Vmware Win7 on base 11.6 model?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by tredstone, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2010
    Hi all,
    Looking to get the base 11.6" model for someone, and my main concern is the performance of Vmware fusion on it. I know it only has 2GB of ram, so I was wondering how well win7 would run in vmware assuming nothing intensive is being run (photoshop, etc). For basic things like browsing, email, streaming youtube, will performance be reasonable and smooth?
  2. macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2011
    I had the 2GB MBA for a short while and running a Win 7VM was a little slow. Now upgraded to a 4GB MBA and it performs much better, as I can give it more memory. An XP VM with 512-768M of RAM assigned seemed to work better.
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2010
    Do you think streaming non-HD videos will be reasonably smooth (on the base model)?
  4. macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2011
    Do you mean through the Win7 VM or playing non-HD movies directly off the MBA?

    If the former, I didn't try, if the latter, yep works fine, I played 720p movies both on the laptop and also to my TV using HDMI & VLC.

    I rip my movies for the AppleTV and some Blu-Ray rips come out quite big even at 720p, I think one of them came in at about 7GB and the MBA played it back smoothly.
  5. macrumors G4

    Oct 23, 2010
    There are two main considerations when running Windows 7 in virtualization on the base 11"

    First, Windows 7 itself takes up 16GB of space if you install the 32-bit version. Considering the base SSD is about 60GB, that would mean realistically you'd need to devote about half the SSD to Windows. Consider what OS X and Windows programs the user will want to install and whether 64GB will cut it.

    Second, 2GB will be taxed by two operating systems running side by side. On my 4GB 13" model, when I have Safari open in OS X and Windows 7 running in Parallel, I use up nearly all the RAM. Remember that the video card uses 256MB of RAM, and Windows 7 needs at least 1GB to run acceptably. True, the SSD speeds up page outs, but RAM is still faster than the SSD.

    The base can handle Windows 7 in Boot Camp just fine (apart from the storage issue), but I'd recommend a 4GB model with the 128GB SSD for a much more usable experience in a virtual environment.

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