2 VM's + Programing / Graphics

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by hashholly, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. hashholly macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2008

    Currently wondering if the following will work well:

    Im looking at the Midrange 2014 2.6 ghz i5 Mac Mini with 16 Gb ram and a 256 GB SSD.

    Id like to have 2 Mountain Lion VM's running on it 24/7 - The 1st VM will be recording video / emailing alerts from a few ip cameras, and the 2nd VM will be used for downloading files. The plan would be to have the VM's running off an external USB3 hard drive.

    In the main OS I would be programing for IOS or doing Graphics / Web work.

    Is this at all possible for that machine to handle? Would my limitation be the fact that it is only a dual core?
  2. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2015
    I am using similar Mac Mini with 8Gb of RAM and external SSD. While my needs are mainly database related (MySQL, DevonThink Pro etc.) its processor cores are almost constantly fully used and it slows down with largest databases. It seems I made a mistake and I should have purchased a 2012 i7 model instead. Unfortunately those models are in high demand and prices are very high.

    If your software can use multiple cores it would make sense to purchase model with more cores. Unfortunately Apples current custom built i7 processor Mini is joke with two cores and only some iMacs and Macbook Pro models have 4 core processors.
  3. SpacemanSpiffed macrumors regular


    Mar 27, 2013
    Pacific NW
    As a software/game developer, I'll say that from experience Ebenezum is right about cores. A dual core machine, mini or other, is going to bog down with 2 VMs (I'm assuming each VM only gets 1 or 2 hardware threads/"CPUs").

    Get a Quad Core Mac, 16GB RAM, and an SSD, and you should be in business though without significant hiccups. I used to run Xcode + IoS Simulator + Java Server Instance + Parallels (running PC IDE) + Other open crap on this configuration (Quad Core+16GB+SSD) on a MacBook while working a big iOS f2p game, and it did a really decent job. It sounds like your workload will be similar overall.

    For a Quad Core Mac Mini, you're looking a chasing down a 2012 i7 (I think they have still been showing up in the Apple refurb store - check out refurb.me and set an alert) or a 2011 server if you can do without USB 3, check eBay, CraigsList, etc.

    And with 2 VM's, you will definitely want 16GB RAM - fortunately less than $100 to upgrade it yourself on earlier models - giving each VM 2-4GB as needed.

    A couple months back, I got and upgraded a 2012 i7 Quad core (see thread about 'happiest mac mini you'll see today') and so far it's been a beast. I'm really happy with it, and you can't beat it for size / portability / silence and low power consumption.

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