Parallels Question - How Much To Allocate Resource-Wise?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by A4orce84, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. A4orce84, Jul 20, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014

    A4orce84 macrumors 6502

    Apr 17, 2012
    Hello Everyone,

    I recently installed Parallels with a Windows 7 (64-bit) VM, and am curious what I should spec out the VM to be for optimum performance.

    My Macbook Pro has the following specs:
    2.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
    16GB 1600MHz memory

    Not sure what the recommended CPU Cores and Memory I should give to the VM. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    What would you be using it for? I allocate 4GB to my VM but I don't even use close to that. I could survive off running only with 2GB to the VM but since I have 16GB of ram, why not?
  3. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    As the above poster already mentions, it is not possible to answer your question just like that. It will always depend on what you do with your VM and how often you switch between the VM and OS X. I suggest that you experiment — e.g. set up minimal resource allocation and progressively increase it until you are content with the performance.
  4. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bristol, UK
    I have an 8GB rMBP and use it in a windows based work environment. I have an external screen that runs Windows 8 via Parallels and rMBP runs Mavericks. I have Parallels set to 4GB and two CPU cores. I have some large spreadsheet models that run a lot better in Windows Excel than they do in the Mac Version of Office. The allocation works fine for me. As others have said how much and for what you are using Mac OS and Windows 7 may lead you to a different conclusion, but if you have 16GB, 4 should be fine for Windows unless you have some big memory requirements.
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Depending on your tasks, I'd give it two cores and 4GB for ram, if its still slow, start bumping up the ram until you're happy with the performance.
  6. A4orce84 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 17, 2012
    Sounds good guys! I'll just be doing some basic stuff (MS Office, Visio, Notepad++, etc.) nothing too crazy. Maybe the occasional old school Windows 95/98 game (Unreal Tournament) no game that has been made in the last 5 years or so.
  7. jukebox1298 macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2013
    As said above

    It depends on what you are doing under Windows. I run Windows 7 Pro and Windows 8.1 Update (both 64 bit) under Parallels 9 on a Mac Pro 2,1 with 24 GB RAM and two quad core Xeon processors (8 cores total), and 10.9.4 as the host OS. Each VM has 4 GB RAM, bit I only assign 1 processor core to each VM because the software I use won't use multiple cores. Performance is good, and plenty of room to grow.
  8. Praxis91 macrumors regular


    Mar 15, 2011
    I use Parallels 9 with W7 x64 for work. When I started, I allocated 4 CPUs and 4gb RAM, but I recently changed to 2 CPUs and 2gb RAM and it runs everything fine.

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