13 Inch MBP Programming Experience?

iska

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 12, 2017
19
4
I'm a professional programmer and I code on my machine at home as well. It's a 2011 13" base model MBP. Despite SSD and RAM upgrades, IntelliJ and Android Studio can get pretty laggy and the fan is spinning at max speed a lot more than I'd like.

Upgrading to a 13" 2017 nTB MBP (16 gb RAM) seems like a no brainer, but I'm worried that it won't be powerful enough to solve my performance and fan noise problems. Are there any developers (perhaps java/android) that have experience with this duo core machine? I don't need blazing fast video rendering, but I do expect Android Studio and IntelliJ to run significantly smoother, especially with an external 1440p display hooked up.

Before you recommend the quad core 15", I consider it too expensive to carry on my bike and during travels. If the 13" is not suited, I would get a quad core iMac and stick with my 2011 for on the go development.
 

makzr

macrumors newbie
Nov 29, 2016
15
9
Germany
I think it heavily depends on your habits.

I use a 13" machine for software development and it's ok. However, I don't use VMs or server software (databases etc) on my computer.
You won't benefit much from a quad core machine when you only use an IDE (like Android Studio) on your computer.
When your workflow includes VMs or Docker you should probably go for a quad core machine.
 

iska

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 12, 2017
19
4
I don't use VMs much at home. My workflow is running Android Studio/IntelliJ on a 1440p external monitor and a browser with stackoverflow/youtube/skype. Frequent compiling of larger projects cause plenty of lag and high fan speeds on my current machine. Can the new 13" handle this with ease, in your experience?
 

makzr

macrumors newbie
Nov 29, 2016
15
9
Germany
I don't use VMs much at home. My workflow is running Android Studio/IntelliJ on a 1440p external monitor and a browser with stackoverflow/youtube/skype. Frequent compiling of larger projects cause plenty of lag and high fan speeds on my current machine. Can the new 13" handle this with ease, in your experience?
I'm only running Visual Studio, Xcode and some editors and command line stuff on my 2016 MacBook Pro .... my fans don't speed up very often. When they do, it's just for some seconds.
The performance is very close to my desktop computer at work.
 

jerryk

macrumors 601
Nov 3, 2011
4,872
2,414
SF Bay Area
IntelliJ, and I imaging Android Studio, is a pretty demanding IDE. It runs a lot of threads and is seems to be constantly compiling in the background. I have it and use to use it for android development, but is slow even on my 2015 15" rMBP.

Strangely, it seems much better on my deskside Windows 10 system. That maybe because of Windows/IntelliJ interaction, or the fact that the Windows system has a 4700K processor with 32 GB of memory.
 

sakabaro

macrumors regular
Feb 24, 2015
147
79
I'm a professional programmer and I code on my machine at home as well. It's a 2011 13" base model MBP. Despite SSD and RAM upgrades, IntelliJ and Android Studio can get pretty laggy and the fan is spinning at max speed a lot more than I'd like.

Upgrading to a 13" 2017 nTB MBP (16 gb RAM) seems like a no brainer, but I'm worried that it won't be powerful enough to solve my performance and fan noise problems. Are there any developers (perhaps java/android) that have experience with this duo core machine? I don't need blazing fast video rendering, but I do expect Android Studio and IntelliJ to run significantly smoother, especially with an external 1440p display hooked up.

Before you recommend the quad core 15", I consider it too expensive to carry on my bike and during travels. If the 13" is not suited, I would get a quad core iMac and stick with my 2011 for on the go development.
I am getting exacltly a 13" nTB max-out for coding, but ruby on rails, mongodb, lot of browsers and tabs. Probably also a bit of VMs and dockers. I will report in a few days.

My advice will be to get it and try your workflow. You never really know. I manage to work for a few years on max-out 2015 12". Even doing machine learning and ios development despite its atrocious performance. Just because I love the form factor.

So, yeah get it and try. Apple stores are usually kind with returns and you have 15 days with full refund and no questions asked.
 

iska

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 12, 2017
19
4
I am getting exacltly a 13" nTB max-out for coding, but ruby on rails, mongodb, lot of browsers and tabs. Probably also a bit of VMs and dockers. I will report in a few days.

My advice will be to get it and try your workflow. You never really know. I manage to work for a few years on max-out 2015 12". Even doing machine learning and ios development despite its atrocious performance. Just because I love the form factor.

So, yeah get it and try. Apple stores are usually kind with returns and you have 15 days with full refund and no questions asked.
I actually opted for the more powerful iMac 2017. It was too hard for me to justify spending so much money on a machine that doesn't have 4 cores.
 

jerryk

macrumors 601
Nov 3, 2011
4,872
2,414
SF Bay Area
I actually opted for the more powerful iMac 2017. It was too hard for me to justify spending so much money on a machine that doesn't have 4 cores.
Sound like a good choice. You have a system that is upgradable. And has a lot of screen real estate and good ergonomics. This really matters when you are coding for long periods of time. Enjoy!
 

sakabaro

macrumors regular
Feb 24, 2015
147
79
I actually opted for the more powerful iMac 2017. It was too hard for me to justify spending so much money on a machine that doesn't have 4 cores.
Yes, I have an 5k iMac as well, it's awesome machine. Way more confortable and power than nTB Macbook Pro or the 12" MacBook. I don't get the point of having a MacBook Pro 15" if you are going to leave it hooked up to a monitor.
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Sound like a good choice. You have a system that is upgradable. And has a lot of screen real estate and good ergonomics. This really matters when you are coding for long periods of time. Enjoy!
Agreed! And you can still have a 12" MacBook when travelling or coffeeshop in extra! :)