Optimize VM configuration for light use

Discussion in 'Installation and Configuration of Parallels Desktop' started by Raph72hk, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. Raph72hk

    Raph72hk Bit poster


    I would be very grateful is someone could help me tweak my VM settings for my limited use of MS Windows.

    Here is my configuration:
    Macbook Core Duo 2ghz, 2GB Ram, 120GB HDD
    OS X 10.4.10
    Parallels 3.0 build 4560
    Windows XP Pro version 2002 SP2
    VM: 512 MB RAM, 32 GB HDD (standard presets).

    I only use my Windows VM to use MSN Live Messenger with the Isight, and occasionally browse on internet Explorer websites which are not Safari Mac friendly.

    I don't use Windows for anything else...

    On another hand, I find that the standard preset makes the VM quite long to start, and affecting pretty heavily the performance of OS X while it is loading. I would like to be able to leave my VM open most of the time, which I don't do right now as even idle Parallels uses about 20-23% of my CPU, 424MB or real memory and 1.15GB or virtual memory.

    Please let me know if you have any suggestion to improve the overall performance.

    Thank you in advance!
  2. Mike Boreham

    Mike Boreham Pro

    Build 5120 reduces CPU usefully. On my 1.83 CD MacBook Pro it uses 12% CPU when all has settled down. Real Memory is 496 Mb and Virtual Memory is 2.6Gb in Activity Monitor. I have 744 Mb set in VM config editor, and 8Mb video. Not sure what drives the virtual memory number or whether it matters at all. Parallels grabs that straight after a restart, before launching the VM.

    Live Messenger is probably the culprit for slow starting, but you could look through your start up items for anything you don't need. My XP Pro VM boots to the chimes in about 45 secs and the start ups take another 15 or so.

    I am not aware of any VM config settings which will significantly affect performance. You seem to be in the generally favoured range for RAM. I shall be interested to see what other replies you get. There is an option in the "Options/Advanced" tab of the config editor to optimise for better performance of either the VM or OSX, which I have not tried.

    I suspect most of the optimisation you can do will be within XP itself. Optimise for Performance, turn off System Restore etc.
  3. Raph72hk

    Raph72hk Bit poster


    Hi Mike

    thanks for your kind reply. I've followed your advice, trimmed down to absolute necessary startup programs (Kapersky, appletime, parallelstoolscenter, sharedinapps), allocated 744MB and 8MB for video, and turned off system restore.

    From the "play" button to the ability to use windows takes about 1mn 40s and it takes much more than 2 minutes before the activity monitor stabilizes a 17-20%. Thing is that even idle, during at least 3 to 4 minutes the activity monitor gets peaks up to 70-80%...

    Anyway, I will welcome any other advice... and will try to use it this way for the time being to see if performance is ok... I am not looking for the ultimate config, just for something that can make the use of VM less sluggish, and to be honest less performing on 3.0 than it was on 2.5.

    One last thing. I've tried to check latest updates, but the assistant tells me that 4560 is the latest available, and doesnt mention anything about 5120... How come?

    Thanks again.
  4. Mike Boreham

    Mike Boreham Pro

    Probably because 5120 is a beta, but it has been fine for me.
  5. Raph72hk

    Raph72hk Bit poster

    Thanks again. As it is basically working, yet still sluggish, I think I will wait 5120 to become a release before wasting too much time on the beta on my professional machine...
    After reading through the other threads, it seems that this CPU usage is a common issue to many V3.0 users which seem to improve with beta 5120.
    I'll just do as the others and wait for V3.0 to improve. Yet, I kinda regret 2.5 which was working just fine.

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