Low Budget Equipment suggestions for developer

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

  1. ald0 macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2019

    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

    Oct 11, 2011
    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

    May 6, 2010
    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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