2011 Air and virtualization

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Arkangil, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. Arkangil macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2009
    Looking at getting the Macbook air from 2011 off the refurb store:

    Refurbished MacBook Air 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
    Originally released July 2011
    11.6-inch (diagonal) high-resolution LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
    4GB memory
    128GB flash storage
    Thunderbolt port with support for up to 2560-by-1600 resolution
    FaceTime camera
    Intel HD Graphics 3000

    My use will be to run either Parallels or Fusion to run a Windows version of Quickbooks, and also run Excel (Mac or Windows) at the same time. Plus typical stuff like web browsing, email, etc. No photo/video editing, no major games.

    Will this system stumble when a few Excel windoes, plus virtualization and quickbooks and a web browser or two are all open at once?

  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I think the cpu being a ULV and the 4gb of ram will put your system under "duress" when trying to have both. Plus, windows will need a good hunk of your SSD.

    I run quickbooks in Vmware on my 2010 based 13" MBP and the performance is decent but I have 8gb of ram, so I can give the VM a good amount of ram and still have gobs left over for OSX. I'm not sure how the C2D stacks up against your ULV 2011 cpu.
  3. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    No, it will not. It will run great. I run a similar setup and it is amazing to me how well Windows 7 and Quicken run inside a VM alongside Mac OS X and a couple of open Mac apps.
  4. Arkangil thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2009
    So if I were to step up to a 13" MBP, what cpu would I look for...since RAM I can do myself.

    Would having an SSD benefit greatly over a regular hard drive?

    The 13" Air has a 1.8 Core i7 availble. Would that take away the conflict?

    Two replies in 4 minutes is great! Two conflicting replies....less great.
  5. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    Oh, absolutely. The SSD make the difference. I would't try virtualizing if it weren't for the SSD. The 2012 SSDs are twice as fast as the 2011 SSDs, making it even nicer.

    I am a strong believer in getting the fastest machine I can afford. That way I am not left wondering what could have been but wasn't. If I were buying today I'd get a 13" (better battery life) i7 (faster processor) with 8GB of RAM.

    No one ever complained about having too fast a machine or having too much RAM. Plus, I will never buy a computer (desktop or laptop) without a SSD drive ever again. Its like riding a Ferrari vs riding a bicycle. Difference is night and day.
  6. joudbren macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2007
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    That's the exact same MBA configuration I bought last year and I ran Fusion on it just fine with Win7. The only issue I found was that the 128GB drive is a little on the small side especially if you want to use VMware. Even using half the drive for Windows doesn't leave a whole bunch of space for apps on either partition.

    That can easily be rectified however with an SSD upgrade from OWC and the upgrade kits have dropped quite a bit in price over the last couple of weeks. I think the 240GB upgrade is around $350 now and that includes an external USB case to turn your original 128GB SSD into usable external storage.

    However, if you do determine that you'll need more SSD space right away then you might as well bite the bullet and get the new 2012 model. That's what I did and just purchased a new 11" MBA with 2ghz i7, 8GB ram and 256GB SSD. I've now given 80GB of space to the Win7 partition which still leaves lots of room on the Mac side. Cheers!


Share This Page