Tuesday, July 28, 2009
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  • Tech Q&A: Allocating Memory For Virtual Machine Application

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    Q: I just purchased a 24-inch iMac with 3GB of RAM, and i am planning to load VMware Fusion into it, with Windows XP for work purposes. It is my understanding that I need to allocate some of my RAM to the virtual machine. Do you have any recommendations about how much to allocate? Also once I allocate RAM to the virtual machine (1GB) does this mean that only the remaining RAM (3GB) will be available to run my MAC even if I am not running that virtual Machine? Or will the full 3GB in my example be available to my Mac when I am not running the virtual machine? Do you think I should get more RAM?

    A: Allocating RAM in OS X isn't like in the “classic” Mac OS, where you’d have fixed parcels of memory. OS X will swap out memory from one application to another (and from RAM chips to the virtual memory swap file on the hard drive) as needed without any intervention by you.. The only setting you’d have to adjust would be in Fusion itself; that program, like other virtual-machine environments, will let you designate how much memory the simulated Windows machine should have… I’d give it 1GB, since that will greatly improve your “enjoyment” of xp While still leaving plenty to spare for OS X even with Fusion in the foreground.

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    Author: AlexL

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