MBP i5 vs i7 - Running VM's

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by akwilliams, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. akwilliams macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2013
    Hey all,

    Could someone point me in the right directon before i go out and buy.

    I am looking to buy a MBP. Apart from everyday use as a laptop, i would like to use it to run Server 2008 Vm's via VirtualBox. At the most it would be 2x W2k8 servers and a Win7 client.

    I know VM's are hungry on RAM, so that would be upgraded to 16gb - My biggest dilema is should i go for an i5 or an i7?

    I not convinced that the retina will be too much of an advantage for me, but i have not ruled it out completly.

    If anyone could offer some advice it would be appreciated.

  2. MyMac1976 macrumors 6502


    Apr 14, 2013
    I run Win 7, Kali, and Arch all in VB all at the same time on a C2D with 8GB RAM.
  3. akwilliams thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2013
    Is that on an i5 or i7 processor?
  4. MyMac1976 macrumors 6502


    Apr 14, 2013
    It's on a Core Two Duo (C2D) that would be the generation before i5/i7.
  5. akwilliams thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2013
    thanks, so by the sound of it the i5 on 16gb of Ram would certainly meet my needs.
  6. AaronM5670 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 19, 2012
    If you can afford the i7, go for it, if you can't - don't, simple.
  7. casw1000 macrumors member

    May 6, 2005
    If it's of any help. I am in the market for a MBPr and I personally holding out in the hoping that the soont to maybe happen spec upgrade will include pcie flash storage.

    I have a Dell XPS laptop with C2D cpu. I use VMware 9 workstation and with 8 gb ram, I do run 2x W2K8r2 servers, 1x W2k12 server, a ubuntu and Win7 desktop. Now the memory is ok, however its the disk access that slows down my vm's. With even the current generation MBP, the storage is fast, so this coupled with an I5 or i7 you'll have a great machine.

    I personally find that having hyper-threading allows me to allocate more 'threads' to a particular vm if needed. I would rather pay to the extra threading abilities than not have them. Of course, applications need to be multi threading aware to benefit from using them. Anyway, I hope this is of help. I am going to be buying the 15" with 16gb ram and around 512gb PCiE storage [hopefully].
    Good luck and enjoy whatever you purchase.
  8. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
  9. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
    VMs and dual core processors (the i5) are not a good combination, because virtualization software needs real processor cores. HT does not count, because this provides just a virtual, hardware managed thread on the same processor core. The i7 Quad-Core is a better choice. This processor has also more L2/L3 cache, IIRC, and this is important for VMs.
  10. akwilliams thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2013
    Just got back from getting one. Ended up getting the MBP i7 8gb Ram, 256gb SSD with Retina.

    My job got me a nice 10% discount so it eneded up being a viable option.

    Many thanks to all those who replied. Hope this also helps out others with the same question.
  11. KeegM480 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 13, 2013
    Orlando, FL
    If money is an issue just stick with the i5. I just upgraded to the i7, it is faster but its not too much faster. If you have the money do it. If not its not a big deal.
  12. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008
    i7 will be a noticeable improvement.

    Having said that, I used to rock a Core2Duo MBP and had no issue running one VM at a time on it. More than one would choke a bit. More than two... unpleasant. Of course, that machine could only accommodate 8GB RAM.

    So, go for the i7, SSD and 16GB if you can. But, of those three, the RAM is the most important for VM usage, in my experience.

    And, when setting up your VM, don't allocate more cores than you need.
  13. DaCurmudgen macrumors regular

    Aug 5, 2012
    16GB, i7, and SSD and you can't lose

    I use a VM on my Mac for work-related stuff. I have a MacBook Pro 2.6 GHz i7 with 16GB and 750 GB hard drive (7200 RPM). The performance is fine, but if I had to anything differently, I would have swapped out the 750 GB for a 512GB SSD. Good luck.

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