How can Virtual Machine grab more RAM than what is allocated?

TheMystic

Well-known member
Member
VIP
Local time
1:58 PM
Posts
439
Hello Community!

I installed VirtualBox on my Mac and installed Windows 11 in a Virtual Machine.

Windows was constantly freezing and I had to force power off the VM several times.

Upon inspection, I found that it was occupying 8.5 GB RAM, even though my Macbook has only 8 GB ram. How is this possible?

I had allocated only 4 GB ram under VirtualBox settings. It not only breached the ram allocated by VirtualBox by more than 2 times, it also occupied more RAM than what is present in my system.

Double mystery.

I reduced the RAM to 3 GB, but that hasn't helped.

Screenshot_20211223-222149.jpg

It has still grabbed pretty much all available memory, much more than what is allocated by VirtualBox.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy dv7
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 3630QM
    Motherboard
    HP
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 4000 & Nvidia GeForce GT 635M
    Sound Card
    IDT High Definition
    Screen Resolution
    1080p
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Crucial MX500 on bay 1.
    1 TB Seagate HDD on bay 2.
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender

Ghot

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Local time
3:28 AM
Posts
1,978
Location
PA, USA

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Win 10 Home 10.0.22000.438 (x64)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Built by Ghot® [May 2020]
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
    Motherboard
    Asus Pro WS X570-ACE
    Memory
    G.Skill (F4-3200C14D-16GTZKW)
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA RTX 2070 (08G-P4-2171-KR)
    Sound Card
    (onboard) Realtek ALC1220P / ALC S1220A
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell U3011 30"
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1600
    Hard Drives
    2x Samsung 860 EVO 500GB,
    WD 4TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
    WD 8TB Black FZBX - SATA III,
    LG GH22LS30 CD/DVD Burner
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling 750W Quad EPS12V
    Case
    COOLER MASTER ATCS 840 Full Tower
    Cooling
    CM Hyper 212 EVO (push/pull)
    Keyboard
    Ducky DK9008 Shine II Blue LED
    Mouse
    Logitech Optical M-100
    Internet Speed
    100/100
    Browser
    Firefox (latest)
    Antivirus
    Bitdefender Internet Security 2020
    Other Info
    Speakers: Klipsch Pro Media 2.1
  • Operating System
    Windows XP Pro 32bit w/SP3
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Built by Ghot®
    CPU
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (OC'd @ 3.2Ghz)
    Motherboard
    ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition
    Memory
    TWIN2X2048-6400C4DHX (2 x 1GB, DDR2 800)
    Graphics card(s)
    EVGA 256-P2-N758-TR GeForce 8600GT SSC
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    ViewSonic G90FB Black 19" Professional (CRT)
    Screen Resolution
    up to 2048 x 1536
    Hard Drives
    WD 36GB 10,000rpm Raptor SATA
    Seagate 80GB 7200rpm SATA
    Lite-On LTR-52246S CD/RW
    Lite-On LH-18A1P CD/DVD Burner
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad EPS12V
    Case
    Generic Beige case, 80mm fans
    Cooling
    ZALMAN 9500A 92mm CPU Cooler
    Mouse
    Logitech Optical M-BT96a
    Keyboard
    Logitech Classic Keybooard 200
    Internet Speed
    100/100
    Browser
    Firefox 3.x ??
    Antivirus
    Symantec (Norton)
    Other Info
    Still assembled, still runs. Haven't turned it on for 13 years?

    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?183088-5000-B-E-on-M2N32-SLI-Dlx-Overclocked&p=2891724#post2891724

pparks1

Well-known member
Member
VIP
Local time
3:28 AM
Posts
214

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Beelink SEI8
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-8279u
    Motherboard
    AZW SEI
    Memory
    32GB DDR4 2666Mhz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus 655
    Sound Card
    Intel SST
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Asus ProArt PA278QV
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    512GB NVMe
    PSU
    NA
    Case
    NA
    Cooling
    NA
    Keyboard
    NA
    Mouse
    NA
    Internet Speed
    500/50
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    Mini PC used for testing Windows 11.

pparks1

Well-known member
Member
VIP
Local time
3:28 AM
Posts
214
From my reading, it's not only VBox affected, but other tools like Docker and such. I found the BugTracker in VBox for this and they are concluding the same.

1640279099527.png
 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Beelink SEI8
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-8279u
    Motherboard
    AZW SEI
    Memory
    32GB DDR4 2666Mhz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus 655
    Sound Card
    Intel SST
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Asus ProArt PA278QV
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    512GB NVMe
    PSU
    NA
    Case
    NA
    Cooling
    NA
    Keyboard
    NA
    Mouse
    NA
    Internet Speed
    500/50
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    Mini PC used for testing Windows 11.

TheMystic

Well-known member
Member
VIP
Thread Starter
Local time
1:58 PM
Posts
439
From my reading, it's not only VBox affected, but other tools like Docker and such. I found the BugTracker in VBox for this and they are concluding the same.

View attachment 16851
I tried VMware, and still the same. It appears Apple isn't interested in resolving the issue.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy dv7
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 3630QM
    Motherboard
    HP
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 4000 & Nvidia GeForce GT 635M
    Sound Card
    IDT High Definition
    Screen Resolution
    1080p
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Crucial MX500 on bay 1.
    1 TB Seagate HDD on bay 2.
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender

pparks1

Well-known member
Member
VIP
Local time
3:28 AM
Posts
214
I tried VMware, and still the same. It appears Apple isn't interested in resolving the issue.
Yeah, I've got a MacBook Pro, but it's circa 2014 now, so getting a bit long in the tooth and only has 8GB of RAM. I use it for basic web surfing these days, but run my VM's on my desktop that has 64GB of RAM (Specifically for VM use).

My Mac was okay, but I'm one of those who isn't really enamored with it. I don't find Apple stuff to be intuitive whatsoever.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Beelink SEI8
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-8279u
    Motherboard
    AZW SEI
    Memory
    32GB DDR4 2666Mhz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus 655
    Sound Card
    Intel SST
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Asus ProArt PA278QV
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    512GB NVMe
    PSU
    NA
    Case
    NA
    Cooling
    NA
    Keyboard
    NA
    Mouse
    NA
    Internet Speed
    500/50
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    Mini PC used for testing Windows 11.

FreeBooter

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Local time
11:28 AM
Posts
521
The Guest Additions can change the amount of host memory that a VM uses, while the machine is running. Because of how this is implemented, this feature is called memory ballooning.

 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 5700G
    Motherboard
    Erica6
    Memory
    Micron Technology DDR4-3200 16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC671
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung SyncMaster U28E590
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    SAMSUNG MZVLQ1T0HALB-000H1

ish4d0w

Active member
Member
VIP
Local time
9:28 AM
Posts
114
Somewhat off topic, but you might experience more reliable performance with VMWare Fusion Player, which is now available and also free.
They just released it for M1 Macs too.
 

My Computer

System One

pparks1

Well-known member
Member
VIP
Local time
3:28 AM
Posts
214
The Guest Additions can change the amount of host memory that a VM uses, while the machine is running. Because of how this is implemented, this feature is called memory ballooning.


Memory ballooning isn't necessarily applicable here. WIth memory ballooning, let's say that you have a physical computer with 8GB of RAM. With memory ballooning, if you wanted to run each VM with say 4GB of RAM, you could run a grand total of 2 VM's. But with balloning, the system can "borrow" unused memory from one VM and allocate it to another when need be. So, depending upon your workload it's possible to start up 3 VM's, each having 4GB of RAM which ultimately would appear to be using 12 GB of RAM, but since there isn't really that much physical RAM to back it up, it's borrowing unused memory from VM1 and VM2 to provide to VM3.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Beelink SEI8
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-8279u
    Motherboard
    AZW SEI
    Memory
    32GB DDR4 2666Mhz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus 655
    Sound Card
    Intel SST
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Asus ProArt PA278QV
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    512GB NVMe
    PSU
    NA
    Case
    NA
    Cooling
    NA
    Keyboard
    NA
    Mouse
    NA
    Internet Speed
    500/50
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    Mini PC used for testing Windows 11.

TheMystic

Well-known member
Member
VIP
Thread Starter
Local time
1:58 PM
Posts
439
Yeah, I've got a MacBook Pro, but it's circa 2014 now, so getting a bit long in the tooth and only has 8GB of RAM. I use it for basic web surfing these days, but run my VM's on my desktop that has 64GB of RAM (Specifically for VM use).

My Mac was okay, but I'm one of those who isn't really enamored with it. I don't find Apple stuff to be intuitive whatsoever.
I bought the Mac more as a tool to test out the hype behind Macs. It was more of an unplanned, impulsive purchase. I wish I had waited for the 16 GB variant which was out of stock then. Also, the 8 GB variant I picked up was on sale. At the time, it was good enough for what I bought it for.

But given that it was natively supporting Windows, I had made up my mind to only buy Macs going forward, so I can enjoy both macOS and Windows. With Apple moving chip production in-house and Microsoft calling Windows for ARM an 'unsupported scenario', things are back to square one.

Apple being Apple, they don't care about user requirements. They want users to learn and do things the way they want, with very little flexibility. Despite the new Macs being extremely attractive due to their speed and efficiency, the lack of support for Windows and Virtualization is a big deal breaker.

With this Memory problem being discussed for well over a year and still being unaddressed, it is quite possible that Virtualization is an 'unsupported scenario' for Mac for the foreseeable future. And with macOS actually running pretty smoothly on my 2013 Windows laptop, may be my next computer could well be another Windows PC with a high-end configuration.

But that's still quite some time away. Let's see.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy dv7
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 3630QM
    Motherboard
    HP
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 4000 & Nvidia GeForce GT 635M
    Sound Card
    IDT High Definition
    Screen Resolution
    1080p
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Crucial MX500 on bay 1.
    1 TB Seagate HDD on bay 2.
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender

TheMystic

Well-known member
Member
VIP
Thread Starter
Local time
1:58 PM
Posts
439
The Guest Additions can change the amount of host memory that a VM uses, while the machine is running. Because of how this is implemented, this feature is called memory ballooning.

Then what is the purpose of assigning a value to RAM and processor count?

Besides, they say it is not applicable for OS X hosts (4.10.1) under notes in the 1st para.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy dv7
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 3630QM
    Motherboard
    HP
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 4000 & Nvidia GeForce GT 635M
    Sound Card
    IDT High Definition
    Screen Resolution
    1080p
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Crucial MX500 on bay 1.
    1 TB Seagate HDD on bay 2.
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender

TheMystic

Well-known member
Member
VIP
Thread Starter
Local time
1:58 PM
Posts
439
Somewhat off topic, but you might experience more reliable performance with VMWare Fusion Player, which is now available and also free.
They just released it for M1 Macs too.
No. I tried with VMware too and the memory consumption is still double of what is allocated under VM settings. In my case, there is noticeable lag even without doing much. So Virtualization is not a good option on Mac as of now.

I don't know how Windows using Parallels performs.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy dv7
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 3630QM
    Motherboard
    HP
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 4000 & Nvidia GeForce GT 635M
    Sound Card
    IDT High Definition
    Screen Resolution
    1080p
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Crucial MX500 on bay 1.
    1 TB Seagate HDD on bay 2.
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender

Almighty1

Well-known member
Member
VIP
Local time
12:28 AM
Posts
638
Location
San Francisco, California USA
Just curious, is there a reason that VM's or at least Hyper-V can't use virtual memory or the pagefile for memory?
 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Windows XP/7/8/8.1/10/11, Linux, Android, FreeBSD Unix
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 15 9570
    CPU
    Intel® Core™ i7-8750H 8th Gen Processor 2.2Ghz up to 4.1Ghz
    Motherboard
    Dell XPS 15 9570
    Memory
    32GB using 2x16GB modules
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel UHD 630 & NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 4GB DDR5
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC3266-CG
    Monitor(s) Displays
    15.6" 4K Touch UltraHD 3840x2160 made by Sharp
    Screen Resolution
    3840x2160
    Hard Drives
    Toshiba KXG60ZNV1T02 NVMe 1024GB/1TB SSD
    PSU
    Dell XPS 15 9570
    Case
    Dell XPS 15 9570
    Cooling
    Stock
    Keyboard
    Stock
    Mouse
    SwitftPoint ProPoint
    Internet Speed
    Comcast/XFinity 1.44Gbps/42.5Mbps
    Browser
    Microsoft EDGE (Chromium based) & Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender that came with Windows
Top Bottom