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Does programing require good computer?

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by uaecasher, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. macrumors 65816


    hello, i was wondering does programing require a good (like a mac pro or macbook pro)?

    i tried to google but i keep getting irrelevant results

    thank you
  2. Moderator emeritus


    Depends what you want to program. If you're asking this question though, I'm doubting you'll need anything overly powerful for a while. I have a regular MacBook and it does very well for the programming I do.
  3. macrumors 65816


    well i have the 2.4ghz macbookpro unibody, I'm thinking of either game development or utilities and use full open source programs. but not sure about game development because it's hard to develop a game that will attract people alone and it's not so useful for the mac users
  4. macrumors G4

    No, development itself works fine on even the lowest preformming computer. text editors and compilers are not very demending applications. But if the software you are writing requires lots of "power" then you will need a high and machine to test it with.

    For example I'm writting softhing right now that is designed around a database. My computer idles at arount 0 to 5% CPU load while I edit the source code and so on. But then I run a test and the software I wrote takes 5 to 7 minutes on my dual Xeon system with SCSI u320 disks. Back when I had a slower computers test runs could take 45 to 60 minutes.

    Likwise if I were writing a game I'd need a computer that could run my game so I could test it but I could write the game on a 10 year old g4 based iBook if I wanted.

    OK one more example. Back in the 70's I wrote plenty of code using an 8-bit computer with about 1/2 a megabyte of RAM. It worked well enough.
  5. macrumors 68040


    Chances are anything you have/get will be fine. If you start at the commandline with gcc, etc. any used/refurbished machine would do. That would probably even suffice for some basic XCode work. If you move onto 3D, etc. you might need to up the ante. If you are wanting to work on the iPhone you need to be running OS X 10.5, so you'll need a machine that meets its minimum requirements:
    A Mac computer with an Intel, PowerPC G5, or Power PC G4 (867 MHz or faster) processor
    512 MB memory or more
    A DVD drive for installation
    9 GB of available disk space or more

    In short, there's very little you're likely to want to do for a while that needs the power a pro machine affords.

  6. macrumors 6502

    No. I use an imac and its more than adequate. The only thing which can be particularly helpful is either a large screen (I have 24 inch model) or two smaller screens.

    You can always use a headless box for builds and testing (mini) if you ever get to the point where things slow down.
  7. macrumors 65816


    one thing i want to make sure, when your testing the software will it require more CPU than normal use of another user because 5 to 7 min in computer like yours is too much o.o
  8. macrumors member

    I can't recommend a single core PPC G5 to work with XCode. I tested it on an iMac G5 and it was painfully slow.
  9. macrumors 68020



    I used to do all my computer science programming as well as Open GL stuff on a PB G4 using xcode and everything worked great.
  10. macrumors member

    My iMac was a 1.8 G5 with 1GB of RAM. The OS was 10.5.4 and XCode was 3.[01] (can't remember now). The autocompletions where always delayed and at 90 wpm the input was choppy.
  11. macrumors 68030


    It depends a lot on the size of the project. A small personal project will probably be fine on a G4, Adium will be somewhat sluggish, and WebKit will be intolerably slow.
  12. macrumors G4

    It all depends on what you are doing. In my case one test run means processing many millions of rows in a DBMS. For that I'm using a computer with specs a bit like a Mac Pro but with much faster disk drives.

    Another project I'm doing is a Java GUI for a piece of lab equipment. For that a slow PC is fine as the GUI would run on "anything"

    On all depends on what you are doing. Running gcc out of a terminal does not take much
  13. macrumors 68000


    It doesn't sound like the OP will be writing any power hungry applications any time soon. Develop with what you have, when you learn more about what you're doing, what's eating up your resources, etc... then you may want to look at a higher end computer. I would imagine that is YEARS away.
  14. macrumors 6502a

    I am a computer science student. I will be graduating this semester and everything that I have written for school would require no more power than a netbook. something faster would be nice but it is not required.
  15. macrumors 68030


    It does for large projects, if you want it to finish in a reasonable amount of time.
  16. macrumors 65816


    thanks guys for the info

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