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Internaut

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
My current Mac is a 2011 MacBook Air (13") and I'm starting to look at options for an upgrade. No rush, but with the current pound/dollar exchange rate I suspect prices will be going up here in the UK. I have a 6% discount through beloved employer. A retina MacBook pro seems the obvious choice for me, as I need two USB 3 ports for backing up one 2TB disk to another. As I edit photos (Lightroom and Photoshop), the retina display seems to make sense. I think the 13" model should be fine for me.

But here's a question: How well do MacBook's run VMs? My corporate Dell From Hell struggles to run more than one VM at a time. I have in mind a small lab setup. Nothing heavy - I'm talking of running two Linux VMs at a time, to test out various ideas. I'm not a software developer (well haven't been, since the turn of the century), but I do a lot of shell scripting (Bash, with awk, expect and other common UNIX tools). How well is a MacBook with a dual core processor going to cope with this?
 

maflynn

Moderator emeritus
May 3, 2009
69,969
38,303
I think the 15" MBP would be a better choice in running VMs, first its a quad core, and its an i7. I think you may need something better suited to running more then one VM.

My 2012 rMBP which is a 15" model, runs VMs very nicely.
 

Count Blah

macrumors 68040
Jan 6, 2004
3,174
2,725
US of A
My 15" 2012 cMBP also runs VMs very well. If my initial requirement in buying a machine, is running multiple VMs, I'd do a little research into how well dual cores perform - regardless of MAC/PC. I doubt you will get a good feel, by simply asking in here, as most local folks I recall talking about multiple VMs, pretty much went with the 15" model.

Good luck!!
 
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SoundsEclectic

macrumors newbie
May 19, 2016
27
6
Go with the 15". Although I mainly run 1 VM which is a Windows 10 work VM with MS Direct Access for seamless internal network access, I do run an Ubuntu VM at the same time and it's pretty smooth.
 

Johbremat

macrumors regular
Feb 8, 2011
149
16
Would recommend the 15" over 13" myself, @Internaut.

@ErnstStavroBlohard: VMware Fusion on an OS X host; VMware ESXi on bare metal. Though looking at Hyper-V Server or Windows Server w/ Hyper-V to take advantage of functionality only available with a 4-digit VMware vSphere license.
 

leman

macrumors P6
Oct 14, 2008
16,984
14,689
It depends on what you want to do. If its a light server in one VM and some testing in another one, a 13" with 8GB might be absolutely sufficient (especially if you choose an appropriate distribution and avoid running GIU in the VM), even though 16GB might be a safer choice. I think that the dual-core will be a limitation only if you want to do a lot of stuff in the VMs at the same time.
 

snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
5,905
487
VM's like RAM. Unless what you do in them is very processor intensive, a dual core should fare quite well.
 
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