Windows VM on Surface Pro 2 128GB (4GB RAM) version possible?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 2' started by BDO, Apr 25, 2014.

  1. BDO

    BDO New Member

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    Hi,
    I'm considering purchasing an SP2, but not sure about 128GB (4GB RAM) or 256GB (8GB RAM) version:
    as a developer I need a Windows VM with older office versions: through Hyper-V this should work. My question is whether the 4GB RAM version is powerful enough to run the Win VM smoothly. Or do I surely need the 8GB RAM version?
    BDO
     
  2. supersss

    supersss New Member

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    It will work... but if you have the money. ..buy the bigger one.
     
  3. jrhillma

    jrhillma Member

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    I'm running a Windows 7 64-bit VM off a 64GB C10/U1 microSD card via VMWare Workstation. It's slow to start (combination of running off the SD card, I think, and the fact that the VM is an enterprise build from work and the hard drive is encrypted, coupled with the fantastic amount of bloated startup crap they have), but once it's running it works just fine. This is on an SP2 8/256. I don't know if the 4/128 would perform the same or worse, but this particular requirement (to run this VM) was why I went with the 8/256 in the first place.
     
  4. wditters

    wditters Active Member

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    The performance of an SDXC card is approx. 10% of that of the internal drive ... so basically whatever you do, run it off the internal drive. Having said that, any typical VM requires a minimum of 1536Mb RAM and ideally 2048-3072Mb. Which basically boils down to: yes it's quite possible to successfully run VMs on an SP2 4/128 but performance-wise you will be doing yourself an enormous favour by taking the 8/256 ...
     
  5. kevinlevrone

    kevinlevrone Active Member

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    I have used up to 2 simultaneous virtual machines on a 4GB RAM laptop since a long time ago. Just recently I got the 8GB Surface Pro 2. You don't need a virtual machine to have more than 1-1.5GB of RAM allocated for development purposes. I usually allocate 512-768MB for Windows XP and 1-1.5GB for Windows 7/8. Which leaves enough memory for Visual Studio and the like.

    However recently I encountered situations when I needed 3-4 virtual machines and 2-3 instances of Visual Studio. In this case the 256GB Surface Pro 2 really showed its value, but these cases are not common.

    I would be more worried about the 128GB of storage than the 4GB of RAM. I don't trust MicroSD cards. Right now I have about 100GB free on the 256GB SSD without any music or pictures counted.

    All in all, I think you would do just fine right now with the 128GB/4GB. It's just not very future proof.
     
  6. gabe406

    gabe406 Member

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    So if I want to build a set of VMs such as Windows XP, Windows 7 I can allocate as little as 768 for basic testing?
    I would also like to setup some 2012 servers on my SP2, so I am assuming that they would take a little more memory?
    The VMs are only for functionality testing and not for development.

    Thanks
     
  7. daniielrp

    daniielrp Active Member

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    I'd recommended a min of 1GB for win7 for it to run well enough for testing. Servers normally require a little bit more.

    I'm running an OS X virtual machine with 2GB on my SP2/128/4GB and it runs fine, and swapping between that and the host OS never presents any lag.
     
  8. BDO

    BDO New Member

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    Many Thanks for your replies! Makes it more clear for me!
     
  9. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    If you're a developer with a MSDN Subscription, why not set up a Test Environment in Azure you can even upload your VHD (you get $200/month of Azure goodness with your subscription).
     
  10. kevinlevrone

    kevinlevrone Active Member

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    I just tried Windows 7 64-bit VM (Hyper-V) with 768MB of RAM and also with 1GB of RAM and it works without any issue. It starts with around 600MB of RAM consumed, so you can run a debugger and your application with no problems. But please note that Microsoft recommends at least 1GB of RAM for Windows 7 32-bit and 2GB of RAM for Windows 7 64-bit.

    I almost always use Windows XP with 512MB of RAM, it works perfectly fine.

    You will be surprised but servers can consume as much or even less memory compared to the Desktop editions, if you do not activate/install features/services that you don't need, because they usually come with less UI bling by default and no extra services started.

    But if you need let's say to run SQL Server at high speed on a Windows 2012 Server, it's another matter. However there's always the virtual memory that is used in case you run out of RAM for short periods of time.

    The Hyper-V also has the "dynamic memory" feature that you can enable on a virtual machine. I have never used it but I suppose it can be useful to expand the used RAM only when needed (you can set a minimum and maximum RAM size).
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
  11. patb63

    patb63 New Member

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    kevinlevrone - Did you have any troubles with setting up your VM on Hyper-V? I keep getting an error when I try to set it up saying it can't create the virtual hard drive because there is no service to support it. I'm using a SP2 with 512.
     
  12. kevinlevrone

    kevinlevrone Active Member

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    No, it worked out of the box for me (after I enabled hyper-v feature in Control Panel). May there be a problem with larger SSD drives (very unlikely). Any error message in Event Log related to this ? Do you also use VMWare on the same computer by any chance ?
     

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