2016 MBP 13" i5 3.1GHz for Virtualization?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by HonestChicken, Jan 13, 2017.


13" or 15"

  1. 13" i5 Dual Core 3.1GHz 16GB w/ 512SSD

    4 vote(s)
  2. 15" i7 Quad Core 2.6GHz 16GB w/ 512SSD

    13 vote(s)
  1. HonestChicken macrumors member


    Jul 13, 2016
    Hi everyone,

    I want the 13" with touch bar but I'm worried that the dual core i5 3.1GHz is not capable enough for my needs.

    I usually run a Windows 10 and Linux with Parallel or VMWare Fusion for software development and SQL Server.

    I really like how compact and portable the 13" is, but don't know if I need a quad core 15" for this.

    Any inputs are welcome :)
  2. dyn macrumors 68030

    Aug 8, 2009
    The answer is both yes and no because it highly depends on how much you are going to tax the cpu. In other words, this is way too little information to say anything meaningful.

    Btw, as a rule of thumb with virtualisation: spend the money on disk and memory, not on cpu because it is the least important out of the 3. Another do: stick with the defaults when creating a vm and slightly adjust the values if you find the vm to be running too slow.
  3. ihatetoregister Suspended


    Sep 13, 2016
    Oslo, Norway
    What Dyn said, more or less : I do a lot of virtualization and the memory is way more important than the proc.
    However it depends a bit what you run in your virutal env of course.

    If you value size, of cours ego for the 13". But, as I've been told in another thread : 15" isn't actually that much bigger and heavier. If you can, go to a shop to actually compare both.
    I haven't had the opportunity to comapre them (takes ages to see them in shop in Norway) personally but on paper it seems like a small difference.
  4. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    The 13" won't have any problems with running few VMs on the side, unless you really want to push all the VMs very hard. If you are going to use the Windows VM much, then 16GB is probably a good idea.
  5. mcomp112 macrumors regular

    Jan 1, 2017
    I had a touch bar 13 inch with 2.9, 16gb which easily ran Windows 10 in Parallels and the whole experience was very smooth when working on the computer.

    The only issues that arose were when I connected the macbook to a 4K monitor. That's when virtualization caused noticeable stuttering (a few posters said they had the same issue and mentioned that upgrading to the 15 inch solved the issue). Since I work with my laptop connected to a monitor ~50% of the time, I returned the 13 inch and will be picking up a 15 inch touch bar macbook pro soon. Hope this helps.
  6. legioxi macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2013
    I use the 12" Retina MacBook for heavy virtualization, including Windows and SQL for development though admittedly mostly RHEL. My only complaint is the RAM limit of 8GB. I'd say either Pro would be fine.
  7. dyn macrumors 68030

    Aug 8, 2009
    For Windows you don't need the 16GB of memory but MS SQL Server is a different story because it loves memory. However, for local development you don't need that much memory and quite often you don't even need the full fledged version, Express is fine (which is also one of the reasons that version exists).

    If you already do these things with your current setup it makes things easier. You just need to match that setup or go over it. If it runs fine with your current 8GB machine, it'll run fine on an 8GB MBP 2016.
  8. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I understood that OP wants to run the SQL server on Linux, which won't use that much RAM. But I assumed that they also want to use Visual Studio on a Windows VM, and I've been told that it uses ridiculous amounts of RAM these days...
  9. dyn macrumors 68030

    Aug 8, 2009
    Neither of the two is correct. Just because SQL Server runs on Linux does not make it use less RAM. By default SQL Server is set up to not have any limit on the amount of RAM it uses. In other words, by default it will use all of it when it can. This is something that you can easily set in the settings. Btw, the Linux version is currently in testing only so this is not to be recommended for development or production use!
    Visual Studio' RAM usage highly depends on what you are doing with it, what plugins you have installed and so on. For some the defaults of a Windows 10 vm is enough, others need 2 vCPUs and tons of memory.

    Keep in mind that the Apple notebooks have never ever gone past the 16GB RAM maximum and there have been times where this limit was set to 8GB. If the OP uses one of those older machines then the 8GB will do fine.

    The main thing is that he needs to review his current usage and use that as a basis for configuring the new MBP.
  10. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I was not talking about MS SQL Server at all. I though OP meant MySQL or Postgres or something.
  11. dyn macrumors 68030

    Aug 8, 2009
    When someone writes SQL Server they usually mean MS SQL Server. Some people do seem to mix it up with MySQL or SQL server (note the absence of a capital). So yeah, always a bit difficult to tell, especially now with MS SQL Server coming to Linux (yay!).
  12. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    True, and I also didn't know that MS SQL Server is available on Linux :) Anyway, thanks for the info and sorry for derailing the thread!
  13. chabig macrumors 603

    Sep 6, 2002
    Of course the 13" is fine for this. People were running virtual machines 10-20 years ago. Current state of the art technology isn't required.
  14. jerryk macrumors 601

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    I wonder if this person is running a SQL Server DB in a windows VM and a server app talking to the database in a linux VM. If so, I have done this on my 2015 15" with Parallels and it works fine. But it does slow the machine down.

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