2013 13" MBA is 4GB sufficient for iOS programming

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by gauthamns, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    #1
    Planning to buy 13' MBA and they only sell the basic models in India so upgrading to 8gb is not possible. Will 4gb ram be sufficient for day to day needs consisting iOS, Android programming and web development in Ruby on Rails? With student discount it costs around $1100 here. I'm not going to develop high end games but mainly productivity apps, news and other native apps.

    Buying 13' retina MBP is the only option if 8gb of ram is necessary and the cost goes up to $1500. I do not want to spend so much unless really required (Considering it is up for refresh some time soon)
     
  2. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    #2
    Yes. You may not be able to have every IDE open at the same time, but yes, it'll be fine. I developed plenty on a 4GB Mac Mini from 2010.
     
  3. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2013
    #3
    I used a mac mini for iOS development a few years ago, and it had a C2D and 4GB memory. It worked alright at the time, but with lots of things open it would bog down when it started paging. That won't be nearly as much of an issue with the SSD, of course... If at ALL possible (amazon? Ebay?), though, I'd get one with 8GB. Xcode seems to take more and more memory with each release (on the latest version, for example, I've seen it using 5GB+ memory all by itself... Granted I was working on some fairly large projects).
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    errol

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    #4
    If this machine is going to be used to make money, I would probably go for the better configuration.
     
  5. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    #5
    That config is more than enough for iOS development. I have been doing it for years.

    I use an 2011 MBA / 4GB memory / 128 GB HD.

    No issues at all.

    I
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    HiDEF

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #6
    After all this time do you still feel 4GB's is sufficient?
     
  7. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2013
    #7
    I'm telling you, Xcode 5 is just around the corner and if history is any indication then it'll use more memory than the last version (in my experience anyway). It's a hundred bucks, get the 8GB. :)
     
  8. macrumors regular

    rdas7

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #8
    4GB is fine — I've been using a 2011 Air (with 4GB of RAM) for development with no problems. XCode (including 5) runs fine.

    More RAM is always better, but 4GB is certainly enough.
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    HiDEF

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #9
    Enough that users wont experience hangs or lag?
     
  10. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    #10
    Yes it is. If there was an option to upgrade to 8gb, I would have bought it happily. Spending extra $400 and going for rMBP seems too much. (Instead, i'm planning to upgrade my desktop machine which is used for Android and Rails programming).

    ----------

    8GB configuration is not available in India. I've spoken to Apple dealers here and I've been told only preset configurations are available :(
     
  11. Guest

    falconeight

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    #11
    It would be hard to gauge the performance of apps with the standard machine. I would go big.
     
  12. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    #12
    Hey man, the 2013 MBA, even with 4GB of ram will be sufficient. I used to have a 2008 blackbook (still here actually) that I used for ios programming and it did fine. I then upgraded to a late 2011 17" MBP, but my wife's 2011 11" MBA beat it with its SSD. Sold it and got a 2012 11" MBA and a Dell 27" monitor instead. No hiccups whatsoever in xcode. Just hook it up to an external monitor for heavy coding and you're all set. I think you're gonna benefit from the SSD, considering the number of ios files you're gonna work on. HTH

    PS
    I just maxed out the memory on my MBA because I do graphics and animation work as well.
     
  13. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #13

    What if you end up selling only 20 copies at 0.99?
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    #14
    If that's the projected sales for the software, you don't program it.
     
  15. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    #15
    Is buying online not an option? If ever it arrives in not-so-good condition, you have your local Apple reseller replace it because it's still covered with warranty.. Not so sure about this tho.. Just trying to help.
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    errol

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    #16

    I agree. Don't quit your day job. :D
     
  17. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    #17
    Yes, 4 GB is plenty for iOS development. Keep in mind MBAs have SSD drives as well.


    I **just** upgraded to the new 13" / 8GB/i7/256GB, but that was not for iOS work. It was so I could run more VM's in Fusion when I need to do Visual Studio Development :(
     
  18. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2013
    #18
    Well believe me or not i still use my 2007 Black Macbook with 4GB of ram and C2D CPU and i still can develop it so yes you can use 4GB Ram for developing, but since my macbook black cant handle more than 4GB of ram i am going to replace it very soon as it wont be enough for my usage in next few months.

    So if you are planning to use your macbook air for a year and don't plan to keep it for a long time then go for 4GB of ram, but if u want to keep it for a longer period then I would suggest to get 8GB RAM either macbook air or rMBP if thats is too expensive for you then you could always go for cMBP 13 with base config and later upgrade yourself up to 16GB of ram and remove optical drive and put a SSD drive in :)
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    HiDEF

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #19
    I'm not a programmer just an average user who does plan to sell his new MBA when and if the new rMBP's are announced. I still have 7 days before I need to make a final decision whether I'm keeping it or not. As of now, everything is running fine but its still new, which could be why I haven't encountered slowdowns.
     
  20. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011
    #20
    2012 4 GB visual studio checking in (bootcamp). Runs fine.
     
  21. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    #21
    Unfortunately apple doesn't sell online in India so that is not an option. If I get one from other countries, warranty might be a problem since custom configured MBAs are not sold here and hence can't be readily replaced. (That is what the dealer said)
     
  22. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    #22
    I see.. hmm.. well, it looks like a good decision to get the base 13" MBA based on user reviews. If not, maybe you can look into the 13" cMBP, at least with that you can upgrade the RAM to 16gb (correct me if I'm wrong), then add an SSD in the optical bay.. The only drawback is the screen real estate - though hooking it up to an external monitor will make the screen real estate problem trivial.

    Goodluck on your purchase man :)
     
  23. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    #23
    According to what I gather, 4gb ram is sufficient for xcode programming but may be inadequate for graphical, animation. I don't know if I will be any in the future and still in dual mind whether to plunge and buy 4gb MBA or wait and see if there is a possibility of getting 8gb mba or buy 13' rMBP in future.
     

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