Parallels on Mac Min

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by RockSpider, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. RockSpider macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2014
    I've got a 2012 Core i7 Mac Mini with 4G ram, I'm running Windows 8.1 on Bootcamp but have decided im getting sick of rebooting, so have got the trial version of Parallels 10, and I'm running Yosemite.

    I've heard this is supposed to run really fast, but mine is as slow as cold syrup, I'm pretty sure it's the lack of ram, but I'd like to see if anyone is running it with 4Gig and if it's running okay.

    I'm thinking of getting 8GB of ram but is that enough, let me know what you have or think.
  2. ymarker macrumors member

    Sep 6, 2009
    You need ram. It is running slow because of all the page to disk it is doing. How much ram you ask? Do this, bootcamp over to win 8.1, go about your business and open up your usual work load. Fire up task manager and see how much memory you are using. Add 1gb to this. That is how much more memory you should buy. TBH, as cheap as memory is, easier to just max it out.
  3. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    How much memory did you give to Windows in the VM? But yes, 4GB is not enough. The amount of RAM you have in your machine has to service both Windows and OSX at the same time! So if you would normally give 4GB to each (since you would only run one at a time) then you definitely need 8GB if running them at the same time. This is why all of my VM machines (I now have two 2012 quad cores) have 16GB of RAM so I can run virtually as many VM's as I have cores without issues.
  4. RockSpider thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2014
    Thanks for the advice, I pretty well knew it was ram just wanted to know what experience other people had. I'll run task manager as you suggested and see what's up. By the time I buy Parallels, buy more ram and put in an SSD, this going to be quite an expensive little box, but on the bright side, at least I haven't got the new crippled model.


    Yeah I was thinking I might have to go 16GB, I wouldn't mind running Ubuntu or Mint and Windows 10 as well.
  5. Cape Dave, Oct 21, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014

    Cape Dave macrumors 68000

    Nov 16, 2012
  6. Crosscreek macrumors 68030


    Nov 19, 2013
    I run Parallels with windows with 8GB of RAM and it's just enough. 16GB would be better if your doing any heavy lifting in windows.
  7. RockSpider thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2014
    Thanks for that, I'm not really going to be doing much real heavy lifting, just occasionally a bit of video editing and stuff, it's really more part of a home theatre system. My old PC is getting a bit long in the tooth so I was thinking of using the Mini a bit more seeing it's a Core i7 and just sitting there.

    I like playing around with different Operating systems as well that's why I thought of getting Parallels, saves a lot of hassle. One things for sure, I'm glad I bought this when I did, I'd hate to be stuck with the new one, I can get ram a lot cheaper than I can get it from Apple.

    Thanks for the help guys, anyone else with a similar setup please comment, I'd like to get as many experiences as possible.
  8. RockSpider thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2014
    Okay, all set up, it's running a lot better, not a beast but good enough, at least I don't have to keep rebooting all the time.
  9. crazzapple Guest

    Oct 19, 2014
    You are lucky you have the 2012 instead of the crippled 2014 mini. I run a windows VM with 8GB on an old dual core machine and would definitely get 16GB if I could. You might also get an ssd if you don't already have it.
  10. RockSpider thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2014
    Yes I'm going to get an SSD, they certainly speed up any PC, I'll probably get 16GB as well. There's no way I'm buying the 2014 model, I like tinkering too much, I just wish I could stick a decent video card in there as well.

    If Apple stays on this track, I'll just go back to an ITX PC or smaller, I'm certainly not married to Apple. If they've got what I want I'll buy it, if not I'll go elsewhere, I was looking at the iPhone 6 Plus and ended up with a HTC M8.
  11. Ctsvnino macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2014
    I just purchased Samsung ssd 250 gb 16gb ram and dual drive kit. I have on my mini now Yosemite and parallels 10 with windows 7 with two programs on 7. Question is should I clone my hdd to my ssd? Or back up my windows 7 which I have to figure out how and install fresh Yosemite on ssd and install 7 with parallels on my hdd. Thoughts?
  12. RockSpider thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2014
    There must be an easy way of migrating to an SSD I hope, I'll need to do that when I get my SSD. As far as backing up Windows, look at Macrium Reflect Free and Paragon Free, both very good backup programmes with lots of options like migrating your OS.

    Hopefully someone on here will have the info we need, I can't see how it would be too difficult, unfortunately I'm not all that clued up on Macs.
  13. jsbigs macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2014
    San Francisco, CA
    My advice: move your entire home folder to the HDD, and have the SSD be your startup disk with all of your applications. After that, be sure to backup both if using SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner. Time Machine backs up both.
  14. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    Don't do this, if you care about performance. Only put the media stuff on the HDD, like movies, and pictures, if you're struggling for space. Your home folder has a hidden Library folder and a lot of frequently accessed/created files by your applications are stored there, like for example, your emails. By putting this on the HDD, you're negating a lot of the performance benefits of the SSD.

    Best thing to do is to create aliases (very easy, just do a quick search if you don't know how to do this) from the SSD/home folder/sub folders to the folders on the HDD.

    Edit: having read this thread I actually have no idea how I have just quoted answers the original question anyway.


    I am struggling to understand this a little bit, so bear with me.

    Yes, you should clone your HDD to the SSD. That will be the easiest way to migrate your system. Since you use parallels, Windows 7 will still work because your Win7 virtual machine is just stored as a package of files on your current HDD. You don't have bootcamp so you don't need to reinstall Windows 7. ..... if I understood your post.
  15. Agent-J macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2014
    I've used Parallels and VMWare Fusion to run Windows 7 in a VM on my mid-2011 Mini. Both work well. You want as much RAM as you can get; 8 GB is just barely adequate. I routinely maxed out my RAM with the VM running and things like Mail open in the background.

    An SSD is indispensable in a VM setup. The time to wake the VM up is a few seconds. A $100 SSD and another $125 or so of RAM is like having a twice as fast computer.

    I much prefer running Windows in a VM over Bootcamp; the ability to have Windows and Mac stuff running at the same time saves me lots of trouble, and the cut-and-paste features are nice.

    (I switched from Parallels to Fusion because I have two Macs, and can install on both from the same Fusion license, making it cheaper than Parallels. There's no noticeable difference in overall quality, from what I can tell. Both are good.)

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14 October 21, 2014