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Old Nov 26, 2012, 02:00 AM   #1
gesnazo
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Question New base mac mini for developing in XCode?

Hi,

I am an amateur developer and i am now using an old hackintosh with snow leopard. I need to update my hardware.

Now that new iMac is beyond my capacity, i wonder if new mac mini is powered enough for developing and designing icons with photoshop.

In other hand, it would be also my media center , connecting it to my TV.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 03:04 AM   #2
motrek
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Hi,

I am an amateur developer and i am now using an old hackintosh with snow leopard. I need to update my hardware.

Now that new iMac is beyond my capacity, i wonder if new mac mini is powered enough for developing and designing icons with photoshop.

In other hand, it would be also my media center , connecting it to my TV.
I used my original 11" MacBook Air (1.4GHz Core 2 Duo) for development, including some light Photoshop work, for 3 months recently. At times I did wish for a faster computer but it was absolutely possible to do development work and the new base model Mini should be about 3 times faster than my Air.

So, the answer to your question is a resounding yes. Actually, if part of your media center duties includes transcoding incoming HD video streams, then that will be much more hardware-intensive than development. I would be more worried about that. Although if you're not going to be doing any transcoding then it isn't an issue at all.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 03:30 AM   #3
shinji
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I'm using the new mini, and the performance in Photoshop is great. I recommend maxing out the RAM since it's under $100 to do so.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 03:48 AM   #4
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If you're planning on running virtual machines ie. Windows for Visual Studio or alike I'd recommend the quad core as lending 2 cores to that machine makes a difference, otherwise if you're just developing in OSX then the dual for base mini will be fine, but get 16GB ram (Corsair Vengeance works a treat and only costs 65) and install yourself to save money.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 04:18 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by gesnazo View Post
Hi,

I am an amateur developer and i am now using an old hackintosh with snow leopard. I need to update my hardware.

Now that new iMac is beyond my capacity, i wonder if new mac mini is powered enough for developing and designing icons with photoshop.

In other hand, it would be also my media center , connecting it to my TV.
What's wrong with your Hackintosh? If it's at least a Core 2 Duo, then you ought to be able to use most of your same hacks to get at least Lion on there. Lion ought to run the most current version of Xcode just fine. Even then, if your video hardware is new enough, you ought to be able to do even Mountain Lion. (Really, if you can use the 64-bit kernel, you're good to go for Mountain Lion.)
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 04:48 AM   #6
gesnazo
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What's wrong with your Hackintosh? If it's at least a Core 2 Duo, then you ought to be able to use most of your same hacks to get at least Lion on there. Lion ought to run the most current version of Xcode just fine. Even then, if your video hardware is new enough, you ought to be able to do even Mountain Lion. (Really, if you can use the 64-bit kernel, you're good to go for Mountain Lion.)
It's an AMD and it is 4 years old!!!
I can only go up to SL 10.6.8 and XCode 4.2

I thought upgrade my PC, but i don't want get stucked with Mac OS updates in the future.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 01:56 PM   #7
motrek
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What's wrong with your Hackintosh? If it's at least a Core 2 Duo, then you ought to be able to use most of your same hacks to get at least Lion on there. Lion ought to run the most current version of Xcode just fine. Even then, if your video hardware is new enough, you ought to be able to do even Mountain Lion. (Really, if you can use the 64-bit kernel, you're good to go for Mountain Lion.)
Eh, hackintoshing is a pain. My hackintosh will run ML but I can't get the sound to work. I suppose I could buy a USB sound card, but much more convenient to just get a real Mac...
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 11:10 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Yebubbleman View Post
What's wrong with your Hackintosh? If it's at least a Core 2 Duo, then you ought to be able to use most of your same hacks to get at least Lion on there. Lion ought to run the most current version of Xcode just fine. Even then, if your video hardware is new enough, you ought to be able to do even Mountain Lion. (Really, if you can use the 64-bit kernel, you're good to go for Mountain Lion.)
I would have used a hackintosh also, and purchased the OS legitimately, but I prefer to be 100% legitimate, so I bought a Mac mini for development. I love the mini, because I also use a PC, and the mini does more than enough. The 2011 Mac mini is more powerful than my main computer! That's only because I have not upgraded the CPU/Motherboard in a while though.

Anyways, any newer Mac mini is powerful enough for development with xCode.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 03:10 PM   #9
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It's an AMD and it is 4 years old!!!
I can only go up to SL 10.6.8 and XCode 4.2

I thought upgrade my PC, but i don't want get stucked with Mac OS updates in the future.
Ah...AMD Hackintoshing, while entailing all sorts of additional trickery and patching (and with that, a degree of geeky charm), does make updating tricky. Then fair enough. A base Mac mini would do fine. As would an Intel-based Hackintosh. Frankly, if you're going the Mac mini route, I'd go with a quad-core model, simply because that's a better use of your money over the long haul than the dual-core.

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Eh, hackintoshing is a pain. My hackintosh will run ML but I can't get the sound to work. I suppose I could buy a USB sound card, but much more convenient to just get a real Mac...
Hackintoshing is only a pain if you don't do enough research to pick a board that has things working with minimal effort. It is possible, it takes a little time, but saves a lot of money and offers increased bang for buck. And really, it gets easier and easier with each new release of OS X.

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I would have used a hackintosh also, and purchased the OS legitimately, but I prefer to be 100% legitimate, so I bought a Mac mini for development. I love the mini, because I also use a PC, and the mini does more than enough. The 2011 Mac mini is more powerful than my main computer! That's only because I have not upgraded the CPU/Motherboard in a while though.

Anyways, any newer Mac mini is powerful enough for development with xCode.
I prefer my primary Mac to be a real Mac, but for a secondary machine, especially a desktop, I'd do a hackintosh over a Mac mini, iMac, or Mac Pro any day of the week.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 03:26 PM   #10
motrek
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...
Hackintoshing is only a pain if you don't do enough research to pick a board that has things working with minimal effort. It is possible, it takes a little time, but saves a lot of money and offers increased bang for buck. And really, it gets easier and easier with each new release of OS X.
...
I've been hackintoshing for the last 4 years. Over the years I've gone through two "known good" motherboards and two new video cards, because OS X updates rendered my thoroughly-researched known-good hardware unsupported. So, please, no sermons about researching. With my current motherboard (which is only a couple years old) I've tried for hours to get the on-board audio chip to work with Mountain Lion with zero luck. I've also never gotten sleep to work 100% (it works maybe 75% of the time, and just hangs on wake-up for the other 25%, which makes the whole feature pretty pointless) and I haven't had the necessary enthusiasm to try to get wifi or bluetooth to work (which real Macs have included for years).

As of 2 days ago I have a new Mac Mini (2.3 i7 model) and couldn't be happier. Everything works with no drama, including sleep, which is refreshing. And I'm looking forward to the next OS X update, which I will be able to install without hours of backing up and fidgeting.

In terms of bang for the buck, my hackintosh is a very nice quad-core computer with lots of RAM, an SSD, and a big hard drive. But I will be lucky if I can sell it for 20% of what I paid for it. Whereas with the Mini, I have complete confidence that I can use it for 3-4 years and sell it for at least 50% of what I paid. Ultimately it will be a cheaper computer to use, maybe much cheaper.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 05:44 PM   #11
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I've been hackintoshing for the last 4 years. Over the years I've gone through two "known good" motherboards and two new video cards, because OS X updates rendered my thoroughly-researched known-good hardware unsupported. So, please, no sermons about researching. With my current motherboard (which is only a couple years old) I've tried for hours to get the on-board audio chip to work with Mountain Lion with zero luck. I've also never gotten sleep to work 100% (it works maybe 75% of the time, and just hangs on wake-up for the other 25%, which makes the whole feature pretty pointless) and I haven't had the necessary enthusiasm to try to get wifi or bluetooth to work (which real Macs have included for years).

As of 2 days ago I have a new Mac Mini (2.3 i7 model) and couldn't be happier. Everything works with no drama, including sleep, which is refreshing. And I'm looking forward to the next OS X update, which I will be able to install without hours of backing up and fidgeting.

In terms of bang for the buck, my hackintosh is a very nice quad-core computer with lots of RAM, an SSD, and a big hard drive. But I will be lucky if I can sell it for 20% of what I paid for it. Whereas with the Mini, I have complete confidence that I can use it for 3-4 years and sell it for at least 50% of what I paid. Ultimately it will be a cheaper computer to use, maybe much cheaper.
1. By "OS X Update" do you mean "10.x" update? Or do you mean "10.x.x" update? There's a huge difference between a whole new OS X version and a point release update to a pre-existing version. If you're talking about the the former, then yes, even a well-researched build can sometimes lose compatibility between updates. It's a bummer, but it by no means is terminal nor does that lessen the value of the investment you made initially. Yes, Macs hold their value well and often better than a home-built PC. Though you really do pay more out of the gate, so I'd say it's proportionate. If you're talking about point releases breaking your system, then no, you are doing something wrong, or you researched something wrong, because with Snow Leopard and newer, that really became as simple as "install update, re-apply patches, fix permissions, reboot, done".

2. For a dual-core machine, $600 is steep. For a quad-core machine with no discrete graphics, $800 is steep. Sure, you can resell it in a year or two and have only lost $200, but who wants to buy a machine to sell in two years? If you keep a Mac mini for longer than three years, its value becomes moot. At that point, I'd rather just find stuff that I know has worked for multiple major versions of OS X (so a board that has been known to work with Lion and Mountain Lion), and buy CPUs.

3. The freakin' thing is a desktop, why is WiFi at all important given that Gigabit Ethernet is substantially faster and much more sensible anyway? Bluetooth, I'd understand, though both are moot points given that it takes an hour to research and buy a compatible Wi-Fi/Bluetooth card and maybe another hour to do what is necessary to install it. Really non-issues here.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 06:09 PM   #12
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1. By "OS X Update" do you mean "10.x" update? Or do you mean "10.x.x" update? There's a huge difference between a whole new OS X version and a point release update to a pre-existing version. If you're talking about the the former, then yes, even a well-researched build can sometimes lose compatibility between updates. It's a bummer, but it by no means is terminal nor does that lessen the value of the investment you made initially. Yes, Macs hold their value well and often better than a home-built PC. Though you really do pay more out of the gate, so I'd say it's proportionate. If you're talking about point releases breaking your system, then no, you are doing something wrong, or you researched something wrong, because with Snow Leopard and newer, that really became as simple as "install update, re-apply patches, fix permissions, reboot, done".

2. For a dual-core machine, $600 is steep. For a quad-core machine with no discrete graphics, $800 is steep. Sure, you can resell it in a year or two and have only lost $200, but who wants to buy a machine to sell in two years? If you keep a Mac mini for longer than three years, its value becomes moot. At that point, I'd rather just find stuff that I know has worked for multiple major versions of OS X (so a board that has been known to work with Lion and Mountain Lion), and buy CPUs.

3. The freakin' thing is a desktop, why is WiFi at all important given that Gigabit Ethernet is substantially faster and much more sensible anyway? Bluetooth, I'd understand, though both are moot points given that it takes an hour to research and buy a compatible Wi-Fi/Bluetooth card and maybe another hour to do what is necessary to install it. Really non-issues here.
1. As is unfortunately true of almost every aspect of hackintoshing, your mileage may vary. I know my audio stopped working between 10.7.4 and 10.7.5. The kext I was using that made it work for previous updates to Lion stopped working and I couldn't get any other suggested methods to work. There is no rule that says your hardware will remain compatible between minor updates. Apple changes stuff in updates, that's why they're called updates, and something they change might break you.

2. Macs retain significant value even after 3 years. Believe me, I check Craigslist fairly frequently for a good, cheap Mini to use as a HTPC or to give to my parents, and even the ones from ~2007 still sell for around $300. I know the initial purchase price is steep compared to a Dell or whatever, but if you can sell it for half of what you paid 5 years later, then ultimately there's not much of a financial reason not to buy one, unless you are really strapped for cash at the moment.

3. My computer desk is on the other side of my apartment from my router. Yes, I can run an Ethernet cable from one to the other and that's what I've been doing since I moved in, but now that I have wifi I can get rid of the cable. It wasn't much of an eyesore but why have it when I don't need it? My internet provider "only" gives me a sustained download rate of around 2 MB/s and I can get more than half of that with wifi so it's not really that much of a benefit to have wired Ethernet. Of course I could have bought a wifi card for the hackintosh but that's just another component that could suffer from incompatibilities.
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