Mac buying advice -- which model?

I am using a new MacBook Pro now. I too wanted something light and small, but decided on the 15" Pro mainly because the memory maxes out at 4G instead of 2G and in my experience, nothing extends the usable life of a machine more than memory upgrades. All said, both are nice, but the features on the Pro sold me, not to mention it is still very light and easily portable, I carry it every day. Battery life ranges between 4.5 and 5.5 hours depending on running apps, wireless, etc.

Jarrod Menoube wrote:

Amen. A lot depends on what your toolset looks like, of course - TextMate
uses a lot less memory than Eclipse. But I'm developing on last year's 2GB
MacBook Pro, and once I start running Parallels to test something in IE6,
forget it - I'm forever in VM swap hell.

Jay Levitt wrote:

uses a lot less memory than Eclipse. But I'm developing on last year's 2GB
MacBook Pro, and once I start running Parallels to test something in IE6,
forget it - I'm forever in VM swap hell.
  Amen. A lot depends on what your toolset looks like, of course - TextMate

Wow. I would have thought 2GB would be fine to run a Vm as well as base OS. I have never used OSX but does it use up that much ram? Can you tweak how it uses swap?

I have 2GB of ram and can happily run NetBeans IDE and 2x Windows VM's with Virtual Box (one with IE6,the other IE7) and have no swapping? I run Ubuntu with default configuration. How much ram are you allocating to your VM? XP just running IE for testing should be happy with 256MB or less. Perhaps try something other than parallels? Virtual Box is available for OSX and it's free.

Writing and testing Ruby on Rails apps doesn't take a powerhouse of a machine. 2GB should be plenty. I would have thought OSX would have been more like linux rather than Vista for memory consumption.

Cheers,

Anthony Richardson

Currently I only have 2G’s in my MB Pro and I run Vmware’s Fusion for
Mac w/ a win xp and a linux vm. I only give each 256M ram since they
are simply for testing and I don’t have any issues. My statement about
ram was meant more to suggest that the usable life of the machine is
greatly extended if at a later date, and most certainly a later more
hungry os, you can upgrade rather than buying an entire new machine. I
also like the keyboard on the MB Pro better. It’s larger and for me,
easier to type on. Plus, the back-lit keys with the ambient light
sensor is fantastic to low light conditions. The MB Pro’s construction
seems to be much more solid and designed for the rigors of daily
professional use.

Anyway, hope this helps out a bit.

-Bill

Anthony Richardson wrote:

Wow. I would have thought 2GB would be fine to run a Vm as well as base
OS. I have never used OSX but does it use up that much ram? Can you
tweak how it uses swap?

I'm not sure how tweakable it is, or if I'm doing something weird - I've
spent most of my life on PCs. Another developer I work with has the same
config and no memory issues, but he also uses TextMate (I use Eclipse) and
he rarely uses Parallels. So I assumed it was either the JVM or Parallels
that was doing it.

I probably have way too much memory allocated to XP, though - at one point
I was using Adobe CS2 there and I probably did leave the memory set way too
high. I'm on my PC at the moment but I'll have to dig into it; I'd just
figured that was The Way It Was.

I do remember that one time I looked, the JVM had over 1GB of virtual
memory reserved, so did Parallels, and Firefox had some 750MB as well.. it
wasn't pretty.

I have 2GB of ram and can happily run NetBeans IDE and 2x Windows VM's
with Virtual Box (one with IE6,the other IE7) and have no swapping? I
run Ubuntu with default configuration. How much ram are you allocating
to your VM? XP just running IE for testing should be happy with 256MB or
less. Perhaps try something other than parallels? Virtual Box is
available for OSX and it's free.

Free's nice, but Coherence is nicer! I have been meaning to demo Fusion,
though.

Writing and testing Ruby on Rails apps doesn't take a powerhouse of a
machine. 2GB should be plenty.

Oops. So what should I do with the new 4GB model I bought to replace it?
:slight_smile:

I have an older MacBook Pro with 2GB, and I have no trouble at all falling into VM swap hell even without running parallels. I tend to leave everything open, including many Safari windows and tabs, as well as Firefox, Mail, Textmate, Locomotive, MAMP, and the Interactive Brokers java-based client.

It’s like falling into quicksand. Everything will be running along just fine until I reach some magic point, and then I suddenly barely have use of the computer. Closing windows and shutting things down can sometimes take several minutes of patient clicking. Closing each window in Safari generates an amazing amount of disk activity. And then when I’ve done enough it magically returns to full speed.

Jay Levitt wrote:

I do remember that one time I looked, the JVM had over 1GB of virtual
memory reserved, so did Parallels, and Firefox had some 750MB as well.. it
wasn't pretty.
  

Wow. I have certainly experience Firefox being a hog before as well. Currently I have firefox, thunderbird, NetBeans, VirtualBox (Running Windows XP and IE7) open. Running "ps aux" command shows the following processes usin gover 4% over my machine memory.

%MEM VSZ RSS COMMAND
13.8 309096 251540 /usr/lib/virtualbox/VirtualBox -comme
9.7 575896 176552 /usr/lib/jvm/jdk1.6.0_02/jre/bin/java
5.0 258312 91856 /usr/lib/firefox/firefox-bin
4.7 159812 85776 beagled /usr/lib/beagle/BeagleDaemon.
3.2 173880 59348 /home/anthony/thunderbird/thunderbird
RSS resident set size, the non-swapped physical memory that a task has used
       (in kiloBytes). (alias rssize, rsz).
                       VSZ virtual memory size of the process in KiB (1024-byte units). Device mappings
       are currently excluded; this is subject to change. (alias vsize

So Virtual box running Windows XP is only using 251MB of ram, followed by Java using 176MB.

I have 2GB of ram and can happily run NetBeans IDE and 2x Windows VM's with Virtual Box (one with IE6,the other IE7) and have no swapping? I run Ubuntu with default configuration. How much ram are you allocating to your VM? XP just running IE for testing should be happy with 256MB or less. Perhaps try something other than parallels? Virtual Box is available for OSX and it's free.
    
Free's nice, but Coherence is nicer! I have been meaning to demo Fusion,
though.
  

You mean when your Windows applications share the native OS desktop and can be used amongst your other apps? Virtual Box does that under Ubuntu no problems, not sure if the OSX version supports that feature or not. Really handy to be able to run CSS editor on left side of screen and have IE6/7 open on the other half and tab between them. Although have a start menu available is slightly unnerving. :slight_smile:

  

Writing and testing Ruby on Rails apps doesn't take a powerhouse of a machine. 2GB should be plenty.
    
Oops. So what should I do with the new 4GB model I bought to replace it?
:slight_smile:

Hey if you have the ram enjoy it. I was just concerned about the memory consumption you were reporting, seems unusually high.

Cheers,

Anthony Richardson

You mean when your Windows applications share the native OS desktop and
can be used amongst your other apps? Virtual Box does that under Ubuntu
no problems, not sure if the OSX version supports that feature or not.
Really handy to be able to run CSS editor on left side of screen and
have IE6/7 open on the other half and tab between them. Although have a
start menu available is slightly unnerving. :slight_smile:

And it can do that seamlessly with multiple applications? e.g. if I have
IE6 and Firefox open in the same guest VM, and Firefox open in the host, I
have three total windows on my host desktop, and can alt-tab between them,
cut and paste, drag and drop, use the mouse without extra "clicking", etc?

I know Parallels only just got that completely working for the latest 3.0
release - before, it worked but not in Expose' (the Beryl-like OSX thing
that makes all your windows miniature copies of themselves).

They finally got it so the start bar only shows up when a PC window is
topmost.

Hey if you have the ram enjoy it. I was just concerned about the memory
consumption you were reporting, seems unusually high.

Yeah, bears looking into at some point.

Vmware fusion does just that, and quite well. I have been very happy
with it, and for $59 it’s hard to beat. I looked at virtual box, but
too many things were still beta, like usb support. Ymmv, but I’ve been
really happy so far.

Jay Levitt wrote:

Jay Levitt wrote:
> uses a lot less memory than Eclipse. But I'm developing on last year's 2GB
> MacBook Pro, and once I start running Parallels to test something in IE6,
> forget it - I'm forever in VM swap hell.

My winxp parallels vm runs fine on 256mb ram. That leaves my macbook
pro with 1792mb for the OS. Seems plenty for even a fat bloated
java app like Eclipse.

> Amen. A lot depends on what your toolset looks like, of course - TextMate
Wow. I would have thought 2GB would be fine to run a Vm as well as base
OS. I have never used OSX but does it use up that much ram? Can you
tweak how it uses swap?

No, but after a year and half I've never once seen mine start swapping.

William Pratt wrote:

Vmware fusion does just that, and quite well. I have been very happy with it, and for $59 it's hard to beat. I looked at virtual box, but too many things were still beta, like usb support. Ymmv, but I've been really happy so far.

I have found Virtual Box to be fantastic. I have used (and still do) VMWare for 8 years and the two are very similar. I find VmWare to have easier to configure networking (if you want anything other than NAT) but VirtualBox USB support has exceeded my experiences wih VMWares USB support. Virtual Box does not feel beta at all, I run the release version of 5.0.

Cheers,

Anthony Richardson

Thats good to hear, I was just going off of what they have documented
on their site. I also like the ability to run DirectX games with my
geforce card on the mac. Vmware Fusion extends directX support to the
mac. :slight_smile:

Anthony Richardson wrote:

Jay Levitt wrote:

You mean when your Windows applications share the native OS desktop and can be used amongst your other apps? Virtual Box does that under Ubuntu no problems, not sure if the OSX version supports that feature or not. Really handy to be able to run CSS editor on left side of screen and have IE6/7 open on the other half and tab between them. Although have a start menu available is slightly unnerving. :slight_smile:
    
And it can do that seamlessly with multiple applications? e.g. if I have
IE6 and Firefox open in the same guest VM, and Firefox open in the host, I
have three total windows on my host desktop, and can alt-tab between them,
cut and paste, drag and drop, use the mouse without extra "clicking", etc?
  

Cut and Paste doesn't work between VM and Host.
Tabbing doesn't cycle between all windows in and out. The VM appears as one window in the tab cycle.
There is no need for extra clicking.

I haven't found these limitations a problem as I only run IE in my VM's. However, from others repsonses it doesn't sound like Parallels is the cause of the huge memory consumption. I only suggested VirtualBox as an alternative to try incase parallels was the problem. Others seem to have no issues like you were experiencing.

Cheers,

Anthony Richardson

vs. matte debate.... the glossy is amazing. the picture is sooooo
clear and the colors are sooooo awesome. i think the only bad thing
about it is that it spoils you :slight_smile: when you get back on a screen w/o
it, it just seems dull. plus with the mac book pro, you can hook up a

Glossy vs. matte: I have a ubuntu/win laptop glossy and a powerbook
matte, what i can say is when it's good it's really good, when it's
bad ... The worst case is if you buy the wrong display, you can re-
sell the MBP for maybe $100 less than you paid ( I think apple stores
still have 10% restocking fee).