Thinking about exchanging my 13" i7 for 13" i5 (virtualization question)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by datniceguy, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. datniceguy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    #1
    Will the difference in the 13" procs pose any difference in performance when I'm using my VM's? Right now, I'm running Windows 7 Ultimate for my torrenting and media needs and I was thinking about running BackTrack Linux to dive into some white hat hacking. Advice absolutely appreciated. Thinking about exchanging laptops first thing in the morning, a student's budget is tight nowadays. :p
     
  2. Kyzelios macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    The Core i7 processor in your current MacBook Pro is dual-core, which also applies for the Core i5 processor -- basically, you'll likely see a small hit in performance due to the difference in clock speed (and I believe there's a slight difference in cache size between the two as well) depending on how many virtual machines you decide to run simultaneously.

    Hope that helps, have a great day.
     
  3. datniceguy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    #3
    Thanks for the feedback! I was more concerned about the difference in instruction sets - where the i5 lacks Intel support for Vt-d (Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O) and AES-NI (Advanced Encryption Standard). I was wondering if that would help any, especially with BackTrack.
     
  4. Kyzelios macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    That's actually a very good question. I can't necessarily speak for virtualization on the Mac, but I know on a Windows-based PC with VT-d can make a marginal improvement in performance with I/O on the guest.

    As for AES-NI, I've heard that it wasn't supported under Mac OS X (I may be wrong on this) but I'd imagine it would be made available to any guest operating systems running under a virtual machine - this would most likely make a big difference with BackTrack and any encryption/decryption applications that can take advantage of it.

    I'd recommend looking at the price difference between the two models, look at exactly what you want to accomplish with the machine over the next few years, and also look at your expenses (if you're in a bind, then it's really a no-brainer). You'd most likely be able to get away with the Core i5 no problem, but the Core i7 does give you a bit more future proofing.
     
  5. datniceguy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    #5
  6. ale500 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    #6
    Unless you are watching BD movies... windows for torrents or media playback... makes no sense. Get yourself MPlayer and VLC and transmission, all for Mac OSX and you are ready to go.
     
  7. datniceguy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    #7
    I playback in OSX via VLC. I use my torrent client in Windows because it allows me to choose files when downloading a series of files (BitTorrent). That plus I develop and deploy in Visual Studio 2008, so that's why my Windows VM is needed.

    Heading to the Apple Store to exchange my MBP. Thanks for the feedback, guys!
     

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