How to speed up Parallels Desktop 7 ?

andy8

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 6, 2009
156
1
Hi All,

I am using a Core 2 Duo (mid-2009) Macbook Pro on Mountain Lion (clean installed). Parallels Desktop 7 is quite slow (running Windows 7). I have the 'beach-ball' frequently and it isn't smooth to use. Anyone has some optimisation tips ?

Thanks !
 
Last edited:

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,176
3,935
Atlanta
Hi All,

I am using a Core 2 Duo (mid-2009) Macbook Pro. Parallels Desktop 7 is quite slow (running Windows 7). I have the 'beach-ball' frequently and it isn't smooth to use. Anyone has some tweaking tips ?

Thanks !
More Memory (assigned to Parallels).
 

chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
8,505
2,729
More Memory (assigned to Parallels).
Without knowing how much memory the computer has, and how much memory is assigned to the virtual machine, the answer isn't quite that simple.
 

andy8

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 6, 2009
156
1
Without knowing how much memory the computer has, and how much memory is assigned to the virtual machine, the answer isn't quite that simple.
My Mac has 4GB Ram and currently Parallels is using 1024MB Ram (default). I'm thinking of increasing it to 2024MB (twice as much) Ram.
 

chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
8,505
2,729
My Mac has 4GB Ram and currently Parallels is using 1024MB Ram (default). I'm thinking of increasing it to 2024MB (twice as much) Ram.
If you aren't running other apps at the same time, this may work OK, but you may not find it to be any faster if the other applications need more memory. The best option, if it's in your budget, is to add more memory to the computer.
 

andy8

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 6, 2009
156
1
If you aren't running other apps at the same time, this may work OK, but you may not find it to be any faster if the other applications need more memory. The best option, if it's in your budget, is to add more memory to the computer.
I'll seriously think about it. I am experimenting with the doubled RAM on Parallels and observing the overall system response.
 

Menneisyys2

macrumors 603
Jun 7, 2011
5,397
195
Hi All,

I am using a Core 2 Duo (mid-2009) Macbook Pro on Mountain Lion (clean installed). Parallels Desktop 7 is quite slow (running Windows 7). I have the 'beach-ball' frequently and it isn't smooth to use. Anyone has some optimisation tips ?

Thanks !
My late 2009 c2d MPB 17" has 8G RAM and a Vertex 4 256GB SSD with Parallels 7, having installed both W7 versions with teh default settings. Both the 32 and the 64 bit versions of W7 are lighting fast. Add RAM and an SSD.
 

andy8

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 6, 2009
156
1
My late 2009 c2d MPB 17" has 8G RAM and a Vertex 4 256GB SSD with Parallels 7, having installed both W7 versions with teh default settings. Both the 32 and the 64 bit versions of W7 are lighting fast. Add RAM and an SSD.
RAM and SSD upgrade is under my consideration now. Thanks
 

andy8

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 6, 2009
156
1
I increased RAM on Parallels to 2024MB RAM from the previous 1024MB; and my machine is terribly slow now. I think I'll have to go for a RAM upgrade.
 

dyn

macrumors 68030
Aug 8, 2009
2,708
383
.nl
There are 3 important things with virtualisation: the correct settings (not too many virtual cpus, right amount of memory, etc.), enough memory in the machine itself (both host OS and guest OS require memory!) and fast i/o (in most cases this boils down to an ssd). So check you vm settings, upgrade memory if possible and use an ssd if possible.
 

andy8

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 6, 2009
156
1
There are plenty of options in the Parallels configuration to play with in order to get the best performance for you.

I have 4 GB of ram allocated to Windows 7 and it works pretty well (I have 12 GB of ram in my iMac).

I have a total of 4GB Ram on my Macbook unfortunately. :(
I'm thinking of upgrading my RAM though.
 

turtle777

macrumors 6502a
Apr 30, 2004
681
15
I had the same issues with my 2009 iMac with 4GB RAM.

Upgraded to 6GB, things were much snappier.

-t
 

andy8

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 6, 2009
156
1
I had the same issues with my 2009 iMac with 4GB RAM.

Upgraded to 6GB, things were much snappier.

-t
Currently, I have a 4GB kit (2GB * 2) in both slots of my Macbook. What I'm wondering at the moment is that if I upgrade to 6GB will I be able to optimally use my RAM; as I have read online that both RAM slots should hold the equivalent sized RAM cards or otherwise the performance is not the best. I plan to have 4GB RAM in one slot and another 2GB on another slot. Totalling to 6GB. But I don't know if this will work.

Your recommendations please !
 

jtcedinburgh

macrumors regular
Sep 26, 2010
141
2
My Mac has 4GB Ram and currently Parallels is using 1024MB Ram (default). I'm thinking of increasing it to 2024MB (twice as much) Ram.
Not nearly enough. I couldn't get acceptable performance from my 32-bit Windows 7 Enterprise VM on my 2009 2.23GHz MBP until I'd allocated 4Gb to Parallels after I'd gone to 8Gb on the machine.

The absolute minimum should be 2Gb for the VM.

Now I have a 16Gb MBPR it certainly zips along :)
 

turtle777

macrumors 6502a
Apr 30, 2004
681
15
Currently, I have a 4GB kit (2GB * 2) in both slots of my Macbook. What I'm wondering at the moment is that if I upgrade to 6GB will I be able to optimally use my RAM; as I have read online that both RAM slots should hold the equivalent sized RAM cards or otherwise the performance is not the best. I plan to have 4GB RAM in one slot and another 2GB on another slot. Totalling to 6GB. But I don't know if this will work.

Your recommendations please !
On the 2009 iMacs, 6GB is the max.

Even though the 2 slots are not paired, performance still beats 4GB by a mile.

-t
 

mmomega

macrumors 68040
Dec 30, 2009
3,384
1,541
DFW, TX
On the 2009 iMacs, 6GB is the max.

Even though the 2 slots are not paired, performance still beats 4GB by a mile.

-t
I have 8GB installed and showing up in my wife's 2009 i5 iMac.

My wife has a 2010 iMac at work and runs Parallels 24/7 and it was quite slow until I bumped the RAM to 8GB.

With the low price of 8GB of RAM i'd suggest that for the minimum on a Parallels Win 7 machine.
 

Icy1007

macrumors 65816
Feb 26, 2011
1,041
63
Cleveland, OH
I have 8GB installed and showing up in my wife's 2009 i5 iMac.

My wife has a 2010 iMac at work and runs Parallels 24/7 and it was quite slow until I bumped the RAM to 8GB.

With the low price of 8GB of RAM i'd suggest that for the minimum on a Parallels Win 7 machine.
6GB Is the max for 2009 MBPs.
 

turtle777

macrumors 6502a
Apr 30, 2004
681
15
Oops, I messed up. My iMac is a 2008 Core 2 Duo.

Officially, it only takes 4GB, but it can run 6GB.

AFAIK, 2009 iMacs can take 8GB.

-t
 

talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,707
266
Oregon
If you are running 64-bit Windows 7, you might try 32-bit Windows 7 instead. I ran 1.5GB RAM with 32-bit Windows 7 just fine on a 4GB MacBook. More RAM is the definite way to go for improved performance. Quad core is a big boost as well, but that's a difficult upgrade. :)
 

fins831

macrumors 6502a
Oct 7, 2011
655
0
More RAM and a SSD...really the only things to speed up Parallels 7. I'd say to run it decently a minimum of 8 gigs of RAM is necessary, but an SSD would be turbocharging it.
 

mmomega

macrumors 68040
Dec 30, 2009
3,384
1,541
DFW, TX
MacBook Pro Wiki

use that link and scroll down to the table to note max memory for MacBook Pros.

Mid '07 to Early '08 are 6GB
Late '08 to Mid '10 are 8GB
Early '11 to present are 16GB