Virtual Box Performance on MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ZipZap, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. ZipZap macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    #1
    I just installed a Virtualbox instance of Windows 7 64 bit on my 13" MBA. I assigned it 512K of memory, 128K or video and it installed in an 8gig virtual hard drive (Remarkable).

    Looking for recommendations on tweaking performance.

    I also have Fusion and Parallels (though I have not tried either). Wondered if any one can offer some insight as to why these might be better products?
     
  2. Stingray454 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    #2
    I guess you mean 512Mb, and not 512k.. Anyway, 512 Mb is still quite low for a Windows 7 installation. Microsoft recommends at least 2Gb for Win7 64-bit, I think giving it more memory will make it much faster.

    I haven't tried Virtual box, I use VMWare myself. From what I've heard, Parallells is fastest, but a bit more unstable and bad support. VMWare is slower (at least at 3d/gaming), but has (in my opinion) excellent stability, lots of settings and all that. I have no idea which is best now, but VMWare has always worked good for me.
     
  3. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #3
    Do you have a 2GB or 4GB MacBook Air? If you have a 4GB version, I'd give Windows 7 at least 1.5GB. I give it 1.75GB and it handles most tasks I give it just fine (Quicken, Internet Explorer). Also, consider going with the 32-bit version of Windows 7. 64-bit is only a benefit with 4GB RAM or more. The 32-bit version will take up less space and run programs a bit more quickly on your configuration.
     
  4. ZipZap thread starter macrumors 601

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    Dec 14, 2007
    #4
    Installed parallels and created the same windows virtual PC.

    The parallels implemention is cleaner, faster and smaller overall.

    Integration with Mac is SOO much better.

    Will be deleteing Fusion and Virtualbox.
     
  5. TooSmooth macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    #5
    I have xp running in parallels and it works perfect.
     
  6. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #6
    I don't get why you would give Windows such a small amount of RAM??? I mean if you only have 2GB RAM in your MBA, then you should go with XP instead of Windows 7. XP is quite fast with 256MB RAM while 7 is quite slow with 1GB RAM.

    Just curious, what do people use Windows for anymore other than games? I am sorta done with it, I think.
     
  7. ZipZap thread starter macrumors 601

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    Dec 14, 2007
    #7
    Have you actually run Win 7 in parallels?

    In Parallels I have assigned 768MB System Memory and a 256MB video memory. Runs fine for me...

    Besides, you did not even consider that there is also Windows virtual memory running from an SSD to supplement.

    I'm not even sure I have an XP CD anymore...
     
  8. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    #8
    No, I wouldn't want to do that to myself as it doesn't seem fun... That is more than you listed earlier too.

    Um, your virtual memory argument is really weak.
     
  9. ZipZap thread starter macrumors 601

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    Dec 14, 2007
    #9
    I think your reasoning is really weak. You assume the process is hard and therefore not worth doing based upon nothing.

    It took longer to install XP then it did Win 7 and while XP did use less space, in a VM, they appear to run at the same speed.
     
  10. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #10
    LMAO. The reason I wouldn't want to run Windows 7 as you are is the lack of RAM you're allocating to Windows 7 not due to the difficulty of the install. I was running Windows 7 64-bit in Boot Camp on the prior generation MBA, and that was a heck of a lot more difficult to install.

    My point as to your weak argument is the SSD is not intended to replace RAM in any way, and yours is supposedly fast because it can cache to an SSD. RAM is incredibly superior and the OS should have a minimum of 1GB of RAM if you're using Windows 7... Even 1GB RAM runs crappy, so 2GB is the preferred. If you don't have 2GB of RAM to spare, I would believe running it in BootCamp or running Windows XP would be highly preferred alternatives.
     
  11. ZipZap thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    #11
    All I said was that while I allocated 512MB of actual ram, windows will create virtual memory, and since the virtual memory is on an SSD, performance will be improved over using a traditional hard drive. I never said SSD was as good as Ram.

    I have, so far, seen no performance issues...at least for what I want to run.

    I am not looking for a VM Windows 7 to run major programs or for Gaming (I have the Mac & an m11X for that)...but there are a number of programs where the Windows version is better than the Mac version (Quicken for one).

    For my purposes VM works....for yours it did not. Thanks for your input.
     
  12. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #12
    I have both Fusion and Parallels through various promotions and settled on Parallels primarily because of performance. Fusion is a bit more stable, but Parallels makes Windows run more tolerably.

    Quicken for one (QE for Mac is nowhere near adequate since it doesn't track individual investment transactions). Also, remote login for my office requires Internet Explorer for Windows (they are researching other browsers on other platforms), as does our encryption software for portable drives.
     

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