parallels on Air vs Pro (8 gigs, i5, both 13")

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by chris654, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. chris654 macrumors newbie

    Apr 11, 2010
    I'm trying to decide between a 13" Air vs 13" Pro both configured with 8 gigs ram and i5. I'll be running parallels and running images of Win2008, Ubuntu, Win7. I'll probably be running at least two at a time. I know VM's need ram so thats why the 8 gigs but I think the pro can handle upto 16 gigs. Storage I'm planning on an external harddrive (non-ssd). I don't think running VM's is processor intensive but mainly just RAM. How well would the Air run these VM's? I like the portablity of the Air but don't want to have a sluggish computer. Also accessing the non-ssd external drive will probably have a performance hit. What would be recommended?

  2. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    I've done Vmware w/ a Windows 7 VM on my 2011 13" Air w/ only 4GB of RAM. It's doable but not great. However, if I had 8GB of RAM it wouldn't be a big deal at all. With either computer, since they only have a dual core processor, you won't be able to do anything super processor intensive on the VM or the computer at the same time (unless you have a lot of time on your hands :) ). However, the 15" with quad core is fantastic for VM's since you can allocate 1 core to the VM and leaves 3 cores open for OSX IF you want to do something processor intensive wile running a VM (or you can flop the core count if the VM is where the processor intensive task is). This is why I bought a 2011 15" Macbook Pro for better experience in VM's.

    In the end, core count might be your biggest bottleneck.
  3. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    I would bet that either one would run the VMs fine as long as the RAM is maxed out. I say this because I have a 2009 iMac that is maxed out at 8GB with a 2.66GHz C2D. Just be sure to always have slightly more than the minimum RAM available for OS X so you can run the others without problems.

    I actually just installed XP, Mint, and Ubuntu yesterday as VMs on Virtualbox and forgot to pay attention to the proper RAM allocation for each of these. oops.

    Because you want to run more than one VM at the same tie and you'll be working the RAM and GPU, I would recommend the MBP because it is more powerful, and more expandable, and can grow with you for at least a while.

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