Any VM users on a 4gb ram air?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by MacChinoNyc, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. MacChinoNyc macrumors 6502

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    Apr 14, 2008
    #1
    Would like to know what your takes are? Is 8gb a necessity if you plan on using VM or even parallels etc?
     
  2. robvas macrumors 68020

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    USA
    #2
    What are you going to do in the VM?

    If you just want a 512MB Linux or XP VM, or if you want 1 GB Win 7 VM, you'll be fine with 4GB.

    But if you want a Windows 7 VM to run things like AutoCAD or 3D Programs in you will want 8GB.
     
  3. dean1012 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #3
    Depends on your virtualization needs....

    I have a 4 GB 2013 MBA. I use VirtualBox and have two linux based headless VMs that I only run as needed (not 24/7 and not at the same time). Each is configured to use 2 GB RAM.

    I've never had a problem...

    I could imagine you being able to run a 2 GB windows vm fairly well but I wouldn't expect to play games through it.
     
  4. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    #4
    I used Parallels on my 2011 4GB MBA with no issues. VMs, regardless of RAM, have limitations. What are you planning on running?
     
  5. willgreene99 macrumors regular

    willgreene99

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    Dec 16, 2010
    Location:
    DFW
    #5
    From what I use VM's for, Linux based OS' should do well with only 4GB. VM's with MS Windows OS' will need more. But as other users have said, what you do within the VM will dictate how much memory you need. Running a Linux OS with Apache serving up low to medium complexity pages should run fine. Running either a Linux or Windows OS and having an Oracle or MS SQL Server database will require more than 4GB to run smoothly.

    I have assigned one Windows VM with 512MB of ram and another with 1GB of ram. It seems that the one with 1GB of ram runs better while using any of the office products simultaneously.

    However, I thought that VMware performs some type of dynamic memory management when running VM's.
     
  6. MacChinoNyc thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 14, 2008
    #6
    Ok let me rephrase my question a bit. I plan on using cisco anyconnect vpn client to connect to my job's vpn and then launch remote desktop to connect to my windows 7 work machine <-- I guess first question this is possible right? I mean there has to be others here that connect to work this way maybe? Next question is, how much does ram come into consideration in this scenario, would 4gb be enough then?

    If so, then I wouldnt even worry about running vm if I could just connect to my windows 7 work machine when needed. I'd probably run vm to just play with linux in the future. Never really owned a macbook and not too sure how it would handle above scenario.
     
  7. yosemit macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2013
    #7
    I do both. If you use remote desktop, it consumes little memory. The demand for memory is on your Windows 7 work machine. You may need to ask the IT support at your workplace if that's allowed and if there is any firewall to bypass.

    To use Windows VM, it's the best to maximize the memory to 8GB. Windows 7 can run with 2GB memory, but the applications with Windows is usually more demanding than Mac applications.

     
  8. MacChinoNyc thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 14, 2008
    #8
    I understand the memory demand on my windows machine wasnt sure how os x handled that, on my work machine I can upgrade the ram myself as needed :)

    So you use a vpn on your mac and then launch a remote desktop on your mac to connect to work?

    I really wouldnt need to run windows 7 in a vm on my mac because I actually have a bigger workhorse windows 7 laptop which I'm on right now. I'm just trying to get a small laptop to take with me wherever I go.
     
  9. kimbermatic macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    #9
    I have an Air for the same reasons...

    I have a 2011 Air 13" with 4gb of memory. I ran Vmware and Parallels. I preferred Parallels and just stuck with it. Ran Window 7 Ultimate. I use my work vpn client to my work machine. Works just fine. I also just purchased a MBP 13" with 8gb of memory running the same VM.

    My findings are that the new MBP does run a faster VM session, but in the end the Air does well. I can work on both fine. As long as you do not add MSoffice and load up the VM with other software ect.. I think you are good. Watch your space, 128 for an SSD that you want VM also is too little. Start with the 256, or go to the 512 if you can afford it. Space is the main reason I am jumping to the MBP, along with the Retina screen.
     
  10. MacChinoNyc thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 14, 2008
    #10
    But they offer bigger ssd's on the air as well, is the retina that much better in your honest opinion?
     
  11. Kartram macrumors newbie

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    Mar 22, 2013
    #11
    You need 8GB Ram and 256GB SSD. I have a Windows 8 Parallels VM and it uses 24GB. Add space for other cloud folders and you will use space like crazy.
     
  12. Stingray454 macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 22, 2009
    #12
    Maybe a silly question, but.. why do you need a VM? Cisco VPN client exists for mac, as well as other easy-to-use VPN solutions, so a Mac is perfectly capable of connecting to a VPN unless intentionally blocked. There is also a Remote Desktop client available for Mac (made by Microsoft). I'm not really sure why you would need a VM at all.
     
  13. MacChinoNyc thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 14, 2008
    #13
    This is what I've been trying to find out and it seems I wouldnt even need to use vm. I'm still trying to decide between the air and pro.
     
  14. robvas macrumors 68020

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    Mar 29, 2009
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    USA
    #14
    Yes, the new RDP clients just came out a few weeks ago for Mac and iOS.
     
  15. MacChinoNyc thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 14, 2008
    #15
    Where did you get the vpn client? When I try to go to cisco's site it mentions logging in if you have a contract to download? I must be looking in the wrong place.
     
  16. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    Pa
    #16
    What are you guys doing to your Windows install? I have a 4gb air from 2011 running Windows 8 in VMWare Fusion. I pretty much use it to occasionally program for WP8, and some games. It gets 2gb of RAM and takes up somewhere around 26gb of space, including the Visual Studio install and a few games.

    ----------

    Functionally, there's no difference between the 13" air and the 13" pro. The pro has a higher res screen, the air has more screen real-estate. the air is "slower", but unless you need every ounce of CPU power, it's more than fast enough. They use the same GPU and even the shallow keyboard. The pro does have an HDMI port, for what it's worth.

    If there's anything to be concerned with, it's SSD space. Since you can't easily upgrade the SSD, make sure you get the largest you think you'll need. I'd recommend 256gb if you like to store any type of media or install large suites (Office, Adobe, etc).
     
  17. MacChinoNyc thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 14, 2008
    #17
    I already got the air but the 4gb's of ram it came with was already down to 1.14gb free. All I had open was safari with 5 tabs and app store. I did get the 256 drive. can I run vmware fusion and install windows 7 and connect to my job's vpn and remote desktop to my work machine?
     
  18. MyopicPaideia macrumors 68000

    MyopicPaideia

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    Mar 19, 2011
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    Trollhättan, Sweden
    #18
    Yes. I run the Macbook Air in my signature, and have run a VMWare Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit VM from day one. I have only ever had 1GB of RAM allocated to the VM. I run Visma Admin 1000 (Accounting and Finance software utilising an SQL database) as well as MS Office (Excel, Powerpoint, etc) extensively. I have once or twice run into resource problems when having multpile large complex and linked Office documents open simultaneously, but have worked essentially seamlessly with that setup for two years now.

    I recently exported that VM to an external server purely for safety and security reasons (having the entire company sitting on my Air is a bit uncomfortable :)) and now access it with MS's newly released RDP for Mac. Works slightly less perfect than having the VM local, but still great, and I have freed up my Air's resources now as well. Very happy with the setup!
     
  19. MacChinoNyc thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 14, 2008
    #19
    But you most likely have 8gb ram?
     
  20. MyopicPaideia macrumors 68000

    MyopicPaideia

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    #20
    Nope, mine is a 2011 model, maxed out at 4GB
     
  21. martinm0, Nov 8, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013

    martinm0 macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 27, 2010
    #21
    For my company, when I go to the VPN (https://vpn.company.com) it provided a link to download the AnyConnect client for Mac (though the link was specific to my company, so I can't provide it here). But, you should be able to just go to the VPN in Safari and download it from there. Then you can get the MS Remote Desktop for Mac from the app store and should be all good from there.
     
  22. MacChinoNyc thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 14, 2008
    #22
    I did that and it begain trying to install java and/or client, like it normally would on a windows machine, and when it detected the mac os it showed me a dmg file to download so I did. I tried to open that and there was a vpn .pkg file in there and I tried to install that and kept saying corrupt file. I tried to ask my support team but apparently not many mac users they are trying to find out what went wrong. The file was about 4mb maybe if that.
     
  23. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    Apr 12, 2008
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    Tulsa
    #23
    I have a 2010 MBA with 4GB of ram and it runs Windows in a VMware Fusion virtual machine just fine. I have used Quicken for Windows to handle bookkeeping for many years. Thanks to the flash storage used by the MBA, page outs are not much of a problem. I have used Windows at least once a day and often more often than that for more than three years and have been entirely satisfied with how my MBA's 4GB of ram handles my requirements. That's why I still haven't replaced it.
     
  24. MacChinoNyc thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 14, 2008
    #24
    But it seems different users experience different ram limitations and this really scares me. For example this post from the Macbook Pro thread:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=18333496&postcount=6
     
  25. MyopicPaideia, Nov 8, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013

    MyopicPaideia macrumors 68000

    MyopicPaideia

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    #25
    Listen, I don't want to be that guy, but that post is very ignorant. OS X is designed to use up as much RAM as possible to increase performance. Having no unused RAM is not necessarily a bad thing, it just means it is being utilised, and the OS knows how to efficiently use the RAM to best effect for the end user experience.

    Succinctly, all RAM not being utilised for something, whether it is caching Safari history or an extensive clipboard or storing inactive apps like iPhoto, means that much more paging out to use the hard disk as virtual memory and/or having to load frequently used apps back into RAM when reloading them. I have 16GB RAM on my mini Server (again see sig) and if I were to post a screen shot of my memory usage, it would be full too with only 2 Safari tabs open, iTunes with a decent sized library running, along with my headless Windows 8.1 VM running. Why? Because the OS utilises all it possibly can on purpose to speed things up for me.

    Activity monitor reports inactive memory (memory storing inactive processes and recently used apps, but still freely available to other apps should it be needed) as used memory, and in the majority of cases this is the lion's share of "used memory" being reported by the system.

    Don't be scared by the memory usage stats in the activity monitor app. it is supposed to be like that. Here's my post on that subject in thread you linked to.
     

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