windows 7 bootcamp+fusion/parallels speed.

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by cutcopypaste, Feb 14, 2010.

  1. cutcopypaste macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2008
    #1
    I've got windows 7 64 bit bootcamped and was wanting to be able to run windows apps, so i set it up on fusion. it is, however, almost unbearably slow. I understand there is a performance hit running 64 bit OS inside fusion, and another hit from running fusion with bootcamp instead of an actual virtual machine, but i can't imagine it should be that much.

    I have noticed that whatever amount of RAM I set the partition to use, it fully commits all of that RAM to Fusion and doesn't let it go until I suspend the vm, no matter how many apps I have running. Is that normal? It makes it so that if I give windows, say, 2 gigs, it consistently uses all of it no matter what i have running and leaving only 2 gigs for my mac side of things... very impractical and basically nerfs both OS's functionality. It also takes about 10 minutes to boot. I have to hope this is not as good as I can get with a late 2008 mbp. Are there are any settings I should make sure to check? (i basically only want the virtual machine for downloading steam games right now lol but it's horrendously slow even at that)

    Does anyone know if parallels wil run better inside Snow Leopard w/ windows 7?
    Or would I really be much better off just going back to 32 bit windows xp as my boot camp drive.
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #2
    As you have found the main bottleneck is RAM. Both OSes are marginal with 2 GB of RAM to themselves. So, upgrading to 6 or 8 GB would help quite a bit, but it isn't cheap.

    You could try to isolate out the Boot Camp overhead by running an trial version (do not enter product key) installed only in Fusion.

    32 bit would help, but not that much. Again, you could try it before you commit.

    B
     
  3. aki macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Location:
    Japan
    #3
    i have a different setup from you but just for simple comparison

    i have bootcamped win7 64bit for serious gaming and apps, and i also run win7 under parallels 5. (I dont share the os tho, i have two separate installs of win7 one for bootcamp and one for parallels, if thats relevant)

    performance of win7 under parallels is "fine". i only use it for simple windows apps or old games eg old bioware stuff, but it works fine for those. certainly no 10 min bootups or anything like that

    im running on an imac with 4gb ram

    are you sure fusion is set up properly? it sounds strange to me that bootup is thaaaaat slow.... what kind of apps are you trying to run? very heavy? you say 2GB to each os nerfs it but the desktop of both my osx and win7 are snappy and work fine no huge problem. ?
     
  4. cutcopypaste thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2008
    #4
    10 minutes may have been an exaggeration for sure. but when i run fusion the entire mac side of things becomes very unresponsive and freezes periodically. i was thinking of parallels because my brother is running it and says it doesn't eat up its dedicated amount of RAM 100% of the time.. but that's under xp so I'm not sure what itd be like with 7.

    The slowness is definitely also explained partially by the fact that I'm in graphic design so I often have photoshop and illustrator running which I know can take large amounts of memory. It was still seeming bizarrely slow even given the strain i put my machine under...

    right now I have it set to 1 core and 1984 MB RAM. i have booted up the vm and it is running ok... but i closed almost everything down on the mac side of things first. + it still just took 20+ seconds to right click a drive in explorer and bring up properties, though.

    i've been seeing a lot of comments that parallels may run it a fair bit quicker, so i may have to try it out...
     
  5. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #5
    FWIW I have not experienced freezing, and if I keep the apps open to a minimum things are acceptable, it's only when I have lots of RAM hungry stuff open in both OSes that it becomes preferable to just pick one OS and apps and stick with it.

    B
     
  6. cutcopypaste thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2008
    #6
    if I boot into windows 7 with a fair number of things open in osx (not enough to slow things down though), windows 7 does take 5+ minutes to boot through fusion all the while the mac side becomes very unresponsive, basically forcing me to force quit anything using a lot of memory (firefox..) in order to do anything.
     
  7. aki macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Location:
    Japan
    #7
    ok well again speaking as a not-expert two things

    first yeah working with really large images will kill anything - if thats what you use your machine for you need ram and lots whatever os/es you are using, i can easily imagine running two oses plus large image work in photoshop would eat your machine fast

    i havent tried to use photoshop or similar under parallels

    having said all that though, and admitting i have never used fusion, the sort of performance issues you are describing i havent had

    basically i can run osx with the usual sorts of apps open ie i dont need to manage my apps or anything, and still have a perfectly responsive win7 desktop under parallels 5. i certainly dont have any 20 seconds for right click popup menu-type problems

    i should say again, i have never installed fusion so i cant personally compare performance; i dont use large images in photoshop while doing anything; and usually im not using two heavy apps in two oses at the same time, ie usually i have my always on type apps on in osx while i do "real work" in a serious app under windows, or vice versa

    so i dont want to be saying "buy parallels 5 and it will all work". but the stuff you describe i havent seen

    i should say if i didnt before my hardware is a 4gb imac 3.06 (c2d)
     

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