Looking for hardware advice for iOS development

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by j.benj, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. j.benj macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2012
    Hi all, thanks in advance for reading this :)

    I'm a former Palm/HP app developer with two apps in their app store having moderate success. When HP botched webOS I finally decided to throw in the towel. I wound up purchasing an iPhone 4S and new iPad when they launched and have become a very big fan of iOS in the process.

    Now I'm starting to learn Objective-C and I will be ready to try doing some iOS development in the near future. The problem is that I do not own a Mac and have zero experience with them. I've done a bit of reading online lately and it SEEMS like a Mac Mini would be sufficient for getting started. The geek in me wants to go all-out and get a retina MacBook but realistically I just can't afford to spend that much. The responsible part of me is leaning toward the $799 mini since I've read that the entry level one is a little strapped with only 2gb of RAM.

    I have a high-end Windows 7 PC that I can do all my graphics work on so I suppose the Mac would only have to be good enough to write/compile code on.

    So my questions are really :

    1. Will the $799 mini be good enough to develop iOS apps on?
    2. Is there anything I'm not thinking of that might pop up down the road?
    3. Any other advice?

    Thanks a lot for anything you guys can offer, I really appreciate it!
  2. Peace macrumors Core


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    That mini is fine if you're just using it to compile IOS apps.

    It's actually beefier than some people think.

    I'd add some more memory to it though.

    And. Welcome to the Mac side of life.
  3. j.benj, Jun 13, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2012

    j.benj thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2012
    Awesome, thanks :) So you think I should bump it up to 8gb from 4gb? Do I have to get the RAM from Apple or can it be gotten from 3rd parties like Crucial?

    That actually brings up another question.. would I notice much difference if I bought the $599 mini and bumped up the RAM? Seems the difference would be .2ghz and Intel graphics as opposed to a Radeon card. Would system performance be much different for coding/compiling?
  4. Peace macrumors Core


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    I'm not sure how the integrated graphics compares to the HD 6630M.

    I do know the last Mini I had. The HD3000 integrated graphics I think. It ran my 27" Cinema display pretty well. I even played World of Warcraft on it.

    If you get the $599 you would only get 2gb of RAM stock. Never order memory to build with a Mac. Apple gouges you there.

    It's pretty easy to change the memory on that Mini.

    Specific brand of memory I can't think of.

    Bottom line. If the extra $200 isn't a deal breaker I'd go with the $799 Mini.

    It comes stock with 4gb RAM and has dedicated graphic. Even though it's only 256mb.

    The integrated graphics shares memory with the main memory so that would go down.

    either way you go I would put 8gb of memory in it.

    OSX loves memory.
  5. j.benj thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2012
    Thanks again!

    I found a $46 8GB kit on crucial.com that's compatible with the Mini so I'm leaning toward the el-cheapo $599 model. I have about $125 in Best Buy gift cards laying around so I could get everything up and running for under $600 out of pocket (already have a dual-monitor setup I can cannibalize from). Seems like a palatable price-point for a machine to get me started and I won't feel too guilty if it takes me a long time to get up-to-speed on iOS development :)
  6. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007

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