Parallels for mac - overcoming slow speeds

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Alastriss, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. Alastriss macrumors newbie

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    Jun 13, 2010
    #1
    I would prefer to use parallels over boot camp to run windows applications on my MBP, but the slow-down is a serious issue. Should I suck it up and just use boot-camp, or do you guys think I should I just upgrade my ram to 4 gigs or 8 gigs to run parallels better?
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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  3. CANEHDN macrumors 6502a

    CANEHDN

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    #3
    If you're planning on playing games, I wouldn't even consider trying. I would continue using bootcamp.
     
  4. Alastriss thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 13, 2010
    #4
    Hi I should have been more specific:

    13.3inch mbp with 2.26 ghz and 2gb ddr3 1066.

    I just need to run some windows specific software. The software is for medical research purposes (written for windows only - and it is just to stratify some data collectd) and it isn't taxing on the memory nearly as much as a game or even any of the crazy stuff mentioned here. However, I do have a ton of pdfs/webpages/etc open on osx and excel files on windows.

    Just by virtue of opening parallels I see a complete slowdown.

    I only want to run 1 virtual machine but plan on multi-tasking with both.

    thanks for the replies!!
     
  5. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #5
    You still didn't say which Windows version and edition, but it does seem like you would benefit from a RAM upgrade. I find 2 GB of RAM (i.e. 4 GB of RAM in the system) for each OS works fairly well. Even with Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit.

    You might try a free trial of VMWare Fusion after the RAM upgrade just to see if it suits your needs better.

    Boot Camp would improve your performance but would change your workflow significantly.

    B
     
  6. SurferMan macrumors 65816

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    #6
    I'm a little confused, don't you have to install windows on bootcamp and than run a VM system to access that info/programs etc? For some reason I read the OP's post in a way that made it seem like parallels installed windows without bootcamp?
     
  7. uberamd macrumors 68030

    uberamd

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    #7
    I would bump up your RAM to 4GB if you are going to be running Parallels. When you run a VM it instantly sets aside how much memory you have allocated to it. So if you have Parallels set to use 1GB of RAM, suddenly your OS X apps only have access to 1GB of RAM (the remainder after subtracting 1GB from your total RAM). Thus your OS X apps need to start swapping, etc.

    In short: upgrade your RAM to alleviate some of the slowdown.
     
  8. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #8
    You can certainly boot a Boot Camp partition in VMWare Fusion or Parallels, but you can also install it without.

    For cases like this where the Windows usage is "light" this is preferred since you don't have to dedicate a partition to it and performance is slightly better since the file system is optimized for the VM software.

    B
     
  9. SurferMan macrumors 65816

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    #9
    So windows would just install on os/x (like using win/bottler for example) and running the programs from there w/o using bootcamp? Wow didn't know that. Do you still install windows, or do you just use a vm like Parallels to install the software? I think what I'm trying to say is do you still need windows or can you just install the software on the vm (like my metatrader program) and not have to install windows?

    Thanks.... I have 4gb of ram either way
     
  10. uberamd macrumors 68030

    uberamd

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    #10
    You still need to install Windows, it isn't a WINE like solution.
     
  11. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #11
    Yup. The VM software creates the virtual hardware on which you can install your choice of Windows or Linux or ... OS.

    With Windows in the VM you get Coherence/Unity mode which essentially makes it work like WINE in that your Windows desktop is hidden and you can run OS X and WIndows apps in neighboring windows easily. It's not as lightweight as WINE, but is is FAR more compatible.

    B
     
  12. Alastriss thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 13, 2010
    #12
    I installed windows 7 and probably will use that version. I never used bootcamp (never needed to), but I considered it as an alternative to boosting ram, but that would seriously slow my work flow and I am willing to spend some money for RAM.

    It seems like the consensus is that I need to upgrade, but is upgrading from 2gb to 4gb going to be enough? I see people who run multiple VMs use 8gb so I don't know if I need that much..

    If so, I was wondering if this solution would work: I was planning on buying a 27 inch iMac (3.06 Ghz core 2 duo) and use that for entertainment/gaming. Would it be feasible to go with 4gb ram (2x2gb), remove that ram and install it in my mbp, and then buy 2x4gb ram from an external party and install that into the iMac?
     

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