MacBook Air + Xcode

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by HiRez, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. macrumors 601

    HiRez

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Western US
    #1
    Anyone get one of the new MacBook Airs yet? It seems like it could be the ultimate road coding machine (considering size and weight, obviously). I'm curious to know how Xcode runs, if the screen feels too cramped, and if you found any development-related issues with it. It seems like the CPU should be fast enough, battery life looks good (5-6+ hours), and the SSD/flash storage could potentially help performance a lot, especially during compiles.
     
  2. macrumors 68030

    Catfish_Man

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2001
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    I can't speak for the 11.6" model, but I code a good bit on my 13" MacBook + SSD, which is basically similar to the 13" air but lower res and heavier. Works fine for me.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    Location:
    Northern California
    #3
    I have a first-gen MBAir and XCode runs just fine. It is usable with the 13" screen although I do enjoy the 27" on my iMac when coding.
     
  4. macrumors newbie

    Jill-Jênn

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Location:
    France
    #4
    Just got a MacBook Air 11″ and don't feel cramped yet with the editors I use (argh, I have to DOWNLOAD XCode, as I didn't get any installation disc…).
     
  5. macrumors 604

    chrono1081

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Isla Nublar
    #5
    Works great for me. I have the 13 inch, 2.14ghz, 4 gigs ram. MBA
     
  6. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    #6
    Have you tried it with an external monitor yet?

    I'm torn between the 11" and 13". In either case, I would use it with an external monitor for Xcode but I'm more curious about it from a power standpoint.
     
  7. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    #7
    I think either machine will run it fine. Once the app is actually open it won't make all that much difference. I've run Xcode on a Core Solo Mac mini in the past, and it worked fine.
     
  8. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    #8
    Thanks for your input. I'm still beside myself which one to pick though, haha.
     
  9. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    #9
    Last question, Would Xcode benefit from the 4GB RAM upgrade? Otherwise my uses for this laptop will be very light: Web, iTunes, tweetdeck, and the occasional small spreadsheet or word document.
     
  10. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #10
    If you use Xcode mostly by itself, 2 GB should be fine. My Mac mini with 2 GB is more than enough to run Xcode and a few other apps at once.

    If you're the type of person who always leaves all their apps running, especially in Spaces, then 2 GB may be inadequate. On the up side, SSD swapping will be fast. On the down side, swapping is swapping, and exacts a cost.

    One other thing to consider: I bought my mini and intentionally upgraded its RAM myself. That's not possible with the Air. I would personally max out the RAM, even if it costs me more, because I think it would extend the useful lifetime of the computer. Max RAM is one less obstacle to hit later.
     
  11. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    #11
    Thanks. I think I am going to go with the stock 2GB model to save some cash. I would probably only have a web browser with 4-5 tabs open while running Xcode, and for general usage, just a browser, iTunes, Tweetdeck, and occasionally Microsoft Office.

    I know I can't upgrade it, but another consideration is that I am thinking about going back to school next fall and would be eligible for a student discount if I want to upgrade in a year or two.
     
  12. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #12
    If that's your typical workspace, then you should at least run Activity Monitor.app and have it tell you the memory usage with that setup. It could be close to the edge of swapping with 2 GB, but you won't know it unless you measure it.
     
  13. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2003
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #13
    Seems like the 11" Air would fit nicely right below the 27" Apple monitor and allow a nice vertical dual monitor set-up for iOS/iPad development. Has anyone tried this?
     
  14. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    #14
    I did a rough hand measurement and I believe the 11" would cover the bottom part of the 27" screen. I'm looking at the same combo myself. I wish the Apple screens were height adjustable.
     
  15. macrumors 68040

    lee1210

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #15
    They are! http://www.apple.com/support/imac/g4/

    -Lee
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    wakka092

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    #16
    I would do the 13" if you mainly code on the road. I had a 13" and found even it limiting in terms of screen real estate. YMMV.
     
  17. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #17
    Different screens = different DPI and different brightness. Yuck.
     
  18. macrumors member

    teaneedz

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    #18
    xcode download experience

    During a painful download process due to home network I experienced the following:

    - During download RAM usage topped at 800MB. CPU stayed well under 50%.

    - During actual install RAM peaked at 1.1GB and CPU pegged at 100%

    The actual install was quite fast for this 3GB file. My bottleneck was the network. I wish Apple provided x-code on the install flash stick but it does not.

    Xcode runs fine on an MBA 11.6 1.4Ghz/4GB/128GB machine.
     

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