VMware Fusion sucks up all free memory on MBP

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by SniBBz, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. SniBBz macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2012

    I am running VMware Fusion v4.1.1 and my hardware is a macbook pro running OS X Lion v10.7.2 (2.66 Ghz core 2 duo, 8GB DDR3 Memory)

    When i launch fusion and start up my VM (running Win7 x64, but this problem happens when i've launched other OS types) ALL of the memory on my mac gets sucked to 0. I've allocated 2Gb of memory to the guest OS. Ive tried lowering it to 1Gb, but no difference.

    When i look in activity monitor i see that 'vmware-vmx' has roughly 2GB being used, and VMware Fusion is using roughly 90MB. Both look normal.

    I dont see where all my gigs and gigs of free memory are going, and more importantly I dont know how to prevent it from being sucked away.

    I also replaced my memory as a troubleshooting step but this was no help.

    I attached a screen shot of my Activity Monitor.

    Thanks in advance to any recommendations!

    Attached Files:

  2. whiteonline macrumors 6502


    Aug 19, 2011
    California, USA
    No need to worry.
    Look at the bottom of the display.

    Free: 46.6 MB = What it says, unused RAM
    Wired: 3.36 GB = This is reserved RAM. Basically, RAM is claimed but not in use by applications. If something comes up that needs that RAM, it will be redistributed.
    Active: Actual RAM in active use by applications
    Used: The total RAM (active + reserved) in use.

    The machine is not swapping, so you are in good shape.

    Let the machine manage memory and all will be fine.
  3. SniBBz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2012
    Thanks. But the problem is my Mac is performing terrible when a VM is running. When i click to open an app it just sits there bouncing for 10 seconds. When i switch between apps, start typing, it is all veryyyy slow.

    When i shut down the VM and then reboot my Mac...everything is back to lightning fast.
  4. whiteonline macrumors 6502


    Aug 19, 2011
    California, USA
    Well, there are numerous reasons.

    What activity is going on in your VM? Are you running intensive applications?
    At the same time, what is happening in the host OS (OS X)?

    It appears you may be limited by your CPU or Hard Drive (or combination of both).

    Check the disk activity when things get slow.

    Also, keep your VM at around 2GB to prevent the VM from swapping/paging.
  5. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    What I'm seeing from your screenshot is that Windows/VMware is using just a bit more than 25% of your CPU (could be a spike though, so may not be a good indicator) which is a Core 2 Duo. It may not be your RAM but your CPU that is bogging down. I also don't see a serious problem with the RAM levels.

    Try looking at the Disk Activity and the Network Activity tabs when you have VMWare open and the system is bogging down.

    It's possible that Windows is trying to open something big in memory and that 2GB isn't enough for Windows. Windows will try to write to virtual memory on what it thinks is a HDD, which is intercepted by VMWare. I don't know if VMWare then writes to OS X RAM, or to the HDD - but regardless there is alot of extra steps involved.

    Bump the memory allocated for Windows up to 4GB and see if the problem goes away. If it does, then at least you've identified that it was Windows that was memory starved. You can then bring the RAM allocated to the VM session down something less than 4GB and more than 2GB.


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