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Oftentimes when I'm running a virtual machine, my computer feels as slow as molasses. I'd like to speed it up by adding more RAM but even when my VM is running, I seem to always have half a gigabyte or more of RAM free, so I wonder whether adding more RAM would change anything.

Is there any reason that adding more memory would speed my machine up, considering not all of it is being used right now?

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What are the other specs of your machine? e.g. CPU, speed/type of your current RAM. –  Windos Aug 10 '11 at 2:43
    
2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3 – I have Mac OS X running from an Intel X25-M SSD but the Windows VM is on a normal hard disk due to space considerations. –  Ben Alpert Aug 10 '11 at 2:47
    
Windows will never fill memory completely. It needs some flexibility. You wouldn't fill your house to the brim with junk before considering moving some of it to the garage. You'd start just before it gets hard to move. –  Hand-E-Food Aug 10 '11 at 3:05
    
@Ben Alpert - Does your CPU/motherboard support VT-x virtualization enhancements? Is it enabled? –  Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Aug 10 '11 at 4:51
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In activity monitor>system memory, are you seeing a lot of page outs after you've been running a virtual machine? How much free space do you have on your hard drive? My two macs really needed 8 Gb to run OSX and Windows. –  bg2011 Aug 10 '11 at 9:59

2 Answers 2

The normal hard disk is why you're feeling the pain. You are probably used to working on an SSD as your main environmnet...

Devolving to HDD from SSD IMO is the problem.

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My crucial SSD died recently, so I have been on a 7200 RPM for a week now. I notice it every 10-15 minutes and am thoroughly agitated. –  Alex Waters Aug 10 '11 at 5:12

If you are using Windows, have you turned off virtual memory? If you still have more memory after doing that, I don't think buying more memory will speed up your computer noticeably.

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