MacBook Air use with a virtual machine

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by sh00t4par, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. sh00t4par macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2010

    I was just wondering if you think the 13" Air with the 4 GB RAM upgrade be sufficient to run a single VM using Fusion. I work off of a vm all day as my company uses Windows XP and I use Mac. I also work from home full time so that is why I can do that. I would love to go mobile with it and the Air might be a solution for me if it could handle it.

  2. tcador macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2008
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8A293 Safari/6531.22.7)

    Look for to hearing this as well. I've got a SR MBP C2D 2.2 / 4GB running XP in Fusion and I have to say I'm disappointed in the performance. Definitely not a smooth experience. This is the single biggest roadblock I have with moving to a 4GB /2.13 Air.
  3. tigres macrumors 601


    Aug 31, 2007
    Land of the Free-Waiting for Term Limits
    About 14 or so threads on this topic.

    Yes it will.
  4. Nak macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2008
    Portland, OR
    Heck, I do this on my 1.8GHz RevA MBA (run XP in Fusion).

    The single biggest restriction for me is drive space for the large VM image.

    The stock 64GB SSD that came with my model was way too restrictive in that respect. Had to upgrade to a 128GB Runcore SSD.

    Can't wait for my new 2.13/4/256 MBA to arrive!

  5. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    My CPU is a bit faster, but it is also C2D-based. I allocate 2GB of RAM to the VM under Fusion. The performance was just "ok" before, but my experience was fundamentally transformed when I got an SSD. I love running Win 7 under Fusion on my MBP - everything is nearly instantaneous. To that effect I have a maxed out 11.6" MBA on order. I'll put Fusion on it and see what it can do.
  6. hachre macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2007
    Even 2GB would work when setting Windows XP to only get 512 MB... For Vista I would recommend 2GB, Windows 7 is ok with 1GB too - so 4GB will be more than sufficient!
  7. elfxmilhouse macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2008
    Northeast USA
    here is windows 7 professional running on my MBA 11in 1.6ghz, 128gb ssd with 4gb ram. im very surprised how well it runs. i only allocated 1gb of RAM and 64gb of HD.

  8. gglockner macrumors 6502


    Nov 25, 2007
    Bellevue, WA
    Virtualization in 2GB of RAM is possible but the performance leaves much to be desired. 4GB is a better option. The SSD will definitely help, but the RAM is still important.

    Alternately, if you've got the room and the money, you could setup a cheap Windows box, then access the Windows VM via Remote Desktop. Windows Remote Desktop is a great tool - much, much better than the VNC-based Mac remote desktop. Your laptop doesn't need much power to be able to access the remote machine via RDC. However, note that only the Pro copies of Windows (XP Pro, Win7 Professional/Ultimate) include RDC capabilities - this is a deliberate omission by Microsoft.

    And if you're really skilled and/or brave, you could setup your cheap box running Linux and use VMWare Server for Linux as the host OS for your XP VM for work.
  9. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    The OP has a 4GB 13" model, so virtualization should be just fine. I have the "ultimate 13" and am running Windows 7 Pro 64-bit under Parallels Desktop 6 with 1.75GB and it runs fine. It even works with just 1GB. I do recommend the 4GB version since it leaves 2GB for OS X plus 256MB for the video card if you allocate Windows 7 1.75GB.

    I run 64-bit Windows since I also occasionally boot into Boot Camp. Otherwise, I'd go with the 32-bit version. For XP, 1GB should be more than sufficient.
  10. hans1972 macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2010
    you can run 2-4 VMs with XP

    I run two VMs with XP at the same time on my Macbook Air 11" with 4Gb RAM. Each VM has about 750-800Mb RAM allocated.

    I can run three VMs at the same time if I am a bit careful of what I have loaded in OS X and in the VMs.
  11. telemark948 macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2010
    I have run CENTOS, Windows Server 2003, XP and Win 7. Not running at the same time, but I have work applications on each of them that work great in Parallels. Now a couple of the applications are defiantly slower, but I knew this would be the case, so I am not complaining.

    I even have the CENTOS machine loading data into Oracle 10G natively installed on my MBA.

    This is one of the reasons I got this machine, I can travel with 4 machines all tied up into one fantastic bundle, a great piece of kit.

    I don't have a single complaint.:D
  12. philxor macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2010
    I use Parallels with an XP VM (allocated 512MB of RAM) and it works great. I used to keep it open all the time since loading and standby was slow on my old MBP w/2Gigs but the SSD on the MBA makes the loading time of the VM from standby like 10 seconds, so I use it more on-demand as I need it.

    You will have no problems running a single VM.
  13. deadlystriker macrumors regular


    Jan 15, 2011
    I have no problems running parallels with XP and mine is the base 13" model.
  14. 73CortinaV8 macrumors 6502

    Sep 4, 2006
    Palo Alto, CA
    my GF's 17" MBP with 4GB memory starts thrashing (disk paging) w/ vmware running and some office apps open in each OS. The windows vm is stripped down to the bare minimum.

    I don't think 4GB is realistically enough to run windows and os x and have meaningful work apps going. (e.g. Visio in windows, word, powerpoint and firefox in OSXX = thrash city)

    Do your windows apps work with Darwine?
  15. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    I have mail, safari, iTunes, word, iChat, and XP running right now, with 3gb of RAM and a 2.16ghz C2D Processor, and I still have some free RAM...
  16. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

    Nov 3, 2009
    I run VMware and Windows 7 with 2 GB of ram allocated. Mostly for doing Visio. Runs fine. For what i do I see no diffference from 2 GB assigned to 4 GB for a Windows VMware session using my 8GB iMac.
  17. Rob.G macrumors 6502


    Jan 17, 2010
    I use VirtualBox (free from Sun/Oracle) for my virtualizations, but I run WinXP and MSSQL on it, with 768 meg of RAM and it runs remarkably well. It runs just as well as it does on my 8 gig RAM MBP 17, in which I give it 1 gig of RAM.

  18. ngta macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2010
    I have virtualbox running win 7 with 1 GB ram allocated and it runs pretty well. However in my case, it runs out of battery pretty fast (2 1/2 hours or so - my best guess).

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