i5 vs i7 for Parallels / VMWare / VirtualBox

Discussion in 'iMac' started by coolspot18, May 14, 2011.

  1. coolspot18 macrumors 65816

    Aug 16, 2010
    Hello Everyone,

    Are there any benchmarks comparing the different 2011 iMac configurations for virtualization? I'm planning on running OSX along with Windows 7.

    Do you guys think it's worth the i7 upgrade on the 21.5 or 27" for virtualization?
  2. Dresevski macrumors 6502

    May 6, 2011
    I think it's worth it, that's why I did it! I also plan on running some more demanding Windows programs so I felt I'd want the power anyway, not to mention minor futureproofing
  3. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    I think the i7 is a great processor, but virtualization wouldn't be one of my motivating factors in the decision. I run Vista in a VM on a Core 2 Extreme with no issues - neither an i5 nor an i7 should have any trouble.
  4. jduffy macrumors member

    May 1, 2011
    I have a 21.5 2011 iMac - the basic entry level system. I upgraded the memory to 8GBs (would have been 12GBs, but Crucial sent a bad DIMM and replacement is on the way) and it runs VMWare Fusion with XP and/or Windows 7 without any issues whatsoever. In fact, I have never had a Windows system that booted XP (pro BTW) as fast as this system does. VMWare pretty efficient so I don't think you have to overpay for the processor upgrade....just buy more memory.

  5. patp77 macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2007
    I wouldn't say that it's necessary for virtualization specifically but more so for future proofing. For virtualization, RAM will be one of your key upgrades. However, it's not every day that you can spend $200 to get a 20% performance boost in the 21.5" configuration or a 40% boost in the 27" configuration.
  6. MacAndMic macrumors 6502

    Jun 4, 2009
    I know with parallels you can specify the amount of cpu's to dedicate to the virtual machine, I am sure most VM software is that way. Since the i7 has more threads you can dedicate more to the vm.

    I look at processors the same way I look at engines. If I can get a V8 instead of a V6, I buy it. I may not need the V8 that often but when I tie something onto the hitch, I sure do appreciate that I have it.
  7. coolspot18 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 16, 2010
    Thanks for the input, seems like the i7 is a tossup as to whether I'll need it or not.

    Its too bad the 21.5" doesn't have the 27" i7 CPU, in that case it would have been an easier decision.

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