Sold 2013 Mac Pro to move to 2015 rMBP - worth switching back?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by dogbait, Jul 29, 2015.

  1. dogbait macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2005
    London, England
    Basically I had a 6 core Mac Pro 2013 with D700, 64GB RAM etc. Found myself using it less and less since working away from the home office a lot so I picked up a maxed out rMBP 2015 for use on the road.

    The new rMBP was fast enough and I felt I didn't need the MP and promptly sold it.

    Now that I'm working from home more, I find myself missing the MP.

    Things like Mission Control stuttering, running a couple of Virtual Machines, and occasional Handbrake batches and gaming have me not quite pushing the limits of the rMBP but certainly missing the quiet and of course the convenience of a powerful desktop and notebook combo.

    The rMBP also lags like crazy with a single 4K display - like almost unusable sometimes (didn't have a 4K display with the MP so can't comment if it had the same issue).

    I'm looking to get a desktop again, but can't seem to decide between the iMac 5K and the MP.

    The new iMac appears to surpass the quad core Mac Pro and almost touch the 6 core Mac Pro for most things. Gaming wise it can't compete against a pair of D700s in crossfire but as a single GPU a 295X seems slightly faster than a single D700.'s only very slightly faster than the rMBP I have (like 15% in Geekbench, although graphics is quite a bit faster).

    Which basically means the only viable Mac Pro to give me a substantial bump above an iMac would be an 8 or 12 core.

    Has anyone any experience with the iMac 5K doing things like gaming, batching video compression or running VMs? Any stuttering on the user interface?

    Any noise or heat issues?

    Any stability issues with the iMac (since it doesn't use ECC RAM and the Mac Pro does)?
  2. andrewlgm macrumors 6502


    Feb 16, 2011
    I'm hoping someone more knowledgable will join this thread to comment on the current status of the Mid 15" Macbook Pro machines and the constant lagging - mine is the IRIS PRO only. I upgraded from a Mid 2013 Macbook Air for the extra Ram and processing power, but I find myself missing my Air more and more. I did EVERYTHING on that air: music and video encoding, virtual machines, word processing, running Linux and Windows natively when needed for work, and I'm still doing all those tasks on the Macbook Pro 15", but IT LAGS HORRIBLY. I'm very used to simply closing the screen and throwing the machine on my bag, running to work or home, opening it up and picking it up from where I left off. But on the Macbook Pro, I need to RESTART IT every single time. I appreciated the increased speeds very much, but the lagging is driving me insane.

    Here's what I see: lagging even when moving the pointer; expose, launchpad and mission control slow down. Safari freezes often where I'll just force quit it. And I've seen two complete freezes of the whole system in three weeks of ownership. As I'm typing this and switching between apps, the system is less responsive than my Macbook Air with 4GB of RAM. The only times my Air became this unresponsive were after I had 5 days of no restart, 10 apps open simultaneously in multiple desktop spaces, and 5GB+ of SWAP, etc.

    Is this all due to the retina screen? What's going on here?
  3. s0nicpr0s macrumors regular


    Sep 1, 2010
    Sorry dogbait, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to give you any info about the newer iMacs as the only time I've even seen one was in passing at the Apple store. But Aandrewlgm, is that happening when doing absolutely anything or more so when you have a specific workflow going? Could you maybe get a few screen caps of the Activity Monitor when it is laggy. CPU and Memory for sure, maybe Disk as well.

    I've been using a 2015 13" and have had no issues whatsoever. I haven't searched for any issues with the 15" lately, but I'm sure I would've seen something by now if there were pervasive issues like yours.
  4. aloshka macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
  5. dogbait, Aug 4, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2015

    dogbait thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2005
    London, England
    Well it's a tough one...

    I did some benchmarking across a few Macs. My old Mac Pro (2008), my maxed out rMBP, my newer old Mac Pro (2013) and the iMac.

    Assuming a maxed out 15-inch rMBP is the base line (ie. 1) then the other Macs compare as follows:

    iMac (2015) Intel Core i7-4790K 4GHz
    • 13% faster in single core tasks
    • 15% faster in multi-core tasks
    • 270% faster in gaming

    Mac Pro (2013) Intel Xeon E5-2697 v2 2.27GHz (12-core)
    • 18% slower in single core tasks
    • 228% faster in multi-core tasks
    • 480% faster in gaming

    Just for interest my original Mac Pro (2008) 2x Intel Xeon E5462 2.8Ghz
    • 53% slower in single core tasks
    • 7% slower in multi-core tasks
    • About the same in gaming...

    Which basically gives us some interesting points:
    1. SSD speed aside, a maxed out rMBP offers about the same raw performance as a high end Mac Pro (2008)
    2. A maxed out iMac is only slightly faster for most things except gaming where you'll see a big jump
    3. The Mac Pro quad core is going to disappoint if you're expecting performance over say a quad core rMBP or iMac but those D700 GPUs do offer a LOT more GPU performance than any other Mac at the moment. They do need to be run in CrossFire mode though to see that performance since an iMac with a 295X is actually faster than a single D700!

    One thing I did NOT factor was throttling.

    Rather disappointingly any CPU/GPU intensive task on the rMBP (and the iMac from what I've read) causes the CPUs to throttle down from their max turbo boost frequency to about 15-20% below after a few seconds of heavy load. The CPUs hit close to 100C at this point too (not good for longevity!).

    A Mac Pro doesn't seem to throttle at all and seems to be able to remain at or near turbo boost throughout an intensive task. Given that the benchmarks above (from Geek Bench and 3D Mark mainly) might not account for this and could mean the Mac Pro is actually another 15-20% faster than the figures above would indicate.

    As to what I've decided to do...

    I have to be honest. I'm finding my whole experience with Yosemite, Apple Music, Aperture such a POS that I'm really left with a VERY bad feeling about giving so much money to Apple for a Pro machine.

    On top of that the Mac Pro, whilst a fantastic computer is starting to date and isn't really that great value today unless you NEED a Mac with its specific attributes (sustained high load performance, multiple displays, thunderbolt, etc.)

    If I see one used for a great price I might snap it up (not common in the UK). Otherwise I'm gonna sit tight and see what life is like with just a single notebook (a first for me, always been a Mac Pro guy).
  6. aloshka macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    Thanks for the comparison. Although unless you do raw rendering, a lot of those benchmarks are a moot point; since it's not likely you are capping your processing 100% all or much of the time. But good to know about the throttling. I thought it happens 20-30 minutes in, not almost immediate (although in hindsight that makes more sense). But very useful stats, I didn't realize how big off a diff a lot of it was/is. One thing to remember is the SSD on the new 15' MBP15" is actually faster than the one on the MP or iMac. Some people are clocking it in close to 2.1GBs on seq read.

    I kind of feel the same way about Apple lately for some reason. I fell in love with Win10 (minus the privacy issues), but don't want a PC, and use it in a VM for work (actually 3 VMs). As an alternative, I absolutely love the samsung s6 edge, but hate the ads, bloatware, adware and privacy issues with google not to mention that most 3rd party apps require access to everything you can imagine including taking photos when phone is off, recording voice calls, reading and sending texts, etc. I like that I can tell iOS to not allow location, camera, notifications or whatever I choose for an app. So sticking to the iPhone. The watch became a lot more useful than I originally purchased it for, so that's a huge plus. The whole point to that rant...honestly, overall, Apple is still better than the competition.

    What's your disappointment with Music? I haven't signed up for trial yet (although still confused diff between radio and music and what it's used for).

    I am also in the same boat as you; but have been over analyzing and have had decision paralysis now and can't decide for over a year. I had an iMac 5k and got rid of it within 14 days. Very nice fast box, and of course screen is gorgeous. I don't do video work but have some hefty VMs that it handled gracefully. Some fan spinning when one of the VMs does Windows Maintenance tasks, updates, .net, etc; but that's expected. But overall, after you get used to it, it's just an iMac and you stop noticing the screen. I think the retina surprise lasted longer on the rMBP.

    I don't play major games, just heroes of the storm & WoW. But you can never really game well under a mac. Boot camped on the 5k to windows the thing did 100fps+ (vsync off ofcourse) and 1440p rez for heroes, on the mac it was like 50fps; had to turn down quality.

    Keep posting your experience to this forum if you don't forget. I'm the same way and always had an imac, mac pro or desktop pc. I'm using a 13" rMBP right now as a primary computer and surprisingly it's not doing bad. Can't run more than one VM because of cores & mem, but overall speed feels ok.

    So I want to either pull the trigger on a Mac Pro (like you mentioned not worth it anymore since it's outdated), try a 5k again or a maxed out rMBP with a TB display. I think I'll have buyers remorse for the MP because it's an insane amount of money for something outdated and not sure about the 5k. Already returned it once. Will probably get the rMBP; will be weird not having 2 computers and only having one. Also weird not having one on all the time. How are you getting used to that, or you haven't really noticed?

    Or... just do my best to make by with the 13" and wait for skylake (IF) in Oct.
  7. dogbait thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2005
    London, England

    I've been looking at suitable alternatives to a Mac Pro and they all seem huge, clunky, ugly, flimsy, etc. etc. Nothing remotely in the same league as the old Mac Pro let alone the new one.

    I've been an iTunes Match subscriber since it first came out and whilst it sucked sometimes with slow speeds or usability problems I never had issues with data loss or corruption.

    With the new Apple Music update it seems Apple botched the music matching algorithm. They went from acoustic finger printing to metadata finger printing. A fair bit of my 25k music library (about 500-1000 tracks) were wrecked as a consequence. The metadata was completely screwed up.

    Have a read of this before embarking on a trial of Apple Music.

    Interesting. At work a few of us have 4K screens and whilst they visual acuity is definitely apparent it doesn't make enough difference that I'd put up with the headaches of 4K (laggy interface, cost, machine compatibility). Next to a Thunderbolt Display I'm hard pressed to really see the difference except in high resolution artwork.

    My Mac Pro with dual D700s in Crossfire could certainly handle any game I cared to throw at it :) Eyefinity across three Thunderbolt displays was pretty epic!

    Is that with 8GB or 16GB RAM?

    I find with the MacBooks the more you can max them out the better. 16GB of RAM is pretty much a requirement if running more than 1-2 VMs. A 1TB SSD whilst pricey is also something I'd recommend.

    I do find though that this past week or so the Macbook is starting to click with me. I'm missing my Mac Pro less and less. I can easily play games like Portal 2 with no lag whatsoever at 3440x1440 and everything on high.

    In addition I no longer have any sync headaches. Used to be I'd be writing software at a client site on my Macbook and then working not the weekend on the Mac Pro. Keeping both in sync was a royal PITA!

    With the Macbook everything's with me wherever I go which is pretty sweet.

    Personally I'd say keep plugging away on the MBP you have until Skylake. Regarding the Mac Pro I'd DEFINITELY wait.

    I've been trying to avoid checking the reforms on Apple in case I succumb and buy one. Think at this point it's a pretty poor value proposition unless you encounter a used one (with AppleCare!) cheap. Apparently it does have heat issues if hammered hard and Apple's service charges on it cost an absolute arm and leg.

    One other thing forget the Thunderbolt displays. I still have a couple of them from my triple monitor setup and like the Mac Pro they're nice but poor value.

    Here's what I just picked up to replace the two Thunderbolt displays on my desk. It's proving a superb display so far.
  8. aloshka macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    Thanks for the link. Too late as I signed up. Most of my music is ambient chillstep from, so very few of it actually matches iTunes. So far the music suggestions are ok.. not the best, but ok. Wish they had more indie musicians.

    Yeah, but I'm not sure I want to reboot into windows to get CF and I doubt mac will ever support it. Honestly, I only play Heroes of the storm if that, because lately with crappy MMR it's more frustrating than fun.

    Unfortunately it's a late 2013 so didn't have 16gb option at that point. I wish it did, VMs are suffering and most of the time have to pause one to use the other. But I can get around for a few months. Also, 256gb SSD :( But without snapshots, it is OK. Have about 20gb left over regularly, so it isn't an emergency, still can wait 2-3 months.

    I wish/dream of the day portal 3 would come out. Best games ever released IMO. Not frustrating, fun and funny as hell.

    Interesting that you are getting used to it. I've been using the rMBP 13" exclusively and coming to the same conclusion as you. It's nice not to have to handle more than 1 comp. No syncing, always up to date. I've started using Parallels instead of VMWare fusion and it's better for laptop use. Auto optimizations for when you unplug power to save battery life, etc.

    I'm reading more and more and it's an awful value. I mean, real world usage doesn't seem to be that much different than the v3 chips, but small things like the SSD being slower on the Mac Pro than the rMBP is huge IMO.

    For some reason, I'm kind of liking being mobile. Less work/office fatigue. Constant change in environment is nice. Except I feel it in my neck and back a lot now, but I have a standing desk for when I need to move around.

    Oh man, I had the U3415W for a short while from work and I loved it!! I think with the new El Capitan split window views and Windows 10 in the VMs, it's ideal and perfect. But little things like no brightness control from keyboard (my office lights change tremendously) bothers me. Also, I'd probably want to buy a TB docking station so I don't have to plug crap into the laptop.

    I read somewhere a rumor (either engadget or BGR) about Apple using some new LED technology that will make saturation even richer in either their iMac or potentially new TBs. My theory is it will have one cable.. USB C and nothing else coming out of it. Charge + TB3 would be incredible.

    The other thing that I observed with Apple is they won't update things unless they will cause a VASTLY different experience (except iPhones). Otherwise they are tiny ticks, if any. And it makes sense, so the next big thing is better displays :)
  9. sartrekid macrumors 6502a

    Oct 30, 2014
    I don't think it is. At least in my case (mid-2012 rMBP, i7, 8GB, SSD, NVIDIA 650M) there is no lag whatsoever anywhere. It's blazingly fast, regardless of what I throw at it and it's three years older than your model. All those issues you are having don't seem normal to me and sound like you've been given a defective/faulty machine.
  10. aloshka macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    I forgot to ask...

    You do fairly advanced stuff, with VM's, etc. How is heat on the laptop?
  11. aloshka, Aug 7, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015

    aloshka macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    So I thought about everything; too long than I care to admit. But here are my thoughts.

    If your laptop fans don't spin (or very often), then the rMBP is perfect for you. The reason I didn't like the iMac 5k, is because outside the screen it felt like a laptop. Many things were faster, I agree, but overall, I don't think I could tell a diff between a rMBP hooked into a display vs iMac 5k (ignore screen of course). Fans spin up when things get bad, things get throttled. Video cards in Macs in general are weak or like the Mac Pro are tuned for anything other than games.

    That being said, however, never had the fan spin up on the mac pro no matter what I did. And if they it did it was so quiet that I never noticed. I also like the idea of BYO monitors; while the iMac 5k is beautiful, having a second monitor be crap is really difficult to switch focus to and I need my dual monitors.

    I will/would never use the video cards which come with the mac pros which sucks as I'm paying for them (outside minor blizzard games).

    I also like the idea of being free to use any laptop that I can just close and not care or lose my work (keep in mind most of my work is in VMs so from the laptop I would remote desktop into the mac pro (MS RDP)).

    Just my final 2 cents. Yet still undecided.

    Oh and Apple music is stupid! I unsubscribed. Suggestions are rap, hip hop, Dr Dre or Taylor Swift no matter what you choose as your preferences.
  12. dogbait thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2005
    London, England
    From the Mac Pro forum it seems as if Skylake consumer parts will definitely arrive this year but the Xeon parts won't arrive for another 12 months or more.

    I'd be surprised if Apple didn't update their whole consumer lineup within the next 6-8 months to accommodate Skylake but if they do refresh the Mac Pro anytime soon it will be to incorporate Haswell. Not Skylake.

    Either way good idea to sit tight until Autumn and see what Apple does.

    I'll be honest. Anytime I crank it, my rMBP hits 80+ Celsius and the fans spin up. It's not an annoying sound but it is not silent. If the VMs are idle though it does go back down to silence but it's definitely nothing like the Mac Pro which really never seemed to go above a whisper.

    I thought some more about the Mac Pro being poor value and tried pricing up an equivalently specced PC. It came to about £3k. Admittedly it would be faster in gaming but by and large I'm looking at the hassle of 1-2 days building it, lots of fiddling with parts like cables, fans etc. and then a few days installing all my software and troubleshooting any system compatibility problems.

    It also would be Windows or Linux only (at the rate Apple's going that might not be a bad thing though! ;)

    If you're in the US and see a Mac Pro come up used then snap it up. One guy on the Mac Pro forum here reported getting a 6 core nMP with D700s for $2500! Can't beat that!
  13. aloshka macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    Well, unlocked Skylake for desktops was released a few days ago. So iMac can definitely be updated at that point.

    That's really hard. Mostly because the 13" does suck. I have to shutdown one VM fully to use another. I can't kill off more resources (use less cores, etc) because it turns insanely slow then. Something I can put up with, but not for 6-8 months for sure.

    Ehh, that's my experience with the iMac too. But generally during gaming, which I don't notice because you are immersed in the game. But the more annoying one is when windows 8/10 decides to do "maintenance tasks" and cap the CPU at 100% for 10 minutes.

    Man, it's nice that someone is open minded and in the same situation as me. I thought my needs were crazy and the alternatives were crazy, but yeah, I looked at specced out PC's too. But I'm tried of building (mostly because the cases ALL suck), so I was looking at a refurb Dell 5810 precision. You can get the new Haswell processors and pretty much everything you need under 2k (refurb) or 2.5k (new). Pop in your own video card like the GTX 980 and whalla. You have a crazy good PC. Obviously adding in an SSD will cost more cash, but the current ones in the market are as good if not better than what Apple has.

    I'm still entertaining the idea of a PC. Right now, I have my wife's iMac, rMBP and boot camped iMac to see if I like Windows. Trying to use each for a day (hell, I have a lot of time) to see what fits my needs better. Thinking it might be smarter to use each one exclusively for a week. Already used rMBP for a few weeks, it did well :) Now going to use the iMac running windows 10 as primary for a week to see if Windows might be a good solution

    Yeah, that would be nice. I saw some eBay sales like that and monitor it daily, but nothing that low. Nothing that isn't much lower than if I bought it with my wife's student discount.
  14. dogbait thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2005
    London, England
    Wants and needs. Sounds like you need to upgrade if you can't do your work properly on that 13-inch. I'd check out the rMBP 15-inch. It's remarkable how much power is packed into a notebook. It's expensive though but has just been updated.

    Tell me about it! What the hell does Windows do half the time it's cranking!? It's stuff like that which makes me wary about switching back to a Windows system.

    I went from an insane dual Xeon Supermicro, Switftech water-cooled workstation to a Mac Pro. And I have to say I do NOT miss the hassle of building my own system. Too much work - I'd rather spend the time with my kids or dog.

    Dell's workstation look nice! I agree most PC cases suck. They're flimsy and poorly designed or just big and ugly.

    I'm sure the Dell chassis has a lot of plastic but it's not too shabby... :)

    I like the look of Alienware's now triangle workstation too although my favourite PC has to be the Steam Machine Prototype which Valve released as a prototype to 300 odd customers.

    Let me know how that works out. I'm getting super fed up with how unreliable Yosemite and iOS8 have been for me this past year and really looking at alternatives.
  15. Mcmeowmers macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2015
    I like it when it decides to scan the entire hard drive upon logging in. Perfect time if you ask me.
  16. aloshka macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    If I buy, it'll definitely be 15" and yes, you are right. I do need to get something whether iMac or rMBP 15". The 13" is no out of space, and I had to move one of the VMs off it. So now have to keep an external drive with me at all times.

    Yeah, the HPs are nice too, but once you get used to an 11 lbs little can, the 50lbs boxes feel archaic.

    Never seen that one before, looks awesome. Wonder if you can put in a GTX 980 in there. Yes, I'm obsessed with 980, it's fast, quiet, relatively cool.

    It's day 3 (or 2, don't remember) and I'm annoyed. Outside of playing games, which is fabulous, something just feels clunky. I don't know how to explain it. I think I drank the koolaid too long and everything else seems bland. But basically, it's stuff like spaces: swipe, I'm in a VM in windows full screen. Swipe again, I'm back to Mac or another VM. I can set up keyboard shortcuts for any menu I want. In windows I'm at the mercy of the developer and some just have no idea how important shortcuts truly are. But it's even stuff like fonts, they are too thin in Windows. And the most pressing annoying issue is every 30 minutes or an hour, the machine just locks up for 5 seconds.

    So no, definitely sticking to mac. If I was a pro gamer, I'd probably get a dedicated gaming box, but I'm not and HoTS plays fine on Mac.

    So now it's down to iMac 5k + my current 13", or sell my 13" and get rMBP 15" + TB.
  17. aloshka macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    Or need to restart computer, but you find out you have 127 updates installing.. "please don't shut off your PC"
  18. aloshka macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    So it's been a while. Sorry to bug you, but how goes it? Still happy with the rMBP?

    I'm just about to pull the trigger on getting a maxed out rMBP 15", but still concerned about heat/fans and how well it would handle 3 VMs (all Windows 10).
  19. leifp macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2008
    Well, it's not a huge thread but it's become a bit of a tangle wrt talking about a bunch of different machines in several different use cases. Let me see if I can add anything that doesn't muddle things up more. I'll do that by limiting my present feedback to MBPro v MPro and pace of upgrades.

    First: MBPro. Although these laptops have seen recent upgrades, Skylake will be coming out within the next 6 months and if you're not in a rush, it will be worth it if you're a power user. Not because it'll be much faster (it won't) but because it'll sip power while upgrading many ancillary subsystems. In particular: max RAM on MBPro destined processors should switch from 16 to 32 GB, with support for DDR4 (up to Apple if they choose to use DDR3 or 4). Huge deal if you VM or have massive photo libraries or do video editing. Support for Thunderbolt 3 and USB3.1 (type C from Apple perhaps, due to its use in the MacBook?) with the main unknown being which discrete GPU it will include (my fingers remain crossed for something north of the X50 Nvidia GPUs...) so basically it will offer longer battery life with more power and more, faster RAM. Lots of other stuff, depending on your needs but they don't seem relevant to this thread.

    Second: MacPro. Big Daddy has not been upgraded since its release in late 2013 although both relevant CPU and GPU families have been. Guesses as to what Apple will do in this space are pure speculation but the next gen of those upgrades will be available in the next few months; Intel's upgrade path here is approximately 1 generation behind their consumer versions. Skylake won't be available for the Pro until 2017 at current estimates. If you do single-threaded operations (most software, pretty much all games but definitely NOT video editing, which will use all of the CPUs you can throw at it, virtual or otherwise) the i7 5K iMac will beat the Mac Pro every time. (4GHz Haswell beats 3.7GHz Ivy Bridge handily (4 core Mac Pro) let alone the 2.7GHz in the 12 core Mac Pro...)

    Hope that helps!
  20. aloshka macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    No, conversation is good. No muddling.

    Currently using a rMBP 13" 8gb 256GB, it's barely pulling the weight. Would it be worth it to buy 15" anyway and sell when skylake comes out? I don't mind losing 500-600 in the entire process, but just afraid that I'll buy and release will happen mid September. I think if it happens December, it's worth buying, but earlier and it seems like a waste. But I don't mind being uncomfortable, who knows, maybe even until Dec. Sucks, but I can suck it up.

    32GB will be HUGE!!! This is the reason I'm so on the edge of buying current 15"s. 32GB will make me insanely happy and the rMBP will be beyond perfect for me.

    Wait you saying, even though VMs use most cores, that the iMac would still be a better buy? I heard something like that before, and with Grand Central, I mean you can assign as many cores as you want to VMs.. there is no processor affinity, so it works either way.

    Yes! Helps a lot. Sounds like rMBP might be a good fit for me. After reading this, I think now I'm just torn between iMac 5k and rMBP skylake. Only concern I ever have is battery life & heat when using a laptop that runs 3 VMs
  21. leifp macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2008
    The problem should be addressed this week at the IDF (Intel Developer Forum) where new processors should be announced, along with release dates. Here's a potentially interesting development:

    Yeah, with 2 VMs I already made the switch to the 5K iMac with 32GB. Helps a lot. (I VM Win7 for game development and OSX Lion for Adobe CS5)

    My statement was meant for the OPs stated requirements. For yourself, with 3 VMs (what do you VM, and what runs on them? If you give me more detail I can comment more accurately) it's likely that you'd benefit from more CPU cores than presently exist in mobile. Maybe Intel changes that this week...

    Up to you naturally but I chose the iMac because I'm a sucker for screen real estate. Personally I'd love more cores...
  22. aloshka macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    All 3 run Win 10, Visual Studio, SQL, etc. Lots of web development and app development. One VM runs about 25 sites. I need separation of clients so that's why I run VMs. 4GB of mem is not enough honestly, 8GB per VM is good. More would be better. CPUs is definitely an issue too. 4 assigned runs smooth and nice, less you can notice some minor stutters in compiling, etc. But I don't have that luxury with either iMac or rMBP. And besides, I am kind of getting a long with a rMBP 13.

    There is a 3rd option that I'm looking into it. Not very macrumors friendly, but I'm also looking into a dell 5810 precision 6-core, 64gb. The price is amazing for the power. I can always mix ecosystems I guess, just have some weird mental block about it.
  23. leifp macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2008
    Two major advantages in switching to the 15": quad core CPU (vs dual in the 13) and the option for a discrete GPU. With Skylake I'm uncertain which models will have 32GB RAM available. This week will hopefully reveal more info. If a 6 core mobile CPU gets revealed (and Apple adopts it) then many of your concerns are solved...

    I've actually got a dedicated Windows machine as well as my iMac with VMs but I dislike mixing ecosystems as you note - but for full-blown game testing I fire up the Windows box. (Guilty pleasure - I also just game for fun on it...)
  24. dogbait thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2005
    London, England
    Thanks for the replies guys.

    I'd also second a dedicated ESXi or Windows box for hosting some of your development virtual machines. I run an ESXi server in the basement which I can offload any long term work onto which helps mitigate the loss of my Mac Pro. That said I haven't seen a workstation or server remotely near the silence level of a Mac Pro.

    I mainly do Linux development work though, not Windows so I don't need a rich GUI interface to my VMs.

    My rMBP with 16GB RAM and quad core can certainly handle three Windows VMs with 4-8GB RAM allocated. Its fans are spinning constantly though. I don't know how much of a problem that will be for you aloshka but for me the advantages of having all my data with me are nice enough that I'm not missing my Mac Pro as much anymore.

    I'd still (probably) purchase one when they refresh and get rid of my ESXi server, but for now, bottom line, the rMBP fits the bill :)
  25. aloshka macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    Even though you were the thread starter, I appreciate everyone's feedback and glad you asked the questions too.

    So I was at the Apple store yesterday, and they apparently sell the high-end (maxed) rMBP 15". I jumped on it, installed all my stuff and working on it. I'm very impressed with the speed of it and mem doesn't seem to be a problem at all, I am doing 4gb and 6gb (the more hungry) each machine leaving about 4 for the host. Honestly, it's working great for me. Like you mentioned fans are spinning during any type of load (and for some reasons pin up immediately with the TB display).

    But honestly, doesn't bother me. I got my beats headphones (which turned out to be a ton better than I thought they would). Love the force touch track pad (mostly because you can press the top of it and it still clicks).

    All in all I'm very happy and glad I found this thread. I'll get used to the fans, but it IS nice to have everything in one place and I didn't realize how much I worked away from the desk (about 60% of the time).

    And when skylake comes out and maybe new mac pro's I'll evaluate, but so far, I feel like I maybe have converted to be a laptop person.

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