Any developers went with 13" pro?

OniSlayer

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 29, 2012
19
0
Virgin Islands
Any developers chose the 13" pro over the 15" variants particularly for use as their main machine? I've lasted through college so far with my trusty ol' 15" Gateway windows computer and it has been sufficient for my programming needs in Java and other languages. Just one more semester to go :D.

I'm about to purchase a macbook pro (my first Mac) which will see me off for this final semester. It'll definitely an upgrade to what I have now. I'm curious to see if the 13" pro meets the needs of those doing serious development work.
 

Roman2K~

macrumors 6502a
Mar 11, 2011
552
16
I've once a had a 13" Pro and then an Air used for programming purposes (among other things): on the Pro, I couldn't fit a whole lot of lines due to the low resolution. The fonts can't be scaled down too much either, because of the low pixel density. The Air was a much better experience. Fonts looked smoother at a given size, and 1440x900 vs 1280x800 allows to fit a few more lines vertically on the screen. Enough to go from feeling cramped to comfortable.

If you haven't had a chance to try out the 15" Retina, do give it a chance. It's night and day when it comes to font smoothness, which I find of the utmost importance for programming. Text is so crisp, I can look at it all day with no fatigue whatsoever at the end of the day. The extra real estate is very welcome, too.

My text editor is Vim so I work in Terminal. My best configuration is Menlo, 12 pt, white on black. Looks phenomenal! A real pleasure to work on. Head and shoulders above all previously owned Pros and Airs.
 

Fed

macrumors 6502
Jul 7, 2012
409
0
Liverpool.
For what it's worth, I do a lot of development and I've just traded in the rMBP for the 13" Pro. Whilst it was a great machine, it was a little too big for my needs and quite like the Air, I felt like I was going to break it. I've just brought home the 2012 higher-end 13" and it already feels a lot better.

I'll be using it on the go a lot but when it comes to serious development, I personally require external monitors anyway. And, as far as upgradeability goes, it's a pretty good bet. I'm currently eyeing up the 16GB RAM upgrade and perhaps throwing in an SSD. I'm a very happy camper indeed.
 

vladster

macrumors member
Jul 25, 2011
77
0
Any developers chose the 13" pro over the 15" variants particularly for use as their main machine? I've lasted through college so far with my trusty ol' 15" Gateway windows computer and it has been sufficient for my programming needs in Java and other languages. Just one more semester to go :D.

I'm about to purchase a macbook pro (my first Mac) which will see me off for this final semester. It'll definitely an upgrade to what I have now. I'm curious to see if the 13" pro meets the needs of those doing serious development work.
Depends what you are going to develop. You need a Mac to develop for iOS, but you will not be able to do Windows development on MAC efficiently. I need to do some occasionally and use Virtual Box + Windows XP for that - it's not very fast... I wish Pros had quad core processors.

Also, be aware that Java support for Macs is not very good. You will not be able to get the exact version you need. You'll have to wait\use what apple supports and may be out of sync with other's at your work.

The keyboard... while working with non pure mac software (like Eclipse, MS Visual Studio, etc)... PC's have Ctrl key, but Macs have Ctrl + Command key... which actually both work as Ctrl key... it's just half of times you need to remember to press one and the rest - another one... There's no Home, PgDn, etc buttons.... You'll have to learn this and change your habits from PC keyboard, and you will feel disconnect from keyboard at your work, unless you also have MAc in there.

Overall - if you do not have to develop for iOS\MAC OS - you can get much more efficient PC - versatile and powerful for less money.

If you just want to have the Mac - buy it... unless you have your own business you are going to use whatever you have at work anyways... and if you are going to do some development after business hours, at home, at your own hardware, I hope you have some valid reason to do that.
 
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robvas

macrumors 68030
Mar 29, 2009
2,896
409
USA
13" is much more portable. Depending on what you are duing, the quad-core in the Pro may be a waste.

The Air is popular as well, but a lot of people prefer the larger appearing fonts of the 13" Pro
 

NutsNGum

macrumors 68030
Jul 30, 2010
2,849
323
Glasgow, Scotland
Depends what you are going to develop. You need a Mac to develop for iOS, but you will not be able to do Windows development on MAC efficiently. I need to do some occasionally and use Virtual Box + Windows XP for that - it's not very fast... I wish Pros had quad core processors.

Also, be aware that Java support for Macs is not very good. You will not be able to get the exact version you need. You'll have to wait\use what apple supports and may be out of sync with other's at your work.

The keyboard... while working with non pure mac software (like Eclipse, MS Visual Studio, etc)... PC's have Ctrl key, but Macs have Ctrl + Command key... which actually both work as Ctrl key... it's just half of times you need to remember to press one and the rest - another one... There's no Home, PgDn, etc buttons.... You'll have to learn this and change your habits from PC keyboard, and you will feel disconnect from keyboard at your work, unless you also have MAc in there.

Overall - if you do not have to develop for iOS\MAC OS - you can get much more efficient PC - versatile and powerful for less money.
This post is rubbish. Install Windows and you can run it natively, or virtualised on a mac. As far as I'm concerned, it offers you the best of both worlds. I use visual studio 2010 daily on mine, and I go between a MBP and an HP Elitebook at work without any issues.

The fact is that the MacBook will offer the OP flexibility that a PC cannot. If the OP wants to do iOS development or C#, it's just a matter of switching on parallels or going to their Bootcamp partition.

With regards to the quad core - dual core argument. An SSD will make a MUCH more noticeable performance improvement over a CPU if only doing iOS/CSharp/Java.
 

CGagnon

macrumors regular
Jun 24, 2007
200
0
I wouldn't want anything smaller than 15" for dev. And I love the retina display. No more having to run the "retina" simulator which is twice the size.
 

vladster

macrumors member
Jul 25, 2011
77
0
This post is rubbish. Install Windows and you can run it natively, or virtualised on a mac.
Or you can virtualize OS X at PC. What's your point?

With regards to the quad core - dual core argument. An SSD will make a MUCH more noticeable performance improvement over a CPU if only doing iOS/CSharp/Java.
And you can't have SSD at PC? Surprise...
 

OniSlayer

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 29, 2012
19
0
Virgin Islands
Thanks for the responses guys. While I can definitely get the rMPB I'm leaning toward 13" MBP for the extra portability. Then I think about the rMBP and that sharp text and screen and I'm back trying to decide.

When I'm home I'll definitely plug it in an external monitor so the screen size isn't a big issue. I figure I'll just upgrade to 16GB RAM, which would be handy for virtualizing windows, and an SSD. I think I might even wait to see if anything more comes out of the 13" rMBP rumors but I might cave in and buy one instead of waiting :p.
 

mcman77

macrumors 6502a
Dec 22, 2011
522
0
Any developers chose the 13" pro over the 15" variants particularly for use as their main machine? I've lasted through college so far with my trusty ol' 15" Gateway windows computer and it has been sufficient for my programming needs in Java and other languages. Just one more semester to go :D.

I'm about to purchase a macbook pro (my first Mac) which will see me off for this final semester. It'll definitely an upgrade to what I have now. I'm curious to see if the 13" pro meets the needs of those doing serious development work.
you can manage to work on a 13" or even 15" but once you work on a 21"+ you will realise how much easier it is and less time consuming fiddling with a smaller screen.