01-The Test Bench and Test Types
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

01-The Test Bench and Test Types

The Test Bench

When we were choosing computer models, we chose the current model of Macs that give a good representation of what most people may have. Certainly, the faster models of these computers will perform even better.

We chose five Mac models to compare alongside each other: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, a tricked out MacBook Pro Retina, iMac (late 2011), and Mac Pro. Given the RAM requirements of Windows 7, the minimum configuration tested (including on the MacBook) was 4 GB.

8 GB MacBook Air 13-inch, 1.8 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor
Specifically: 8 GB/256 GB, Intel HD Graphics 4000

4 GB MacBook Pro 15.4-inch, 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor
Specifically: 4GB 1600MHz memory/500 GB 5400-rpm
Intel HD Graphics 4000 and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 512MB of GDDR5 memory

16 GB MacBook Pro with Retina 15-inch, 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor
Specifically: 16GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM/768GB Flash Storage
Intel HD Graphics 4000 and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 memory

4 GB iMac 27", 2.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 processor
Specifically: 4 GB/1 TB 7200-rpm
AMD Radeon HD 6770M with 512MB

6 GB Mac Pro, One 3.2GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor processors
Specifically: 6 GB/1 TB 7200-rpm / ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB GDDR5

Memory for virtual machines can be configured with a wide array of settings. As a rule, both VMware Fusion's and Parallels Desktop's default memory for each configuration (of physical RAM and "guest" OS) were the same, and we made sure that was the case. Windows 7 and 8 virtual machines ran with 1 GB of virtual machine RAM (except for gaming). Lion and Mountain Lion (OS X) ran with 2 GB of virtual machine RAM. For gaming, we used 1.5 GB for 4 GB hardware, and 2 GB on hardware with 6 GB or more.

Similarly, for disk allocation we set up all of the virtual machines similarly. We used default sized (64 GB on Parallels, and 60 GB on VMware) expanding disks in a single file (e.g., not 2 GB chunks), but the disks were pre-expanded so that expanding actions wouldn't affect results. The disk location of the virtual hard drive was in a similar physical location between computers, as that can make a significant difference in disk performance.

The tests compared VMware Fusion 5.0.2 with Parallels Desktop for Mac 8.0.18314.813278, running on Mac OS X 10.8.2 with all updates. All "important," but not "optional," Windows updates also installed for Windows 7 and 8. By the time we got to testing games, we saw new versions released that could have impact, and therefore (games only) were tested on VMware Fusion 5.0.2 with Parallels Desktop for Mac 8.0.18354.823166, including additional updates to OS X 10.8.2.

Test Types

There are a variety of often referred to, and utilized benchmarking suites in the computer industry including SPEC tests, PCMark, WorldBench, Performance Test, Unixbench and others. Each of these tests uses a series of tests that measure in a consistent way to assess specific types of performances. The key to each of these tests is appropriateness, repeatability, and accuracy.

We are sometimes asked how we select the tests we have in benchmarks. The goal is to represent the types of actions that virtualization users are doing on a regular basis. In particular, we focus more on user tasks rather than installation or configuration (because they are typically only done once or infrequently).

In the PC market, PC World (magazine) uses WorldBench as their benchmarking tool of choice. If you don't know about WorldBench, you can see more at http://www.worldbench.com. WorldBench 7 uses a combination of applications bundled together to determine benchmarks. This may be a very good way for PC World to approach things, but obviously it's not reflecting the virtualization part of the experience or weighing towards the typical types of things people do in virtualization on the Mac.

There are a variety of other benchmarks available, and we've looked at many of them as possible tools to include in our mix. Often, we find their measurements simply don't reflect a true user experience. Other times, they don't reflect how a virtualization user may be using Windows, or even they simply report erroneous results. For example, in previous attempts to use PassMark, we found their graphics scores were not at all representative of real life graphics performance in games or other graphic uses. Those tests showed items as faster when, in fact, they were much slower. Benchmarks are only useful if they reflect the real world.

Rather than use WorldBench or others, we focus on the types of measurements we believe best represent the experience we see (in terms of speed). And while it takes practice and some skill, we test virtualization operations with a stopwatch—as the closest representation of how a real user would see it. CPU crunching ability, for example, is measured through tests like zip'ing files directly in Windows. For Office users, we use the most up to date version of Microsoft Office for Windows (2010), again with updates.

There are two exceptions to this: graphics/gaming and CPU utilization. In these two cases, we found that testing utilities not only work well, but also are necessary to give the most repeatable and concrete results. In the case of graphics benchmarking, we used 3DMark06 (the industry standard for tuning gaming systems). For game playing performance, we used FRAPS to measure frames per second. Finally, for CPU utilization we used "top" combined with Apple Remote Desktop.

Remember, benchmarks are not a review: they are benchmarks. They are simply meant to just tell you which runs faster. If you are interested in a specific feature, support, the user interface, or any of the other criteria for deciding on a product, that's a different article.




Virtualization is just one of the many critical topics at MacTech BootCamp II seminars
Packed schedule. Learn from the best.
Meet new people. Network with peers.


One day semimar for techs and consultants who support both small to medium size business, and larger organizations. Invest in yourself. Click here for more info.
Space is limited. Register today as early bird and save $200.
 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Shimo 4.0 - VPN Client for Mac – for Eve...
Shimo is the most versatile VPN client for OS X and it enables really everybody to master secure network. It supports more protocols than any other VPN application out there! CiscoVPN, AnyConnect,... Read more
Capo 3.3 - Slow down and learn to play y...
Capo lets you slow down your favorite songs so you can hear the notes and learn how they are played. With Capo, you can quickly tab out your songs atop a highly-detailed OpenCL-powered spectrogram... Read more
MacUpdate Desktop 6.0.8 - Search and ins...
MacUpdate Desktop 6 brings seamless 1-click installs and version updates to your Mac. With a free MacUpdate account and MacUpdate Desktop 6, Mac users can now install almost any Mac app on macupdate.... Read more
BitTorrent Sync 2.1.1 - Sync files secur...
BitTorrent Sync allows you to sync unlimited files between your own devices, or share a folder with friends and family to automatically sync anything. File transfers are encrypted. Your information... Read more
Quicksilver 1.3.0 - Application launcher...
Quicksilver is a light, fast and free Mac application that gives you the power to control your Mac with keystrokes alone. Quicksilver allows you to find what you need quickly and easily, then act... Read more
iWatermark Pro 1.72 - Easily add waterma...
iWatermark Pro is the essential watermarking app for professional, business, and personal use. iWatermark, is the number 1 and only watermarking tool available for all 4 platforms iPhone/iPad, Mac,... Read more
RapidWeaver 6.3 - Create template-based...
RapidWeaver is a next-generation Web design application to help you easily create professional-looking Web sites in minutes. No knowledge of complex code is required, RapidWeaver will take care of... Read more
Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 16.0.1 - Profess...
Photoshop CC 2015 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $19.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous Photoshop customer). Photoshop CS6 is still available for purchase (... Read more
Together 3.4.6 - Store and organize all...
Together helps you organize your Mac, giving you the ability to store, edit and preview your files in a single clean, uncluttered interface. Smart storage. With simple drag-and-drop functionality,... Read more
Monosnap 3.1.0 - Versatile screenshot ut...
Monosnap lets you capture screenshots, share files, and record video and .gifs! Capture: Capture full screen, just part of the screen, or a selected window Make your crop area pixel perfect with... Read more

.Decluster Zero: Bullet Nocturne (Games...
.Decluster Zero: Bullet Nocturne 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: LAUNCH SALE, 40% off for a limited time -- .Decluster is a Guide for Your Bullet-Hell Dream Tonight --... | Read more »
Five Nights at Freddy's 4 has Been...
In keeping with tradition, Five Nights at Freddy's 4 has made its way to the App Store with zero warning fanfare. Honestly I'd be disappointed it if happened any other way at this point. [Read more] | Read more »
Doom & Destiny Advanced (Games)
Doom & Destiny Advanced 2.3.4.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 2.3.4.0 (iTunes) Description: ---SUPER GIGA LAUNCH DISCOUNT! Get it now for cheap or pay more later!---An additional 143 MB download is... | Read more »
Five Nights at Freddys 4 (Games)
Five Nights at Freddys 4 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: This time, the terror has followed you home. | Read more »
This Week at 148Apps: July 27-31, 2015
Winding Down July With 148Apps How do you know what apps are worth your time and money? Just look to the review team at 148Apps. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you're looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out... | Read more »
You'll Want to Keep an Eye Out for...
If you're the kind of person who had fun hunting down and completing all the codex puzzles in Assassin's Creed 2, then are you ever in for a treat. The Guides looks like it's going to be a very robust collection of similarily odd, seemingly... | Read more »
Vivid Games has Announced Real Boxing 2...
The original Real Boxing was a pretty impressive bit of fisticuffs, but if the trailer Vivid Games is showing off for GamesCom is any indication Real Boxing 2 is going to be even better. [Read more] | Read more »
PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX - Tips,...
[Read more] | Read more »
Card King: Dragon Wars - Tips, Tricks an...
[Read more] | Read more »
Pac-Man Championship Edition DX has brou...
Bandai Namco has released Pac-Man Championship Edition DX on iOS and Android, which features the classic arcade gameplay that we've all grown to love. Pac-Man Championship Edition DX can be enjoyed in much shorter bursts than the arcade versions... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Back to School Time: Outline for iPad Goes Fr...
Sacramento, California based Gorillized Corporation has announced a “Back to School” offer; the iPad version of Outline goes free for August 3-5. Outline is a smart digital notebook for iPad that... Read more
MacBook 12 Retina Pundit’s New Favorite Mac
If you’re eyeing the purchase of a new 12-inch Retina MacBook, but wondering if you can live with a single USB-C port, 2011-level CPU performance, and the unorthodox keyboard, you should find... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
Adorama has the 2015 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $184 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1815 $184 off Adorama will also... Read more
PDF Element Tool Kit For PDF For Windows 10,...
South Surrey, British Columbia based software developer Wondershare has posted an interesting infographic tracking the development of Microsoft’s flagship Windows operating system over the years,... Read more
27-inch 3.5GHz 5K iMac on sale for $81 off MS...
Adorama has the 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac on sale for $2218, $81 off MSRP, including a free copy of Apple’s 3-Year AppleCare Protection Plan. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax in NY & NJ... Read more
Back-to-School with Tablet and Smartphone Acc...
Belkin helps you prepare for the coming school year with a wide variety of the latest mobile and tablet accessories to outfit both grade school and college students. The line-up includes charging... Read more
11-inch MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSR...
Best Buy has 11-inch MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for online orders only, in-store prices may vary: - 11″ 1.6GHz... Read more
iPad Air 2 on sale for up to $100 off MSRP
Best Buy has iPad Air 2s on sale for up to $100 off MSRP on their online store for a limited time. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices available for online... Read more
Sale! 13-inch MacBook Pros on sale for $100 o...
B&H Photo has 13″ MacBook Pros on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.5GHz/500GB MacBook Pro: $999.99 save $100 - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina... Read more
Sale! Save $100 on 13-inch MacBook Airs this...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for $899.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model.... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Infrastructure Engineer - *Apple* /Mac - Hil...
Infrastructure Engineer - Apple /Mac Job Code: 1608 # of openings: 1 Description Our fortune 500 client is looking to hire an experienced Infrastructure Engineer to join Read more
Executive Administrative Assistant, *Apple*...
…supporting presentation development for senior leadership. * User experience with Apple hardware and software is preferred. Additional Requirements The following list Read more
*Apple* Bus Company is now hirin - Apple Bus...
Apple Bus Company is now hiring school bus drivers in the Pettis County area. Class B CDL preferred. Free training provided. No nights or weekends required. Flexible Read more
*Apple* Certified Mac Technician - Updated 6...
…and friendly, hands-on technical support to customers troubleshooting and repairing Apple /Mac products with courtesy, speed and skill. Use your problem-solving skills Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.