Is Mac better for programing than PC

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Ph0bos, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. Ph0bos macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    #1
    Hi!

    In couple days I'll buy new computer, which will be used specially for programing in MySQL,PHP,xHTML,JS,AJAX, etc.
    I think about an PC notebook with Core i3/i5 processor + average GPU and also I thought about new MB White 2.4 C2D.
    I heared that Mac OSX and other UNIX systems are always better for programming. Is that true?
    What are advanteges of MB and PC?
    I'm pretty scared abour C2D processor in MB, it's very old.

    Greetings.
     
  2. danest macrumors member

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    Apr 27, 2008
    #2
    I have used Mac, Linux and PC's for programming and having a Mac isn't always better for programming. With a PC it is pretty easy to use for web development with php and mysql(I did web dev on a PC for an internship and I really enjoyed it).

    A few advantages I have for using a Mac over a PC is that I found some packages a lot easier to install since it is UNIX based.

    Also another advantage for Mac is that if you want to do some iOS programming, then you can only do it with a Mac so that is something that you may want to consider in your buying.
     
  3. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

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    Orlando
    #3
    That's kinda like asking if a stove is better for cooking than an oven. They're both good for the right purposes. Programming is a pretty open concept, since there's a lot of different types and purposes. Obviously if you're programming for the Mac or iOS, you'll probably want a Mac. For cross-platform programming, you'll likely want to have both on hand. For Windows programming, I'd guess you'd want a Windows machine.

    And there will be situations which make all of the above not necessarily true.

    jW
     
  4. Ph0bos thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; pl-pl) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148a Safari/6533.18.5)

    I'm talking about programing for Web, creating services in PHP like Facebook but less complicated for today ;) I'm just learning programing and in future I would like to make big services ;)
     
  5. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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  6. danest macrumors member

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    Apr 27, 2008
    #6
    For just general web programming a mac or pc would both work well. It just depends on which one you would want to get/spend more money on. I chose a mac over a pc and I do web development + Photoshop and Java development
     
  7. ZilogZ80 macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #7
    Considering none of these are specific to either Mac or PC I'd say it is down to your personal preference of OSX or Windows. Don't know about Windows but OSX has lots of great free apps for web development. I also found MAMP to be extremely easy to install/configure for local testing purposes.
     
  8. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #8
    Windows is the best platform for Web-related and most of other development work, because the available tools are mind-blowing. However, it is the best to develop on the platform, on which most users will use your work. Mac OS X is great, if you want to support other UNIX-like platforms.

    If you work on bigger projects, you need a machine with at least 4 cores which support overclocking (Intel calls it "Turbo Boost", part of newer Intel-processors), so that you do not wait too long for the results. Here is a multipage review, which should help you a bit:
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/...-core-i7-2600k-i5-2500k-core-i3-2100-tested/3

    I tried "smaller" machines, and had a lot of performance problems. But i do not think that current Mac Pros or MacBook Pros are worth the money you pay for them.

    HP has some nice workstations (silent, liquid cooled), they start with the number Z200 and end with Z800, IIRC:
    http://www.hp.com/sbso/busproducts-workstations.html

    ;)
     
  9. Ph0bos thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
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    Thanks for replies ;) I also heard that OS X is better because of the console build in every UNIX system. Is it really helpful and useful when you are programer?

    PS. I've seen photo of Mark Zuckeberg CEO of Faceboom with MacBook white ;) But I guess that it isn't his main machine, don't you think so?
     
  10. Ph0bos thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
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    I'll use this computer just for 2 years, because than I go study and I'll need better computer :)
     
  11. danrodney macrumors newbie

    danrodney

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    #11
    A Mac is like getting two computers

    I think a Mac is best because you can load Parallels or VMWare for PC testing. Then you have both a Mac and PC for testing various web browsers. Windows doesn't have any good Mac emulators that I know of. You should test on both, so with a Mac you only need to buy one computer!
     
  12. al2o3cr macrumors regular

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    Oct 14, 2009
    #12
    Which is a pretty fair bet, given that anybody who's stuck doing PHP on IIS already knows what kind of machine they have to buy...

    Really? Did you read the original poster's question? If you need a quadcore to get snappy response from PHP on localhost, you have FAILED. Gonna be awfully hard to handle real user load...

    I hope that wink was for suggesting that the poster needs a Quadro graphics card to do web development. Otherwise, the whole line you've recommended is complete overkill.

    ---

    To actually answer the poster's question, the sort of development you're looking at isn't going to particularly drive the machine you do it on. I happen to prefer OS X for development as Windows has historically had some bumps related to the ways it's not UNIX (path separators, free compiler toolchains are complicated). You may want to consider buying whatever machine fits your non-development needs and running a VirtualBox instance that closely matches the server environment you're planning to deploy to.
     
  13. Ph0bos thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
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    One more question you didn't answered me : Is console in UNIX systems useful?
     
  14. PaulFitz macrumors newbie

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    Feb 2, 2011
    #14
    If you are doing LAMP development, it's somewhat unlikely that you will deploy on windows servers. With OS X or linux you have the advantage or a UNIX based and you can compile PHP/Apache extensions like you would on your test machine like you would your server.

    Also a real shell is priceless.

    CPU doesn't matter for 99% of programming, you could do PHP programming via a shell on a 486. I use VIM for PHP coding and that runs on pretty much any UNIX machine from the last decade. Most of my work is me SSHing into remote UNIX boxes so it's not demanding.


    If you ALSO want to do video/audio/photo editing CPU enters the equation.

    I find OS X a little more production as well, because of spaces/stacks/expose and those kinds of things.
     
  15. PaulFitz macrumors newbie

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    Feb 2, 2011
    #15
    Unless you are working in .NET and ASP, that is just flat out wrong I am afraid.
     
  16. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

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    Location:
    Orlando
    #16
    The Console will have little to do with what you're dealing with, if any. The only possible relevancy it could have is when running a local PHP or similar server, but there are better ways of looking for problems when doing that.

    jW
     
  17. Chuushajou macrumors regular

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    Mar 19, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #17
    I do some web-development on the side, and I dislike using my Windows Machine. The GUI isn't very pleasing to look at for extended periods of time and the colours do not seem as "deep"... Personally, I'd wait for the refresh, and buy one of them machines. I prefer using my Mac for web-dev so much more.


    I recommend you buy a copy of taco also..
     
  18. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

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    Location:
    Detroit
    #18
    You mention that you are developing for the web, php, etc. It doesn't matter much whether you use a Mac or Windows in terms of what you can do, but there is a definite down side risk to using Windows, especially if you use IE. There is a risk your customers cannot see you stuff and you never find out about it because you haven't viewed the pages on their browser and platform.

    If things look fine in IE, there is a great risk they won't look right on other browsers or on other platforms. If things look right in Firefox or Chrome, there is a much better chance the will look fine in IE. The fact you have chosen php over asp means you aren't choosing to depend on Windows based things. This is a good choice. Remember php is really a server side language. Your end users never see the php code. They see html that results from the execution of the php code. I don't know if IIS will properly serve PHP, but I doubt it. And even if it does, it's a non standard MS-ized version along the lines of "embrace, etend, extinguish" that MS has tried on almost every web standard beginning with html itself.

    I use the Unix console all the time for web development. Some hosting companies will sell you hosting that includes a shell account. This allows you to download and install your own php add ons like forums, wordpress, drupal and the like. You can use the Unix console to extract the archives (typically tgz files) and issue commands to configure your mysql server, etc. So yes the Unix console can be very useful, but it is far from necessary. Many hosting providers will provide you a way to configure everything from a browser. It's just less flexible than the console. There are console apps on Windows that will allow you to ssh in to the Linux box that is serving up your pages but I prefer the terminal on OS X. Since OS X is Unix underneath, you can run Apache and PHP and so forth right on your Mac for testing.

    If money is a problem, consider a windows box and a linux box. To me this is what OS X gives me. It gives me a graphical OS where I don't have to futz around in the terminal for things and it gives me a Unix OS I can (carefully) tinker with to my heart's content. But if money is a problem, a low end windows box and a low end Linux box might wind up costing less than a Mac. I should mention that you get what you pay for. Given the choice, I would never go for a Windows box for php development, but I want to be fair and mention that it could save you money if money is an overriding concern. Bear in mind that total cost of ownership could be quite a bit more on the Windows but that's an argument for another thread. Let's just treat the costs as if they were close to equal and say the OS X box is preferable for the reasons I've mentioned above.
     
  19. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #19
    He uses a Mac at Harvard, where he founded Facebook, and he's been using a Mac since then.
     
  20. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #20
    "Programming" is a big field. It includes things like the engine controller in your car and the firmware that runs inside your iPod the processing inside ATM cash machines.

    When you say "MySQL,PHP,xHTML,JS,AJAX" I think what you really mean is "web development".

    In the general case I'd say "YES" It is generally easier to get this kind of stuff running on a UNIX/Linux like OS.

    The only reasons to try doing that on a Windows PC is (1) Some ignorant person is paying you good money and will not take your advice to use a better OS and (2) I can't think of a second reason.
     
  21. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

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    Orlando
    #21
    I'll add, by the way, that you will, without a doubt, want to get a copy of Windows to install in Boot Camp, or a cheap PC, for testing purposes. Even though you want to design for Safari/Firefox/Chrome because they're more standards-compliant, you'll have to fix for IE, because there are an unfortunate number of people still using it. At least you don't really need to worry about IE6 much anymore, but IE7 and IE8 are still just as bad in their own ways.

    jW
     
  22. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

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    Florida Resident
    #22
    It is easy to get intrenched into either a hard core Mac programmer or Windows programmer. You have .NET programming on the right side, open source in the middle, and Cocoa on the left side. I like that the development tools are free for Cocoa programming but on the Windows side they have different tiers of pricing depending on how serious you are as a programmer.

    Since your environment is open source, I would lean towards a Mac for a better programming platform than a PC.
     
  23. macsmurf macrumors 65816

    macsmurf

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    Aug 3, 2007
    #23
    Very useful. Somewhat steep learning curve though.
     

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