Running multiple VMs on i7

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Brandino147, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. Brandino147 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2011
    #1
    I'm trying to decide on which iMac I want to get and it looks like the best value for what I need is probably a 2011 27" 2.93ghz i7 which I'll upgrade the RAM to 16GB on. My question is does anybody have experience running this configuration or similar with multiple virtual machines in VMWARE Fusion? I need to run around 3 Windows Server VMs simultaneously and just want to make sure this config will do it smoothly.

    Thanks
     
  2. Ungibbed macrumors 6502

    Ungibbed

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    Should be no problem at all.

    If I can do it with my Core 2 Duo on my MBP, I'm quite sure you won't have any problems.

    Just balance the extra RAM on your Mac for each VM running.

    With my 8GB physical limit on my 13" I still managed to run Windows 7 Pro, XP Professional, and even Vista Ultimate just for kicks running all on Parallels 7 and OS X Lion.

    Fired up other apps to stress my system including iTunes, 1080p video playback in QuickTime X, and other apps.

    :D
     
  3. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #3
    I frequently run two simultaneous VMs on my 2009 i7 iMac and occasionally more. I don't recall the CPU ever being the bottleneck -- the disk drive is usually the limiting factor.
     
  4. Brandino147 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2011
    #4
    Do you feel the 7200RPM drive that comes with the iMac is sufficient or would I need to consider upgrading to a SSD to smoothly run 3 VMs and still be able to use the machine for everyday tasks like web, email, Office, etc?
     
  5. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #5
    It really depends on what you're doing with the VMs. I used an i7-based system with 12 GB RAM, with the primary OS, apps, data, etc, on a 7200 RPM drive, and the VMs running off an SSD. I often ran four VMs that were fairly heavy load (server apps) and the host OS only became slow when I ran out of RAM.

    RAM is by far the biggest limiter when running multiple VMs. Go for as much RAM as you can afford.
     
  6. LostSoul80 macrumors 68020

    LostSoul80

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #6
    Virtual machines suck a lot of RAM, so go for it.
    However if you perform serious read/write tasks I'd find a compromise and buy an SSD. If you do not require very snappy responses in read/write (for example, operations involving large databases or scanning data from very large files and so on) you have no real reason to worry about the 7200 rpm HDD.
     
  7. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #7
    I totally agree with others that it depends on what you are doing. I set up VMs to use a single processor and up to 2GB RAM depending on OS and task. I've got enough RAM and enough processor cores that I don't see any strain on them. But one VM doing a disk intensive task can easily tie up the IO channel, so if you have three disk intensive tasks they would each be running at 1/3 the speed. Where I see this is when I'm doing software upgrades on all the VMs simultaneously.
     

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