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View Full Version : Buying the right mac for begginer Iphone Developer




thankmelater23
Aug 14, 2012, 06:12 AM
Hi fellas,

My background: I'm a C++ programmer of two years. Learned it on my own and mostly make video games of 2d and 3d. I learned some objective c and how to program using xcode watching a couple of hours of video on youtube.

I am now looking to start programming for the iphone, but will need to purchase a macbook.

I just got a new job doing security where im working graveyard. I sit in a office and look at this as the perfect time to code.

I'm thinking of buying a Macbook laptop this week. Maybe later if you guys suggest I should save and wait.

I have about 700 dollars to spend and most laptops(Macbook Pro 17'') are 2008 versions used that I'm trying to purchase off of craigslist(used). The purpose of this laptop is for programming for the iphone and just watching and streaming movies.

I prefer a 15 inch, but would like you guys suggestion if this version of the macbook pro can get the job done? And im thinking the newer ones is probobly just overkill right???

Just want you guys input if you think the 2008 Macbook Pro 15" can get the job done. And is the RAM important?

Please guys any input is appreciated positive and negative just SPEAK!

Thank You...



robbieduncan
Aug 14, 2012, 06:20 AM
Make sure whatever you buy can run Mountain Lion as the SDK will only be supported on that at some point. Apart from that it's down to personal preferences. I'd say try and get a hi-res 15" for the balance of portability and screen resolution.

ArtOfWarfare
Aug 14, 2012, 07:15 AM
Make sure whatever you buy can run Mountain Lion as the SDK will only be supported on that at some point. Apart from that it's down to personal preferences. I'd say try and get a hi-res 15" for the balance of portability and screen resolution.

Does the retina MacBook make it easier to evaluate your retina images for iOS without testing on device? (I'm trying to decide what I want to upgrade to from my original MacBook Air.)

firewood
Aug 14, 2012, 08:15 AM
The cheapest oldest Mac that can run Mountain Lion would be suitable for iOS development. So make sure that the Macbook in which you are interested has a Mountain Lion suitable GPU.

Tussen69
Aug 14, 2012, 08:19 AM
Im a developer .. The most important thing is screen size .... and the ability to run your targeted iOS Simulator Device in full screen or it will be more than PAIN ! trust me ...

Screen size, screen size, screen size ..

and that the Mac can run the latest OS X because usualy the latest OS X are required to be able to build for the latest iOS devices ...


btw a fast SSD is more important then more RAM IMO when you run Xcode

jamesjingyi
Aug 14, 2012, 08:19 AM
I would go with a 13 inch MBP-enough power and quite cheap on eBay. 11 inch is a bit too small for programming and all the MBAs are unupgradeable.
Does it need to be a MacBook? If you have an old windows PC, replace the tower with a Mac Mini which you can upgrade and get new for the price you have.
It's also easy to upgrade yourself.

robbieduncan
Aug 14, 2012, 08:24 AM
Does the retina MacBook make it easier to evaluate your retina images for iOS without testing on device? (I'm trying to decide what I want to upgrade to from my original MacBook Air.)

I don't know. I don't have one (crys)

Tander
Aug 14, 2012, 08:26 AM
I admit I am still very new to the whole programming business and my studies are on pause for the time being while I setup in my new house.

However, from my (limited) experience, 13" screen seems to be just fine. Why do I see some developers having an extra external screen?

Do you guys use the screen space for simulator or other parts of code?

ChristianJapan
Aug 14, 2012, 08:35 AM
Why not a Mac Mini ? Need to be a MB(P) ?
The Mini with an external 24" would be a great combo. Specially for the begin.

Update: sorry, saw too late where you want to work. (Check with you employer if that is ok !). I have a 11" MBA but the simulator is really small; 13" would be min.

jamesjingyi
Aug 14, 2012, 08:37 AM
I SUGGESTED MAC MINI FIRST! I THINK LiKE A MACRUMOURS DEMI GOD OMG!!!!! :)
Anyway, its a good idea...

Tussen69
Aug 14, 2012, 08:47 AM
I admit I am still very new to the whole programming business and my studies are on pause for the time being while I setup in my new house.

However, from my (limited) experience, 13" screen seems to be just fine. Why do I see some developers having an extra external screen?

Do you guys use the screen space for simulator or other parts of code?

I think I already answered that question

ChristianJapan
Aug 14, 2012, 08:49 AM
I SUGGESTED MAC MINI FIRST! I THINK LiKE A MACRUMOURS DEMI GOD OMG!!!!! :)
Anyway, its a good idea...

Opps you are right and faster; missed that one. Now as you think like a Demi, pay like a Demi ... Become a Demi ... :D [/commercial]

Tander
Aug 14, 2012, 08:52 AM
I think I already answered that question

So just for the simulator then?

jamesjingyi
Aug 14, 2012, 09:18 AM
Opps you are right and faster; missed that one. Now as you think like a Demi, pay like a Demi ... Become a Demi ...
Maybe... :P

Wait what do you mean by "pay"??????????

dejo
Aug 14, 2012, 09:22 AM
Wait what do you mean by "pay"??????????

Demi-gods are paid contributors (http://guides.macrumors.com/Help:MacRumors_FAQ#How_do_I_contribute_to_MacRumors.com.3F) to MacRumors.

jamesjingyi
Aug 14, 2012, 09:23 AM
I would like to get paid! :P

... wait do I have to pay? Or do you pay me??

Tander
Aug 14, 2012, 09:28 AM
I would like to get paid! :P

... wait do I have to pay? Or do you pay me??

The former. ;)

jamesjingyi
Aug 14, 2012, 09:38 AM
Oh ok.... :D

ArtOfWarfare
Aug 14, 2012, 09:44 AM
So just for the simulator then?

I sometimes use a separate screen for research. This is more for Android development, though, where the simulator takes a half hour to start up. For iOS development, there isn't too much downtime with a simulator starting up on one screen and research happening on another... although I guess it is still nice to have code on one screen and reference materials on the other.

Edit: As evil as I've already been just mentioning Android development, are there any ways to snap windows to half screen like Windows 7 in OS X? I'd often like to snap Xcode to be alongside Safari, for example.

Tander
Aug 14, 2012, 09:47 AM
I sometimes use a separate screen for research. This is more for Android development, though, where the simulator takes a half hour to start up. For iOS development, there isn't too much downtime with a simulator starting up on one screen and research happening on another... although I guess it is still nice to have code on one screen and reference materials on the other.

Well, I do have a spare screen at home - once I have setup my development / studying area, I will test it out with a screen and see if there is any real advantages. :cool:

Duncan C
Aug 14, 2012, 06:12 PM
Hi fellas,

My background: I'm a C++ programmer of two years. Learned it on my own and mostly make video games of 2d and 3d. I learned some objective c and how to program using xcode watching a couple of hours of video on youtube.

I am now looking to start programming for the iphone, but will need to purchase a macbook.

I just got a new job doing security where im working graveyard. I sit in a office and look at this as the perfect time to code.

I'm thinking of buying a Macbook laptop this week. Maybe later if you guys suggest I should save and wait.

I have about 700 dollars to spend and most laptops(Macbook Pro 17'') are 2008 versions used that I'm trying to purchase off of craigslist(used). The purpose of this laptop is for programming for the iphone and just watching and streaming movies.

I prefer a 15 inch, but would like you guys suggestion if this version of the macbook pro can get the job done? And im thinking the newer ones is probobly just overkill right???

Just want you guys input if you think the 2008 Macbook Pro 15" can get the job done. And is the RAM important?

Please guys any input is appreciated positive and negative just SPEAK!

Thank You...

I have an early 2008 15" MBP. Prior to Lion (OS 10.8) it ran quite well.

Lion is a dog. A big, fat, semi-comatose dog. It brings my machine to it's knees. It slows EVERYTHING down. There are lots of pregnant pauses now where 10.6 (Snow Leopard) was snappy.

Unfortunately, as a developer, you're stuck with the latest OS, so I had to upgrade. (I personally HATE Lion. I think it's a half-baked, bloated mess with some really bad UI changes.)

A 2008 MBP will work for development, but "expect delays".

RAM matters a lot. Put at least 4 GB in it, and ideally 6. (It can't take 8 GB, which is a limitation.)

An i5 Mac Mini with 8 GB of RAM would be a better choice, or an i7 15" MBP. Of course, the new MBP would cost 4 times as much...

If you buy new, whatever machine you get, get it with the minimum memory and upgrade yourself. Apple charges several times more (3X, 4X, or more, depending on configuration) for memory, and memory upgrades are trivial to install.

larswik
Aug 14, 2012, 07:10 PM
Get a Mac just for programming like a Mac Mini and only do programming on it.

One thing I plan on doing is buying a separate mac mini for programming. Since I started to program Apple seems to make you update your OSX and your IOS every year to keep working in the latest technology.

But when I start to do this I then need to upgrade software which is also an extra cost as things stop working. Apple seems to make Major changes annually. I use my Mac Pro and I work and an editor with FCP 7, After Effects and such. New OSX updates can screw that stuff up.

I don't intend on upgrading to Mountain Lion on my Mac Pro machine. So I recommend a small functional Mac just to code with that you can update to anything that comes out without effecting your normal software you use day to day.

samdev
Aug 15, 2012, 10:13 PM
Hi fellas,

I am now looking to start programming for the iphone, but will need to purchase a macbook.

I just got a new job doing security where im working graveyard. I sit in a office and look at this as the perfect time to code.




Let's hope you're not watching Steve Job's house. oh crap. wait.

Get a Mac Mini (latest one) if you're serious about programming.

KnightWRX
Aug 16, 2012, 06:28 AM
Get a Mac just for programming like a Mac Mini and only do programming on it.

One thing I plan on doing is buying a separate mac mini for programming. Since I started to program Apple seems to make you update your OSX and your IOS every year to keep working in the latest technology.

Apple doesn't make you upgrade. If you don't require any of the new APIs, Apple is happy to accept your apps built on their older SDKs.

But when I start to do this I then need to upgrade software which is also an extra cost as things stop working. Apple seems to make Major changes annually. I use my Mac Pro and I work and an editor with FCP 7, After Effects and such. New OSX updates can screw that stuff up.

But didn't. Mountain Lion was surprisingly good at keeping compatibility intact. Even Virtual Box managed to be working on day one, which meant I managed to upgrade to 10.8.0 within the week... but...

I don't intend on upgrading to Mountain Lion on my Mac Pro machine. So I recommend a small functional Mac just to code with that you can update to anything that comes out without effecting your normal software you use day to day.

It would be cheaper to just buy a firewire drive, install Mountain Lion on that, and boot your Mac Pro/MacBook Pro/Whatever from that than a whole new Mac to do it with. Also that way, you can easily swap data from one OS X to the other as both drives can be read/written to by both versions of the OS.

This questions comes up often, and the best answer remains : Any Intel Mac. It's really that simple. Xcode and the SDK don't require power houses, neither does the iPhone simulator and your target hardware is both very processor and RAM limited being an embedded system.

Gage your needs on your other tools and other needs, the programming bit has been covered for years.

larswik
Aug 16, 2012, 03:20 PM
To use xcode 4.3 you had to have OSX 10.7.3. I did the upgrade that broke a number of PPC apps that I used and loved that are not updated any more. At that point I realized that it is better off to have separate hardware like a new Mac Mini, or what you recommended of installing a whole different OS and updating that firewire drive would work too.

The goal is to separate my day to day computer from my programming computer to avoid the next "You have to update to use the new xcode or other thing".

Nick johnson
Aug 17, 2012, 02:57 AM
The main thing is that it should support sdk required for iphone app development.......

jnoxx
Aug 17, 2012, 03:22 AM
I'd just get a Mac Mini with an external screen, you can get it new and still be off the cheapest ^_- and it works great!

thewitt
Aug 17, 2012, 03:26 AM
Mac mini with multiple monitors - the largest you can afford...

ArtOfWarfare
Aug 17, 2012, 05:46 AM
To use xcode 4.3 you had to have OSX 10.7.3. I did the upgrade that broke a number of PPC apps that I used and loved that are not updated any more. At that point I realized that it is better off to have separate hardware like a new Mac Mini, or what you recommended of installing a whole different OS and updating that firewire drive would work too.

The goal is to separate my day to day computer from my programming computer to avoid the next "You have to update to use the new xcode or other thing".

You just need two installs of Mac OS X then. I'm not quite sure what that entails, but I imagine it's similar to having Windows XP and OS X on your Mac on seperate partitions and using Boot Camp... Just have your programming version of OS X and your FCP compatibility version of OS X as installs on seperate partitions.

KnightWRX
Aug 17, 2012, 01:11 PM
You just need two installs of Mac OS X then. I'm not quite sure what that entails, but I imagine it's similar to having Windows XP and OS X on your Mac on seperate partitions and using Boot Camp... Just have your programming version of OS X and your FCP compatibility version of OS X as installs on seperate partitions.

You of course don't even need to unless there's a new API you really need/want to implement. If you use only APIs from the 2.0 - 4.0 days of iOS, you really never need to upgrade your Xcode or iOS SDK really. Apple will still publish you on the App Store.

My code is now at the level it requires iOS 5 (unfortunately, discounting the iPhone 3G as a possible target) due to me using GLKit and an OpenGL ES 2.0 pipeline. Sure I could scrap that, go to the fixed function OpenGL ES 1.1 implementation and just run with that, but GLKit brings many improvements and ES 2.0 is much more flexible. That means I now need minimum Snow Leopard to develop and build iOS applications, which is still decently old as far as Mac software/hardware goes. Good thing iOS 6 doesn't really bring anything I need, though that's not an issue to me since my MBA is running on ML just fine.

fun173
Aug 18, 2012, 12:40 AM
Screen Resolution and size are very important. Developing for the iPad is becoming annoying on a 17" MBP.

dejo
Aug 18, 2012, 01:04 AM
Even the 27" iMac / Thunderbolt display cannot fit the retina-iPad full screen, so keep that in mind.

jnoxx
Aug 18, 2012, 04:58 AM
That's why I bought a Dell instead of a Thunberbolt Apple Screen.
They have a really good resolution (2560x1440).

KnightWRX
Aug 18, 2012, 06:15 AM
That's why I bought a Dell instead of a Thunberbolt Apple Screen.
They have a really good resolution (2560x1440).

They have the same resolution. The ATD is also 2560x1440. Of course, to fit the Retina iPad, you have to use the rMBP running at 2880x1800 with the hack (http://www.mowlem-enterprises.co.uk/ScreenUtil_v1.0.zip) or the 30" Dell, the U3011 with 2560x1600 resolution (16:10 instead of 16:9 on the 27" U2711).

Or just get a Retina iPad and a 99$/year registration if you ask me.

jnoxx
Aug 18, 2012, 06:58 AM
My bad, I bought the U3011, and I also have the 27" version. Thinking of swapping that one with the 30", but then it probably won't fit the desk.
And you are correct, it does have 2560x1600, only thing I didn't like, is to buy the expensive extension to get the resolution working on latest mac mini ;/

KnightWRX
Aug 18, 2012, 07:13 AM
And you are correct, it does have 2560x1600, only thing I didn't like, is to buy the expensive extension to get the resolution working on latest mac mini ;/

Expensive extension ? 4.73$ is expensive ? :eek:

6ft 32AWG Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort Cable - White (http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10246&cs_id=1024606&p_id=6007&seq=1&format=2)

Did you get the dual-link DVI adapter by mistake ? ;)

jnoxx
Aug 18, 2012, 08:50 AM
Expensive extension ? 4.73$ is expensive ? :eek:

6ft 32AWG Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort Cable - White (http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10246&cs_id=1024606&p_id=6007&seq=1&format=2)

Did you get the dual-link DVI adapter by mistake ? ;)

With the standard they told me, you can't get the resolution out of it (I couldn't neither), so I had to buy an extension to get the full resolution out of it.
I couldve been badly misinformed, and then it would suck :(

KnightWRX
Aug 18, 2012, 09:02 AM
With the standard they told me, you can't get the resolution out of it (I couldn't neither), so I had to buy an extension to get the full resolution out of it.
I couldve been badly misinformed, and then it would suck :(

Wait, are you using DVI ? Because the U3011 has 1 DisplayPort input. The DP input can support the full resolution of 2560x1600 with just a DP cable. The Mac Mini's TB port is a 1.1a DP port equivalent. You can just technically run a DP cable, which is 4.73$ from Monoprice.

If you're using DVI (there is no reason to use DVI at all, DP replaces it completely and is much superior), then yes, single link DVI cannot run that resolution, you need to use a mDP or TB to Dual Link DVI adapter which costs 99$.

But again, since the U3011 has a DP input... why even bother with DVI ?

jnoxx
Aug 18, 2012, 10:32 AM
Wait, are you using DVI ? Because the U3011 has 1 DisplayPort input. The DP input can support the full resolution of 2560x1600 with just a DP cable. The Mac Mini's TB port is a 1.1a DP port equivalent. You can just technically run a DP cable, which is 4.73$ from Monoprice.

If you're using DVI (there is no reason to use DVI at all, DP replaces it completely and is much superior), then yes, single link DVI cannot run that resolution, you need to use a mDP or TB to Dual Link DVI adapter which costs 99$.

But again, since the U3011 has a DP input... why even bother with DVI ?

Oh.. That explains alot :)
It's just, the monitor is also connected to my game computer, and to get full resolution out of it there, I had to use DVI, therefore I assumed It was the same for the Mac, but i've been proven wrong, i'll just sell the crap, and do it like you said. Thanks for the info mate, appreciate it!