Running SharePoint 2013 on Macbook Pro vs Lenovo W520

Posted on 11/20/2013 @ 1:13 AM in #SharePoint by | Feedback | 3754 views

Windows has frustrated me to say the least. I like Windows 8.1, far more than Windows 8. SkyDrive is a piece of crap, but Windows 8.1 is usable, it is good, FAR better than Windows 8. But, Mavericks is still a better designed software, and MacBook Pros are better hardware than any PC laptop (in my opinion, and I know I’m right, don’t bother arguing).

I work on both SharePoint (Visual Studio etc.) and iOS (XCode). I hated carrying two laptops all the time, my local airport TSA has nicknamed me “best buy”, so I've always wanted to move my work to 100% Mac. But SharePoint virtual machines demand gobs of RAM, and only 16GB Maximum RAM on Macbook pros was my biggest hesitation. So I decided to do a fair comparison of the dev experience on a fairly high end Macbook pro vs. a fairly high end Windows laptop.

This video shows a comparison of running an exact copy (copied using the external disk you see in the video actually) of a SharePoint 2013 VM on a Lenovo W520 Core i7 - about 1 year old and Macbook Pro 15" Late 2013 model.

The Lenovo W520 VM was running using VMWare Workstation 10, and was allocated (Core i7, 32GB RAM, Dual SSD - page file and VM on seperate disks). The VM was allocated 8 cores, and 24GB of RAM.

The Macbook pro was running a 2.3ghz i7 processor, 16G RAM and a 512G SSD. and the VM was allocated 12GB of RAM and 4 cores. The virtualization software being used was VMWare Fusion professional.

Again, I’d like to re-emphasize, the VMs were IDENTICAL!

So the Macbook Pro VM was allocated HALF the resources.

Yet, I was astonished to see how much faster the Mac perfomed compared to windows, not to mention other advantages of MacBook Pro, such as,

  • Not having to deal with the unpredictability of Windows (sorry but its true).
  • Google apps work far better on mac platform than windows
  • Smooth Integration with all my iOS devices, 10 years ago I used to praise Microsoft because all Microsoft stuff worked with other Microsoft stuff. Now I say the same for Macs.
  • The mac is far lighter than the Lenovo W520. And Lenovo is lighter than Dell.
  • The mac, in my opinion is far more aesthetically pleasing.
  • The screen on the mac is quite nice - you can clearly see a flicker on the windows laptop. The mac has a retina display (in fairness the W540 and M4800 and M6800’s also come with high rez display, but if you use Windows on such a high rez display, you’ll notice that even Windows 8.1 is not ready to support higher rez. displays, just do right click properties on the desktop to see what I mean).
  • With a mac, I need to carry only one laptop, a huge plus for those like me who code for both Mac and Windows.
  • Backups are a breeze with mac, timemachine works very nicely, and my VMs copy on thunderbolt in 1/10th the time as compared to USB 3 on PCs. Yes there are some PCs with thunderbolt now, but only in desktop form factor and they max out at 32GB RAM (as of recording this video). Sony Viao makes an ultralight that gives you thunderbolt with an external docking station – but it costs more than Mac and it maxes out at 8GB RAM – clearly not my thing.
  • Finally, the mac is faster than even my desktop - which is a 128GB behemoth, latest i7 processor with PCIeX SSD. I am not sure why the mac is so much faster .... I really don't know. The VM is xcopied from one machine to another.

The only disadvantage of the Mac as I see it - is the Apple Tax of about an extra $1000 on the onset, and more expensive accessories.
Some may say the lack of touchscreen on Mac is a downer. I don’t miss touch screens on laptops, I don’t like smudgy laptop screens, and I prefer using the touchpad. I realize this is a personal choice, I can see why some people would want to use a touchscreen laptop. I don't find it natural to take my hands off the keyboard/trackpad when I'm using a laptop.

Given that I spend more time in front of my computers than I do in bed or any other activity, to me its a worthwhile expense. My decision is made, I'm switching to mac.

Here is a video of the comparison. I recorded the video on my phone, around the 9:40 mark, I got a phone call in the middle which actually cut out about 20 seconds of the video.

Sound off but keep it civil:

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