Need advice: will I see better speed.....

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by killerbee79, Apr 22, 2011.

  1. killerbee79 macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2008
    I currently have a late 2008 MacBook with 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo, 4 Gigs of RAM, 5400 RPM hard drive.

    I work in OSX 65-70% of time and Windows 7 64bit the rest. I use Parallels 5 to do this. I prefer Parallels over Bootcamp for ease of back up of my Win 7, to copy/paste between the two, and various other reasons.

    However by using Windows 7 like this, it really bogs down my Macbook and can be a pain many times, very annoying.

    I put an SSD in my Macbook and noticed a huge boost to speed and ability to run my Win 7 VM. All slow down went away. The bad part is that after a month or two of this the SSD would freak out to the point I couldn't boot the Mac at all, something in the SSD would corrupt. So I would have to wipe it out and reinstall everything (OSX and all) from Time Machine. This "cycle" would repeat every month or two. So a SSD is not a solution, the VM messes it up.

    My question to you all is would getting the 15" Quad core Macbook Pro allow me to see better performance when I have my Win 7 VM running.

    I could then assign 2 of the 4 cores to Win 7 and up the total RAM to 4 gigs for Mac and 4 gigs for Win 7 (8 gig total in the computer).

    My current Macbook is maxed out with 4 gigs RAM (my model can't go to 8) so I can only have 2 gigs each. With 64 bit Win 7 it really should have 4 gigs.

    Anyone have any experience with running Win 7 in Parallels on the older and newest models? Will I see "boggyness" go away or will the fact that it still uses the same hard drive mean no dice and it will perform the same as with my current Macbook?
  2. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    If you're coming from a late-2008 MacBook to the new i5 or i7 MacBook Pro, you're going to notice/feel a difference.

    As for your RAM issue, I believe 8 GB will work (unsupported by Apple) with the correct firmware.


    Your SSD shouldn't be doing that so you might want to try to research as to why that is happening. But like I said earlier, the new MacBook Pro will definitely be faster but if you're comfortable with current MacBook, try to find out why your SSD is acting up and then add 8 GB of RAM.
  3. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    From benchmarks done by many, it appears that more ram into a virtual machine doesn't exactly make it run faster.

    Dedicating more cores does, on multi-tasking or multi-core aware applications.

    Currently, I use my Bootcamp Partition in a VM (Parallels 6 here, a lot faster then Parallels 5 imo) for IE with heavy flash/javascript/SVG. Even though I have 8GB total, I only dedicate 1GB with 2 Cores (I have 2 Core/4 Thread) to the VM and it flies better then with 1 Core & 2+ GB.

    It really depends on how you do. Experiment a little and see which is the sweet spot.

    An SSD shouldn't "randomly crash/error" after a month or so. There's something wrong with the SSD itself if that happens. I'd get that checked out before completely throwing away SSDs.

    Coming from a 2006, 17" MacBook Pro with a 2.16GHz Core Duo and 2GB ram, I have to admit, running the virtual machine didn't seem like a "huge" performance boost at all. It felt the same except I have more breathing room between the two systems (on cores and ram capacity). I guess it was because both the former and the current systems had 7200RPM hard drives, which is a bottleneck when it comes to VMs.
  4. killerbee79 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2008
    I hope you're talking about the 2011 Quad core model.

    I've researched the RAM thing heavily and my model won't support 8 Gigs of RAM. I just missed the revision that would support it in mid 2009 (I think?).

    I'm just assuming that the virtual Win 7 running for long periods of time is wreaking havoc on the SSD after a month or 2 of use.

    Anyone have experience with using parallels before/after upgrade?
  5. mediasorcerer macrumors regular

    Oct 30, 2010
    new machines will definately run parellels better,you may need to update the firmware on your ssd,!!! check manufacturers website for that.or,send it back if that dont work,vm should not be buggering ssd.more ram will help for sure,but new machine will be huge jump in perf.
  6. kappaknight macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2009
    I run VM Ware but the SSD upgrade was really the only thing that made a difference. Even with 6GB (late 2008) or 8GB (2011 MBP) of RAM, Win 7 bootup was still taking awhile before the SSD was the main hard drive.

    Something isn't right in your setup... do you often sleep it with the VM running? I only use VM about 2% of my time doing accounting so I always sleep it or shut it down completely before putting the MBP to sleep. That may or may not help with your corruption issue.
  7. ssmed macrumors 6502


    Sep 28, 2009
  8. killerbee79 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2008
    I don't really care how long it takes for the Win 7 VM to boot. I can be patient for that. All I'm concerned with is how the computer as a whole runs while both OSX and Win 7 VM are running. I usually sleep the VM when I'm done using it, I never sleep my Macbook with the VM running. I also rarely shut down the VM before closing parallels, I just sleep it.

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