Thursday, January 28, 2016

MacBook Pro Performance

Every so often you'll read comments from Windows fanboys that Macs are good only for Facebook or graphic artists. Well, this is what I had running on my late-2013 13" Retina display MacBook Pro (2.8 GHz Core i7 CPU, 8 GB of RAM, 256 GB SSD) as of a little while ago:

  • Safari web browser with multiple tabs.
  • Thunderbird for 2 personal email accounts.
  • MS Outlook for work email and calendar.
  • MS Lync for work IM.
  • Slack for work IM/file sharing.
  • Textwrangler text editor for a scratchpad.
  • Evernote for note taking.
  • OS X running SSH tunnel to a Linux server.
  • OS X for ping and traceroute to troubleshoot connection to a vSphere server.
  • ZOC for SSH connections to multiple Linux servers.
  • MS Remote Desktop Client with connections to 2 VMware vCenter servers.
  • MS Excel with two spreadsheets open for looking up server IPs.
  • MS Word to review a quote I got on some electrical work in my data center.


  • Windows 7 Professional running in Parallels Desktop, so I could run Internet Explorer and the HP .NET iLO remote console for a VMware vSphere server that is acting up.

I have the application windows spread out across multiple virtual desktops on my 27" Apple Thunderbolt display. It's perfectly stable and responsive.


Paul said...

Not a spam, but I'm not really looking for it to be posted: While I don't use Macs I recognize that they are computers too. My dual quad-core zeon with 16 mb is running Win 7 pro and has regularly had loaded and running up to: AutoCAD Civil, WordPerfect, Paradox, QuatroPro or sometimes Excel,Corel Photopaint, Thunderbird, with Google Earth and Mozilla thrown in occasionally. Most with multiple files loaded. I usually I try to keep it down to about 2/3 of those, especially with particularly large CAD files running, but I've never actually had to do so. This all runs on my quad-core laptop with 8 gb and Win 8.1 as well, but less quickly with half the memory and a slower drive and smaller screen. It's pretty much like cars now, they mostly all work comparable to the amount of money you apply rather than the brand per se-it comes down to personal preference and need. I need the AutoCAD, I suppose it might run on a Mac under emulation now but it wouldn't when the choice mattered to me. I enjoy following your posts and your sometimes different points of view.

Dave Markowitz said...


Thanks for the feedback. My post grew out of a thread on in which a member posted about buying a MacBook Pro, then getting the usual derp in response from Windows fanboys asking why he spent so much money on a laptop when he could get a Windows laptop for $500 or less, and claiming that those low-end machines are the full equal of a MBP. Additionally, the fanboys automatically assumed that because Macs are designed with ease of use in mind, that MBPs aren't used by technical professionals. At my company most of the engineers run Macs, either MBPs or MacBook Airs.

While it's possible to get a Windows laptop that is the equal of a MBP, it's not happening at the $500 price point. E.g., one would need to move up to something like a Dell Latitude or high end Lenovo Thinkpad.

I'm not anti-Windows per se. I do keep a PC at home running Windows 7 Pro. I bought it several years ago and have upgraded it with 16 GB RAM, a better video card (so I could play Skyrim), and most recently a SSD. But based on supporting end users and having used both types of systems for a long time, Macs are built better and have longer useful lifespans. They are also a lot harder for average users to infest with malware (admittedly, that's partially due to smaller market share). Since I converted my immediate family, parents, and mother in law to Macs, the amount of time I've had to expend supporting them has plummeted.

Anyway, thanks again for your comment. It's always nice to know that someone is reading my ramblings.