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flawreen

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 15, 2023
3
1
Hello, I am a computer science student. I want to buy a mac to learn ios development(I already know android) and do college tasks. I will run the apps on a physical device, not an emulator, with a couple of tabs open (not many). Will a macbook air m1 with 8gb/256gb suffice? I can't afford buying the 16gb one. Do you think the 8gb will suffice?

The alternative would be a mac mini with 16gb ram at the same price as the MBA, but it takes up to 10-12 weeks to ship, and I won't be able to bring it to college for labs.
 
Last edited:

Rnd-chars

macrumors regular
Apr 4, 2023
247
232
Considering you’re a student, will be running off a physical device, and aren’t likely to be building apps with high complexity (eg Docker, ML, etc), I’d go for the Air if I were you, especially since you can take it with you to classes.

Besides the above reasons, there are two other benefits:
1. Coding on a more resource constrained system can help you build leaner code and encourage you to learn more about build optimization, both of which will come in handy if you choose to do this professionally
2. If you start taking paid gigs and your laptop feels like the bottleneck, you’ll have data on which aspects matter most for your development (eg RAM, disk speed, core frequency, core count) so you can make an informed upgrade decision.

Good luck!
 

flawreen

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 15, 2023
3
1
Considering you’re a student, will be running off a physical device, and aren’t likely to be building apps with high complexity (eg Docker, ML, etc), I’d go for the Air if I were you, especially since you can take it with you to classes.

Besides the above reasons, there are two other benefits:
1. Coding on a more resource constrained system can help you build leaner code and encourage you to learn more about build optimization, both of which will come in handy if you choose to do this professionally
2. If you start taking paid gigs and your laptop feels like the bottleneck, you’ll have data on which aspects matter most for your development (eg RAM, disk speed, core frequency, core count) so you can make an informed upgrade decision.

Good luck!
Thanks for the opinion! I am glad there still are people that think it is possible with 8gb.
If anyone else has an opinion, please, share it with us!
 
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MacCheetah3

macrumors 68020
Nov 14, 2003
2,123
1,095
Central MN
Thanks for the opinion! I am glad there still are people that think it is possible with 8gb.
If anyone else has an opinion, please, share it with us!
I’ve been focused on smaller/simpler apps — not to imply they’re in anyway less useful -- and, in my experience, the load (without simulator) is ~10GB of RAM. So, a little beyond the 8GB but nothing that should be a problem.
 
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flawreen

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 15, 2023
3
1
I’ve been focused on smaller/simpler apps — not to imply they’re in anyway less useful -- and, in my experience, the load (without simulator) is ~10GB of RAM. So, a little beyond the 8GB but nothing that should be a problem.
Can you give more details? How small are the apps? Xcode only with the project open uses 10GB? Without any other programs?

If you have 16gbs of ram the apps use as much ram as they need - meaning that they can do the same thing on a machine with less ram e.g. 8gb and take less ram because it adapts to the hardware.
 

MacCheetah3

macrumors 68020
Nov 14, 2003
2,123
1,095
Central MN
Let’s get some specific examples...

• An early project I did to learn the basics of GUI (e.g., drag and drop, connecting buttons to actions):
Screenshot_2023-06-16_Money-Counter.png

Using the simulator:
Screenshot_2023-06-16_MC_simulated.png

• Apple’s Landmarks (tutorial/example) app:
Screenshot_2023-06-16_Landmarks.png

With live preview:
Screenshot_2023-06-16_Landmarks_Live-Preivew.png

• A formally published recipe app — not originally developed by me — that I’m working to modernize:
Screenshot_2023-06-16_Purely-Vegan.png

Slow going as software development isn’t my primary job at the moment.
 
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