Lots of readers have emailed me questions about the Desktop Update RC, (mainly about RAM and Mac Pro support), so I decided to answer them here, rather than do so in the comments sections. I hope this helps clear things up about Mac Pro support!
- Why did you announce that Parallels Desktop is compatible with Mac Pros outfitted with only up to 4GB of RAM?
This is an issue related to Physical Address Extension mode, which, as defined by Wikipedia, “allows for up to 64 gigabytes of memory to be used in 32-bit systems, given appropriate operating system support.”
Right now, Parallels offers partial support for PAE mode, which is why RAM is limited to 4GB (3.5 to be safe). Our next version, due in beta around the turn of the year, will offer full PAE support.
- My Mac Pro has more than 4GB of RAM. Does that mean I can’t use Parallels at all?
No, it doesn’t! There’s actually an easy workaround that will let you use Parallels on any Mac Pro, regardless of how much RAM you have.
This is accomplished by limiting your memory size with a boot-loader oprtion. Directions are as follows:
- Load your Terminal window. You can find this application in Macintosh HD -> Applications -> Utilities
- Enter the following command: sudo nvram boot-args=”maxmem=3500″.
- Enter your administrator password. Hit enter.
- Reboot your Mac Pro
- Get to work with Parallels!
To refresh your Mac Pro so it can use full amount of memory you have installed, just repeat steps 1-4, substituting the amount of memory you have (in MB) in the command line sudo nvram boot-args=”maxmem=YOURMEMORYTOTAL”.
- Does this new build work on the just-released 64-bit Core 2 Duo iMacs?
Yes. We’ve had positive responses so far from the lucky few who have 64-bit Core 2 Duo users.
- I see you’re running Windows Vista Beta 2. What about RC?
Vista RC has been out for less than a week and we haven’t had a chance to fully test it. Beta 1 and Beta 2 do work right now, and we should have support for the RC builds shortly. I’ll circle back with QA on that one and see what the timeline looks like.
- When I load Parallels Desktop on my Mac Pro, I see that VT mode is disabled. Why?
This is actually an Apple bug, not a Parallels bug. You may remember that when we first launched Desktop in Beta back in April, some Mac Minis had VT inside, but it was disabled due to a firmware glitch. The same thing is happening here. We’ve already contacted Apple about this, and they’re working on the problem.
- I’ve seen in the comments and on the forum that some users are having some complications with this build. What’s the deal?
Short version: its beta software! Betas are there to be tested and evaluated, so we can work out all of the issues before we go “live” with the final release. Its completely normal to find bugs and other glitches in beta software. Also pkese remember that Apple does not provide anyone – not even some of their own teams – early access to hardware. We got our Mac Pros (and this week, our 64-bit iMacs) the same time as the rest of the world. That doesn’t give us a ton of lead time on fixes.
- What do I do if I find a bug or other technical issue?
You’ve all been a huge help in making Parallels Desktop what it is today, and I hope that you’ll continue to offer your advice, point out bugs, and give us your suggestions on how to make things better and more usable.
If you do want to let us know what you think about the beta, you’ve got three ways to get your comments to us:
- Submit your comments via our online support form.
- Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Discuss them on our online support forum.
A note on the forum: While our QA and Engineering teams may not be able to respond to every post, they’re always monitoring the forums and will definitely see your comments.