milano / Roma
    How much RAM do you guys assign to Win 8 VM?
    Parallels user here.
  8. macrumors 68000

    Mar 29, 2009
    As much as it needs. Start at 1 or 1.5GB
  9. macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2008
    I'm using VMware Fusion on my MacBook Air (spec in signature) and I can't believe how fast and smooth it runs. I actually work in InDesign and Photoshop within it (as I only have a Windows license for Creative Suite 5 and Adobe won't exchange it to the Mac version as it's "too old" - sigh) and I find it runs almost like I'm running it natively on the Mac, and not in a VM. I've allocated 3GB RAM to the VM.

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