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Xcode/eclipse C++ on 11" MacBook Air with 2GB RAM, OS X Lion and 64GB HDD

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Stanoefc, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Hey, I'm planning on getting a 11" MacBook air with a 2GB RAM, 64GB HDD and OS X Lion. I am also going to get a 500GB external HDD with it and I would just like to know if it would be good to run Xcode or eclipse on it? Please note that I will install Xcode/eclipse to the external HDD If that affects the performance? Thanks.
  2. macrumors 68030

    I'd honestly try getting the higher-end 11." Lion is very painful with only 2GB of RAM, much less trying to use with other programs. Especially ones as big as XCode.
  3. macrumors newbie

    What do you mean "higher-end 11"?
  4. macrumors 68020


    The 4GB/128GB model.

    I think the worse here will not be your RAM but the fact that you'll be loading applications from USB. They should stay on your SSD. Use an external HDD for your iTunes library and videos, not for your applications.
  5. macrumors newbie

    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X; en_US) AppleWebKit (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile [FBAN/FBForIPhone;FBAV/4.0.2;FBBV/4020.0;FBDV/iPhone4,1;FBMD/iPhone;FBSN/iPhone OS;FBSV/5.0.1;FBSS/2; FBCR/Verizon;FBID/phone;FBLC/en_US;FBSF/2.0])

    I agree with stanoefc. Def go with the higher end MBA and keep all apps on the ssd.
  6. macrumors 65816


    If you're going to use IDEs such as Xcode and Eclipse on the 11", you might want to use an external display with it too.
  7. macrumors newbie

    Whats wrong with running aplications from your USB?
  8. macrumors 68030


    USB 2.0 is painfully slow
  9. macrumors 6502

    It runs it great, I run Eclipse and Xcode every day on my 2gb Air with pure ease, some people on here are overly concerned with specs.
  10. macrumors newbie

    That's great to hear! Are you running them from the SSD? Or from an external HDD? And what is the size of your SSD?
  11. macrumors 6502

    I'm running straight from the SSD (64gb) only about 5 gigs for both , still have 44gb free on my SSD, I do keep things like music and images on an external drive though.
  12. macrumors newbie

    Do you use Xcode for coding or for developing iPhone apps?
  13. macrumors 6502

    Both, I use it for Mac OS X apps and toying around with iPhone/iPad apps, also use it for other types of programming like rule engines(mostly for bracket matching and the likes) and sometimes just bog standard C.
  14. macrumors 68020


    It will be much slower. The SSD inside your MBA can be read at up to 264 MB/s while the USB 2.0 interface is limited at 60 MB/s. Expect at least 4.4x longer loadings and that's if your hard drive is already spinning, if not it will take longer.

    What's good about the MBA is not only its form factor but also the fact that it has SSD. You should take advantage of that.

    Basically in order of speed you have:

    Internal hard drive
    Thunderbolt hard drive
    USB 3.0 hard drive
    Firewire hard drive
    USB 2.0 hard drive

    You'd be going from the best to the worst. Not the best choice. I use Eclipse and it's already pretty long to load from my SSD compared to every other application I use, so I imagine it would be a pain to load it from USB 2.0.
  15. macrumors 68040


    The 64GB/2GB 11" will not hold you back today for iOS development.

    2GB RAM is fine especially since hitting VM cached on disk is so much less costly than with a HDD.

    I'd get 128GB/4GB 11" for $200 more if you can possibly afford it. I'd get that as an Apple refurb before I'd get the 64GB/2GB new. Apple is developing Xcode very actively so 2GB may not cut it next year. Also, 64GB is very tight. You *will* want to run anything but media from the SSD and the 64GB is going to start half full and fill the rest of the way up pretty fast.

    Put it this way: there are four pillars of machine usefulness: Processor, RAM, Drive, Screen. You will get twice the machine in two out of four of these for $200 more.
  16. macrumors newbie

    Do you have any main apps installed on your external hard drive that you regularly use?
  17. macrumors 6502

    Half full is a huge exaggeration, I had about 57gb free when I got mine


    I run a VM once in a blue moon from the External HD and it runs pretty much ok, but running the same VM from the SSD is a good bit faster, its bearable but the SSD is much faster.
  18. macrumors 604

    You would have to a masochist to develop anything in Xcode 4 with 2 GBs of ram
  19. macrumors 6502

    no you wouldn't, I am certainly no masochist , maybe 2gb of ram with a slow HD not the ram/ssd combo .
  20. macrumors 604

    It's a frustrating and horrible experience, but I am glad it works for you.
  21. macrumors 68040


    Good for you. But the OP needs to install Xcode, SDKs, Framework documentation and other development tools. Some people also like to put a few other things on their computers. I'm glad a 10GB drive is more than enough for you, but that's not good advice in general.
  22. macrumors 6502

    Right and I have all the development tools on mine now and have 44gb free , whats the deal ?
  23. macrumors 6502

    You should really look at getting the 4GB RAM model because it will help make the laptop more useable and it's something you can't upgrade manually. You'd regret saving £150 and having to upgrade it in a year. Resale value of a 4GB/128GB MBA will be higher than the low version too.

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