Responsiveness in a VM.

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Pat.rick, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. Pat.rick macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    #1
    I'm considering running Windows in a VM on my Mac when I need to. I'm curious, though; how's the responsiveness? Can you tell Windows is running in a VM, or is it just as fast and responsive as if you were running Windows natively on a PC?
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #2
    What kind of apps do you plan on running and which Mac do you have?

    B
     
  3. mslide macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    #3
    Running Windows inside a VM will not feel as fast as it would if you were running it via bootcamp or on a regular PC. How much slower it feels depends on what apps you are running, how much memory you have, how split it up, etc. If you have a slower macbook with only 1 - 2GB ram, your computer will practically come to a standstill if you fire up windows (both the OSX side and the Windows side will almost come to a stop). If you have a Mac Pro with 8GB ram, it might be fast enough where you wouldn't notice that you're in a VM.

    I run Windows inside VMWare Fusion on a regular basis on my 2.0GHz Macbook with 3GB of ram (max it supports). Now this is purely subjective, but it always feels very slow, even if all I'm doing is using Windows Explorer. My co-worker has a Macbook Pro with 4GB of ram and it's not much better. If all I'm using it for is Internet Explorer, it's not that bad. If I'm using an MS Office app, it feels painfully slow. Anything more complicated than that (game, some big engineering app, etc), then I would either use bootcamp or a real windows pc.
     
  4. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #4
    Really?

    I'm using Windows Vista Boot Camp with Fusion only having 768MB of 2.0GB of ram dedicated and aero enabled, the VM actually flies by. I use Microsoft Outlook 2007 with over 20,000 e-mails in many folders and haven't seen a slow down. This is using the system under Unity as well.

    10.6.3 really boosted everything for me.

    However, the iMac running an XP VM felt extremely slow compared to my Vista VM. And the iMac has a lot better specs when it comes to VMs too.
     
  5. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #5
    Virtualbox is free, and both VMWare and Parallels have free trials. You can also download an ISO of Windows 7 legitimately from Microsoft and use it without a key for up to 120 days, so why not just try it out and see for yourself.

    Note that for best VM performance, you should use a dedicated VM and not boot a Boot Camp partition in your VM.

    B
     

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