Performance query: Upgrade from old to new MBP, 3GB RAM

Discussion in 'Installation and Configuration of Parallels Desktop' started by rgoodwin, Aug 10, 2007.

  1. rgoodwin

    rgoodwin Bit poster

    So, I'm currently rocking a 17" beast of an MBP (2.16Ghz i think), one of the originals, w/ 2GB RAM. With Parallels (or Fusion frankly), it feels like "almost" enough power to comfortably work in both OS'es (OS X, XP). There's still a fair amount of lag and disk thrashing though, and the battery with both OS'es running seems to only get to about 3 hrs max.

    I'm wondering if anyone can speak from experience to help me decide on a move to a new 2.4Ghz, 15" MBP with 3GB RAM. The primary reasons I'm hoping:

    1) I dream that 3GB is like a wonderland, no lag, no swapping, keep XP open all the time w/o issues...True? Technicall can take it to 4GB I believe, but it's really 3.35GB or something such.
    2) better battery life due to smaller, LED screen and Santa Rosa. My IBM t60p will go 5 hours "all out" w/o breaking a sweat. See comparison chart here:
    3) better performance due to Santa Rosa
    4) just easier to lug about and ideally not burn me during use :)

    I still use a fair amount of windows apps, and I need to move quite quickly among them. I feel like the current MBP is just slow/clumsy enough that it prevents me from working optimally.

    In theory I could also go the Macbook route to get to 3GB and better battery, but the weaker video and slower CPU doesn't really appeal.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts/experiences!
  2. MarkHolbrook

    MarkHolbrook Pro

    I can't speak from experience as I am considering the same thing...

    I have a 15" 2.16ghz MBP with 2gb RAM. It is as you say workable but I really can't run two VM's at the same time. It works but then everything else in MacOS land becomes slow.

    I have considered an upgrade to something that will support more RAM. Personally I think RAM is the real key. I wish the MBP I had supported 3 or 4 gb and then I wouldn't even consider the upgrade.

    The problem is that there is "always something better" coming out.
  3. Vigilant

    Vigilant Member

    I have a Macbook Pro 2.2GHz with 4GBs of memory, so I thought I'd share some comments.

    This is all based off the beta build by the way.

    The 4Gb's makes a substantial difference, though, I wouldnt' recommend giving Parallels more then 1GB of memory for the time being. Everything works fine MOST of the time, so far, since I've set it all up, and I swap in and out of apps all the time, with noen of the disk thrashing.

    As a reference, I do a lot of "networking" in Second life, and I am able to run Second Life, with Windows XP in Coherence mode, and still run safari without any perceivable performance hit, but once again, it's all about how you have these things configured. When I do it like that, SL does run a little choppy, but you have to keep in mind I'm hitting my system pretty hard.

    I do web development work, so right now I'm actually in the process of setting up the XP VM to run Visual Web Development Express, and SQL Server Express, but so far, everything is running a bit better then I was expecting it to. The big thing once again is how you configure it. I own copies of both Fusion and Parallels, and got the extra memory in on Friday, and at first both were absolutely miserable because I didn't have the settings worked out. I was giving both too much memory, and so on and so forth. I was able to get Fusion working great under Full Screen, but got laggy when I started doing Unity. Under the current beta of Parallels, everything seems to be going great so far. A lot more responsive in Coherence then with Unity, and I'm looking forward to see how it performs once I have my dev enviornment installed. My personal goal is to be able to do the development stuff, and the development stuff ONLY in Parallels. So far, based off of what I've seen so far, it's a possibility. I may end up having to allocate more memory once I have everything installed, but thats a different matter. I'll try to check in with this ost, but if you have any questions shoot me a PM.
  4. Hugh Watkins

    Hugh Watkins Forum Maven

    I always use two screens
    Color LCD in MBP 17 inch
    and an old Radius 17 inch VGA mostly for the VM
    or for slide shows from Flickr

    when I get home I have a 22 inch Mac cinema screen
    I cannot get the colour temperature identical on any pair but I hardly notice it anymore

    Hugh W
  5. milesce

    milesce Member

    I'm running a macbook pro with 3 gb and generally get great performance. The latest beta build runs too much processor time, but I'm hoping they'll work that our before the GA release. I'm giving 1 GB to windows, because I'm constantly running SQL Server express and Coldfusion MX in Windows (along with MS Office 2007). On the mac side, I've almost always got a browser open at least, along with Eclipse and itunes and other odds and ends. I use all three gig, and wish I had more.
  6. rwhiffen

    rwhiffen Junior Member

    I too am running a 15" MBP with 3Gb. 2Gb wasn't very workable for me, but 3gb has helped immensely. I run a Solaris 10 1Gb vm with Oracle 10g running and Firefox, iTunes, Audium, iTerm and iBlog comfortably. The speed is very comfortable. Heavy disk I/O in the VM still drags it down, but it's very usable.

    In short, going to 3Gb or 4Gb will probably get you more results than the Ghz improvement.


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