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UseParallelGC might have no effect if it happens to be the default in your computer. Java looks at the computer and uses what it thinks of as reasonable defaults for things. To see default switches in your computer try this:
java -XX:+PrintCommandLineFlags -version
You could also try the new G1 collector, it should be good for some types of applications. Google for "Java 7" G1 or java garbage first.
sja, thank you for your response!
It looks like the new G1 collector is working good but I cannot tell if the Java WebStart accepts it because it is not listed as an acceptable value to the jvm-args attribute... http://docs.oracle.com/javase/7/docs/technotes/guides/javaws/developersguide/syntax.html#resources
Can someone confirm if -XX:+UseG1GC is settable via the JNLP file?