Base Air and Parallels

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Mark70, Nov 15, 2014.

  1. Mark70 macrumors newbie

    Nov 18, 2012
    Thinking of moving from my IPad 2 and a windows laptop to a base Air

    I have a few dedicated windows programs I use and am thinking Parallels will be an option none are large or memory intensive

    Will it run windows fine in base configuration and if I decide to use it for work will Office work ok

    Main computer is an IMac so this is just for travelling
  2. DancyMunchkin macrumors member

    Mar 19, 2014
    IMO, for running virtual machines, get more memory. Also, it's not the Windows programs that drive the need for more memory, it's Windows.
  3. iizmoo macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2014
    I 2nd that. I have the i7 8GB and I run VM fine on mine, just Linux, not Parallels though.

    Couple of things to keep in mind, the i7 has some virtualization differences from the i5 family if I'm not mistaken. I don't know for the exact CPU used on the MBA, but you might want to check to make sure. I tried running a VM on a CPU without hardware virtualization extension once, it has nasty.

    Windows and the virtualized environment need probably at least 4GB to make it happy, so the base with 4GB total isn't really a go. You could try it, but a 2GB VM for Windows is probably not going to be very fun...
  4. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    Interesting. I ran Windows XP under Parallels on my old 15" core2duo MBP with only 4GB and it was acceptable. I also ran it under bootcamp on the same machine and it was a little faster, but not dramatically. Mostly I just ran MS Office to be compatible with my company's system, although I did run a powerful GIS package (Globalmapper) a few times. It worked fine but was not as fast under Parallels as bootcamp and definitely slower than my dedicated windows machine with a similar processor.

    Surely the i5 with 4gb would perform noticeably better than my old MBP. I used to have a 2011 i5 MBA and it was about twice as fast as the old c2d MBP.
  5. SpinalTap macrumors regular


    Sep 25, 2003
    Bournville, UK
    CrossOver from Codeweavers is also worth serious consideration.

    You don't need WindowsOS to run your apps.

    I use Office Pro by this method.
  6. Mark70 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 18, 2012
    Crossover sounds interesting. I will research it
  7. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    Virtualization support is kind of a sliding scale and I believe all current CPUs have a bunch of support for it. So no worries about the nightmare that used to be running VMs on a Pentium III or whatever.

    You'd have to check the ARK pages but I don't recall that the i7s used in the MBA have any more support than the i5s for virtualization. I recall there being precious few differences between the chips. Something about VPro machine management stuff and something else about some new instructions to help speed up critical sections in multithreaded code (don't know if anything supports this yet but I expect it to make very little practical difference).


    More recent versions of Windows require a lot more RAM. If you are doing stuff with Windows in a VM these days I'd recommend 8GB too.

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