Increased video memory support

Discussion in 'Parallels Desktop for Mac Feature Suggestions' started by mkrisch, Aug 6, 2017.


How much VRAM does your physical graphics card support?

  1. <1GB

  2. 1GB

  3. 2GB

  4. 3GB

  5. 4GB

  6. >4GB

  1. nicolo1

    nicolo1 Bit Poster

    Now that there are more than a few Macs with a dedicated gpu I think that parallels need to support a bit more than 2 Gb of vram (even a 2009 Mac Pro can have a 8 Gb video card [rx 590]) so why my VM vram should be limited to 2 Gb?
  2. ParallelsU348

    ParallelsU348 Bit Poster

    I think it should have 4 GB cap.
  3. alev

    alev Parallels Developers

    Mac applications don't have direct access to graphics card memory. 3D frameworks (Metal/OpenGL) manage graphics card memory.
    Parallels offers an ability to manage graphics memory in a virtual machine, but it uses your Mac RAM to deliver this memory. In most cases you won't benefit from more than 512 Mbytes. However sometimes you need more to pass a video memory requirement implemented in 3d-party application or be able to display VM video output on multiple high resolution displays at once.

    With help of Aperture technology ("Auto" in VM settings), Windows can use up to half of its operating memory as video memory. So if your Mac has 16 or more GB of RAM, you can set Video memory to Auto, assign 8GB to VM and Windows can use up to 4GB for video purposes.
  4. VishalM1

    VishalM1 Bit Poster

    Hello dear...
    Really very helpful and informative article. Thanks a lot of sharing valuable information.
    With regards
    Vishal Meena
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2020
  5. DavidR55

    DavidR55 Bit Poster

    4GB of Video Card VRAM would be helpful. For example, the new MS Flight Simulator will run with 2GB, but not well. 4GB of VRAM is needed for good performance. The 2GB max is very limiting. (My iMac Pro has 8GB of VRAM available and I would like to be able to use it in the Parallels Win10 VM.)

    I don't think using operating memory for graphics is going to be optimal - how does this perform compared to true VRAM?

  6. DidierG1

    DidierG1 Bit Poster

    Parallels is limited to 2 GB of Graphic RAM. It is too low to play recent games or simulator.I don't know why this limitation exists, I have a graphic card with 8 Gb of graphic RAM.
    It would be very nice, to have more graphic memory than just 2Gb.
  7. alev

    alev Parallels Developers

    Virtual machine graphics memory DOES NOT map directly to Mac physical graphics memory. Thus, using local graphics memory brings no advantages over sharing guest RAM for graphics purposes. Moreover, using RAM improves VM resource management on the Mac side, which is good for intensive loads.

    When VM graphics memory is set to Auto, Windows 10 can utilize up to half of VM RAM for graphics and manages that amount dynamically. Try giving your VM 16Gb of RAM or more, if you can.
  8. AndrewM8

    AndrewM8 Bit Poster

    Guys, I had this problem with Flight Simulator 2020, it simply will not work on Parallels. After doing some digging I discovered that the Mac's Boot Camp function solves all your problems. it allows you to set up a Windows Boot partition and this allows you full access to ALL your RAM and video card memory. My specs are:
    iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2019)
    Processor: 3.6 GHz 8-Core Intel Core i9
    Memory: 32 GB 2667 MHz DDR4
    Radeon Pro Vega 48 8 GB

    When I downloaded and started Flight Simulator 2020 it assigned me Ultra graphics which is the highest setting. A word of warning, you won't be able to download the program until you have updated Windows to the latest version (1903).
  9. BrianB19

    BrianB19 Bit Poster

    I set the graphic memory to auto and allocated 8 GB ram to my windows 10 vm and still my application complains about running out of video memory. How can I check how much video memory I have in windows? When I go to task manager I don't see the GPU under Performance..
  10. Dmitry@Parallels

    Dmitry@Parallels Staff Member

    Hi @BrianB19, with 8GB of RAM assigned for the VM, Windows 10 apps can use up to 4GB of graphics memory. What application complains about running out of the memory? Can you please attach a screenshot so we can investigate the error?
  11. AlexanderK26

    AlexanderK26 Bit Poster

    Does all this also apply for Ubuntu 20.04 VMs?
  12. alev

    alev Parallels Developers

    For Linux and macOS you can allocate Mac RAM to be VM video RAM manually. No dynamic allocation is available.
    For macOS Big Sur VM running on macOS Big Sur host, if you have Parallels Tools installed - paravirtualized graphics is used and so you don't need to allocate more than a default amount of RAM as it won't be used.
  13. evaas

    evaas Bit Poster

    You add more RAM.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2021

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