Running VMWare on 2011 MBA 13"

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by thefirstone, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. thefirstone, Jul 21, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011

    macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2011
    I intend to run VMWare with Windows 7, along with Chrome (7-8 tabs), Eclipse, few Word documents and maybe watch a Flash video on Lion.

    This will be my first Mac. Do you think the new 13" MBA with 4GB RAM can handle the workload?

    Or should I go with the 13" MBP with 8GB RAM?

    I would hate to have a sluggish computer.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    You can do this on 2010 13" MBA. The only thing is that Flash will cause your fans to spin up. The VMware tends to have that effect as well. But things run just fine.
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2011
    Is using VMWare pretty seamless or do you find it's sluggish and a pain to use?

    The higher resolution of an MBA is really enticing me.
  4. macrumors regular

    Dec 25, 2006
    I use Parallels, a little different animal of the same variety, and it runs fine. Of course, almost the only thing I do on the windows side is run Quicken.
  5. macrumors demi-god

    Oct 14, 2005
    Virginia Beach
    VMWare on my 2010 Ultimate 13" is awesome. I love how quickly the VMs start up (vs. on a system with a traditional hard drive).
  6. macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2010
    2010 13' air handles that scenario without a problem, no reason the new one shouldn't.
  7. macrumors G4

    Oct 23, 2010
    I've used both Parallels and Fusion in the past (got them each through promotions), but settled on Parallels because I find it performs a bit better. Fusion is more stable, though. For occasional use, Windows 7 in Parallels was fine on my 4GB Core 2 Duo MacBook Air (mostly used for Quicken), and I expect it will be noticeably better with the Core i7 MacBook Air. The fewer applications you have in the background when running Windows, the better.

    Since it's your first Mac, you may consider getting OS X software to replace what you use in Windows. Office 2011 is nearly on par with Office 2010, for instance. While it's slower than Office 2010 in Windows on a native machine, it's faster than Office 2010 in Windows in a virtual machine.

    If you intend to run Windows games, I'd suggest using a Boot Camp partition rather than Fusion or Parallels. You can install Windows in Boot Camp and then also run it from within Fusion or Parallels, but you lose the ability to hibernate your virtual machine (since it would mess up Windows if you booted into Boot Camp).
  8. thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2011
    Awesome, thanks for the replies guys! I think I'm going for the base 2011 13" MBA.

    It will be my main computer, so I was a little concerned that I can't increase the RAM to 8GB.
  9. macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2010
    I run Windows XP and Ubuntu 10.10 in VMs at the same time quite frequently, and that is with Safari, iTunes, Mail, iChat, Word, and sometimes WoW also open and running. It is pretty smooth, only lags slightly if I have WoW going. Although that is using virtual box, can't comment on other VM programs.

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