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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 14, 2021
Hey everyone, I’m having a real hard time deciding which MacBook to buy. I’m a software engineer working mostly on backend stuff in my company but want to get my feet wet with App development in the apple ecosystem. The laptop will be my main home computer, so I would use it for content consumption (4K streams maybe the most hardware intensive), little projects in logic or GarageBand (not a lot of tracks, just the basic guitar players needs) and XCode for iOS stuff. Like most people here I have been waiting for the new MB Pros, but now get a feeling it’s just too much and I would spend a lot of €€ for something I do not need.
Is a M1 MBA all I need (from a cpu/gpu perspective, ignoring ports, external screen capability etc) or should I go 14“ pro base?(13 pro is not an option, touchbar is a no-go)
The backend stuff I do at work is quite cpu/ram intensive, but that is not something I would do at home and I think is not really comparable to app development. I‘m not sure how resource hungry Xcode is, so maybe someone could give me some pointers from their Xcode experience (small to medium projects, maybe a little sprite kit). I’m not someone who always has to have the latest and greatest, so if I can save 700€ getting a 16/512gb mba instead of a 14“ pro I‘m happy too (or wait for m2 MBA).
Thanks for any help.

OS X Dude

macrumors 65816
Jun 30, 2007
M1 still screams, so for starting out it'll be more than sufficient. Unless you're coding games, in which case the superior GPU performance of the M1 Pro will be especially useful. The Air has no fan, so if you're stress testing a lot then it may throttle slightly but there are umpteen YouTube videos of the Air's thermal performance to provide reassurance.

You could also consider the M1 Mini - cheaper, has a fan and more I/O. You'll have to use a monitor, sure, but a nice big space is handy for IDEs. That's probably what I'd go for, but I prefer desktops generally for a work session as I'd only be docking a MacBook anyway.


macrumors 6502
Feb 3, 2003
M1 is fine for your use. Lots of people still do iOS development on older/slower intel machines.
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