How does the 2016 rMB handle VMs?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by viperGTS, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. viperGTS macrumors 68000

    Nov 15, 2010
    I'm curious as to how both the newer rMB's and the 2015's handle VMs. Has anyone tried them? If so, please let me know how they perform :)

    If you'd like to try them out but have none installed, install VirtualBox (available here: and download the latest Ubuntu (available here: If you don't have experience with VMs, let me know and I will try to assist you through it.

    I'm mainly asking because I needed to use a VM last semester (VirtualBox with Ubuntu 14.04) in my software engineering class, but my 2012 non-Retina MacBook Pro had trouble at times running it (probably due to 4GB of RAM more than anything), but I want to replace this computer for many more reasons than just that.

    I don't plan on using VMs for any Windows OS (I was planning on using Boot Camp for those), but any insight into how it runs those is welcomed as well. Thanks! :)
  2. Trey M macrumors 6502a

    Trey M

    Jul 25, 2011
    Don't have too much to add here but I'm curious as to how the rMB handles VMs as well, good post OP.

    I will say that my 2012 rMBP handles VMs exceptionally, and I can almost guarantee from personal experience that 4GB was your limiting factor in your 2012 MBP. I have 16GB on mine, but even 8GB is more than enough for most VM use cases. I think the Mac OS takes up a good portion of the RAM these days to run efficiently so IMO 8GB is a must for anyone going forward.

    I personally use Windows 7 on my MBP VM for work, so anyone running Windows 7 on Parallels on the rMB feel free to chime in :)
  3. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Windows 10 runs pretty well in Parallels Desktop 11 on my 2016 m7. I use it primarily for Quicken 2016. VirtualBox has the advantage of being free, but the paid solutions (Parallels Desktop and VMWare Fusion) typically have better performance.
  4. PsychicRutabaga macrumors member


    Apr 19, 2015
    I've been using VirtualBox for the better part of a year on my rMB (2015 1.2ghz model), mostly for Python/Ruby coding and testing. I've got a couple of lightweight distributions (Bodhi 2 and Bodhi 3.20, based on Ubuntu), Oracle Linux (no GUI), OpenSUSE, and a LUbuntu build I've been using to kick the tires on OpenStack using DevStack. Oh, an an old OS/2 Warp v3.0 VM for fun.

    The Bodhi builds are nice and lightweight, but alas the trackpad isn't as well integrated with the Enlightenment WM as I'd like. But I can run those with just 1GB of RAM allocated and they are great for light coding. OpenSUSE works beautifully with excellent trackpad and keyboard integration under KDE, which I run in fullscreen mode, so I've been using that VM more than Bodhi lately. I allocate 2GB of RAM for OpenSUSE just because KDE is a lot more resource intensive, but it performs pretty well even running Firefox with one or two tabs. Not that you really want to run a browser for much in a VM, but it is doable. I haven't tried a standard Ubuntu install with the Unity desktop, but I'd expect they have things nicely integrated with the trackpad as well.
  5. b0fh666 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2012
    linux is a breeze, you can easily do it on a 1GB VM if you don't go crazy with stuff like KDE or try to run firefox with 100 tabs open inside the VM.

    on the other hand my dev vm which is windows server + databases (oracle, mssql) and eclipse JEE is always maxing the 4GB I allocate to it... eclipse is a horrid memory-eating mess
  6. where is it macrumors 6502

    where is it

    Jun 19, 2012
    VM's are fine.

    I've gone one better. Using Parallels Access to remote my Parallels bootcamp partition to still use Lumion architecture software (requires dgpu).

    Works well.
  7. viperGTS thread starter macrumors 68000

    Nov 15, 2010
    All great responses. Sounds like even last year's model can handle VMs quite well. Thank you all so much!
  8. thisMRguy macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2013
    have w7 running during the day for work. no isuses
    1 processor, 1 core, 3gb ram under fusion.
  9. dyn macrumors 68030

    Aug 8, 2009
    Of course its fine, even the first MacBook from 10 years ago was able to run vm's. It really depends on what you are running as guest OS and what you are doing inside the vm. If that is very cpu bound and for prolonged times the MacBook is going to have some difficulty. Most things people do in vm's on a workstation is not that much so should be fine. Besides, I/O and memory have much bigger effect on performance when it comes to vm's.
  10. noodles5666 macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2010
    I have a 2015 i5 512GB rMB running Parallels with Windows 7 no issues.

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