1st gen MacBook air powerful enough for parallel?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by 1appleAday, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. 1appleAday macrumors regular

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    Mar 27, 2008
    #1
    Hey guys,

    I have a 1st gen base model MacBook air and I'm thinking to use win7 through virtualization (maybe parallel). Before I spend the money on win 7 and parallel, however, I'm concerned if my machine is powerful enough to run parallel *smoothly*. Does anyone have tried it before? How is the user experience?

    Thanks !
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

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    #2
    How much RAM do you have and what do you want to run inside Windows?
     
  3. 1appleAday thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 27, 2008
    #3
    Thanks for quick reply. Mine just have 2gb, which meets parallels min requirement (also checked vm fusion but can't find system req). That kind of worries me about about the performance.

    I plan to run some financial app which is based on java when I run windows. Also will run live mesh to connect to other machines.
     
  4. simsaladimbamba

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    #4
    2 GB is a bit meagre to run Mac OS X and Windows side by side. Normally one should use at least 2 GB for one VM and have another 2 GB for the host OS.
    I assign 2 to 4 GB to my temporary VMs and have fared quite well with it.
    What about Boot Camp?
     
  5. 1appleAday thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 27, 2008
    #5
    That's less convenient but acceptable. Do you think performance wise bootcamp with win 7 is a lot more smooth than parallel? Do you have first gen air?
     
  6. simsaladimbamba

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    #6
    It will be much, much better, as Windows does not have to fight for system resources with Mac OS X, only with itself.
    If the application is not that big, you can get away with a 15 to 20 GB partition for Windows.
    You could also spend the money saved from not buying Parallels into a new and faster HDD or SSD, though the MBA uses a 1.8" form factor, thus HDDs and SSDs are a wee bit more expensive than their 2.5" brothers.

    Booting Windows on the Mac
     
  7. 1appleAday thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 27, 2008
    #7
    Thanks for the link. Does boot camp work with win 7 home premium?
     
  8. simsaladimbamba

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    #8
    Yes. It works from Windows XP SP 3 to 7, though Lion only works with 7, but I guess there are workarounds for your machine, if needed, which you don't.
     
  9. 1appleAday thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 27, 2008
    #9
    Oh darn it, just found out that to run win 7 on boot camp, i need to upgrade it to Snow Leopard (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3986). Guess I need to upgrade my OS.

    Thanks for suggesting boot camp. I think I would give it a try. :)
     
  10. aleni macrumors 68020

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    Jun 2, 2006
    #10
    Even my rev b 1.86ghz cant run windows xp well enough on parallels without going core shutdown and became sluggish and not usable with that damn jittering mouse.
     
  11. GeekGuys macrumors regular

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    Mar 13, 2009
    #11
    What are you guys running?

    I'm not sure what you guys are doing in Windows or what type of performance you expect but I had a rev A MBA with 80GB HDD and 2GB RAM, 1.6Ghz CPU.
    I had parallels running XP, and Win 7 in an other VM.

    As long as I have at least 15Gb HDD free space then I had no problems running OSX Leopard and XP/Win7 at the same time.

    I tried all three once and they opened....but Win7 was sluggish but certainly not unusable.

    I think it depends on what your VM settings are. I had 512Mb RAM allocated to the XP session and I could open Office 2010, Quickbooks, etc and work without any noticeable delay in mouse or application. Yes, initially opening the apps was slow but only about 25% slower than when in bootcamp.

    Games is a different answer though..... running any kind of game in Parallels was a killer.... I had to use Bootcamp with XP.

    So, I would say, give it a try and see if it is acceptable. You can always delete the VM if not!
     
  12. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #12
    I used to have a first and second gen MacBook Air. Boot Camp was acceptable running Windows XP or 7 (2nd gen only), but Parallels was pretty slow, even with the SSD I had on the 2nd gen.

    It wasn't until the Rev D (late 2010) model with 4GB and a faster SSD that running Windows 7 in Parallels was acceptable for me. On the current version, it is actually pretty quick.

    The issue with the early models isn't so much the rated processor speed (the late 2010 used similar processors) but the heat management. The first MacBook Airs had issues dissipating heat, so they would often shut down a processor core or run slower than advertised (e.g. a 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo might run at 1.4GHz).
     
  13. Renors macrumors newbie

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    Feb 13, 2012
    #13
    Why not use Mac OS X?

    I am pretty sure you can use that Java App on OS X and MS has a version of live mesh for mac. Give it a try it might work without using any VM.
     
  14. 1appleAday thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 27, 2008
    #14
    You got me excited when you mentioned MS has live mesh for mac. I was like "no way, r u kidding me?!" then i founded it and dl immediately. but the sad news is after i installed it, i cannot use it to connect to my work machine because mesh remote connect only works for IE !!!!!! now is there an IE for mac?:p

    maybe i need to look into how to connect to my work pc on my mac via some other alternative than live mesh...any suggestions?

    ----------

    May I ask did you run 32-bit or 64-bit of win 7 on your rev A MBA? I can't find a straight answer from this link: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1846
     
  15. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #15
    Depends what you need to do in Windows.

    If you can get by with Windows XP it doesn't run too badly in a VM on a 2gb machine - i was running Windows VMs on my Mac mini (see sig) for a while just to play with.

    If in doubt, and you have a Windows license, why not download/install virtualbox (free) and give it a shot. If it runs OK, then buy parallels if you want, or just stick with virtualbox....
     
  16. Renors macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    #16


    hmmm.... There are a few software that allow you to run windows apps on OS X. You could try CrossOver for mac and setup a bottle to run IE. CrossOver is not free but I bet there must be a similar app for free on the net.
     
  17. 1appleAday thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 27, 2008
    #17
    Thanks folks! I downloaded LogmeIn Free and it works great! For now I will just avoid using Windows entirely (and honestly i'm so glad i don't have to run IE on my mac. it just feel wrong lol).

    btw I just ordered snow leopard (my rev A came with leopard and never get the chance to upgrade) so i'm looking forward to it! :D I feel this renewed love for my mac now :D

    thanks again for all the suggestions folks! this forum has proven to be very useful time and again! cheers!
     
  18. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #18
    If you ever do have the desire to run Win 7 on your Rev A, stick with 32-bit. The primary benefit of 64-bit is that it can access more than the 3.25GB of RAM that 32-bit Windows can. Since the Rev A has only 2GB, 32-bit runs just as well (actually better, since the 64-bit version has more overhead).
     
  19. 1appleAday thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 27, 2008
    #19
    Thanks for clarifying that! Very good point on memory - I guess I wasn't thinking clearly! :p
     

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