Does the 13" I7 have enough grunt?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Ktrianta, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. Ktrianta macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    #1
    Hi guys,

    Looking for some feedback. Love Macs. Wondering if the 13" I7 is powerful enough to do what I want. Note that I would get it with 8GB RAM if it's going to cut it.

    Basically need it to run Windows VM's. Potentially run a couple of them at the same time. One VM would be a base Windows XP VM running the basics (mainly Office stuff), the other an XP VM running ALOT (mainly Oracle apps, DB, WLS, e-Business Suite, UCM, etc...essentially a developer VM). Still want to be able to use Mac OS at the same time.

    Will the 2.7 GHz cut it? I know, the 15" quad core probably would, but to be honest, too big. I know, alot of people will say it's not that much bigger, and you're right, it's not really. But it is for me :)

    Appreciate any feedback.

    Con
     
  2. dsio macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #2
    I run many VMs due to my work and yea, its got more than enough guts.
     
  3. Ktrianta thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    #3
    Cheers. Thanks for the info.

    Out of curiousity, do you run Parallels? VMWare?
     
  4. dsio macrumors regular

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    Jun 19, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #4
    Windows 7, Fedora Linux, and CentOS Linux inside Virtualbox Open Source edition. I run several XenServer machines, and in the infinite wisdom of Citrix, although XenServer is based on CentOS Linux, its management console is strictly Windows, hence the Win7 VM.
     
  5. DustinT macrumors 68000

    DustinT

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #5
    Its been a while since I stated something obvious, so I'll start now. :)

    For this application I'd consider 8g ram and an SSD the minimum specs. I used a 13" for moderate vm work and found the disk performance a huge limiting factor. Any SSD will provide substantial performance boosts.

    Using the Optibay to add in a second hard drive would help a fair bit too, since you could split the i\o demands across two drives. That would be better than trying to do all that with one drive but not as good as a proper ssd. Of course the best of worlds would be an SSD and another SSD (or if you need more space, a hard drive).

    Finally, have you thought about springing for the 15" and using the return policy to give it a long test drive? Apple is pretty accommodating in situations like this and I suspect you'll find the 15" isn't as big as you think it is. I say this because I got the 13" first and while I do agree is a very powerful machine, doubling the core count in the 15" means it has significantly more capacity for vm's.

    Just for the record, I think you could do what your asking on a 13" but it would entail more compromises than the same demands on a 15". Those extra cores really make a difference. No matter which machine you get though, spring for the extra ram for sure and hopefully an ssd.
     
  6. Ktrianta thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    #6
    Hmmm. Damn. If you hadn't posted that reply, I would have been buying a 13 tomorrow!!! Haha

    My current work issued laptop (which is a hunk of junk Dell) is a 15", and it's too big. Form factor is pretty big for me. I travel quite a bit for work as well. I actually find the 13 considerably smaller and more portable than the 15. That's just me. Also the 15" adds quite a bit to the price if I add the RAM and an SSD. I'm in Australia, and it's about a $600 difference.

    I really don't want the 15 to be honest, and if the 13 couldn't handle what I needed, I just wouldn't get anything until Apple ups the specs on the 13.

    Thanks for the heads up though. Appreciate the feedback.
     
  7. dsio macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #7
    The 13 very much can handle it, speaking as someone that does own one, and uses it for that purpose exactly. I went for a Hybrid SSD drive, because SSDs just aren't big enough to run multiple VMs + OSX (I'm at 450GB used and about to add a second 500GB hybrid for RAID0).

    Even using the VMs heavily isn't stressing the dual core i7 at all, and the apps your talking about running on the XP machine are going to take advantage of extra cores anyway.
     
  8. Ktrianta thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    #8
    Took your opinion dsio. Picked up a 13 I7 today. Took a real close look at it and the 15. Again, just didn't find the 15 portable enough.

    Going to upgrade to an SSD at some stage. Didn't want to wait 3 weeks to get one (apparently that long of a wait right now for one).

    Got it from the Apple store. Guy I spoke with was very helpful. Said I could always upgrade later on. But I'm going to look at an external SSD, either over Firewire or Thunderbolt (when it comes out).

    Thanks!! Loving this thing!
     

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