Getting new MBP - Need to run multiple VMs - will i7 give me any noticeable benefit?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by photusEnigma, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. photusEnigma macrumors newbie

    photusEnigma

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Location:
    Boston MA
    #1
    I've been reading reviews about the difference between the i5 and i7 processors, but nobody really talks about whether the i7 provides any substantial benefit for running VMs. I have both Fusion and Parallels - latest versions, and while I only run one of them at a time, I often run at least 2 VMs side by side for development purposes. I'd rather by the less expensive i5 and start saving for a decent SSD (though for now I'll start with just a 500 HDD 7200rmp) IF there's no real benefit in my going for the i7. But if there is truly a benefit from the higher processor when dealing with VMs, I want that.


    Anyone have any experience or info about this?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Mac7 macrumors 6502a

    Mac7

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
  3. BobbyCarbn macrumors regular

    BobbyCarbn

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2009
    #3
    Ram and Disk I/O speed are more important if you are looking for a cost/benifit. My VMs are very fast since I started using SSDs and beefed up the ram.
     
  4. elleana macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    #4
    Given a choice it's almost always gonna be more RAM, unless all your vMs are gonna do heavy lifting at the same time.
     
  5. photusEnigma thread starter macrumors newbie

    photusEnigma

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Location:
    Boston MA
    #5
    The Ram will be maxed out....that's already a given. I was more interested in whether the i7 would provide a substantial enough improvement in overall performance to delay getting an SSD for a few additional months....or if it's must a marginal difference....in which case I'll only have to wait a couple months before I should be able to upgrade the system to a dual disk (swap out the optical) and have the primary disk upgraded to an reasonably sized SSD.

    Sounds like there's really nobody claiming there's a good argument for justifying the expense of the i7....so i5 it is, and I get to experience to my first SSD all that much sooner!

    Thanks everyone!
     
  6. elleana macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    #6
    Oh yeah, definitely SSD > i7 v i5
     
  7. revelated macrumors 6502a

    revelated

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    #7
    Thing with VMs is that the speed of the processor is the lowest improvement you could give the VM. In order of precedence it's:

    • Hard Drive (going from 5400 to 7200 will definitely be an improvement. Going to SSD will be even more so), because a VM is effectively a super-large file made up of a group of files, so the speed of the drive access is going to reveal the greatest improvement for the VM.
    • RAM (because you can give more to the VMs, of course)
    • Display card (the more the video card can take on when rendering in Vista and 7, the faster it will perform)
    • Processor (last, because for the most part you can only give the VM 1 core anyway; any more and the VM will start to drag because it's taking resources from the host OS. Whether that's an i5 core or an i7 core won't mean much in terms of performance of the VM)
     
  8. Jaxdialation macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    #8
    True! I did disk, RAM and SSD upgrades to my i7. BY FAR the SSD gave the most obvious performance improvement.

     

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