Do I need an i7 if... etc

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by sillyrabbitt, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Jan 28, 2009
    Hi all-

    I have a few questions before I buy:

    do i need an i7 if I want to run VM Ware for windows 7 or xp?
    can i get an 11" i7 in store or only online?
    is 11 or 13 with i7 /256gb called "ultimate"? i thought it was but when
    i called apple they said they have never heard of that...

  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    No need for the i7 for VMs, but 4GB is a must.
    "Ultimate" is not an Apple term, but it is used to describe the MBA models updated to the fullest, and it is used by Apple users and not Apple staff.

  3. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 28, 2009
    thank you!
  4. macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2011
    You would be better off getting the i7, the 11" i5 processor does not have some of the virtual machine features the the i7 does.

    Here are the two cores compared:,54617

    Hope this information helps.
  5. macrumors G4

    Oct 23, 2010
    I ran Windows 7 in Parallels on my Core 2 Duo Rev D. It was OK, but either the i5 or i7 would be much better. Technically, the i7 has a few features that Parallels or Fusion might be able to take advantage of (relating to accessing ports, etc.), but it won't make much difference.

    You can get 11" i7s in some stores, but it's no guarantee. NYC stores have the i7s with 256GB in stock.
  6. sillyrabbitt, Jul 21, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011

    thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 28, 2009

    thank you.
  7. macrumors 6502

    Dec 1, 2008
    The only useful feature would be VT-d but VMware does not have support for it yet.
  8. macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2011
    He's right, I was thinking of VT-x when I was reading the tech specs which both of them have. Both the i5 and the i7 would probably handle virtual machines just fine :)
  9. macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2011
    Interesting. Virtualization is a huge benefit for me, being an avid Mac user stuck in a Windows (employed) world, but not sure I can justify the required $450 step up for i7...

    Thanks for the comparison chart though.
  10. macrumors G4

    Oct 23, 2010
    It's only $150 for the i7 on the 11" or $100 on the 13". You don't need to get the 256GB SSD to get it.
  11. macrumors member

    May 28, 2009
    If you go for the 13" version the i5 DOES have VT-d,54617

    Just some food for thought. I went i5 13" since there is very little difference from the 13" i5 CPU to the i7. Not $100 worth anyway to me.
  12. macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2011
    Oh, I thought you needed the 256GB on the 13"?

    I definitely want the 13" I think. Not that I need SD, but I'm not sure if I can deal with the 11" keyboard alone. Plus longer battery life. Though I absolutely need an external display regardless of the size I choose.

    But I'll need to go back to the store and try them both out again.

    Edit: I think you are mistaken:


    Good call! I did notice it was the 1.6GHz version of the i5 and thought the 13" was 1.7GHz base.
  13. Chilulu, Jul 21, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011

    macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2011
    Tokyo, Japan
    When it comes to virtualization--and especially hosted virtualization like Fusion, where the VMs run on top of another OS--every little bit of speed/capacity helps. Especially CPU and memory. Also, I'm pretty sure any extra cache memory will help. Since the VMs can't access the hardware directly with this type of virtualization, there is overhead to consider. Remember also that these resources are pooled and abstracted for the VMs, so while your single VM running Win7 may not need 1.8GHz (which of course it will not have full access to anyway), having extra GHz allows you to run more VMs simultaenously. In addition, the pooled resources are dynamically allocated, so when your Win 7 VM isn't crunching numbers but your CentOS is compiling a kernel, you'll have a more pleasant experience). The concept goes for RAM as well. So of course it all depends on what kind of VMs and how many of them you need to run, but just remember that Lion needs its share of resources too.

    I think storage would be a non-issue for most cases since thin provisioning the virtual disks is pretty much standard. You can over-subscribe your total physical storage space and not worry too much (until/unless your data starts growing exponentially).

    Believe me: with virtualization, more is better.
  14. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 28, 2009
    How easy is it to "slipstream" windows 7? can a sillyrabbitt do it easily?

  15. macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
  16. macrumors G4

    Oct 23, 2010
    It looks like you are right. On the 11", you can get a Core i7 with 128GB of storage. That model might just turn out to be in the sweet spot for power users on a budget.
  17. macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2011
    That does make the decision more difficult. My friend has an 11.6" PC laptop with a full size keyboard. So for an extra $50, I can get an i7, but with 11" screen, less battery life, and no SD (no biggie) -- I still think the 13" is the better deal, but maybe 11" is all I need on-the-go.
  18. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 28, 2009

    I hope so. if i "fail" can you buy a dvd drive tow work with the mba? if so which one and how much?


    to 13 or to 11

    that is the question.

    11 i think but need to see it for a bit
  19. macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2011
    it was for me ;-)

    Loved that option; I dont wish to pay so much more for the extra 128GB. I will use USB/network storage anyway.
  20. macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2011
    How can you upgrade the 13" to i7 without getting the 256GB SSD? I don't see the option to upgrade it on the 128GB model at the Applestore online.
  21. macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2011
    Read a few more posts and you'll find out you can't...

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