i5 with 8gb RAM or i7 with 4gb RAM for 15"MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by seventy9ers, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. seventy9ers macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2010
    I am torn between getting the base model with upgraded 8gb RAM or the i7 with 4gb RAM?

    I plan to run Windows 7 64bit on VMWARE Fusion... Which model will offer the best performance???

  2. snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    The ram is upgradeable. The cpu is not.

    That said, if you never think you'd up grade the ram (would mean buying two 4GB sticks at some point), then 8GB would probably be better. 4GB total, will run a VM, but 8GB would make the computer more happy.

    i7 bencmarks looks good though. I'd get the i7 and hope to upgrade that ram in the next year or so.
  3. vasuba macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2010
    The i7 is basically an i5 with an extra MB of cache. Benchmarks show that it offers a single digit performance boost over the i5. You are probably gonna get a bigger boost from the extra ram than you will from the i5.
  4. csnplt macrumors 6502


    Aug 29, 2008
    Chicago Area
    I would recommend the base i5 model, 4 GB of RAM, and a nice SSD (not from Apple, though. The Intel G2 SSD's are a much better value).

    Honestly, the speedup that you'll get from the SSD is much more noticeable than a slightly faster processor or more RAM. 4 GB is plenty.

    If you'd like, you can even replace the DVD drive with the SSD, and leave your original HDD in its place, so you have enough storage and more than enough speed :)
  5. MikhailT macrumors 601

    Nov 12, 2007
    The SSD itself will make the biggest performance gain for VM stuff but the issue with SSD is that the capacity is still small at this moment. Do not buy RAM/SSD from Apple, get it from third party.

    You can always upgrade the RAM/Hard drive, so it should not be a factor in your mind. The only question you should ask is how big of a difference between the base CPU and i7. You should wait for reviews and see. I doubt it'll be any more than 5-15%. So is the extra cost justified for 5% extra speed? Probably not if you can spend it on getting SSD/RAM instead.

    The prices for both SSD/RAM will continue to drop over time, you can save more money by getting the base model and wait till the price go down. Intel G3 is scheduled for the fall/winter and should double the capacity for almost the same price.
  6. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    i5, 4GB RAM, SSD

    If you can't spend money on SSD, get extra RAM. You could really use it for the VM.
  7. elpmas macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2009
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    ssd is always worth the money :D
    i7....too much power if one doesn't do much ;D
  8. snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    You guys are kind of missing the point, for running VMs, it would be nice to have more than 4GB of ram, maybe even more so than an SSD

    with 4GB of ram total, both the host OSX and the VM are running pretty thin
  9. seventy9ers thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2010
    Thank you All

    Thank you for your replies... I didn't know the SSD Drive will be helpful in performance, always thought it was more of a safety feature for not having any moving part like a regular drive.

    Does the SSD improve battery life, drain battery life or indifference???
  10. snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    SSDs are very very fast and are usually the single best performance upgrade you can make, they do run cool and use less power

    if you have identified running a VM as one of your primary uses though, more RAM will be more useful, and you'd probably have to get at least a $$256GB SSD$$ to have enough room to run everything
  11. seventy9ers thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2010
    Yeah the one I just looked at was the Intel X-25M 160Gb for $400+ :eek: or upgrading to 2X4gb RAM also runs about $300+ :eek:

    How much RAM should I dedicate for the VM for Windows7 64bits??
  12. snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    I'd split it 4GB for OSX and 4GB for the VM

    You could get away with a 5/3 split, just depends what software you will be running at the same time on either OS.

    Enough ram will keep you from hitting the page file and virtual memory schemes, and 500GB 7200rpm is still far from awful while providing plenty of storage...

    I suspect SSD prices will drop quite a bit over the next 12-18 months... no harm in waiting, and breathing a whole new life into your then used lappy

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