Is new Macbook Pro 15" a good choice for XCode / iOS development ?

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by LaravelNick, Nov 23, 2013.

  1. LaravelNick macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    #1
    Hi Folks,

    I'm wanting to get into XCode and iOS development and I'd be grateful if someone could please confirm whether the Macbook Pro that I'm considering purchasing would be a suitable machine for this type of work ?

    The Macbook Pro that I'm considering is the new Haswell 2.3Ghz, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, with the discrete graphics card.

    If someone could please advice, I would be very grateful.
     
  2. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #2
    Yes it will work fine. There are several factors. Downloading Xcode and the latest iOS SDK takes up a lot of disk space. Xcode is 4+ gig and each SDK is about that much as well. You will need the latest OSX as Xcode is now in the app store and I'm not sure if there is a way to download it to systems that are too old to use the OSX App store.

    As for compiling and running apps, just about any Mac is fast enough.

    The only restriction I can think of at the moment is you must be running a version of OSX and it must be a recent (or latest) version to do iOS 7 development. While supporting iPad is optional, you will not be able to put anything in the app store that does support the iPhone retina display. You will need an annual $99 paid developer membership to put anything in the app store. So if money is tight, it is perfectly acceptable to go with the 13 inch MBP or even a MBA for iOS development. You can always use an external USB3, Firewire (with an adapter) or Thunderbolt drive for all those bulky downloads. There is even a 128 GB SD card available for storage expansion.
     
  3. LaravelNick thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    #3
    Wow, thank you so much for such a comprehensive a helpful reply.

    Thanks r0k, that has helped me a lot.
     
  4. Duncan C macrumors 6502a

    Duncan C

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #4
    Yes, a new MBP with 16 GB of ram is PLENTY fast enough. I have the previous generation of non-retina MBP, and it makes a great development machine. The SSD make a HUGE difference in performance. It boots almost instantly and apps load VERY quickly.

    If all you use it for is development then 512GB will be enough, but if you use it to hold movies, music, etc, then you'll fill that 512 GB hard drive. I took the DVD drive out of mine and replaced it with a hard drive in an adapter made for that purpose. I then put the DVD drive in a low cost USB enclosure. I now have the speed of an SSD, plus plenty of storage space.

    The other issue you might face is screen real estate. Development and debugging is easier with a LOT of screen space. You might want to think about getting an inexpensive 1080 TV as a second monitor. You can always add that at a later date of course. You'll need the "Thunderbolt" to HDMI adapter cable, but that's easy.
     
  5. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #5
    Personally, I really like my work setup of a 13" MBP and a 24" Thunderbolt Display.

    Having the laptop be 13" makes it really portable. I can and have worked on it just about everywhere, including on a plane, bus, car, train, subway... I've also used it in an airport lobby, train station... Bus station. Were it 15", I'm not sure if I could have worked on it in all those places as easily.

    Bus as someone else said, screen real estate is valuable for debugging (also UI design). So I have a 24" external both at home and at work.
     
  6. LaravelNick thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    #6
    Hey Duncan C and ArtOfWarfare,

    Thanks very much for your contributions.

    Great to hear from folks who are already XCode / iOS developers and sharing ideas and thoughts about your own setup.

    Food for thought indeed.

    Thanks to both of you.
     
  7. xStep macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Location:
    Less lost in L.A.
    #7
    Talking about an external monitors, I've used monitors capable of orienting into portrait mode. It's a nice experience to see so many more lines of code. It reminds of my green bar paper days, oh, way back. ;)

    My current personal computer is an early 2011 MBP with 16GB of memory and a 512GB 7200 RPM drive. It easily handles all development needs. I don't really need it, but I'm thinking of putting in a Seagate 1TB hybrid drive to gain some speed and get some extra space. At work I have the same system with 4GB of RAM and thinking at times it could use extra memory.

    I don't have any references, but I've heart that the quad i7 process definitely makes for much quicker compile times.
     
  8. xStep macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Location:
    Less lost in L.A.
    #8
    The iOS 7 SDK takes up about 1.2GB. The older iOS 6.1 SDK takes about half of that. The OS X SDKs are much smaller. I have Xcode 5.0.1 installed and it is taking less than 5GB of space. About a GIG more than Xcode 4.6.3 uses.

    Xcode 5 which allows development of iOS 7 apps requires Mountain Lion 10.8.4 and newer.

    If you want older versions of Xcode back to version 1, or even the current one, you can download those from Apple. When signed into your developer account, you'll see "Looking for an older version of Xcode?" below the current download. Follow that link. Be careful to not overwrite you current version.
     
  9. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #9
    I don't know why I thought they were bigger. Perhaps Comcast was acting up during the downloads and I got the impression they were bigger. I haven't actually gone and looked and used calculate all sizes.
     

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