rMBP Dual Core or Quad Core for Developer?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rankone, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. rankone macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    #1
    Hey Everyone,

    I'm looking at the $1499 version of the 13" rMBP and would probably bump the RAM up to 16GB and connect it to an external monitor. My question is would the Dual core be sufficient if apart from browsing, listening to music & watching HD movies, I'll be mainly using it for Xcode and Bootcamp/Parallels to do development work on Windows 7. Do you guys think the Dual Core will be able to handle this or should I be looking at the 15" rMBP?

    Thanks
     
  2. theKitch macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #2
    Depending on how large your dev projects are you might see considerable reduction in compile waits. I think that anytime you are planning to do virtualization work that the extra CPU is going to help out quite a bit, even more so if you are running multiple virtual OSes.

    I've been working on a similar decision with a similar workload (plus a lot of Lightroom and a bit of video editing for demos) and in the end, I think I'm going to go for the 15". I'm almost always working on an external display, but the extra real estate will be nice, especially given that the 15 will be more capable of driving multiple displays. I balked a little bit at having a larger machine to lug around, but I think it's going to be beneficial in the end since I'm typically working at a desk, not mobile.

    I want to hold on to this laptop for 4 years or so (like my current 09 MBP) and the real killer for me is how much storage and RAM do I really want in this thing. I'm using about 160gigs of storage now (most of my photos archived on external storage) and I did a little test on the memory front this morning.

    I didn't need any swap in Mavericks with 8GB ram and running the following:
    - Full screen Lightroom 4.4 (30k + photos)
    - IBM Notes 9.0 (I'm an IBMer)
    - VirtualBox with Ubuntu 13.10 running a few terminal instances and firefox (2GB RAM)
    - 30+ tabs of Safari
    - 2 large powerpoint presentations

    That's more extreme than my usual workload by quite a bit. The memory compression in Mavericks really works in this case.

    I'm going to be a cheapskate and go for the base 15 with 2.0/8/256.
     
  3. rankone thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    #3
    Thanks for the response, yeah I'm still undecided even though the 15 inch model would be the safer option, for some reason the 13 inch with 16GB RAM looks like the best bang for the buck. But I think it comes down to personal usage & I'd probably benefit more with the quad core.
     
  4. theKitch macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #4
    Poking around on my 15" now!

    I have to say, if nothing else, the bigger screen is pretty awesome. I love my 27" display, but I can see myself getting away from the desk and using the 15" standalone WAY more often. Blazingly fast.
     
  5. mingoglia macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    #5
    I'm having the same dilemma, though I'll be upgrading from a 2010 17" MBP with an i7 and 8 gig of RAM. Since my existing MBP is a dual core and it's worked fine for my needs thus far, I'm sure the dual core will be fine. I'm still bummed I can't get the quad in the 13" though.
     
  6. Jason HB macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    #6
    I ordered a maxed out 15" for my development system. My first Apple laptop. I wanted all the power I could get.

    I'll be doing boot camp with Visual Studio on Win 8.

    Still not sure I made the right choice. I almost got the new Dell XPS 15. It seems like a very nice machine.
     
  7. rankone thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    #7
    Glad to see I'm not the only one, I'll probably make the purchase in a few weeks so I still have some time to decide.
     
  8. aixki macrumors member

    aixki

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    Location:
    Aix-en-Provence, FRANCE
    #8
    Don't you think that the high-end 15" model with a dedicated gpu would be more suited for your needs, especially for Lightroom and external monitor ? I exactly have the same needs as you and I'm still hesitating between base upgraded model or high end model...
     
  9. theKitch macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #9
    I'm running dual monitor with a 27" external and the 15" running at 1920x1200 mode. I like desktop space. I've not run into any situations where the display has been laggy or annoying. Running full screen Lightroom on the 27 and scrolling through 1000s of thumbnails in grid view while playing youtube 1080p on the laptop display is no problem at all. Could the scrolling be smoother in LR? Sure, panning 16MB raw files at 1:1 zoom isn't 60fps, but it's more than I could ever need to navigate files cleanly for editing.

    Note that I'm also running plenty of safari tabs (including that 1080p clip), calendar, mail, IBM Lotus Notes, two large powerpoint documents. Note that Mavericks is dipping into a little bit of Compressed Memory, but no swap.

    I've also done a bit of playing around with Parallels running a Win8.1 VM and an Ubuntu 13.04 VM at the same time as the above workload minus Lightroom.

    I think that the L4 cache memory/Crystalwell is really what enables this integrated GPU to deliver great desktop performance. It doesn't need to crunch ridiculous numbers for 3D, it just needs crazy throughput for pushing pixels.
     
  10. aixki macrumors member

    aixki

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    Location:
    Aix-en-Provence, FRANCE
    #10
    Thanks a lot for your report ! It sounds like I will probably go for the base model with faster i7, 512 ssd and 16gb ram. One last question : there's still no lag when you use your retina at full resolution + external 27" monitor ?

    Thanks!
     
  11. theKitch macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #11
    No general lag with retina at full (1920x1200) and external 27 (2560x1440). The Verge still has a little bit of lag (noticeable but very minor), that page is rough, but every other app and site that I am using is very smooth.

    As far as getting the fast i7, you ought to consider what you are going to use that really pushes it. Even when I'm transcoding video or exporting huge numbers of RAW/JPEG files I don't feel like it's pegging all four cores. I guess I need to be using more pro level apps to really stretch it?
     

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