MB Air VirtualBox performance

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by r0bot, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. r0bot macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2016
    #1
    Hi guys,
    I am weighing in buying the newest macbook air with 8 gigs of ram and 256 ssd. My question is, can someone who own the device post some performance tests/comment etc. about how it fairs under this conditions: have VirtualBox with Ubuntu running inside it (Redis and MongoDB running inside the Ubuntu), also have XCode\Android Studio or WebStorm open and a browser with about 20-30 tabs and a mail client + Spotify. Is the machine responsive is any lag/stutter present and is the Ubuntu UI usable.
    I will be very grateful if anyone can post his experience with this setup and is the performance good enough for this to be used as a main machine.
    Thank you.
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
  3. r0bot thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2016
    #3
    That is not hard to assume. But I am looking for portability as this laptop will be used when i travel. I have powerful machines at home so as work but I travel around. The thing is I am PC user and i am considering switching to mac for my mobile needs as the build quality is much better when it comes to laptops. Also unix compatibility of macOS is nice to have. I am not sure about the performance of macs as i have rarely used one.
     
  4. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Location:
    Land of Bongos and Beatniks
    #4
    I run multiple VMs on my 2014 4GB/128GB 11" MBA. I run WinXP, Win 98, Win 311, and DOS VMs. Using VirtualBox is not the primary task that I have for my MBA, so I would recommend the 13" 8GB/256GB MBA for that.
     
  5. Saturn1217 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    #5
    I used to use virtual box to run some windows only scientific software. Running Windows 7 it worked just fine on a 2013 MBA with 8gb ram, 256gb SSD. The speed of the newer SSDs makes a huge difference for virtual box performance (in my experience). You might still want 16gb at some point (if you are doing heavy multitasking) but otherwise it should be fine.
     
  6. anotherscotsman macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    Regularly use my 2014 13" i7 8gb/256gb with VirtualBox to run a range of scientific and technical software under Windows with no problem, usually in parallel with Office for Mac. Usually start-up is faster in VirtualBox than on the Windows laptop I sometimes use (Dell i5 HDD) likely a function of the SSD in the MBA - overall performance is subjectively as goos.
     
  7. kiwipeso1 Suspended

    kiwipeso1

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2001
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #7
    8GB really isn't enough for virtual machines and programming at the same time.
    You will need 16GB to be sure that you keep it at full speed.
    Then for the usage of virtual machines and programming, you'd want a quad core i7, so the 15" MBP is the one.

    As I have a 2013 MBA 13" i7 8GB with 256GB SSD, I think you'll find that you'll run out of room on the 256 if you want the android source code.
    Additionally, it doesn't have enough ram to handle virtual machines and programming at the same time.

    I'll be getting the new MBP 15" top model, and gifting the MBA to my better half.
     
  8. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #8
    While you will be able to run VMs on the MBA, as other mentioned RAM and HD space will give you a headache.

    I use VMs heavily. While CPU should be ok (each real core will give you 2 virtual cores in the VM), for any server type of work (DB, App Servers) + the OS, you will need to give the VM around 4GB to be comfortable. Depending what software you install in the VM, you can easily hit 50GB after heavy use.

    If you are like me and you use Snapshots in virtual box to save states, or create different versions of the VMs, that disk space will be gobbled up in no time.

    I would recommend the 13" MBP i7, 16GB/500GB SSD.
     
  9. kiwipeso1 Suspended

    kiwipeso1

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2001
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #9
    The 13" MBP, like the 13" MBA, is dual core only. So you'll only get 4 threads and not enough for what the OP is wanting to do.
     
  10. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #10
    Unless the OP talks about heavy computing, this should be enough.
     

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