How much RAM do you dedicate to your Parallels VM?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by rogersmj, Mar 14, 2007.

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How much RAM for your Windows VM?

  1. 256MB or less

    1 vote(s)
    3.2%
  2. 384MB

    2 vote(s)
    6.5%
  3. 512MB

    13 vote(s)
    41.9%
  4. 768MB

    5 vote(s)
    16.1%
  5. 1GB or more

    10 vote(s)
    32.3%
  1. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #1
    I've been seeing huge variations in the amount of memory people allocate to their Parallels virtual machine. I run Windows XP via Parallels full-time on both my Macs, and out of 2GB memory in each of them I set 384MB for Windows. This is sufficient to run Outlook (for Exchange work email), uTorrent, Office Communicator (also for work), and a fourth app such as Visio, DB Designer, or Visual Studio. I see people allocating a full 1GB to their Windows VM and I have to ask...why? What the heck are you doing in Windows that warrants a full gig of RAM? Mine runs pretty darn well with 384MB and it's even usable with 256MB.

    I know it would be somewhat better with more RAM, but are you really willing to sacrifice memory from OS X? I can easily eat up most of my 2GB of RAM in OS X when I really get going, and 384MB for XP/1.625GB for OS X seems to be a great balance. I'm just curious about other people's thoughts.
     
  2. chicagdan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #2
    I'm running Vista Ultimate, so I dedicate a lot of RAM to Parallels -- 1 Gig. I have 2 gig installed, so I can spare it with no problem. I also like to use Dragon Naturally Speaking, which is a huge RAM hog, so I need the extra Windows memory.
     
  3. rogersmj thread starter macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #3
    Yeah I guess if you're running Vista I can understand 1GB. But I don't run Windows for the questionable "experience", I run XP just to have access to a few apps. I don't care about the experience, and having used Vista at work for the last couple months I know I never want it. Also, I can't stand using OS X with only 1GB or RAM, so even having 2GB in both my Macs I wouldn't make that sacrifice.
     
  4. chicagdan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #4
    Well, I'll leave the pros and cons of Vista discussion to someone else, but I don't have a problem devoting 1 gig to Parallels because I don't keep it running when I'm not on a Windows task and I don't tend to multitask between OS X and Windows programs. But if you do, I can understand your point of view.
     
  5. bankshot macrumors 65816

    bankshot

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Location:
    Southern California
    #5
    I've been using 512 MB for my XP installation in Parallels since last year. Less than that has been fine for the occasional times I need to check something in Win98 or some flavor of Linux.

    However, I've found that the latest version of Parallels (including the betas leading up to it -- the one with Coherence and all of that) is a huge memory hog. On my Macbook with 2 GB of memory, things become unusable when my XP virtual machine is running and doing anything significant. The whole machine slows to a crawl as memory is swapped in and out. This is on a 2 GB machine! :mad:

    It's frustrating enough that I'm seriously considering going back to the previous stable release of Parallels. That one worked fine, and I can live without the Coherence glitz if my machine becomes much more usable. I never thought I'd be wishing for 4 GB (or more) of memory so soon!
     
  6. rogersmj thread starter macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #6
    Yeah I do have it running full time on my iMac, I guess that's an important distinction to make.

    I don't run it full time on my MacBook...not because of memory concerns, but because it keeps the CPU running at about 15% all the time and kills my battery.
     
  7. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #7
    Try running any Eclipse based product for any amount of time, the more RAM the better. In my case I run IBM Rational Application Developer, Portlet Factory, and Websphere Application Server.
     

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