Re: Semi-OT: Recommendation for laptop/workstation replacment to run VMs ?

From: Kellyn Pot'vin <>
Date: Tue, 1 Jan 2013 11:15:06 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <>

I know a lot of folks are staying with the well-known brands here, (Dell, Mac, etc.) but there are some serious contenders in the newer manufacturer lines that I think are worth looking at, (no matter my ranting about Windows 8 on my blog, we'll just disregard that for now... :)) I have two ASUS laptops.  The first one, an 11.6 inch i7 Zenbook with 8GB memory I chose for travel for it's 2.4lb weight and full features.  I did not want anything to haul around when traveling and with my heavy conference schedule, it's perfect, but for day-to-day heavy typing and need for lots of VM's for client support, I just didn't see it as a everyday work computer.  
I went on Best Buy's outlet and found another ASUS that someone had special ordered with lots of upgrades, but never purchased.  It's the U46e, also has an i7 with 16G of memory.  I love the keyboard-  it takes a serious beating, (I'm known for wearing keys down in a matter of a month or so on most, very visible on the "chicklet" keyboard that comes with the Zenbook, which is often mistaken for a MacAir...)  This unit only cost me $325+tax and has been in heavy use for about six months now.  I leave it on 24X7 and reboot about once a month at the most, (yeah, I'm hard on computers, no doubt...)  I currently have 17 VM's running at different times on it without any issue, (most only use about 1G of memory).  It only has a 15in monitor, but I have a second 22in monitor that I connect it to for work, so not much of an issue there.

I would definitely check out ASUS, (parent company is Cisco) along with a few others that are receiving some great reviews right now, (per PCWorld's best products of 2012, desktop replacements): Samsung Series 7
ASUS G Series
MSI G Series
Alienware, pretty much anything they make, it's all high end... :)

Kellyn Pot'Vin
Senior Technical Consultant
RMOUG Director of Training Days 2013

~Tombez sept fois, se relever huit!

 From: Jared Still <> To: Cc: Oracle-L Freelists <> Sent: Tuesday, January 1, 2013 10:42 AM
Subject: Re: Semi-OT: Recommendation for laptop/workstation replacment to run VMs ?  

On Fri, Dec 28, 2012 at 12:30 PM, <> wrote:
> I was looking at the Dell Precision m6700 but I'm not sure I want to pull
> the pin on that badboy right now so I was curious if any of you guys have a
> good workstation replacement you use to run test VMs (think: RAC upgrade
> testing (CRS, ASM etc) - basic database upgrades to flush out issues).
> I had a desktop at one point that I had setup a DNS server on and a vlan
> for the VMs which worked pretty well at the time but I'd like to have
> something portable.  Definitely needs 16GB ram if not 32gb I think.
> Anyone have any favorites or recommendations (or tips on how to write off
> a m6700 on my taxes! LOL )

Sorry, no tax advice.

But I did just get a new dell laptop for the purposes you are stating.

Dell XPS 15, 128G mSata SSD, 1 TB disk, 16G of RAM 4 Core i7-3632QM  CPU
Windows 8

Virtualization works just fine on this machine, and I am overall quite pleased with it so far.

The only thing is it lacking is a VGA port.  I purchased and HDMI to VGA adapter, but have not
yet tried it, so we'll see if I am still completely happy when I get around to that.

There are a number of reviews on the  XPS 15, and those that appear at the top of the google
review search are all pretty accurate as far as I can tell.

Some pluses for this machine:
* gorgeous display - I think it was the CNET reviewer that claimed this was the nicest display
he had ever seen on a PC laptop - I would agree. * wonderful keyboard - so much better than the usual fare I've experienced on quite a few Dell laptops

So far I've had 3 linux VM's running at once with no issues 2 Oracle 6.1 running oracle 11.2 with 6G of RAM between them 1 Debian 6 with 2G of RAM

Caveat: the default setting is for the 128G SSD to be used as a caching device.
I reinstalled windows and used the SSD as the OS/App drive - boot times are quite livable.  :)

I was considering the Dell 4700, but the XPS was several hundred $$ less for about the same capability.
Really the only thing I am missing is VGA port The M4700/6700 can be upgraded to 32G, and the XPS is maxed out at 16G. 32G would be nice, but I can live with 16G.

I would have very seriously considered a MacBook Pro had not the new line topped out at 8G of RAM.
They can be unofficially upgraded to 16G, but Apple doesn't support it.


Received on Tue Jan 01 2013 - 20:15:06 CET

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