Is the new base model MBA 13" sufficient for Xcode development?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by iJustinCabral, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. iJustinCabral macrumors member


    Jul 8, 2012
    I was wondering if the new base model of the 13 inch Macbook Air is good for Xcode development?

    I currently use my 2011 mac mini with 8gb of ram and it does fine.

    I'm curious if the 1.8ghz ivy bridge i5 MBA 13in with 8gb of ram will do the same if not better than my mac mini?

    Also some light photo editing.

    Or am I better off going with a rMBP to invest in the future or a 2012 normal 13 inch MBP or 15 inch MBP.

    I appreciate all opinions.

    PS. - I'm also starting my Computer Science B.A. this year so that also has to be considered.

    Thanks so much.
  2. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Obviously a more powerful computer will be better, but the MBA should be just fine. I suppose you already have a hard drive for backup, and some large monitor for your desk (most developers want all the monitor space they can have).
  3. iJustinCabral thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 8, 2012
    Yeah i have a 1TB external, and I have a 27inch Samsung & 24inch LG for monitors with my mac mini.

    I just want to be sure that the MBA is the best way to go, or should I continue to save for the rMBP.

    I plan on spending about 1700 for a built MBA so another 400 dollars saved I could just get the rMBP base with 16gb of RAM for 2169 with the education discount.

    So torn on what to do lol.

    I think that developing for retina iPad will be great on the rMBP because the simulator will actually fit on the screen.
  4. dmelgar macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    What sort of answer do you expect? Do you seriously think a new MBA wont work for developing on Xcode?
    You say you're already doing development. How different an experience do you think it would be?
    Depends on what your needs are. Do you need a big display. Do you need a very high resolution display? Do you find yourself waiting on the Mini while doing development?

    I've been doing development on a 2010 11" MBA just fine. Xcode builds are fast. Loading simulator much faster than my own MacBook Pro.

    In general a MBA should be fine. rMBP gets you higher power and the retina display. Old style MBP gets you expandability but with slow hard drives and a heavy laptop.

    So far, resale on MBAs has been bad. Has been better on MBP, but that might change as the rMBP is the new wave, heavily dependent on SSD prices which are dropping rapidly.

    Btw, the simulator doesn't fit on the rMBP any better than it does on a 13 MBA. They are both effectively 1440x900 at default setting.
  5. ctyhntr macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2010
    2 years ago I built a hackintosh from a netbook because I couldn't keep up with Apple's updates to Xcode. Everytime Apple updated Xcode I would have to go and fix my project links.

    For coding you don't need a powerful machine, and for displaying simulator and code I found it easier on my eyes looking at it from an external monitor.

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