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Windows 7: Intel Atom and 1GB of RAM good enough for VirtualBox?

03 Aug 2013   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Intel Atom and 1GB of RAM good enough for VirtualBox?

Hi all,

I am currently using an Acer Aspire One D255 netbook, with 1GB of RAM and a dual-core Intel Atom processor (@1.66GHz per core).

I would like to install VirtualBox to do some simple virtualization tasks, such as running Windows XP and some Android distros...

I posted this thread because I would like some advice if my processor and amount of RAM is good enough for VirtualBox.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Aug 2013   #2

W7 Pro SP1 64bit

It might be bit slow with that CPU, but give it a try.

Also, you will need a valid XP license for each VM... not an OEM license.

As far as RAM goes, that is where you will just have to test for yourself. Different CPU instruction sets can impact the minimum RAM required for XP to run "well". With an Intel i5, I can take XP's allocated RAM down to 28MB - so the VirtualBox app is only using ~45MB of RAM from the host computer. Now you would not be able to run very many XP's apps with that setting, but it proves that you don't need much RAM assigned to the Virtual Machine.

With other CPUs (that did not directly support the VT instruction set) I had to use 82MB of RAM - but the results are pretty subjective. I might have just been seeing XP responding faster with less RAM on the i5 because the CPU was faster.

Your mileage may vary - since the XP VMs that I work with are...
...for a very specific task,
...only run a few minutes each day,
...have most of the OS services disabled,
...not patched and
...have no anti-virus (AV) app installed.
They are frozen snapshots that lose any changes (infections) once the VM is turned off. If you are going to be putting the XP VM on the internet, then you'll want more RAM assigned, OS patches installed and an AV app.

If you need/want XP's SP3 installed, you might need more RAM.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Aug 2013   #3

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

A critical question is what OS (including edition and 32 or 64 bits) are you using on the netbook? Your profile is for a different computer.
When running a virtual machine you must add the RAM requirements for the host and the client OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

03 Aug 2013   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit


Thanks for the advice you two. I just installed VirtualBox, Windows XP runs fine with 192MB of allocated RAM, but it is a little slow, although that doesn't matter too much.

Windows 7 also runs fine, 300MB of RAM has been allocated, and it runs a little slowly, once again that is not much of an issue.

Once again, thanks for the advice.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Intel Atom and 1GB of RAM good enough for VirtualBox?

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