Low Budget Equipment suggestions for developer

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ald0, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. ald0 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2019
    #1
    Hello,

    I am a web and mobile developer, I work most of the time on Visual Code on web projects (JS, Node, Ruby...) and I also work from time to time on cross platforms mobile projects with Xcode and Android Studio with tools like Flutter, React Native or Native Script...

    I do not think I need ultra-powerful equipment because I'm used to work with older Macs (MBP 2009 with ssd and 8go ram, & iMac 2011), and it works without much problem.

    Now I have to update my equipment to get the latest version of Mac OS and Xcode because my current computers can't be updated.

    My ideal budget is 1500 € but I can go up to 2000 € if really necessary. I would prefer a laptop for practical reasons. I think 16GB of RAM is essential, but I can make a sacrifice on the size of the SSD and take only 128GB. I'm a little worried about keyboard problems on recent models...

    Which equipment do you think is best suited to my needs and financial means?

    Is a Macbook Air 2018 sufficient? Should I buy a used 2015 model instead? or even a 2018 Mac Mini ?

    Thank you very much in advance for your help and feedback.
     
  2. olup macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    #2
    I'd go with something that has 256GB in storage as dependencies for Node and what not do take up quite a bit of space. If you can get an used 2015 MBP for less than 1500€, I'd go for that because of the portability, otherwise take a look at the mac mini.
     
  3. tskwara macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    #3
    As a full-time iOS developer, I recommend you consider a 2018 Mac Mini, assuming you can leverage existing peripherals at the location(s) you plan to do most work. Adding a Luna Display adapter that enables your iPad to serve as a secondary (or primary) screen is great too.

    A 2018 MacBook Air is a nice secondary machine - something I use when portability is needed over quick build times (i.e. quick coding on the sofa). For me, the MBA and Mac Mini serve as a nice home setup that covers mobility (MBA) and power (MM).

    My only caveat is that this home setup is just that - something to hold me over until I get to my office where I have an iMac Pro 10-Core. This machine definitely has a calming effect when I do multiple full rebuilds during the day - saves probably an hour a day of water cooler time.

    Clearly this is all based my right-tool-for-the-job perspective, and has taken me years of 10-12 hour days to refine and evolve to a point where spending this amount doesn't give me heartburn. I'm otherwise a cheap bastard.

    My recommendation is to grow a similar setup in this order:
    1. 2018 (or newer) Mac Mini: i7, 16GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, 10GB Network - do everything here at first
    2. 2018 (or newer) MacBook Air: 8GB RAM, 256 GB SSD - added for mobile flexibility and deal with speed
    3. 2017 (or newer) iMac Pro: 10-Core, 64 GB RAM, 2 TB SSD - added for rapid development and continuous integration
    Good luck and welcome to a rewarding career path! Just don't tell them you would do this stuff for free ;)
     

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