Monday, January 26, 2015

Performance in Parallels

This post is going to a work-in-progress-post... The goal is to find what settings in Parallels that gives the best development experience using Visual Studio 2013.

The host is a MacBook Pro Retina with 16GB of ram.

My current settings for my Windows 8.1 virtual machine as of January 26th:

  • 8GB of memory
  • 4 CPU Cores
  • Enabled nested virtualization (for WP development)
  • 512 MB of video memory
  • DirectX 10 3D acceleration
  • Enabled Retina resolution

My environment is responsive but it's not good. The fan is constantly running and Parallels hogs about 300% of the CPU when I have Visual Studio and an WP Emulator running in Windows doing nothing but sitting idle.

As soon as I find my cable again, I'm going to turn off Nested Virtualization to see if that's the issue. Also I tried uninstalling Google Chrome that some posts recommend, but I'm unsure if that did any difference at all.

Please comment with your best tips for performance.


  1. Try without coherence mode to see if that makes your system work less. It sure slows down my fan so coherence mode seams to eat resources. To bad life without coherence mode sucks though.

    1. Well, I'm a fan of the standard mode. I want my Windows Desktop! :)

  2. I'm running a new model 13" MBP with 16GB Memory and Parallels also. Recently I tried to improve my performance because even though it was okay it also kinda sucked at times.

    And you know what... did a lot of googlin' and almost embarrassed to share my current setup - because it makes zero sense to me on why it seems to run better.

    Cores - 1 (yup, 1)
    Mem - 6028MB
    Video - 256MB
    No 3d Acceleration

    I'd like to kill chrome because I'm pretty sure it's making my life unstable but too many plugins I use at the moment.

    So please, keep updating your findings... because somewhere we need to document the "ultimate" Xamarin / VS / Parallels setup.

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