MacBook Pro with Retina Display for Virtualization Lab

I’m always looking to upgrade my virtualization lab gear. The new MBP with Retina has intrigued me. It’s a very impressive machine. However, I find it hard to justify getting one of these insanely nice machines. I don’t care much for OS X and don’t need Thunderbolt. I’m sure I can do all of the nested virtual machines labs in VMware Fusion that I can do in VMware Workstation. But once you get past the display I find that the MBP is just not the machine to make me want to switch and ultimately in comes down to cost.

I’m not cheap when it comes to my work tools. I consider my personal computing hardware to be a critical part of what makes me successful. I upgrade my desktop roughly every 3 years and purchase however much I can afford plus a little more from the couch cushions and my laptop is on about 1 ½ refresh cycle. So, if I found the new MBP could help me be better at what I do I wouldn’t hesitate purchasing it. That’s the thing. I don’t see how the new MBP configured with all the options vs. what other manufactures offer would make me better at what I do. When I look for a laptop, I normally look at 15″ desktop replacements which the new MBP fits squarely into but when you look at the nature of my work, I can’t see anything compelling outside of the display that would give me an edge. If I flew a great deal I could see the thinner chassis helping. I’m 6’4″ and hardly get to fly first class so the extra space saving could help in that scenario

I do like that the biggest configuration is 16GB of RAM, an i7 quad core and a 768GB SSD. But it’d cost me a cool $3700. The 768GB SSD and Retina display are niece but, I can match the configuration with a new Dell XPS 15. That system is configurable with a 512GB SSD for $2300. Are the Retina Display, Apple Support, Thunderbolt and 256GB more HD space worth $1400? For a virtualization geek that doesn’t care for OS X…..


Update 5/24/13 – As an update I brought a 13″ Macbook Pro w/Retina and here’s my experience

Published by Keith Townsend

Now I'm @CTOAdvisor

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