Will installing more ram speed up VMware?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by MVApple, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. MVApple macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    #1
    Currently I am running 2gb of ram on a unibody Macbook Pro. I've been disappointed with VMware 2.0 so far. It's pretty sluggish for trying to do anything even just basic office documents. I don't know what the limited factor is in the system though. When I run Vista with 768mb of ram assigned to it, the task manager shows less than 500mb being used with just microsoft office open. My copy of Vista is freshly installed and I don't have any extra processes going on. The total number of processes in Vista is 51.

    If I have 768mb of ram assigned to Vista and it's only using 500 I'm assuming that ram isn't my limiting factor but I'm not sure. I'm wondering if maybe it's the hard drive since it's being accesses by two different operating systems?

    Anyways, will increasing my ram to 4gb solve this issue?
     
  2. chrisandersen macrumors 6502

    chrisandersen

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    Sep 6, 2008
  3. aussie.damo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne
    #3
    I have to disagree with the other reply. More RAM will not help Vista running under VMware. I have had a very similar setup and found, as you suggested, the HDD to be the limiting factor.

    Vista is a very chatty OS - it is constantly thrashing the disk for one reason or another. The search indexer is one of the main culprits, but there are others, including superfetch. You can go through and disable these services, but you lose all of the benefits Vista gives you (instant search etc). Also, Vista has many services that start delayed - this means you can log on slightly faster, but it will continue "booting" in the background, making the computer just crawl.

    Are you using Office 2007? I have found that to be a factor for slowing the system down too.

    I have the Early 2008 MBP - I upped the RAM to 4GB and tried to run Vista through VMware. It was a waste of time. I have since upgraded to XP (with Office 2003) and it runs like a champ. In fact, I gave it just 512MB RAM and 1 vProc and it blazes along.

    If you absolutely must run Vista, search the net for details on how to improve performance. There are some guides out there which help a little (but not much). They include suggestions on what to disable and what to remove whilst still keeping your system functional. If you don't need Vista, give XP a go. I miss some of the Vista features, but I don't miss the rubbish speeds.

    Damo
     
  4. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #4
    I disagree... adding RAM will definitely improve your performance
    Without question

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
     
  5. aussie.damo macrumors regular

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    Melbourne
    #5
    Well the question was not whether it would improve performance, it was whether it would solve his issue. I stand by my statement that it will not.

    Adding extra RAM will make a slight difference to the performance. It will not bring it up to acceptable speeds, at least, not what I would consider acceptable.

    I had 2GB (of 4GB) assigned to my Vista VM and it still ran much slower than it should. Despite what most people believe, RAM is not the main limiting factor, it is disk, for all the reasons I listed.

    Damo
     
  6. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #6
    More RAM assigned to a VM will help but only up to a point.

    Remember, the VM is running inside Fusion, which is running in OS X. If you assign too much RAM to a VM, it will take the RAM away from apps running on the host OS (ie. OS X), including Fusion. So not only will your other apps start slowing down, so will Fusion and any VMs it runs.

    I once helped out a colleague at work, who was running a VM and fuming about what a piece of crap it was and how everything was incredibly slow. I checked his configuration and found that in his frustration, he had pushed up the VM RAM to 1.5GB out of the total of 2GB on his computer. Reducing the VM RAM improved things considerably.

    I find, subjectively, that about 1/3 of the total RAM is about the maximum you can assign to a VM before everything starts slowing down. 768MB out of 2GB is likely a little too high for Mac performance, while not being enough for Vista performance.

    So doubling RAM in your Mac and bumping your VM's RAM up to 1-1.25GB would help.
     
  7. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #7
    Performance was the OP's only stated issue

    More RAM made a substantial difference in my system running Vista with Fusion. You should be able to run Office with acceptable performance. Gaming? No.

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
     
  8. aussie.damo macrumors regular

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    Nov 20, 2006
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    Melbourne
    #8
    He said:

    "Anyways, will increasing my ram to 4gb solve this issue?"

    In my opinion, the answer is no. That said, some people may find the performance acceptable. I don't. Waiting for apps to open, waiting for Vista to index and re-index and the constant paging (which is part of the Vista architecture) annoy me. XP with SP3 runs like a champ.

    To the OP - unless you really want Vista, I'd go with XP. You could easily achieve this without upping the RAM. Best of luck.

    Damo
     
  9. MVApple thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    #9
    Thanks for the replies Aussie.

    Personally I would prefer XP but I went with Vista because I had a copy laying around from a Microsoft sponsored school event I went to. I do have office 2007 installed too. I may go with XP later but right now I'll stick with Vista because buying a copy of XP will just be another expense that I don't want right now.
     
  10. MacNikon macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    #10
    VMWare is a MAJOR resource hog, and in my experience, I have to agree that allotting more resources only helps to a point. More RAM will increase the performance of Mac apps running in OS X while using VMWare, but it's not really going boost the performance of VMWare.

    When I first started using VMWare on my MBP 2.6 with 4gb of RAM, I closed all Mac apps and gave VMWare 2gb of memory. Performance was terrible.

    Dropped VM allottment to 768mb RAM, and despite a slight increase in performance, it still sucked.

    If you want the best VM performace, go with Parallels 3.0. Much faster than VMWare.
     
  11. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #11
    Most on the board would disagree with Parallels over VMWare
    I would suggest using the trial version of both and make your own decision

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
     
  12. MacNikon macrumors newbie

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    Aug 12, 2008
    #12
    This is true....Parallels is my personal preference, after trying both.
     
  13. tvamvarg macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    #13
    Two HDDs or SSD will give speed-up?

    Continuing on this not-so-brand-new thread, a couple of questions for speculation;

    - would a VM run faster if it was on a separate drive?
    - if you have an SSD with both host and guest OS on, will that be a totally different experience performance-wise?

    (assuming of course that the HDD is the bottleneck for running VMs efficiently on machines that have plenty of RAM)
     
  14. farmerku macrumors regular

    farmerku

    Joined:
    May 10, 2008
    #14
    If I have 2g installed right now and have xp installed can I add ram later and will xp recognize this?
     
  15. tvamvarg macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    #15
    You definitely can without problems, although it's a subject for another thread (do a search, and also search for current limits to RAM usage per OS type).
     
  16. Zortrium macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    #16
    To the first, possibly, but only if the host OS is hitting the disk (thereby slowing down the guest OS) and assuming that the separate drive isn't bottlenecked (e.g., by a slow USB bus rather than a fast SATA bus). To the second, a SSD would probably be significantly better, but that'd be mostly because SSD's do very well with things like OS booting because they're fast at reading lots of scattered files (which is what an OS usually does).

    As people have pointed out, HD related speed issues are likely to be exacerbated by Vista versus XP since Vista tends to hit the disk more.
     
  17. trucks macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2009
    #17
    ram app just saw today so can't speak for it

    http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-10387198-263.html

    Bought Sony Walkman . but can't load player with Mac
    Could Fussion or VM be used to open this Microsoft .exe package
    and make it work on a Mac , without going the full XP route ?
     

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