Development Platform Specs

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by jfb3, May 13, 2005.

  1. macrumors newbie

    I'm considering developing software with OSX and I have a few questions.

    RAM: How much ram will I need to run an XCode or 2, apache, eclipse, multiple browsers, debuggers, db tools, project management tools, etc. all at once like I'm used to in Windows.
  2. Moderator


    Staff Member

    I'm not a Mac developer (although I am a Windows developer), but I would add a gig. Meaning that if your computer came with 256, then bring it up to 1.25 GB. And if it came with 512, bring it up to 1.5.

    I dropped from 1.25 to 1 GB a few months ago, and it's noticeably slower. I tend to run about 10 apps simultaneously.
  3. macrumors 68030


    What Nermal said is right, but I think you should take into account what machine you will have as well ;)
  4. macrumors newbie

    I have a G4 1.33 iBook that I use for development with only 768mb of ram. This was my first mac and it was faster than working with visual studio on my windows box. I later bought a dual 2 G5 powermac which is understandably much much faster.

    While not as fast as doing it on my PowerMac, the iBook is certainly more than adequate to the task when I'm on the road.
  5. macrumors 6502a


    Xcode, gdb and the compiler use at most 20mb of ram even with multiple project open. Apache uses amounts in the kb's of ram, eclipse uses quite a bit more though (but you can do Java work in Xcode) and everything else really is application specific.

    Remember, on Mac OS X one instance of Xcode can only ever be launched but it can open multiple projects. It's the same with Safari, one instance of Safari but multiple "browsers".

    I would say 512mb of RAM is plenty of development. I however have 1.5gb on my G5 but I also have countless other applications open.
  6. macrumors newbie

    As for browsers, normally I'd have Firefox, IE, Opera, etc all open at once.

    It seems stupid that you can't open more than one instance of Xcode at a time. Wth Studio I'd often debug one long running app in one instance and a smaller app in a different instance at the same time. Or a couple of times multiple slightly different versions of the same app at the same time for comparison.

    (I guess no more multi-tasking for me, huh?) And it'll make the debuging funky cross-app communication stuff much harder. I always preferred not bringing down all my development stacks just becuase one of them crashes. And don't tell me that won't happen, I've dropped every development stack (and eventually every OS) on every machine/OS I've ever been on including A-Series/MCP and MVX-XA (that was scary).
  7. Moderator


    Staff Member

    You can open more than one instance, but you shouldn't, and they might conflict with each other.
  8. macrumors 65816


    Having a big monitor helps.
  9. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Seconded. I am begining to find the screen on my 15" PowerBook a bit small! It was even worse on an iBook. More RAM always helps. I have 768Mb at the moment and notice lots of swapping if I have 2-3 XCode projects open, Mail, Safari with a few pages and a few small apps as well as around 7 Dashboard widgets. I'm upgrading to 1.5Gb of RAM in the next couple of days, I'll let you know if that fixes it!
  10. macrumors newbie

    Yeah, I've been working on machines wth two 21" monitors for the past 5 years. (And I could use more!)
  11. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Just to report back I am now up to 1.5Gb of RAM and everything is silky smooth again. No paging at all. Well worth the upgrade :)
  12. macrumors 603


    One thing to note about OSX (from Jaguar onwards) in general - VRAM and the GPU are far more important than on OS9 or Windows.

    If you plan on keeping a lot of windows open, you'll need a LOT of VRAM, since once that fills it starts using RAM and bogs the system down considerably.
  13. macrumors newbie

    Thanks, that's what I was looking for. I always expected that I'd need 1.5GB or better to have a functional device.
  14. macrumors 6502a


    You can open more than one project in one Xcode instance and a debugger, editor(s), project editor, etc. for each project. You should have no problems in that department.

    You can create another instance of Xcode and run it, it wont cause issues except potentially if you change preferences. Just rename the Xcode executable in the bundle and change the executable name in the Info.plist.
  15. macrumors newbie

    Thanks, that I can do.

    Still, it seems wrong that Apple would create an IDE that wasn't reentrant. (I think it'd be the first I ever worked on that had that limitation.)

    It makes me wonder is it because they are so short-sighted or becuase they are trying to make life "easier" for developers? (Oh my, if they do more than one thing at a time they'll all get confused, oh my!)
  16. Moderator


    Staff Member

    The is a "limitation" of all Macintosh applications, Apple developed or otherwise. It makes sense on the platform. Perhaps Apple feal that if the IDE is a normal application then the stuff churned out by developers will also fit the platform instead of displaying random non-Mac like behaviours.
  17. macrumors 65816

    Odd. I have XCode open right now and it's using 54.65 megs of real memory. You must have a special version.

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