I am now actually considering 13" Pro non-retina

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MyAppleWorld, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. MyAppleWorld macrumors 6502

    MyAppleWorld

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    #1
    Well I have been going in circles about what to get as my next computer - my current computer is a lousy HP DV4 core2duo with 5gb ram and terrible screen.

    My usage pattern quickly...
    Browsing web on sofa and typing frequently (IM etc)
    Plugging in external display in my home-office and running 4 virtual machines (my current laptop can only manage 2).
    Watching catchup TV in Bed.

    Now, I have had an ipad in the past and found I only used it for watching TV in bed and got fed up of inability to type alot on the sofa. I had to return it because it was a work device.

    I desperately need a machine to run vmware and figured a MBA 8gb ram limit is just not enough - I need 16gb.

    So that leads me to either a 13" MBP and possibly iPad further down the line, or a MBA 13" and a mac mini with 16gb for my vmware work. I envisage that I only need the 'power' whilst i am at the desk.

    My problem with the MBP 13 is that standard 5400rpm hdd - that would be NO upgrade to what I already have! So basically I don't know if I am going to be bottle necked running vmware multiple machines because of that drive?

    I have thought maybe to upgrade MBP with after market SSD but then the cost starts rising to RMBP territory (15) and that's too much.

    What would you do?
     
  2. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

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    Location:
    Luzern, Switzerland
    #2
    Your VMs will be bottlenecked by the dual core CPU if you are doing any moderate work in each...
    ... just forget about your RAM and HDD issues.

    If you want to run more than 2 VMs simultaneously and decently, then I'd rather suggest you forget about the 13 inchers ( sure, you can have virtual threads / cores running, but you're just really fooling yourself if you think you'll be able to work decently that way ). Get a 15 incher with a quad CPU.

    You can upgrade to an SSD later down the road if you don't have the money now... Same for the RAM.
     
  3. monkeybagel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    United States
    #3
    What type of work are you doing in VMware?

    The MacBook Air runs VMs surprisingly well. I don't like the fact you can't upgrade it, however.

    I had a 2011 MacBook Air with 4GB and 256SSD. It ram VMs good and I could run two or three instances of Windows Server 2003 on it with no problem. If there is swapping occurring or page outs, the SSD actually hides it rather well.

    I ended up getting a 2012 15" MacBook Pro with a 512 SSD. I needed the SuperDrive, FW800, and 1GbE.
     
  4. watchthisspace macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    #4
    If you like the 13" form factor, buy a base spec and bump the CPU to a higher clocked model. Upgrade the RAM and HDD to SSD yourself. It's not hard to do.

    Otherwise, get a 15" which will run VMs much better than the 13" due to the quad core CPU. Then upgrade the RAM and HDD accordingly.

    It's much cheaper to replace the RAM and SSD yourself in the traditional 13" and 15" when compared to getting them from Apple.
     
  5. Rhinoevans macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2012
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #5

    Don't be afraid of the NON RETINA MBP.

    That is what I bought (15"), did not need the retina, and want the ability to upgrade Ram and SSD in the future. LOve the Ivy Bridge and USB 3.0.

    I wish they sold a rMBP form factor, with out the RETINA! No Optical, ethernet, and thin and light rocks.

    SHow stopper was the price to get what I wanted right NOW, 16G and 512 SSD.

    $1799 vs $2899. Easy math, even at current prices Ram is about $70 and a 512 SSD for around $400 so easy save over $600 put can upgrade even more down the road when 1TB SSD are available.

    on my base cMBP, already added 16G ram ($100, and that is actually high). Will add SSD when prices drop a bit.

    Picking up a Samsung 256 SSD this month for my Sony i7, just to see how it is, then will add to cMBP.


    Good luck
     
  6. MyAppleWorld thread starter macrumors 6502

    MyAppleWorld

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    Nov 1, 2005
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    #6

    I do not believe the CPU is my problem - I have ran windows resource monitor and the CPU is pretty idle except when booting a VM or running a process in a VM.

    My VM usage consists of running an active directory domain and exchange 2010 server (couple of mailboxes). AD runs just fine on 512mb ram, exchange however I am finding needs 4GB to "work".

    I have noticed during this usage a lot of HDD activity maxed out and I believe this is because the VMs are paging due to lack of RAM in my current machine.

    ----------

    I think the reason the air will not suit is because one of my VMs requires 4GB ram. I think this will be hard strain even on the MBP with 16gb however, this won't be very often.
    Can you say the MBA with 8gb would cope with running:
    2 x win server 2008, 1gb ram
    1 x win server 2008 (exchange) 4gb
     
  7. MyAppleWorld thread starter macrumors 6502

    MyAppleWorld

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    Birmingham, UK
    #7
    There is no 'upgrade' option on the base i5 to gain i7.

    The i7 model is a £240 premium, which I'm not sure is worth it?
     
  8. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #8
    THIS. I'm halfway expecting the next lineup iteration to replace the current Airs with a thin factor Pro non-Retina. Hopefully they do. I almost went for an Air but needed the higher processing power. I went 15" Pro as of Friday. Was going to go 13" but I really wanted a discrete graphics card.
     
  9. MyAppleWorld thread starter macrumors 6502

    MyAppleWorld

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    #9
    Thank you :) I am starting to think the same. The way I see it, the classic MBP is well refined. I have tried the rmbp 12 in stores many times and the lag is obvious when scrolling, switching desktops etc.

    The savings to be made on MBP with the ability to self install RAM and SSD are really big!
     
  10. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

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    #10
    Well, I was assuming that you need to run 4 VMs simultaneously for a reason... not just to keep them in an idle state 99% of the time. If so, then of course the CPU will not be the first bottleneck... Either way, a dual core CPU is not the ideal choice for running anything more than 2 VMs ( and by "running", again, I understand "actually using them" and not just randomly accessing them from time to time... if you just want them to be open and "ready for use", then rather add more RAM ).
     
  11. MyAppleWorld thread starter macrumors 6502

    MyAppleWorld

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    #11
    I would have all 4 booted but only performing a task in 1 or 2 at a time.
    I understand the better CPU would help, I will research the different between i7 and i5 in the 13inch. I do not want to go 15"...
     
  12. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

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    #12
    Ok, that makes sense and clears some of my questions out. Yeah, in that case, just get more RAM and an SSD if possible. I'd say RAM over SSD, but if possible, both would be ideal. If you were to use all 4 VMs at once, each doing a "decent amount of lifting", then you'd soon find yourself wishing for a quad core.

    PS: Although the highest available CPU isn't a tremendous boost compared to the i5 model, if you can afford it, then I suggest you get that too. The more you can squeeze out of that tiny notebook the better... You can upgrade the 13" cMBP yourself to 16GB of RAM which should be more than plenty for your needs.
     
  13. mslide, Nov 13, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012

    mslide macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
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    #13
    I'd buy the base model 13" non-retina MBP, put 16GB RAM in it and an SSD and see how well it performs with your VMs running. If no good, then return it. I doubt CPU will be an issue unless you are really pushing them, which it sounds like you aren't.

    You'll still be under $1500, before tax, with those upgrades. I recently went with that same computer. I didn't go for the i7 because that's $1500 and you still don't get an SSD, plus you'd probably be upgrading the RAM and HD right away. That means $300 to go from i5 to i7 and that's not worth it. Upgrade that and you're closer to $2000 than $1000 and IMO one should be getting a quad-core if spending that much on a laptop.
     
  14. MyAppleWorld thread starter macrumors 6502

    MyAppleWorld

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    Nov 1, 2005
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    Birmingham, UK
    #14
    I think the trouble is, as I haven't bought a machine in 4 years, I really don't know what todays tech is going to be like for my needs. But I think the MBP will be a very significant upgrade, essp if I get an SSD. What are your thoughts on Hybrid SSD? Ideally I would like 128gb cache with 250gb+.

    I found out the other day my RAM in current laptop is 400Mhz!!

    I do not think today is a good time to buy 2011 or 2010 MBP because of the usb 3 now available - It's a shame cos normally I would like to save money and get last gen but I think USB3 is essential now going forward.
     
  15. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

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    #15
    If you were able to get your work done on the current notebook ( which you say is severely outdated ), then chances are a new machine will be noticeably faster ( with or without an SSD ). I don't have any hands down experience with hybrid drives... only used SSDs or normal HDDs in the past, so I can't really comment on hybrids ( the idea behind them is nice, but I have no idea how they perform in real-life ).

    Worst case scenario: Get yourself a model from late last year. Definitely don't go way back to 2010... that's too far back. But, ideally, if you can, get the latest model.

    If I were you, I'd go for the 13" cMBP and upgrade it down the road if money is a problem right now... you can always add more RAM and an SSD. So... if you do get a basic 13" cMBP and plan on adding the SSD and RAM down the road, try getting the CPU upgrade. Again, it will not be a tremendous boost, but IMO, it's worth the additional bucks.
     
  16. wabbit42 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    #16
    The VMs will be more ram hungry than CPU hungry, so you probably don't need it.

    Also, you will notice the difference between a Core 2 Duo and an i5 - mine doubled in speed from my mini to MBP.
     
  17. azentropy macrumors 68000

    azentropy

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    #17
    I agree. Unless you are constantly running cpu intensive processes on each VM - RAM is more important than CPU. For the way I use VM, usually 3 or 4 up at a time, I'd rather have 16gb of ram and a dual-core processor than 8gb of RAM and a quad-core processor.
     
  18. MyAppleWorld thread starter macrumors 6502

    MyAppleWorld

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    Nov 1, 2005
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    Birmingham, UK
    #18
    I just noticed that the current MBP 13Inch i5 doesn't support Virtualization Technology Directed I/O (VTd).

    Whereas the i7 does.

    I am hoping this is not a problem - from what I can tell VTd (not VTx) is a ESX feature only.
     
  19. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

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    #19
    Both should have the feature, maybe you're looking at a wrong i5 model. As for upgrades: my simple rule of thumb is: "max out everything you can't upgrade later down the road." But well, everyone should do as he / she thinks is best.
     
  20. MyAppleWorld thread starter macrumors 6502

    MyAppleWorld

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    Birmingham, UK
    #20
    well i have just clicked the button and ordered my new mbp 13" base with i5.

    i will now order the 16gb ram online and research my ssd options!!

    thanks everybody
     
  21. vpro macrumors 65816

    vpro

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    #21
    Success !

    I'd say this is a sweet success yeah? Congrats !!! ^_^
     
  22. cire1244 macrumors regular

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    Jul 8, 2008
    #22
    I just bought (and am currently using!) the $1499 13" non-retina MBP and am THRILLED with my purchase. We're talking a 13" monitor here, and the LED-backlit screen looks great to me. True, it's not as amazing as the retina, but I really don't feel like I'm missing out.

    In terms of the size, it's a 13", which I love. I can withstand the extra pound and the extra inch thickness for a MUCH larger HD, $500 saved, an ethernet port and not having to worry (or buying) an external ODD. Oh, and a faster i7 processor!! And not having to worry about the countless problems/headaches that people have been posting about rMBPs.

    In time, I might invest in an SSD. But only when I can get 512GB at a reasonable price at least. My 5 year old Macbook had 250GB, so I'm not about to settle for less capacity - that's just silly in my mind.

    No regrets AT ALL here!
     
  23. MyAppleWorld thread starter macrumors 6502

    MyAppleWorld

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    #23
    Cool, I was definitely considering the i7 but I would have been paying £214 more just for the CPU because the additional HDD space and 8gb ram were worthless to me seeing as I am replacing them!

    £214 certainly buys me my 16gb and ssd upgrade! or almost an ipad mini!!
     
  24. cire1244 macrumors regular

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    Jul 8, 2008
    #24
    Can't argue with that decision. For me, the i7 makes a difference, as I do sometimes do some computationally intense stuff. And I'm not ready to switch to SSD yet (like I said, I want at least 512GB). But kudos to you! I think you'll be happy with your purchase.
     

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