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  1. #1

    Member Since
    May 18, 2009
    High Wycombe, Bucks
    iMac 21inch, 3.2Ghz, 4GB RAM, 1TB hard drive, iPhone 4 32GB
    Newbie question about OS Virtualisation
    Hey all,

    I have a question about running OS Virtualisation in Snow Leopard. I will be receiving my copy of Windows 7 soon and am undecided about running it in Boot Camp or whether to use VirtualBox and run it in virtualisation.

    I totally understand that using Boot Camp will allow it to use the hardware of my Macbook natively, whereas virtualising the OS will not. I am not planning to do anything processor intensive on Windows 7 (I'll use Snow Leopard for video editing, Etc) so am not too bothered if I don't have 'full capacity' on the Windows side.

    My question is this:-

    I understand that, by running Windows in virtualisation, I will need to allocate a certain amount of RAM to the OS. Is the RAM I allocate to the virtual OS, taken away from the Mac OS? I have 4 GB RAM in my Macbook so, if I was to allocate 2gb RAM to the Windows side, does that then mean that my Mac OS side will only have 2gb RAM to function with?

    If so, I may end up using Boot Camp, as I know that the Windows side will use the full 4GB RAM.

    Am I missing something here?

    Many thanks in advance,

  2. #2

    CrimsonRequiem's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 24, 2008
    MBP 2.3 Ghz 4GB RAM 860 GB SSD, iMac 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7 32GB RAM, Fusion Drive 1TB
    You can choose to allocate as much RAM as you want to the Virtual OS. You can change it any time you want as well.

    I have 4GB installed on my Mac and when I run Windows 7 via VMware It runs perfectly fine with 1 GB allocated to it.

  3. #3

    vansmith's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 19, 2008
    2012 13" MBP (2.5 i5, 8GB)
    And when you allot the RAM, it's not always in use. The virtual RAM will only be in use when you VM is booted up. If you need the full 4GB for either OS X, you will have to go with Boot Camp.

    If you stay to doing things that aren't resource intensive, you probably won't notice much if you have 4GB of RAM. I run VMs that use as much as 2GB of RAM and I don't notice (m)any hiccups on OS X.
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  4. #4

    Member Since
    Apr 23, 2009
    Sheffield, England
    Model Identifier: iMac9,1 Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo Processor Speed: 2.66 GHz
    The real question is whether you want to run the two systems side-by-side, switching as needed from one to the other, or whether you are happy with using each application independently of the other.

    If the latter, use BootCamp - if the former, you need a VM.

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