13 vs 15 For Parallels....Struggling to Decide

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jakespeed, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. jakespeed, Feb 2, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2014

    jakespeed macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2002
    I was told i can switch from a PC to a Mac at work to begin doing Mac/iPhone Development and I am struggling to decide which machine fits my needs better. My goal will be to have a single machine for both PC and Mac development. I also will carry it to meetings 2-3 times a day and home with me at night. I currently carry a 13 and run parallels on it once in a while but not every day. My budget needs to stay around 2000 but could go over a little.

    I'm struggling with the classic struggle. 13 for portability or 15 for Power. Here are my options. I am looking at refurbished items.

    1: 13 Retina 16gb/512ssd ($1699) - This has plenty of memory and storage for what i need and should run Parallels fine with 16Gb but with only two Cores, I fear it will struggle with running Parallels all day (at work). I carry a 13 now and love the size/power combination in a secondary machine for sure.

    2: 15 Retina 8gb/512ssd ($1699) - This has plenty of space...and I know parallels will run ok with 8gb but that doesn't leave much head room. Also this is a bigger machine than i am used to lugging around.

    3. Splurge for 15 Retina 16gb/512ssd ($2199) - I'm confident this would fit my needs for a while....but again...lugging it around might not be awesome.

    Anyone out there that spends a fair bit of time in Parallels/Fusion that can offer advice.
  2. taz92 macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2010
    I have the 13 inch cmbp from 2012 with dual core i7 and 8gb of ram and its smooth as hell running server 2012 R2 and win7 in parallels and I even have server 2012 in boot camp. U are looking at the retina so it will probably be an even better experience for u.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Parallels will certainly benefit the i7 processor and the larger screen

    Unless you'll be running multiple VMs at he same time 8gb will be more then enough IMO
  4. swerve147 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 12, 2013
    #3. All in. The 15 is extremely light and portable (for a 15). You definitely won't be tweaking your back because you have the 15 compared to the 13.

    The concern won't be weight, it will be bulk, if anything compared to the 13. If you can deal with the larger dimensions then go with the 15.

    As for Parallels/VMs in general, the more RAM you have the better, especially if you intend on running multiple VMs for whatever reason. I'd recommend 16GB just for the headroom and longevity of the MacBook in general.
  5. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN

    And also I suggest the model with the dGPU.

    When you match the CPU, RAM and SSD on both Iris-only and Iris+750M models, the price is exactly the same. So the dGPU is essentially a free upgrade.
  6. jakespeed thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2002
    You know.. I have thinking the opposite. I had a 15 a year ago and it seemed like the graphic switching caused more trouble (app incompatibility, battery life, etc) than anything else ( I don't game at all). I was kind of counting the 750 as a negative... but then again it never hurs to have enough power.

    If only the 13 had a 4 core CPU, i think it would be my machine...ugh
  7. kastorff macrumors regular


    Oct 7, 2006
  8. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    The 13" won't have any problems running a single VM. I mean, what is the config of your current machine? Do you have the feeling that its struggling with your workflows? For me, the reason to get the 15" would be not the CPU but rather the bigger screen (more convenient for programming).
  9. jakespeed thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2002
    I currently run a 13 2.5 i5 Ivy Bridge with 8Gb. Running a VM with 3-4GB, I don't think it struggles...more I feel it takes enough system resources (CPU mostly) that other tasks aren't snappy any more (switching screens, mail, etc in OSX)...I currently don't run a VM for 6-7 hours a day as I will be with this machine. Then again, more ram and a little faster processor/graphics (i7/Iris) could be enough to make up for it.
  10. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I think its more a RAM/disk access (I guess you are not using an SSD) issue than a CPU one...
  11. jakespeed thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2002
    Sorry. Yes, its an SSD. Its a 13 Retina..Ivy Bridge?....or what ever the first ten Retina was.
  12. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Ah, ok... well, in this case, the 15" could be a safer bet. The Haswell is not that much faster than IB. Of course, it could still be the RAM which is holding you back... maybe you have an opportunity to test your workflow on a machine with a weaker CPU and 16GB RAM? Also, don't forget that Apple gives you a no questions asked 14 days return period - you can get the 13" and if you are unsatisfied with the performance, exchange it for the 15".
  13. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    The graphics switching only causes trouble if you have gfxcardstatus set to dynamic switching.

    Today, the graphics switching isn't that problematic anymore. I just make sure that it's either forced into Iris only or GT750M only.
  14. Scott7975 macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2013
    I would get the 15. You will be happier with the screen real estate while coding.
  15. jakespeed thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2002
    i'm leaning that way. I do feel cramped coding on the 13 sometimes. Now if i can decide if i need the 16gb/512 or just 8gb/512
  16. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    Parallels or VMware will run fine. I'd say get as much RAM as you possibly can. Storage space can be expanded via USB 3 or Thunderbolt and you can run a VM off of that easily without too much of a performance hit. RAM however, is something you cannot expand later on.

    8GB is fine if you're running 1-3 VMs (depending on how much ram you give it) but if you wish to run a small farm for testing, then you'll need 16GB or higher.

    Also, I'm not sure if you're looking at the Retina or not, but you can up the resolution to 1680x1050. Give it more room to view.

Share This Page