Would the 2011 i5 MacBook Air 13" be good for developing?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Yumunum, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. macrumors 65816

    Yumunum

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Location:
    U.S.
    #1
    I'm starting college next month, and I'm getting near the moment where I buy my computer...

    I want to start learning how to develop applications for both iOS and OS X. Would the 2011 i5 MacBook Air 13" be good for developing? Is the processor fast enough? Could I live without an external monitor (for more real-estate) while developing? Anything else I should be aware of?
     
  2. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2011
    #2
    Umm the 2010 was.
     
  3. macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #3
    I certainly don't think it's a bad candidate for developing since it has a resolution of 1440x900. A lot of space to do your work.

    It should be fast enough, right? :eek:
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Yumunum

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    Apr 24, 2011
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    #4
    Will I often need two windows opened side-by-side when developing? Keep in mind I don't know ANYTHING yet, haha. So my questions are quite stupid! XP
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    torbjoern

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    #5
    Don't worry - it's great for developing! :)
     
  6. JLatte, Jul 22, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011

    macrumors 6502

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    San Diego
    #6
    If I can do it on my 11", the 13" will be more than sufficient. I developed for years on my 13" blackbook. Just shrink the text in Xcode or visual studio to about 10 pt and you're fine.
     
  7. macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #7
    Yes. I started coding on ZX Spectrum when I was 9 and then upgraded to a Commodore 64 so you should be fine. They had 32 kilobytes and 64 kilobytes of memory respectively. ;)
     
  8. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    #8
    I'm developing under my 11" MBA, than again I have it hooked up to a Dell U2311H when I do any coding longer than an hour. If you're doing any serious development work, you probably have multiple monitors anyways.
     
  9. vow
    macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    #9
    Agreed. I bought the 2010 MBA when it came out and Xcode works just fine. The only development related complaints I have is that I could always use more RAM for my VMs.
     
  10. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    #10
    +1
    I bought one (i7 though) for programming. I did the i7 just so it was more of a "best of the best" and what not. My father (Java developer, finical) says the SSD will provide for better compile times. I do Ruby for a living atm (going to college this year as well) so there is a huge boost in that for me (because Ruby is interpreted not compiled). Overall it's great because the SSD can read really well so all the data needed is easily assceable by the computer. I would definitively get a monitor or a KVM or something though to hook it up to a bigger monitor(s).
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Yumunum

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Location:
    U.S.
    #11
    When you say virtual machines, what do you mean specifically? Windows? Device simulators? If it's about Windows, I'm thinking I'll install it with Bootcamp so I don't have to split my 4GB of RAM. :/

    Thanks for the help everyone! Sounds like I'll need to get an external moniter. Would a 1080p TV be enough? Or would something like an Apple Cinema Display be reccomended?
     
  12. macrumors member

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    Jul 11, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    #12
    A Cinema display would be smaller then our 1080p TV, what size? I plan on buying a refurb 20in monitor, perhaps bluetooth keyboard and that mouse pad thingy they sell.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Yumunum

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    Apr 24, 2011
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    #13
    Well the TV would be "bigger" technically, but it wouldn't actually show much content as a Cinema Display... Wait, are people reccomending external monitors for programming because of the need to view text larger, or because they'd need more screen real-estate? (for multiple windows, ect.) And the TV would probably be around 40 inches if I got one
     
  14. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    #14
    Probably screen estate. I'm a web developer so I'll have my IDE, terminal, and file explorer on my left screen. My browser, Skype, and logger on the right. (23in x 2 fully covered).

    We have a 1080p monitor that is on a 15in laptop at work ;) I don't go into the office much, everyone there uses cinema displays :( They're nice, but at a thousand dollars, I'll just buy a refurbed 1080p 20in for $100 thank you. If you can spend the money, I have NEVER heard a word against them (except their price).
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    #15
    It's due to screen real estate. Xcode will primarily take up one main monitor, but you also want room for Apple documentation, the iPhone/iPad simulator, and any other resources you want. I have 3 monitors and it works great, but even that time it seems so much. There are some debates as to whether 2 vs. 3 monitors = more productivity.
     
  16. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    #16
    Went to a coworkers house the other day, he has three landscaped that are 30in or more. I think if it's landscape it's good because then you don't have to turn your head as much. Though I would honestly never use all of that space lol. 'eh beside the point of the thread though :p (my post, not yours)
     
  17. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    #17
    I guess it depends on preference like everything else. I have a 24" ACD, 24" Samsung, and 20" Dell (that can go portrait if necessary). Sometimes, it's a little much and I often debate just going 27" ACD + 24" ACD. Sucks because the Thunderbolt display won't work with my Mac Pro.
     

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