Mac Mini Can't Handle Parallels

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by No1iSaHero, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2012
    I bought the base 2012 Mac Mini last week and I need to use parallels for Sony Vegas and capture software via Xbox/PS3. It keeps lagging constantly. I am looking to return the Mac Mini and upgrade to a different desktop option. I currently have a rMBP and it runs parallels with no lag. But I would like to run it on the big screen without thunderbolt displays. Would a the base iMac 27 be able to handle this with no lag? Or should I look for other options?

    P.S I understand I can put the rMBP on my display via hdmi, but I am looking to use the iMac with my other displays I already have.
  2. macrumors 601

    Jul 11, 2009
    How much RAM is in the Mini and how much is in your MBP? 8GB is inexpensive, and will really help when running a virtual machine.
    You could also just use Bootcamp for maximum Windows performance.
  3. macrumors 68000


    Jul 19, 2002
    The base with just 4gb is not enough for VM to run smoothly. RAM is cheap, going to 16gb is ~$80 and makes a HUGE difference. The other issue you may be running into is that the Mac mini only has integrated graphics where are slow natively depending on what you do and even slower virtualized. For what I do, mainly virtualize linux environments, it is perfectly fine.
  4. macrumors 65816


    Nov 20, 2007
    Where is your film footage stored? If it's all stored on the same 5400rpm HDD as your apps and OS, then that'll be the bottleneck right there.

    Try a USB3 external and see how it goes. (Plus more ram.)
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 11, 2008
    Swap it for the i7 quad core, throw in more ram and an SSD yourself, problem solved.
  6. macrumors 68040


  7. macrumors 601

    Jul 11, 2009
    I agree with not trying to use Sony Vegas, but don't bother with spending an extra 50% on "faster" RAM vs. the $80-$85 options.
    EDIT: OP, have you tried using iMovie, that even may be adequate for your needs rather than spending the money on Final Cut Pro. Premiere Elements is another option that's far cheaper than FCP and may work fine for your needs.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Aug 11, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    Why not use Bootcamp?
  9. macrumors 68040


    16GB Crucial are $99.96 incl. shipping, the HyperX are $126.74. That's merely $26.78.
  10. macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Well if we are talking about "slower" RAM, even this 1600mhz RAM is reported to work in Mac's and is only $73

    So at this point now we are at chrfr $50 difference....

    Or here is GSkill which is a brand I have personally used in Macs:

    and now we are at $46.

    Or here is Crucial just to make an apples to apples comparison:

    That's a $40 difference than hyperx which is pretty much 50% more.
  11. macrumors 601

    Jul 11, 2009
    You can find Crucial and other brand RAM for less, but regardless, 25-30% for an intangible performance difference is a waste.
  12. Giuly, Feb 18, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013

    macrumors 68040


  13. macrumors 601

    Jul 11, 2009
    I'd stick with something that's within Apple's specifications.
  14. macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    Your Mini should be able to easily handle Parallels without a faster CPU or SSD. If you are using the stock 4GB RAM then that is probably the source of your problem.

    Mountain Lion requires 4GB RAM for just the basics; it is not enough RAM to run OS X, a Windows virtual PC and software. You need at least 8GB but 16GB would be even better. With 16GB RAM you can provide the two operating systems and your programs enough memory to run properly. Just keep in mind that even 16GB RAM won't be enough if you insist on simultaneously running so many programs that you run out of available memory. Use the Activity Monitor to see how much memory your OS and software is actually using and pay attention to how much RAM the manufacturers state is the recommended minimum for their programs.

    I set-up a client's 2010 Mini/Snow Leopard to run Windows 7 using VMWare Fusion. With 8GB RAM (the max allowed) she was able to use very demanding programs on the Windows side for quite some time. It only began to slow down when she updated programs and the RAM requirements were higher.

    If you get an iMac and try to do the same thing with 4GB RAM you will obtain the same results.

    Don't throw money at the problem: an i7 CPU, SSD or an iMac is not the fix you are looking for. Simply upgrade the Mini's RAM and allocate enough RAM to Parallels for it to run properly. With 16GB RAM the Mini should serve you well until software upgrades require more RAM than the Mini can accept. But by the time that happens you will be ready to upgrade the Mini anyway.
  15. macrumors 68040


    And Apple sticks Intel CPUs with integrated memory controllers onto their logic boards that stick to JEDEC specifications, which in the case of a 2012 Mac Mini require compatibility with CL8 and CL9 at 1333MHz and CL9, CL10 and CL11 at 1600MHz.
  16. macrumors 68030

    May 3, 2010
    I have 3 2012 Mac Minis (two low-end and one high-end). All 3 are maxed out to 16GB RAM and all run Parallels beautifully.
  17. macrumors 68030


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    Not sure which Vegas software you're running, but you definitely need RAM. From Sony Vegas Pro 12 system requirements:

    • Microsoft® Windows Vista® 64-bit SP2, Windows 7 64-bit, or Windows® 8 64-bit operating system
    • 2 GHz processor (multicore or multiprocessor CPU recommended for HD or stereoscopic 3D)
    • 500 MB hard-disk space for program installation
    • 4 GB RAM (8 GB recommended)

    That's the ram that the VM requires - you'll need additional RAM on top of that for Mac OS X. I would not even attempt Vegas in a VM without 16GB RAM.
  18. macrumors 68030

    May 3, 2010
    For the relatively minor cost of a 16GB upgrade you get very good bang for your buck.
  19. macrumors member

    Dec 4, 2006
    Omaha NE
    I agree witho who ever said that you should try iMovie or FCP. Depending on your needs, iMovie mmight actually be more than enough and thus you'll have zero need for parallels..

    Now i have a 2011 i5 Mini that runs both bootcamp and parallels for astrophotogragy image stacking and iMovie editing (8GB installed) and it runs great.

    If you can go without the sony software, and use iMovie for free..then do it. Your performance will be better anyways.
  20. macrumors member

    Nov 23, 2012
    Hello. I use parallels without problems on my 2012 I7. I Can use mac OS, Windows 7 and Windows XP at same time. I have 16gb of RAM
  21. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 6, 2002
    New England
    i say the hell with windows apps. lets make an effort to force these companies to make their apps for mac. As long as they know these people will just use boot camp or parallels then they have no incentive to cater to mac users.
  22. macrumors 68030

    May 3, 2010
    The apps generally suck in the first instance, we don't need more sucky Mac apps.

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