Newbie with a few queries

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by d8v1d, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. d8v1d macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    #1
    Hi There,

    I'm really tempted to get myself an Apple Macbook Pro, and am currently looking at the 15" 2.4Ghz system with the i5 processor in. The reasons why i want an Apple Mac is I really want to get to know the OS better as I'm not a fan of Windows 7 at all. Plus i want the option to take my studying around with me.

    There are a few queries i have regards to this laptop which i hope you guys can help with;

    1) Will this system be powerful enough to run a Windows Server 2008 virtual machine using software such as Parallels? Specwise i would have thought so but i was hoping that someone who reads this might have done such a thing. This is just for a testing environment.

    2) Will the hard disk speed (5200 rpm) be fast enough for vitual systems? I know some Dell Laptops run like a dog with slow drives in.

    3) Is it worth upgrading to the high res screen. Laptop will just be used for running virtual machines and internet/ email access

    Thanks in advance,

    David
     
  2. Nugget macrumors 65816

    Nugget

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    Houston Texas USA
    #2
    Absolutely, but virtualization wants RAM and I'd seriously consider bumping the laptop up to 8GB of memory if this were something you plan to run routinely. It's a $167 upgrade (from Crucial) which is cheap for the extra breathing room. Start with 4GB if you want and keep an eye on RAM usage, but I suspect you might find the 8GB a worthwhile investment.

    Yeah, absolutely, as long as you avoid swapping.

    I love the high res screen, but things do look "tiny" on it. I think you can never have too many pixels. Between the high res screen or 8GB of RAM I'd take the RAM, though.
     
  3. d8v1d thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    #3
    Brilliant, thanks Nugget

    I really want to keep costs down at the moment. To be honest, I'll be running a couple of 2003 servers on the system before 2008. Gotta finish off my MCSE.

    I thought the RAM would be ok but it was more the hard disk that bothered me.

    One other slight concern is that Apple in the not so distant future release a Macbook with USB 3 support which would be handy.

    Again thanks for the response.

    David
     
  4. d8v1d thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    #4
    Woo hoo

    Hi Nugget,

    I thought i would just follow this up to let you know I took the plunge and purchased a MBP. 15" 2.4Ghz i5 with 4GB of RAM. So far its been a joy to use, although i find myself every so often doing "how to i searchs" online. But after a while you soon get used to where eveything is.

    I am running Parrallels on the computer with a Windows XP guest OS which is running very well. I have yet to put Microsoft Server 2008 on it but Im sure it will be fine.

    Thanks for the advice,

    David.
     
  5. bigjobby macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Location:
    London, UK
    #5
    If you're planning to run more than one VM, I would strongly consider upping your RAM to at least 6GB.

    Oh! Well done on getting the MBP... tis a wicked unit!
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #6
    Get the faster drive.

    You'll not be able to avoid swapping with vmware or parallels. Given that you'll be wanting to run windows server in a VM, I'd also upgrade the ram to as much as possible. 6gb is the minimum, because you'll want to give windows server 4gb, depending on what you'll be running on the guest OS.
     
  7. d8v1d thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    #7
    I think for now I might get away with upgrading as I'm running 2x 2003 VMs on my intel duo core with 3GB of ram and thats not too bad, so fingers crossed. I think it might struggle with 2008. My initial concern was the speed of the disk but that seems fine.

    David
     
  8. d8v1d thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    #8
    The VMs won't be serving any clients, It will just be testing a few things here and there.

    David
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #9
    I support windows servers for my job, all are under VMware ESX and I find the ones that only have 2GB are the ones that perform the worst.

    If you're not planning on running anything demanding, then you could probably get away with 2gb for the guest host.

    As the other poster mentioned, you definitely want at least 6gb if you plan on running multiple guest OSs at the same time.

    Personally, I'd go with VMware for this, they have a proven track record, Fusion is a much more stable product and the support is top notch. When ever I had to log a service ticket, I've gotten responses back in a few hours.

    Parallels, while giving you a faster VM for opengl and directx does so at the expense of stability. Just look at their forums for the complaints about its bugginess and poor support. Given that you'll be running a server OS, I think stability is a better facet over directx speed.
     
  10. d8v1d thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    #10
    Thanks maflynn,

    The two Windows 2003 servers run quite happily on my home computer using Vitual PC. They each only have 256Mb allocated to them. They won't be used for anything other than doing some practise sims for mcse exams etc.

    I am beginning to think VMWare will be better for this, but if Microsoft Virtual PC is available for mac i guess that would do.

    David
     
  11. Nugget macrumors 65816

    Nugget

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    Houston Texas USA
    #11
    VirtualPC is not available for Intel Macs. It's a deprecated product that dates back to the olden times when Macs used Motorola CPUs and was never ported to the x86 architecture.

    Your two options for virtualization are VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop. There are ups and downs to both products and they seem to leapfrog each other with releases with regard to stability and features. Generally VMware is less fancy, more stable, and marginally slower. The VMware devs seem to favor stable over fast and Parallels is quicker to add new features or performance optimizations even if it means things get a little flaky sometimes. Overall they're both solid products, though, and either would work just great for what you're doing.
     
  12. Blu101 macrumors 6502a

    Blu101

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    #12
    Get the hi-res screen, you'll be glad you did.

    Get a 7200RPM HDD from Amazon and do your own install, if possible. Very easy and affordable (there are youtube how to's available). You will easily notice the speed increase on boot up and load times of large programs/files.

    Get the 8gigs of RAM once you can. It's getting cheaper and cheaper by the month. OWC is now only ~$126. Again, install it yourself. Even easier than the HDD.
     
  13. Hellios macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2011
    #13
    Ps3 or macbook pro 13 inche's

    I can't decide between the ps3 and the macbook pro
    Wich one should i buy? Can somebody advise me?:confused:
    :D
     
  14. warvanov macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    #14
    wtf?
     

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